Equinox Grows Hotel Presence With Saudi Arabia Outpost


Hospitality brands are upping the ante with high-performance hotels.

The latest: Luxury gym chain Equinox is opening its first all-inclusive property with the Equinox Resort Amaala, located within a 4K- sq-km “wellness haven” on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

Joining its US-based hotel (in NYC),  the upscale brand is channelling its pillars of  high-performance living: movement, nutrition, and regeneration. The resort, debuting in 2024, will house a beach club, various healthy culinary concepts, a spa, magnesium salt rooftop pool and its signature fitness offering.

White-Glove Wellness

Wellness tourism, currently a $815B market, is big business, with 73% of people planning vacations to improve their health and 43% choosing a hotel for its wellness amenities.

But as the category has grown so have expectations, meaning on-site spas and basic gyms no longer cut it for consumers seeking a health boost away from home.

Instead, high-flying wellness travellers are spearheading the development of fully integrated wellness resorts where fitness and health optimisation practices aren’t an add-on – they’re the main attraction.

  • SIRO’s recently launched properties in Dubai and Montenegro offer 3D body scanning, infrared therapy and vitality tracking alongside in-room spa showers, thermoregulation mattresses and indoor/outdoor training spaces.
  • Currently in expansion mode with plans to open 50 hotels in the next four years, wellness hotel Six Senses combines sleep tracking, biomarker analysis and IV drips with meal plans and tailored workouts to keep guests’ bodies functioning optimally.
  • In addition to plant-powered menus and in-room circadian rhythm technology, Banyan Tree’s wellness-focused brand VEYA offers floatation, intuitive yoga and meditational sound therapy to help guests hack their way to better health.
  • JOALI BEING, the first wellness-dedicated resort in the Maldives, blends preventative health like microbiome analysis with traditional practices like biophilic designs and earth-to-table eating.

Elsewhere, partnerships between Raffles Hotels and Pillar Wellbeing and Heckfield Place’s  in-house wellness program tap into the trend on a smaller scale, while mid-tier offerings like IHG’s Even Hotels and London-based Inhabit make wellness-led hospitality more accessible, with perks including in-room sleep kits, Peloton bikes and guided meditation classes.

Meanwhile, US-based wellness retreat Canyon Ranch received $150M to take over and transform existing non-wellness resorts. And, with forthcoming concepts including Miami’s Legacy Hotel & Residences and Clinique La Praire’s Amaala resort set to offer everything from health therapies and spa treatments to dentistry and surgeries, the limits continue to be pushed.

Punchline: Combining lifestyle, luxury, and health optimisation, Equinox isn’t alone in approaching wellness travel through an aspirational lens. With a solid set of brand values and an established community already in its back pocket, more holidaymakers may begin to use the time off for peak performance over rest and relaxation.

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