by Jennifer Lee | March 01, 2017

According to recent research released by the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is now a $3.72 trillion industry. In the last two years alone, wellness—a term that encompasses aspects including health, fitness and mindfulness—grew by 10.6 percent. Meetings properties have responded to this trend by branching out and partnering with local wellness facilities, spa services and fitness-equipment suppliers to enhance their offerings. According to recent research released by the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is now a $3.72 trillion industry. In the last two years alone, wellness—a term that encompasses aspects including health, fitness and mindfulness—grew by 10.6 percent. Meetings properties have responded to this trend by branching out and partnering with local wellness facilities, spa services and fitness-equipment suppliers to enhance their offerings.

 

When the 249-room Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center opened last March less than a mile from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, a partnership with the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center was a no-brainer, according to Bill Hume, director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency, who said it allowed the hotel to “put together the latest wellness offerings and give participants the chance to recharge and rejuvenate in a very convenient and interactive fashion.” Hume emphasized the desire to create more interactive programming, and now the hotel features team-building activities designed specifically for groups, chair massages following the conclusion of a meeting or a lunch, and learning programs in which a nutritionist from the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center teaches attendees how to cook healthy meals when they’re on the road.

Dieticians and nutritionists from the health and wellness center also met with the hotel’s culinary team to put together a “very robust” health-and-wellness banquet menu and an a la carte menu that is lighter and more protein-based, Hume said. The Hyatt Regency has also partnered with another wellness-minded group located in its own backyard: Gaiam, a lifestyle brand based in Louisville, Colorado. Through this partnership, attendees staying at the property can check out a variety of yoga gear on-site and free of charge. Although the partnership is currently limited to just gear rentals, Hume hopes to eventually be able to bring yoga instructors from the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center to lead yoga practices. The hotel offers more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, an outdoor swimming pool and a full-service restaurant.

In San Diego County, the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe partnered with Lifewellness Institute in San Diego to launch the Wellness Collective, a customized health and wellness program that can accommodate groups of up to 18 people at a time. Kristi Dickinson, the director of spa and fitness at Rancho Valencia and creator of the wellness program, knew she wanted to work with Lifewellness Institute when she met its founder, Dr. Lee Rice. “Dr. Rice’s charisma and passion were infectious, and I knew his team would inspire the kind of confidence our guests need to step into action,” Dickinson said. “We wanted to offer our clients a whole-person approach backed by serious science. The Lifewellness team has a wealth of expertise and the medical equipment and lab tests to provide advanced biometrics, benchmarks and measurable outcomes.”

While the Wellness Collective is designed as part of a personal retreat, meeting planners can customize all or part of the program for their needs. Other wellness amenities at the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa include a fitness studio, a pilates studio, a yoga pavilion and an extensive tennis program. For meetings, the resort offers more than 12,000 square feet of space.

The ability to unwind is an essential component of health and wellness, and one way to accomplish that is at the spa. At the recently renovated Hilton Chicago–Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook, Illinois, the Monarch Spa—which opened last fall with a name drawn from the Monarch butterfly waystations located around the resort’s 150-acre Audubon sanctuary—is getting creative with its treatments.

In partnership with Windy City Massage, the Monarch Spa offers a Warm Honey Drizzle body treatment that uses honey that’s been harvested at the resort’s beehives. The executive chef of B., the resort’s new farm-to-table restaurant, tends to 10 large beehives that produce honey used in food dishes as well as spa treatments. The Monarch Spa offers customized options for small or large functions, from group manicure and pedicure services to group yoga sessions that can be set up in one of the resort’s event rooms. For meetings, the 386-room resort offers more than 42,500 square feet of gathering space.

With an emphasis on sustainability, healthy and whole living, Element Hotels recently announced several partnerships that allow attendees meeting at its 23 worldwide properties to maintain their wellness routines while on the road. “Element was designed for the healthy, active traveler who is looking to maintain his or her balanced lifestyle while away from home,” said Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader and vice-president of Marriott’s Distinctive Select Brands. “That is why we are continually looking for ways to improve our fitness offerings, keeping our guests on their toes—literally!”

Some of these new offerings include partnerships with Your Trainer, MiiR and an upgrade to Element’s kinetics bike program. Additionally, for groups interested in working out during a breakout session, bikes and other equipment such as yoga mats can be moved into meeting spaces, Stoeckl said.

In Florida, the 22-acre, oceanfront Fontainebleau/Miami Beach is also investing in its fitness features by partnering with Technogym, an international wellness and fitness company. “Technogym has been the official supplier to the last six Olympic Games and partner to the world’s best-performing teams and athletes,” said Phil Goldfarb, the resort’s president and chief operating officer. “While our fitness center already houses some of the highest-grade fitness equipment available on the market, we decided to team up with Technogym in order to ensure that we continue providing our guests with the most state-of-the-art technology around.”

Groups can find this equipment and others at the resort’s 5,800-square-foot fitness center. For a more tranquil experience, the 40,000-square-foot Lapis Spa offers treatments and a number of amenities including mineral pools, massage-jet showers and eucalyptus steam baths. But before it’s time to relax, meetings can be held at the property’s 107,000 square feet of indoor function space.

As wellness continues to be a priority for meeting planners, properties are tapping into their resources, forging innovative partnerships and giving meeting-goers the tools they need to nourish both mind and body.