Wellness has been one of the fastest growing buzzwords of the hospitality industry in recent years.
It seems that guests are looking for more than just a relaxing getaway, instead they want to leave feeling rejuvenated, healthier and happier than ever before. But how can smaller hotels create wellness experiences for their guests, without having the luxury of an in-hotel spa or gym?
Here are some ideas for you to play to your assets and create a wellbeing offering of your own…
Fitness is a big part of the wellness offering as guests are encouraged to achieve a ‘healthy body and healthy mind’. You may not have a gym to work with but you will certainly have a local fitness alternative to offer…and it’s bound to be a lot more interesting than a gym anyway!
Perhaps your stunning location boasts the most beautiful running routes? Or your local lake is the perfect place for a morning swim! Your guests could power walk their way around the city or hire bikes from a local vendor.
You may even have space inside or outside your hotel to bring in Yoga classes which your guests could join with.
You get the idea.
Fitness isn’t restricted to a gym, there are so many ways for guests to keep fit, and many probably seem obvious, but it’s all about how you package them into your offering to sell more rooms. Your gallery of property images showing the local countryside isn’t necessarily going to say to someone looking to book a hotel stay, “guests in need of a wellness retreat can put their best foot forward and enjoy their morning run amongst the most breath-taking scenery.”
Sometimes you need to spell it out for people and boldly say “we love wellness too!”
For facilities that aren’t as easy to ‘create’ why not partner with other local businesses? You could form a relationship with a local Spa or beautician, for example. The benefit for the local business is that you will promote their services to your guests.
The benefit for you is that you can include the available treatments in your service offering. A local beautician may even come in to the hotel to offer in-room treatments.
Booking treatments would become part of your booking process (ensuring treatments were booked before check-in) so that it’s an easy service for you to organise. Nothing says wellness like an in-room massage after all!
Opting for healthy food and drink has evolved from being a dieting fad and is more commonly a lifestyle choice. More than ever your guests are aware of what they’re eating and drinking, and whilst you will always have guests who love nothing more than a full-English for breakfast and a bottle of wine in the evening, there will be more and more people searching for a healthy alternative too.
Making healthy food and drink your USP is a risk for many small hotels. Whilst you may want to tap into this growing wellness trend, you won’t want to turn away those more traditional guests who haven’t changed their ways, and we fully understand that.
The good news is you can strike a balance quite simply by offering both healthy and indulgent options for your guest ‘types’. Whether it’s through your restaurant menu or your in-room consumables. In the most basic form, pop a fruit bowl next to the biscuit tin!
Instead of making food and drink the core of your wellness message you could just embrace current trends that can be cheaply implemented but will make a lasting impression. For example, avocado toast as a breakfast option, or fruit and veg smoothies on the drinks menu.
Creating a wellness atmosphere is fairly easy if you think about it; some calming music, scented candles and Buddha ornaments soon depict a sense of serenity. You may not want to implement this throughout your hotel but you could create wellness rooms or areas, or even decorate rooms of those people who are opting for the ‘wellness’ package.
This needs to be implemented with caution – if your hotel becomes ‘spa themed’ your guests will have an expectation of their experience with you and if you’re still catering to those more traditional guests that this can create mixed messages and a diluted stay for both guest types.
That said, your décor and room accessories tell a story about your property and brand. Books about wellness in the rooms and complimentary face-masks in the bathrooms can carry the same connotations on a smaller scale.
These are just some of the ways you can embrace this growing trend to make it work for you at a low cost, and work for your guests in an added value experience.
Wellness doesn’t need to be restricted to spa days and mediation retreats, just think of ways to make your guests feel happy and healthy in a way that works for you and your property. You can use these services and values in your marketing collateral to target a potentially new audience for your business.