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Why wellness is important for hospitality startups

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by Startacus Admin


Startup in the hospitality sector? Sonal Uberoi of Spa Balance shares her insights on why incorporating wellness into your product ecosystem can bring huge value...

pexels-photo-4112236.If your startup is in the hospitality sector, in addition to the struggle you have faced during the pandemic, you will be aware that customers are now looking to nurture their physical and mental health and take a more responsible approach to their lifestyle choices.

Terms such as ‘wellness’ and ‘wellbeing are often used in a confusing way. Simply put wellness is the tool and wellbeing the goal.

Wellness tools include therapies, alternative medicine, fitness activities, meditation and mindfulness, a balanced diet and other services. They can help us achieve our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing goals.

By incorporating wellness into a startup’s product ecosystem we can provide customers with a path toward achieving their goals.

What does wellness mean for your hotel?

Too many in the hospitality industry view wellness as an amenity or niche product. And since the pandemic slowed the growth trajectory of hospitality, hoteliers are even more reluctant to invest money and resources into wellness. It’s seen as an add on service to their main business, selling room nights, food and beverages and is often centred on the hotel spa or pool with activities such as sunset yoga and signature massages. 

These are great, but they don’t make the difference needed to attract new/returning customers or position wellness at the heart of the hotel’s offering. 

True wellness is the method by which hoteliers can guide their guests to achieve a state of wellbeing, by offering them wellness in every aspect of their experience, from breakfast right until they go to sleep at night.

When wellness is threaded thoughtfully into the hotel experience, guests can't help but feel at ease throughout their stay.  

Getting the basics right

The wellness experience should start with the way guests are greeted on arrival. If they are treated politely and with respect and kindness they will immediately feel at ease and be looking forward to their experience. If their rooms are quiet, the correct temperature and with good air quality, guests will sleep well; the foundation for a great experience.

Their dining should not just be about the latest trends or showing off how talented your chefs are. Guests should, for example, be able to have any dietary requirements or wants adhered to without fuss, so they feel personally – as well as physically - nurtured.

Provide what your guests are looking for

Encourage your team to get to know what guests are looking forward to from their stay and make sure they know how to access it. With this knowledge staff can guide them in achieving their best experience A great experience, whatever their desires, is always an experience that ultimately looks after their mental wellbeing.  

That guest will then be pleasantly surprised when everything works together to provide the memorable experience they seek. They will feel the effects of their stay long after they leave and will look forward to reliving the experience again and sharing it with loved ones.

Use wellness to future-proof your hotel

pexels-photo-1640770.Consider these findings from the Global Wellness Institute: In 2018, wellness expenditures were more than half of all health expenditures, coming in at $4.3 trillion. Of the ten markets analysed between 2015-2017, revenue growth leaders were, wellness tourism (6.5%) and wellness real estate (6.4%), mental wellness and workplace wellness. All three have already been adapted into hospitality in some ways, but more needs to be done if hotels are to reap the biggest benefits of this trend towards wellness. 

You must embrace wellness in the future of your hotel business. Hoteliers that don’t understand that they need to catch this tide will find their hotels become out of date and out of vogue. They will lose market share to those who have embraced wellness and can see the business benefits of doing so. 

So, if you want to benefit from the rise in desire for wellness when travelling, there are two major components you need to look at when implementing your wellness strategy; your guests and your staff: 

Your Guests 

Listen to your guests and implement your new offerings thoughtfully. Every hotel is different, so make sure your offerings are appropriate to your clientele. While you need to manage your budget, don’t be tempted by cost-cutting and streamlining. This may be effective in the short term but comes at a long-term cost! Instead invest and be prepared to evolve and respond to market conditions and the needs and wants of your customers. But don’t rush! A strong and robust system takes time to implement and requires the right expertise.

Your Team

Crucial to your success in your wellness offering is the wellbeing of your team.

During the pandemic, many staff were laid off or had salaries reduced. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, hotels risk losing their top talent to other industries. By including holistic wellness in employee packages, this talent can be retained/attracted back.  

When staff are provided with the right tools to achieve a good work-life balance, overall wellbeing increases. This creates a happier, more engaged and motivated team, which can only benefit your guests.

People now want to after their wellbeing when staying away from home. As a startup in the hospitality industry put wellbeing at the heart of your customer offering.


Sonal Uberoi is a global wellness expert and founder of Spa Balance, a boutique consultancy working specifically with hotels to help them tap into the full potential of their wellness offering. Sonal has worked with major hotels across the world enabling them to attract a more discerning guest, build a loyal and committed customer base, attract and retain quality talent and increase profitability, without breaking budget. 



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Published on: 22nd November 2021

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