Business Traveller

A hotel that's good for your health?

Michelle Cohan, CNNUpdated 7th November 2016
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(CNN) — Vitamin C showers, circadian mood lighting and aromatherapy.
These sound like holistic amenities you'd find in a lush spa -- not your hotel room.
But the Stay Well hotel room, available at select Marriott and MGM Grand hotels across the United States, is designed to help guests breathe a little easier on their next business trip or vacation ... quite literally.
"We saw a gap in thought," says Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos, creator of the Stay Well concept and specialist in what it calls Wellness Real Estate. "There was really not much being done to the room itself, where the guest is spending most of their time."
Richard Quest meets wellness guru Charles Duhigg and dietician Lisa Drayer, two experts who help traveling executives adopt a healthier lifestyle.
From air purifiers to organic mattresses, the rooms are equipped with the latest wellness features that aim to improve water and air quality, mitigate jet lag, enhance mood, ensure restful sleep and decrease exposure to germs.
And of course there's a Stay Well app replete with health-conscious content and meditation training.

Healthy from the ground up

But where Stay Well really stands out is in the offerings you can't see.
It's pioneered a "well" built environment that's healthier from the ground up by incorporating health-driven infrastructure during its construction and design process.
This includes everything from anti-microbial countertops to posture-supportive flooring. Its holistic offerings are supported by the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Wellness-focused hotels aren't new.
IHG created the healthy hotel chain EVEN in 2012, offering nutritious food options, large gyms and group workouts.
As a traveling executive it's hard to avoid germs -- but Richard Quest learns it is possible to dodge infection on the move.
Wyndham has a "fitness room" option at select Tryp hotels, with workout equipment in the room and other healthier on-site amenities.
"I spent about 18 years on Wall Street. During my final few years there, I took note of the sustainability movement in real estate, and wondered why most of the dialogue was surrounding the environmental impact, and not enough on the human condition: our cardiovascular health, respiratory health, cognitive health, what have you," says Scialla.
Fitness Room at TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro in Panama City, Panama
Fitness Room at TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro in Panama City.
Courtesy Wyndham Hotel Group

Merging assets with industry

From Wall Street... to wellness? An odd turn it might seem, but Scialla found a unique, untapped link between the two.
"The prospects of merging the world's largest asset class, real estate, a $180 trillion asset class, with the world's fastest-growing industry, health and wellness, a $4 trillion a year annual spend, made a lot of sense," he explains.
A room at EVEN Hotel Times Square South.
Courtesy InterContinental Hotels Group
Today's hotels are very much aware of the need to create environments and rooms that promote wellness and healthy living.
But is it all just a gimmick?
The question becomes how costly these ventures are.
"These programs are exhibiting about a seven-week, break even, on the entire capital expense required to convert a room to a Stay Well room ... That's just an economic no-brainer," says Scialla.
And for the guest, for an upcharge of about $30 dollars a night, a Stay Well room is pretty affordable.