Our Top 10 Hotel Wellness Offerings
Tarot card readings, high-tech wearables and (literal) Arctic baths are just some of the ways hotels are boosting their wellness features.
Photo By: Johan Kauppi
Photo By: The James Hotels
Photo By: Rosewood Mayakoba
Photo By: Seaflora Skincare
Photo By: Cal a Vie Health Spa
Photo By: Four Seasons Resorts Bali
Photo By: Jeff Schultz
Photo By: Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos
Photo By: Dukes London
Photo By: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, Sweden: Floating Arctic Bath
The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa isn’t so much a new wellness offering as it is a new wellness hotel — and it’s pretty unprecedented. Located in Swedish Lapland, the hotel, on track to open this year, will offer six rooms accessible via a footbridge from the cold pool centerpiece, which is actual river water. With a wintertime low temperature of around 39 degrees, it literally qualifies as Arctic. Luckily, the saunas and a hot pool will help prevent hypothermia. On top of this, the entire eco-friendly structure will float on top of the Luleriver in warmer weather and freeze into place the rest of the year. In exchange for not floating, you have a chance of experiencing the aurora borealis or northern lights. The new venture is a joint effort between Off the Map Travel and the creators behind the unconventional Treehotel in Sweden, where you can stay in treehouses shaped like a UFO or camouflaged by mirrors. For those who wish to experience both hotels, the Treehotel is just up the river in the same town.
The James Hotels, New York and Chicago: Wellness Videos and Meditation App
It feels as though every other hotel now offers in-room wellness options, but The James Hotels have taken a different approach with the Four Bodies Wellness feature. The four bodies consist of physical, spiritual, mental and emotional, and the first two are available via on-demand video. The physical aspect is a cardio-boxing workout taught by Michael "Silk" Olajide Jr., co-founder of NYC’s popular Aerospace studio. The front desk can provide resistance bands for an extra challenge. Kundalini Yoga instructor Guru Jagat of RA MA Institute handles the spiritual portion, also on-demand, which is more about breath work and simple movements and less about traditional yoga poses. Mental is all about meditation, which guests can access with a free one-month trial on the new INSCAPE app. (Khajak Keledjian, INSCAPE’s founder, also founded the famous fashion chain Intermix.) The Numinous founder Ruby Warrington spearheaded the emotional component, allowing guests to schedule private in-room sessions for astrology birth chart or tarot card readings, transformational coaching, and even hypnosis. Guests can take the wellness options to the next level by visiting the Aerospace, INSCAPE and RA MA Institute studios.
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico: Self Love
The concept of marrying oneself isn’t new, but it isn't mainstream either. That makes the Marry Oneself retreat at Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen worthy of a trip for those in major need of some self love and healing. Participants start by doing an intake session with a shaman in order to receive a customized plan that involves spiritual lessons and incorporates the basic elements of earth, air, water and fire. During the course of four days, experiences might involve a Temazcal purifying ritual and singing bowls, but it’s not all inner work — de-stressing holistic spa treatments are part of the program, too. True to the retreat’s name, the trip ends with a wedding ceremony, complete with vows and self-commitment — all without the stress of actually planning a wedding.
Fairmont Empress, British Columbia: Seaweed Foraging
The Willow Stream Spa at the castle-like Fairmont Empress in Victoria specializes in seaweed treatments, from full body to facials. But we’re not just talking about a new seaweed service. Guests can actually forage for the seaweed that’s used at the spa with Diane Bernard, founder of Seaflora Skincare, who goes by the name "The Seaweed Lady." Guests accompany her to Sooke, about 40 minutes away from the hotel, to learn about and harvest the seaweed, before returning to the spa for either the Salish Sea Vitality Body or facial seaweed treatment.
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, California: High-Tech Additions
Cal-a-Vie attracts repeat customers who come for the spa and fitness programs, but there are high-tech incentives, too. The resort recently introduced WellnessFX, an online service that provides the results of an advanced blood screening test meant to measure hormone levels, metabolism, cardiovascular health and more. Guests discuss the results in a half-hour phone call, along with receiving a private on-site appointment to review any needed diet and lifestyle changes. Another high-tech addition is the Styku 3-D body scanner, meant to provide accurate body measurements within 2mm in just 35 seconds. Muse, a headband that measures brain activity while meditating, essentially aids focus by tracking wandering thoughts. How? By sending different sounds (like birds chirping or waves crashing) depending on the mind’s activity level. Cal-a-Vie is the first destination spa in the U.S. to offer it.
Four Seasons Bali at Sayan: Cooking Classes
Bali is an epicenter of wellness, and the Four Seasons Bali at Sayan is an epicenter within that. The Sokasi Cooking School is the resort’s newest wellness offering, where guests can accompany a chef to the local market before helping to prep a plant-based meal. Additional ingredients are sourced from the herb and vegetable gardens that surround the bamboo cooking school. In addition to learning local food recipes, guests are introduced to recipes for traditional herbal medicines such as jamu.
The Sheldon Chalet, Alaska: Heli Hiking and Skiing
Not only is the heli hike a new experience, but the Sheldon Chalet, a posh retreat perched at 6,000 feet in Denali National Park, just opened in February 2018. The hotel is only accessible by helicopter, so it makes sense that the Sheldon Chalet offers additional heli experiences, such as hiking and skiing, depending on the season. Guests work with guides to choose a route, which, thanks to the chalet’s remote location, is usually virgin territory. A gourmet picnic lunch completes the experience.
Hard Rock Hotels, Worldwide: In-Room Yoga Videos
Rock Om, an in-room yoga video, is the Hard Rock Hotels’ latest wellness offering. Choose from three different videos of varying lengths taught by Marti Nikko, whose classes are accompanied by hip, original yoga beats (this is Hard Rock after all) by her husband DJ Drez, an in-demand Los Angeles deejay and producer. The Vinyasa-style classes are accessible to all levels, and don’t fret if you don’t travel with your yoga gear. The hotel can loan you a Manduka mat, although you’ll have to pay if you want that Yogitoes towel. Some hotels also offer on-site classes.
DUKES LONDON: Beditation Butler
Since staying in a five-star hotel doesn’t guarantee a solid night of sleep (although it helps), DUKES LONDON has introduced a Beditation Butler service to help facilitate the process. Beditation Butler walks guests through nighttime podcast and playlist options that cover the gamut of sleep-oriented meditations. Since this is London, a proper cup of loose-leaf tea from East India Tea Company is served before bedtime. This service is only available to those staying in the Duchess Suites, which are tailored to women.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills: Wellness Rooms
It’s one thing for hotels to include yoga mats or in-room videos, but the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Bevery Hills outfits entire rooms with wellness offerings. Its five brand-new wellness rooms and two suites, conveniently found on the spa level, come equipped with controllable circadian lighting, an air purifier, shower dechlorinator and healthy minibar snacks. Other wellness perks entail a healthy room service menu, meditation videos by Deepak Chopra and a sleep machine. Suites offer next-level amenities rarely seen, such as Peloton Bikes.