Winter travel is one of the most stressful times of the year for guests. Snow events and missed connections, delayed flights and hazardous road conditions mean that by the time the average traveler arrives at your check-in desk they’re already in need of a break from their trip. In fact, studies show that more than 90 percent of Americans find any kind of travel stressful, but add all of this, plus holiday shoppers and crowded streets and most hotel guests are looking for peace and relaxation by the time they reach their room. If all of that sounds very familiar this busy travel season, consider these simple steps to help improve every stay and keep guests relaxed, happy and coming back.
Winddowns without ever leaving the room
Maybe you’ve got a state-of-the-art fitness facility on site or spa treatments available, but many guests are so worn out with winter travel that they treat their rooms like an oasis. The door closes behind them and it’s time to unwind, making it almost impossible to lure them to your pool, treadmill or anything else in the fitness center. But you can still help them unwind and de-stress from whatever their days bring with easy on-demand wellness content they can access right on their smart phones, tablets, or laptops. Libraries like Fitness On Demand offer everything from instructor-guided yoga to mindfulness and meditation, or for guests who do like to work out a little more, short form core and body-weight exercises to try in little more than a few minutes a day. Provide a couple of rolled yoga mats and a wellness welcome note with a quick access QR code and help your guests instantly find whatever helps them relax.
Offer mindfulness amenities and ambience
Ambience, lighting, and a personalized touch go a long way to helping guests feel welcomed and cared for. Include mindfulness amenities in each room: a mediation cushion, complementary essential oil diffuser with a free gift scent sampler and information on mindfulness practices. A simple QR code here too can lead guests to wellness, stress-management and meditation information and advice on your website, or quick access content via your app. Complete the mood with pre-set low lighting and relaxation music for when guests first step across the threshold.
Give them a reason to rehab
By all means give guests time to unwind and relax on their own terms, but a simple wellness gesture can cost very little, go a long way to improving guest wellness and create an opportunity for cross promoting your property’s offerings. The International Journal of Neuroscience suggests just a simple 15-minute chair massage can have immediate and significant impact on a person’s stress levels, and promote a sense of alertness. Light massage also stimulates blood circulation and alleviates feelings of anxiety. Try offering promotional massage sessions in your spa or fitness facility for certain room types around the holidays. It will be good for your visitor's wellbeing but also give you an opportunity to offer or sell an upgrade at check-in and introduce guests to your wellness and fitness facilities for the remainder of their stay.
Offer proactive wellness support
Guests feel better about themselves (and their visit) when they feel seen, heard, and supported. So, make sure your staff are trained and find opportunities at check-in, curbside and throughout the hotel to offer advice and assistance. Recommend local nearby parks or scenic walks to help guests get some fresh air, or local wellness services that aren’t offered at your hotel. Have a member of staff at check-in introduce guests to your hotel’s technology offerings: a quick tour of your app to demonstrate on-demand and streaming content, your website to find tips and advice on relaxation and activities in the area. They’re all small, simple touches but when combined create an atmosphere of attentiveness that make guests feel relaxed and welcome however long they’re staying with you this winter season.
John King is a distinguished wellness consultant known for helping clients enhance revenue through top-tier fitness amenities and wellness programs. His approach, combining change management, analytical skills, and consultative selling, delivers impactful fitness solutions and drives leasing and retention success in commercial buildings.