Still, the downturn forced hotels and resorts — and their guests — to expand their notions of wellness and what activities fall under that umbrella. Before the pandemic, a wellness trip was probably centered on a spa’s traditional services, said Caroline Klein, the chief communications officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a luxury hotel group. Now, hotels may offer nature walks, meditation, yoga or any number of creative offerings.
In some ways, hotels are responding to the lifestyles that many people adopted at the height of lockdowns, including making home-cooked meals and taking virtual fitness classes.
“Hotels are really seeing people bring those new mind-sets, routines and preferences with them as they start to travel again,” Ms. Klein said. “What that creates is a definite shift in expectations and experiences that hotels need to cater to, because they’re not catering to the traveler from 2019.”
Emily Rossin, a spokeswoman for a hospitality group that includes the Ryder, a boutique hotel in Charleston, S.C., said that after seeing the surge in popularity of Peloton bikes during the pandemic, the hotel decided to make them an in-room option for guests.
“We noticed that people were still stuck in their habitual routines from when we were in lockdown,” Ms. Rossin said. “When they’re coming to stay with us, it’s within their same routine and they really don’t have to break that.”
Established wellness hotels are also benefiting from the boom. Alex Glasscock, a co-founder of the Ranch wellness retreat in Malibu, Calif., which offers hours of daily hiking and a vegan menu, has seen an increase in bookings, he said, notably from teenagers and young adults. It’s a significant shift from when he and his wife, Sue, started the company in 2010 and people were confused by the concept of a “luxury boot camp.”