Despite the global travel industry continuing to suffer amid the ongoing pandemic, hotel chains are turning to connected fitness brands in an attempt to attract health-conscious travellers once restrictions ease.
Building on the integration of wellness amenities and services that have become commonplace in hotels over the past couple of years, the latest strategy revolves around connected fitness startups such as Tonal, Mirror and Peloton striking partnerships with renowned chains to bring their devices into guest’s rooms and in front of a wider audience.
In addition to featuring Tonal devices in rooms inside select hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto has now launched three private fitness studios housing the all-in-one digital weight system.
According to Florian Riedel, General Manager of the downtown Palo Alto hotel the decision to launch the Tonal capsules comes off the back of the success of the in-room fitness experience.
However, by providing travellers with a private, safe and design-led space to workout, the partnership also demonstrates just one of the ways hotels are rethinking how to cater to health-conscious guests in the post-covid landscape.
Guests at the Four Seasons can also request a Peloton bike, Streamline treadmill, stretch ball, yoga mat and more to be placed in their room upon demand. CLMBR, the world’s first connected vertical climbing machine, will also be available starting in mid-2021 at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts worldwide.
In a similar move, Mandarin Oriental has partnered with Mirror to provide access to its connected fitness devices in suites at select locations in the US. Connected exercise bike Peloton, meanwhile, has its exercise bikes in rooms at over 70 US hotels.
Other properties such as Hotel Esencia, a boutique hotel in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, are upping the ante even further, with guests staying in one of its five Rooftop Wellness Suites having access to a Mirror system and weight kit, as well as add-on options like a Peloton bike or treadmill. The suites also offer a rooftop pool, outdoor shower and steam sauna.
With wellness tourism growing from $563bn to $639bn, or 6.5% annually, from 2015 to 2017 – a market predicted to top $919 billion by 2022 before coronavirus struck – it makes sense for hotels to be thinking about how they can reimagine their health offerings to suit new values around health, safety and distancing.
“Within this new environment, our singular goal is to provide guests, residents and employees with the confidence and assurance that their health and safety is our first priority,” explained John Davison, President and CEO at Four Seasons.
However, as we explore in our 2021 Consumer Wellness Trends Report, creative innovation is key.
The challenge is to create safe and regulated spaces without stripping away the very things that make these types of wellness experiences so aspirational and empowering.
Four Seasons argues that in addition to enabling its guests to “work out in the safety of their own space, while being able to stay fit using cutting-edge technology”, the Tonal Capsules are the “epitome of the future of fitness”.
But only time will tell if the hotel chain has found a sweet spot that will help to ensure its road to recovery.