Wellness hotels have been around for a while, but are now becoming a focal point for both business and leisure travelers. With good reason! Not only are wellness hotels often more in-tune with nature, but they’re also soothing for the mind, body, and soul. Although wellness hotels are trending, we see this as part of a larger global movement that prioritizes slower living and self-care which means it’s likely to stick around for a while.
Keep reading to learn about wellness hotels and why they’re so beneficial, and explore 10 bookable examples of wellness hotels all around the world.
Wellness hotel fast facts
What is a wellness hotel?
A wellness hotel is any hospitality property that focuses on general health-related tourism. There are two main branches of the wellness hotel industry: medical and recreational.
Medical wellness hotels offer friends and family of those seeking hospital treatments for themselves or others a place to stay. Recreational wellness hotels offer vacationers the chance to meaningfully unwind with a variety of relaxing physical, mental, and spiritual activities.
For our purposes, we’ll mainly discuss recreational wellness hotels in this guide.
Aside from physical fitness, wellness tourists also consider various other services such as stress reduction, relaxation, and spiritual activities to be a vital part of their travel experience. They may also seek treatments through traditional and alternative medicine either at or nearby the hotel.
Wellness resorts and retreats are establishments that offer short-term residential programs designed to address specific health concerns and are thought of as wellness hotels by many.
Why are wellness hotels trending?
It's clear that most travelers will be focused on wellness for the foreseeable future. In 2021 and 2022, more travel was for leisure than for business. They also started to demand that their vacations be focused on their health and safety. This means that destinations are starting to offer more than just a relaxing getaway.
Travelers are looking for experiences that are both authentic and meaningful, not to mention sustainable. The rise of the pandemic has broadened the concept of wellness travel, which used to be a trend in the hotel industry but is quickly becoming the norm.
Guests now want a variety of benefits from their vacations and they're looking for programs and services that are designed to meet their short-term health needs. Instead of focusing on creating brand new properties, hotel brands will figure out how they can integrate wellness into their existing operations.
Why do travelers love wellness hotels?
A few nights in a wellness hotel can help you relax and feel better. Thanks to its soothing environment and rejuvenating services, this type of lodging is a great way to get rid of stress - which is beneficial for your body and your mind.
Staying at a wellness hotel is also a great way for people to experience the transformative power of nature. Since many properties incorporate water features, lush gardens, and brightly lit rooms into their offerings, guests can easily feel wrapped up in the natural world.
Additionally, onsite spas, gyms, and saunas are often featured at wellness hotels.
You may even have the opportunity to indulge in spiritual or nourishing activities while staying at one of these healing properties. It’s not uncommon to see yoga classes, meditation spaces, and reiki performed onsite.
What does the concept of wellness hotels mean for the hospitality industry?
One thing is for sure: changes big and small will need to be made to make way for a new kind of traveler.
The wellness hotel trend may have the power to transform how we think about vacations, the tactics used to market properties, and what we look for in lodging.
Hotel brands undergoing remodels may want to consider soothing features such as water fountains or koi ponds. Properties that already have wellness-related facilities like tennis courts or pools can emphasize their benefits in digital marketing campaigns.
Hotels can also look at their offerings and invest more into services that enhance health in some way. Gyms, locally sourced foods, and partnering with massage therapists for in-room services are all great examples of this.
Our favorite wellness hotels and properties around the world
Looking to book your next vacation at a wellness hotel? Or maybe you want some inspiration from other wellness hotels? We’ve got you covered with this list of some of the most refreshing and luxurious wellness properties in the world.
1. Aro Ha
Location: Glenorchy, New Zealand
Top wellness features: A wide array of classes on everything from weightlifting to cooking local cuisine, direct access to mountain hiking trails, and daily massages.
Aro Ha is a luxury retreat that combines impeccable service with an abundance of yoga. In their own words, “it’s a place to recharge and reconnect with the source of your wellbeing”.
2. Canyon Ranch Woodside
Location: Woodside, California
Top wellness features: Unique events, like guest lecturers on everything from beating loneliness to forest photography, daily schedules customized to your needs, and expert wellness consultants onsite.
Located in Northern California's Redwoods, Canyon Ranch is a retreat that features 38 guest rooms and a variety of services. These include yoga, massage, and healing, as well as a gourmet kitchen that prepares fresh food. Instead of transforming your life, their aim is to help you get it back—which is why it’s popular among nearby Silicon Valley’s overworked tech professionals.
3. The Carlyle Hotel
Location: New York City, New York
Top wellness features: A luxury onsite spa, an art deco hair salon, and on-site personal trainers
The Carlyle is an elegant Upper East Side retreat that features a variety of world-class amenities. At this hotel, guests can relax and indulge in its award-winning spa and fitness center, with the help of top wellness professionals.
4. Miraval Austin
Location: Austin, Texas
Top wellness features: Infinity pools overlooking lakes, onsite astrologers and psychics, plus nightly packages that include access to all wellness amenities.
Located near Lake Travis, Miraval is a private retreat that features a variety of spiritual services—think psychics, tarot readers, yoga instructors, and sound healers. Instead of renting rooms, they offer packages with room credits in order to encourage the use of their facilities and expert partners.
5. Hotel Hoy Paris
Location: Paris, France
Top wellness features: A yoga studio, flower bouquet workshops, and picnic takeaway baskets.
The goal of HOY is to create a place where people can live well and eat well. It features a variety of accommodation and services, including a yoga room, a healthy onsite restaurant, and spa and holistic therapy treatment rooms.
6. The Westin Dhaka
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Top wellness features: Skyline views, outdoor heated pool, and an onsite spa.
The Westin Dhaka is a luxury hotel in Gulshan 2, close to the US Embassy and other prominent attractions in the area. This hotel features a variety of modern amenities and services, including a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a mini refrigerator in each room. There’s always room for snacks in between meals at their five on-site luxury restaurants and bars.
7. Hotel Island Spa & Wellness
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Top wellness features: Mountain range views, heated day spa pools and cold dip, plus luxurious Scandinavian bed linens.
Iceland’s first-ever dedicated wellness hotel, Hotel Island is a spa and wellness retreat located on main shopping street Laugavegur. It offers relaxing atmospheres, yoga classes, and fine dining. It also has 129 well-appointed rooms and is close to the Laugardalur outdoor recreational park.
8. The Anandi Hotel and Spa Shanghai
Location: Shanghai, China
Top wellness features: Sleep therapists, daily wellness workshops, and a wellbeing tea wake-up service.
The Anandi Hotel and Spa is a luxury establishment that aims to promote health and well-being. It features a variety of treatments and services that will help you achieve a balanced lifestyle. They also employ 24-hour butlers to help you manage your stress.
9. Carillon Miami
Location: Miami, Florida
Top wellness features: Cupping and cryotherapy services, group fitness classes with Technogym equipment, plus an exclusive hydrotherapy experience.
Carillon Miami offers a variety of treatments that combine Western, Eastern, and alternative medicine. From steam to infrared saunas, their signature treatments are designed to transform your wellbeing and enhance your experience visiting Florida.
10. Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Location: Logan, Ohio
Top wellness features: Cozy log cabins, a rooftop garden, and a woodland-style spa.
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is tucked away near waterfalls and wildflowers, and has a nature-first design that gives you all the healing energy of camping with a luxurious twist. With cottages, yurts, and cabins galore, this outdoor retreat offers plenty of charming rooms to choose from.
Now you've got the basics on wellness hotels
Now you know what wellness hotels are and what to look for when booking a place to stay that will help you fill your mental, physical, and spiritual cup. Next up, learn more about how the wellness movement is improving meetings and events.