The Integration of Hospitality, Healthcare and Wellness
By Jackson Thilenius Principal, Retail Design Collaborative | September 23, 2018
Most of us remember the days of sadly isolated and remote guest room bays designated as hotel fitness areas. Usually windowless and always complete with broken equipment, fingerprint riddled mirrors, and an assortment of free weights that look like they came from a local garage sale, these rooms were anything but inspiring. And we've all stayed in hotel rooms with uncomfortable beds and the faint hint of smokers' past, accented only by the masking odor of chemical-laden cleaners.
On a similar note, who can forget the mismatched, uncomfortable, outdated furniture of a hospital waiting room complete with overused magazines from the previous year, and harsh lighting unintentionally designed to keep you awake all hours of the night or noisy vending machines filled with carbonated sugar and salty carb filled snacks conveniently placed at every stair landing and corridor intersection?
Thankfully those days are ancient history for most of today's contemporary hotels and healthcare institutions. But it certainly took a long time to get here. Today's guests, whether they are hotel or hospital guests, come with incredibly high expectations of hospitality. In a discerning society driven by Yelp reviews and social media, the demand for providing exceptional customer service and a positive memorable experience has increased exponentially as a necessity for success. No longer a trend, hospitality-driven experiences have grown as the standard and our clients are constantly asking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
The hospitality industry continues to drive the market on growing trends and user experiences. If nothing else, hotels continue to be the perfect testing ground for conducting social experiments and honing those primal necessities that define the human condition. It's not surprising then that the infusion of wellness and a healthier lifestyle are dramatically affecting the entire market, sparked by the traction of the trillion-dollar wellness industry. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry grew 10.6 percent from 2013-2015 from a $3.36 trillion to $3.72 trillion market.
The New Standard: Wellness-Oriented Amenities
By now, everyone is certainly familiar with hotels promoting rooms with mattresses and bedding options that guarantee the best sleep you'll ever have. In certain properties, rooms now also include amenities such as circadian rhythm based lighting, customizable atmospherics, and aromatherapy. Upgrades like Vitamin C showers, dawn simulators, air purifiers and soundscapes are also new additional offerings designed to push the envelope to drive customer satisfaction.