Ask travelers the number-one thing they want out of a hotel stay, and chances are the answer is: a good night’s sleep.
For this reason, the hospitality industry has always cared about rest. But despite the fact that getting enough shut-eye is crucial for travelers who want to feel good on business trips or vacation, innovation in the area for years was decidedly lacking (Westin’s Heavenly Bed, for example, launched in 1999).
That’s all changed, however, with the rise of the wellness movement — which has an obsession with sleep. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is now a $4.2 trillion industry, and that number is projected to increase in the coming years.
Wellness tourism makes up a $639 billion slice of the pie, and companies are eager to carve out an even bigger piece by partnering with buzzy sleep and meditation apps like Calm and Headspace. They’re also offering unique snooze-inducing packages and amenities to help customers lead a life of wellness even when away.
“As the wellness industry continues to grow, more people are looking for ways to incorporate their wellness practices into their travels rather than abandoning them for total ‘vacation-mode,’ or disregarding their at-home routine while traveling for business,” says Edward Shapard, General Manager of The Dominick, a boutique hotel in New York.
To help keep guests’ sleep practice up, Westin offers Sleep Well menus, which include foods that have been found to help promote sleep and a Sleep Well lavender balm that comes free in every room. The goal? “To help guests adjust to a new time zone or recover from their travels,” says Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader for Westin.
The hotel brand is even doing research into lighting and circadian rhythm so it can develop in-room controls that adjust the quality of light throughout the day. “While still in the development phase, these key pads at the entry and in the sleep area will have ‘scenes’ that match morning, noon, and night lighting conditions,” says Povinelli. “The idea being that guests may set their rooms’ lighting scenes to combat jet lag and promote healthy sleep cycles.”