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Creating a Balance: Help Guests Stay Healthy While Traveling

Wednesday April 9th, 2014 - 10:12AM


As competition intensifies for business and leisure travelers, hotel brands are developing new custom experiences and amenities to help create loyalty among guests and build stronger brand identities. In a recent SmartBrief report sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, three personalized amenity programs designed for guests looking to stay healthy while traveling are explored.

1. For guests looking to experience the outdoors while burning calories, Kimpton Hotels expanded its entire portfolio to include a bicycle-share program, which started 10 years ago at Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA. Kimpton made it a brand-wide program during summer 2013, and the launch was so successful that the brand is ordering more bicycles for next summer.

"Once they jump on and take it for a spin, they can’t say enough about it. It gets written about in the comments all the time," said Mike DeFrino, COO of Kimpton. "We think that makes for good experiences, and we think it makes for good customers who want to keep trying things at our hotels and restaurants."

2. Attempting to serve a variety of demographics, hotels have paid close attention to the health and wellness needs of female travelers, who would prefer a private space to workout. Omni Hotels & Resorts met this need by offering female members of its Select Guest loyalty program a Get Fit Kit, in which they can request complimentary weights, a yoga mat, stretch mat or other equipment to be placed in the guestroom at check-in.

"I think some people just intuitively like the privacy of their room when they travel," said Tom Santora, chief marketing officer of Omni. Feedback from guest surveys has shown the program to be popular, he added.

3. Wellness encompasses more than working out. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts saw an opportunity to incorporate healthy living into its turndown service with two custom amenities: an aromatherapy oil from Aromatherapy Associates and a bedtime snack bar, developed by noted nutritionist Keri Glassman, with natural ingredients intended to promote sleep.

"We’ve always found with our guests that they are focused on overall wellbeing," said Mitzi Gaskins, VP and global brand manager for JW Marriott. "These guests love a very balanced life. They want to do the same things on the road as they do at home. Offering the experiences helps add value to their trip. We feel that that’s where we can create loyalty."

About The Wall Street Journal
More than two million people read The Wall Street Journal every day, including travelers staying at your properties. With surprisingly affordable options, The Wall Street Journal, available in both print and digital editions, keeps your guests up-to-date on everything from global news to sports, travel, fashion and entertainment.

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