Wellness sabbaticals and workcations emerge as travel trends

wellness sabbaticalsAs working from anywhere becomes the norm and the need for wellness rises, more people are looking to travel trends like wellness sabbaticals and workcations.

Millions of people have become full-time remote workers in recent months, opening up opportunities for hotels and resorts to get creative with program offerings that allow guests to stay connected to work. After all, if you can work from anywhere in the world, why not make it a luxury hotel or resort?

As a result, wellness sabbaticals and workcations have emerged as top travel and hospitality trends, allowing companies to generate revenue streams while we wait for travel to return to pre-COVID levels.

“Workcations,” the “buzzword” in travel

The “workcation” has been hailed as the buzzword in travel and is exactly what it sounds like: a trip, or “vacation,” in which you work throughout. 

Marriott International, for example, recently announced a new program to work anywhere with Marriott Bonvoy. The program “meets consumers where they are in their lives – juggling working and schooling from home and seeking a little inspiration to break-up the monotony,” and is available in Day Pass, Stay Pass and Play Pass packages, details about which are available here.

According to a media release, 42% of more than 400 US business professionals surveyed by Marriott Bonvoy said they would consider working from a hotel room to break up the day-to-day monotony of working from home.

Day Pass, Stay Pass and Play Pass packages were created with input from consumers, hotel operations and corporate partners. Consumers expressed what is important to them in considering a hotel guest room as their workspace: 

  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi and technology.
  • Clean and disinfected places to work.
  • Ample desk space with a comfortable chair and plenty of nearby electrical outlets.
  • Modern space with a view and natural light.
  • Peace and quiet with no distractions.
  • Access to coffee, bottled water and food.
  • Access to hotel perks like the gym and pool.

Packages are available at participating hotels around the world. 

Wellness sabbaticals are the trend everyone needs

The wellness sabbatical, meanwhile, is designed to combine the need to work with the need to enhance wellbeing during a stay at a wellness resort or retreat in which guests stay connected to work and devices. The Global Wellness Institute tagged the wellness sabbatical as a trend to watch earlier this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, calling the concept nothing short of “groundbreaking.” And the pandemic has likely further increased the appeal of both the wellness sabbatical and the workcation for those who may want to book a shorter or longer stay in relatively isolated comfort and who are free to work from anywhere they want.

CNBC also recently tapped the wellness sabbatical as an emerging trend “that allocates time for sunrise yoga classes, meditation sessions and spa treatments — alongside work emails and Zoom calls.” A growing number of resorts are offering these stays.  

Here are a few examples:

Hilton Head Health

Hilton Head Health, a health and wellness resort on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, started offering a “WorkWell” program in late August. The program allows guests to work on weight loss and wellness goals while staying connected to work. According to the website:

“WorkWell was developed to inspire those new to the remote-work environment to rethink boundaries and use this opportunity to catch up on some much-needed time for self-care. Now more than ever before, you can carve out the time you need to focus on you – and still nail that special project for your next promotion. While the COVID-19 pandemic may leave us feeling helpless about many things, take control over this time when your work may allow you to be productive from anywhere. Join us for a change in scenery and create a healthy routine that fosters a positive mindset and recharges your energy stores.”

The program includes private accommodations with designated office space and access to the resort’s fitness classes, healthy prepared meal plan, pool and spa, and programs.

Kamalaya Koh Samui

Thailand’s Kamalaya’s Wellbeing Sabbatical is a “deeply restorative wellness experience of 21 days or longer, which also gives you the flexibility and support to stay connected to your work or perhaps explore a creative or personal pursuit.” According to the website:

“The program is designed to counteract the stresses of contemporary lifestyles, such as exhaustion and even adrenal burnout, and guide you towards a healthier and more balanced life going forward.  Whether you seek an immersive wellness experience that simultaneously accommodates your need to stay on top of business, or whether you want to devote time to creative exploration or a specific personal project, you will benefit from having your wellness needs taken care of in a beautiful and naturally inspiring environment that nourishes you on every level. Being removed from your regular environment and limiting the distractions allows for new inspiration, insights, ideas and perspectives to emerge.”

The Wellbeing Sabbatical features tailored programs to suit personal health and wellness goals, and restorative and revitalising treatments such as Royal Ayurvedic Massage, Shirodhara, Vital Essence Oil Massage, Tension Relief Massage and other healing modalities designed to release physical and mental tension and restore balance and relaxation.

Destination Kohler

Launching this November, Destination Kohler’s “Work Well” program, is exclusively available at Inn on Woodlake, and hour north of Milwaukee. The package is available on a per-night basis and is geared toward young professionals looking for a Midwest getaway surrounded by nature, while balancing work and well-being. Included are tech perks, in-room wellness amenities, unlimited access to the wellness and fitness studios, a spa treatment and a clean cocktail each night. Kohler’s communications lead told us:

“Program rooms are outfitted with workstations, meditation chairs, free weights, essential oil diffusers and salt lamps. Special room deliveries punctuate the workday, such as gourmet coffee baskets and breakfast in the mornings, and “clean craft cocktails” from the on-site superfood juicer Press + Chill at happy hour. “Work Well” wellness offerings include unlimited access to SportsCore River Wildlife, BOLD CYCLE and Yoga On The Lake. Additional wellness experiences, such as private yoga or meditation workshops can be booked upon request at an additional cost. Guests can also spend time hiking, fishing, canoeing or playing golf. There are four courses at the resort.”

More ways to increase revenue during COVID:

5 marketing strategies for hotel & resort spas in a COVID-19 world

Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.