Hilton’s Global Vice President of Wellness, Amanda Al-Masri, talks with Spa Executive about what it means to connect with a destination and bring wellness to the heart of the stay experience.
Amanda Al-Masri is Global Vice President of Wellness at Hilton Hotels & Resorts. A respected industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, over 20 years, Ms. Al-Masri has worked across branding, strategy, development, design, pre-opening, and ongoing operational management. Most recently, she led the hospitality consulting practice at Hutchinson Consulting. Ms. Al-Masri also served as Vice President of spa for Equinox, where she assisted with the launch of Equinox Hotels and was responsible for driving the overall strategy and execution of more than 90 Club Spas. Before her time at Equinox, she served as the Global Director of Spa Development and Operations at Starwood Hotel & Resorts, managing the company’s spa brands, partnerships, and a global portfolio of over 450 spas. She has also held various leadership roles with Resense Spas, Raison d’Etre Spas, and at the property level.
We spoke with Amanda Al-Masri about the future of wellness travel and bringing wellness to the heart of the stay experience.
Can you please talk about your current role and what it entails?
In my role as Vice President of wellness at Hilton, I serve as the wellness strategist at the global level, with the goal of enhancing enterprise wellness programs and offerings, while developing new, scalable solutions that address the evolving expectations of consumers. My team focuses on category-shifting work, grounded with a core objective of democratizing and demystifying wellness across our portfolio. We have an incredible opportunity to support so many of our guests’ wellness journeys during their time with Hilton, and I feel honored to lead the charge in bringing this new wellness strategy to life.
Are you optimistic about the future of wellness and travel?
Yes! Wellness has always been an important pillar of the travel experience. According to our 2023 Trends Report, half of travelers seek travel experiences that align with their wellness goals and priorities. For that reason, we can be sure that there is significant and ever-increasing opportunity to win with customers in a global hospitality wellness marketplace. Historically, hospitality wellness was grounded in spa and fitness experiences, and while we absolutely plan to build on our existing strengths in these areas, we see this as table stakes. The future means thinking differently, and I am so excited to be brainstorming new and exciting ways to integrate wellness across the stay and our portfolio.
You have talked about “bringing wellness to the heart of the stay experience” What does that mean?
We recognize that guests’ preferences can fluctuate from one trip to the next, or even from day-to-day. In fact, for most guests on most days, wellness is better defined as a collection of the small decisions they make around sleep, nutrition, movement and mindfulness practices. We see the opportunity to support guests’ wellness where these small decisions intersect with their stay in our hotels. Thinking about guests’ needs in this way allows us to meet guests where they are, making sure their time with us is as comfortable as possible and that wellness routines can be continued while they’re on the road.
You have also talked about “connecting with a destination.” Can you elaborate on this?
Travel has always served as a gateway to new cultures and perspectives, and coming out of the pandemic, travelers are increasingly eager for unique and immersive experiences. Global travelers want to engage with the local cultures that they visit and as more travelers crave that connection, today’s wellness experiences should adapt.
For example, at Conrad Bali, guests can celebrate the Purnama full moon every 28 days by participating in a meditation session on the beach with a Melukat spiritual purification, a Balinese tradition dating back 5,000 years.
When talking about challenges facing the industry, most people say staffing is a big struggle. Do you have some ideas for solving that crisis?
As an industry leader in hospitality, we aim to present a unified wellness point of view that translates into every aspect of our business. While wellness has traditionally been more focused on physical well-being, the importance of mental health has become increasingly evident in recent years. To provide more resources for our team members, several years ago, Hilton launched Thrive at Hilton as a new mental wellness initiative with seamless access to all of the company’s mental health benefits, resources and tools. As an expansion of Thrive at Hilton, we recently introduced the “Care for All” platform which is an extension of Hilton’s efforts to support team members in caring not only for themselves, but also for those closest to them, including children, parents, siblings, pets or anyone else in need.
What industry trends or developments are you most excited about in 2023?
There are multiple trends that Hilton is continuing to see as we near the end of 2023.
Ultimately, rather than thinking and acting in trends, we strive to bring wellness to the forefront of every stay and meet guests where they are in their wellness journey. To do this, we will continue to listen loudly to traveler preferences within sleep, nutrition, movement, spa and mindfulness, with industry-leading innovation in this space.
Going into 2024 we will be very focused on new and innovative ways to deliver the best nights’ rest possible across all 22 brands. We will also be teaming up with our F&B teams to ensure we optimally support guests in maintaining mindful eating routines while traveling.
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.