Zen tech? Hotels embrace meditation apps
Catch your breath, and then some.
To help guests reduce stress and add more Zen to their lives, some hotel operators are incorporating meditation and mindfulness activities into their offerings.
“The need for customers to truly unwind and destress has evolved,” says Dawn Ferraro, spa director for JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California, which is part of the hotel company’s wellness brand of properties.
Set on 450 acres, while the resort’s core clientele come from local convention center-related travel business, “Families are a big part of our weekend clientele,” says Ferraro. “We have the number three tennis facility in the United States, five swimming pools and a spa that’s 38,000 square feet.”
The JW already offers a broad selection of health and wellness activities, including “The Biggest Loser” program, which is a week-long series of nutritional lectures, wellness coaching, and high-level fitness offerings – from kickboxing to ballroom dancing, says Ferraro. “Our trainers work with “Dancing with the Stars” television show,” says Ferraro.
But, with customer demand high for alternative relaxation modules, “The incorporation of meditation has come forward in a big way,” says Ferraro. “We started our Mid-Week Mindfulness package three weeks ago to meet this need.”
At $179 per room from now through December 31st of this year, the special offer provides patrons with a daily spa membership for two, which boasts lounges, a private salt water pool, multiple steam rooms and whirlpools, along with a full menu of luxurious spa services. Bookings also include an adult coloring book with pencils and a free, month-long trial to the Calm app, says Ferraro. The mindfulness meditation app provides subscription-based access to a library of online content, including background scenes with beautiful imagery of botanicals, silent clouds, fireplace, foggy streams, and more, plus guided meditations.
“We came across the app and now offer it as a way for guests to begin to relax and receive help with guided meditation for help sleeping, de-stressing, and relaxing. It seemed like a nice opportunity to partner with an app that was already successful. Our client profile is also so app-driven. It’s been amazingly successful. We are selling the package frequently,” says Ferraro.
For JW Marriott, the successful therapeutic addition, “has been a really nice surprise,” says Ferraro. “It’s exciting to see how we can continue to grow programming like this,” she says. “As we move forward, we can eventually add an on-site meditation class. The nature of our resort, with its waterways and boat tours, lends itself to the whole conscious relaxation experience.”