Wellness has become a buzzword in hospitality, and it extends beyond physical health. The concept now comprises mental and emotional wellbeing where self-care is top of mind. Recently, at the Global Wellness Summit held in January, eight wellness trends were announced, along with new ways to understand and apply the perimeters on wellness. It’s something we here at HD HQ have been exploring as well, notably in our November issue, guest edited by health and wellness guru Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts. But also in our September issue, where we delved into everything from cutting-edge pharmacies to inviting dental offices and in December, we looked at floating fitness barges, richly colored basketball courts, and eco-conscious wellness resort Civana.
As the summit proved, wellness is a $3.7 trillion sector with no plans of slowing down. Here, we take a look at five takeaways that are redefining the wellness moment in the new year and beyond.
1. Wellness meets happiness. Dubai has named a minister of happiness and the UK appointed a minister of loneliness. Social media is making people addicted, depressed, and isolated. But lately, there has been a change to reinvigorate people in the wellness space. Look no further than New York coworking space the Assemblage, designed by Meyer Davis, which is crafted with biophilia and serenity as a focal point. Or AvroKO‘s Mortimer House, a coworking space in London that is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And of course, WeWork is the trailblazer in this arena, spearheading the very idea of coworking and expanding into coliving with WeLive, fitness with Rise by We, and even primary education with WeGrow.
2. The new feminist wellness. This is part of a larger movement of female empowerment. Expect women of color to move the industry beyond #WellnessSoWhite with the launch of companies like Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, which reflects dozens of different skin tones. In addition, wellness travel will be aimed at women and women-only spaces, including Los Angeles’ WMN Space and the Wing, have galvanized groups of women to gather in safe spaces to learn, relax, and work. Indeed, the Wing, designed by Chiara de Rege and architect Alda Ly, refers to itself as “a coven, not a sorority.”
3. Connection is everything. In an increasingly digital world, we often lose sight of what’s most important to maintaining mental and emotional health: human connection. To truly achieve a healthy lifestyle, we will need to build communities that embrace active wellness. Design plays a crucial role in this, too. The flow of spaces and the placement of everything from doors and windows need to be considered for a proper wellness-focused lifestyle.
4. Transformative wellness travel. Travelers are looking beyond the authentic and embracing experiential travel moments that can change their worldview. From treehouses ingrained in nature and luxury camping in national parks, the idea that travel can help people evolve is now at the forefront. For example, at the Six Senses Bhutan, the journey starts across five lodges, each immersed in one of the five key pillars of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index.
5. Finding a healthy work/life balance. Of course this is easier said than done, but integrating healthy living practices from home to work will help people live longer, healthier lives. This includes multigenerational living that addresses the loneliness crisis; live/work wellness clusters that include research institutes and hospitals alongside healthy built communities; hot springs and natural living; and regenerative living, where a community recycles water and air for a net positive; among others.