There is no denying that our priorities when looking for a great hotel have shifted since the pandemic. Heading into year two of the Covid Era travelers just aren’t fully ready to venture too far from home and are leaning hard on resorts to impart a soothing and relaxing experience. More than ever, a safe haven to reset and recharge is top-of-mind. Anne Biging, CEO of Healing Hotels, a global member-based hospitality brand with a roster of over 100 premier wellness destinations around the world has noticed this shift. She notes,
“Clients are looking for programs to restore their health, especially if they were Covid- affected. In general, they are searching for retreats/programs that help them to overcome the traumatic time of the last year and to increase their health, especially their immune system. The search for a deeper meaning in life is a huge trend among travelers. This search for transformational programs is increasing by the day.”
Biging also points out that regionalization due to travel restrictions has forced hotels to pivot and woo local customers encouraging them to stay longer since remote working and schooling has become the new norm. According to Global Workplace Analytics, by the end of 2021 30% of the workforce will be remote for some portion of their week up from 3.6% before Covid. Hotel properties have become incredibly creative with partnerships and innovative offerings from fully touchless spa menus to wellness suites and fitness pods to vegan pop-ups. Here are a few of our favorites to consider next time you are planning your next escape.
The Andaz 5th Avenue has just launched seven wellness suites designed to enhance how their guests eat, sleep, and move. Each suite features a curation of local brands including mediative offerings from Headspace complete with a Tibetan singing bowl and a living wall designed by NJ-based Naturalist. The exclusively commissioned art piece claims to help clean the surrounding air, reduce stress and spark creativity. Guests can enjoy a minibar featuring kombucha and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Looking to move your body? Suites come outfitted with a Lululemon Fitness Mirror and a wellness concierge
Shou Sugi Ban House in Water Mill, NY is a zen-like retreat that offers an exceptional healing gourmet cuisine and a comprehensive list of healing practices like sound healing, aromatherapy, yoga, breathwork and meditation, fitness classes, tea traditions, nutrition consultations and more. Currently on offer is the East End Nature Emmersion, a retreat that connects participants to the natural wonders of the East End of Long Island with a tour of Long House Reserve and a forest bathing excursion.
Four Seasons Punta Minta and Orlando resorts made headlines for offering a respite to weary parents with their “schoolcations” providing secluded dedicated spaces for remote learning, tech support and private tutoring. Now, the luxury chain is upping their fitness game. The Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto have partnered with local fitness studio Tonal to offer three TonalPods that provide super private and highly sanitized safe spaces for solitary workouts. The Tonal intelligent dynamic weight system adjusts to individual fitness levels and tailors digital weights as needed during the 170 + move workout. Guests also have access to on-demand yoga, cardio and hundreds of guided workouts all from the comfort of each private fitness studio. The Tonal capsules are located in the hotel’s spa area and are complementary to hotel guests.
My love runs deep for the Carillon Hotel. Surprisingly, it’s one of the only comprehensive wellness destinations in Miami and it’s nestled on one of the quieter sections of Collins Avenue removed from South Beach, but close enough so that you can dip a toe in its more turbulent social waters. Their spa and fitness experiences are some of the best in town. I spent one glorious spring week attending yoga and dance cardio classes in their open-air Ocean studio with gently rolling ocean waves as my backdrop. In response to increased hygiene concerns, the hotel has introduced SilvaClean, the only EPA registered technology that makes all laundered material anti-microbial post-laundry. They’ve also launched a completely touchless menu of services with of-the-moment offerings like the Prism Light Pod that delivers red light therapy to speed up healing and the blissful Pure Wave Vemi that uses healing sound resonance in tandem with full body vibrations, natural earth frequencies and infrared for a next-level mind, body and spirit experience . The latter treatment is just what are frayed nerves needed as we try to recover from our roller coaster existences. If you are in town it is a definite must as is a 50-minute reflexology treatment with one of their highly-skilled practitioners. It will be the best hour and a half you’ve spent all year.
Bonberi Mart is a buzzing little vegan shop on a sleepy street in the West Village featuring healthy yet hedonistic grain bowls and salads that reflect founder Nicole Berrie’s Korean background and love of vibrant seasonal produce. They also carry carefully sourced items form local purveyors such as Knead Love Bagels and Little Gypsy Farms Olive Oil. I live around the corner and can attest to the careful preparation of each item. In an inspired marriage, Nicole has teamed up with executive Chef Diego Stefan of the beloved Rosewood resort Las Ventanas Al Paraíso to offer a plant-based menu honoring the signature flavors and ingredients of Mexico. Unique smoothies like the Avocolata and light bites like the Coconut Ceviche and Nori Chickpea Rolls are not to be missed.