5 Ways To Evaluate a Wellness Hotel Destination
Wellness travel is more than just an industry buzzword. As people around the world become more conscious of the planet, of the human body, of mental health, they expect more from products, services and this includes the travel industry. Today, mindful travelers expect much more from resort hotels claiming to be a wellness destination. Gone are the times that having a fitness center and spa could qualify a hotel as a wellness location - though many hotels still attempt market these basic amenities as wellness facilities to tap into the 3.72 Trillion dollar global wellness industry.
There are no global standards of what makes a wellness hotel yet. We’ve travelled the world visiting some of the top wellness focus destinations, and from this, we developed Wanderwell, which is crafted with five core wellness pillars in mind. For us, wellness can be experienced by all through a combination of nutrition, movement, self-care, discovery and connection. We use our five wellness pillars as guidelines to qualify hotels to become Wanderwell certified properties.
Personal health goals shouldn’t take a vacation when we do. This is why nutrition is a fundamental pillar in wandering well. Not everything on a hotel’s menu has to be low in calories or “guilt-free” eating but providing guests with mindful meal options is a must. Having a variety of vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options should be available at all wellness hotel properties. Where are food items sourced? Locally or on-site? Are customizable meal options provided to guests? Can guests experience a full nutritional detox during their stay? Is there a nutritional consultant available to guests? Our focus, energy and drive all depend on a well-nurtioused brain and body - this is why nutrition is a crucial element when evaluating wellness properties.
Having a fitness center available to guests is the first step to providing travelers ability to experience wellness through movement. However, taking movement the extra mile includes offering much more, such as complimentary or paid yoga classes and training programs (HIIT, Pilates, Spin, Boot Camps, etc.), providing guest with the opportunity to experience outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, horseback riding, paddle boarding, biking, etc. Does the hotel have onsite fitness professionals? Are activity and fitness programs customizable to individual guests?
Yes, both nutrition and movement feed into self-care for individual guests. This pillar of self-care focuses on facilities that offer travelers relaxation, rejuvenation, beauty and body-care, or in other words luxury wellness spa treatments and self-care programs. From therapeutic treatments to mindfulness practices, offering travelers a variety of value wellbeing and health tips are becoming more sought after.
One of a hotel’s most distinctive features to wellness travelers is its location! And not only for its aesthetic appeal of beaches, terrain, or forests, but also for how the hotel interacts and contribution with its local community. Wanderwell travelers may be interested in understanding if the hotel has off-site cultural and historical tours. Does the property employ residents from the region? Is there volunteer programs on or off the property that travelers can get involved in? How does the hotel giveback to its local community? Our discovery pillar focuses on providing travelers wellness experiences outside oneself and into cultural surroundings.
For wellness adventurers connecting with the surrounding nature is essential. So for most, how a hotel connects and interacts with the environment is quite significant. Is the property environmentally conscious (renewable energy, sustainably built, reduces water consumption, etc.)? Does the property/location provide guest with outdoor green space or are locations to connect with natural close by? Human connect is vital as well. Does the hotel provide opportunities for guest to connect with other travelers and staff? Socializing is so key to our mental and emotional well-being.
We also look beyond the five pillars when qualifying properties beyond evaluating current property reviews and taking a more in-depth look into the overall services provided by a hotel or resort.
Want to find out if your hotel property can become a Wanderwell Certified Property? Fill out our Questionnaire and your resort may qualify to be feature as as one of our Certified Wellness Properties.