Surviving Business Travel: Airports & Hotels Focus on Wellness

By Colleen Black, Partner

With so much attention on the traveler experience, I am not surprised to see suppliers stepping up to the plate when it comes to wellness. Business travelers have always been challenged with maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the road. From poor food choices in airports and on planes to minibars in the hotel rooms, diets can easily get sabotaged.  But now more suppliers are starting to help change this – let’s take a look:

Airports

More and more airports are getting on board with places where a traveler can relax and rejuvenate with a massage or workout.  Most of the major airports have spas offering services from manicures to chair massages.  San Francisco Airport (SFO) has a yoga room in Terminal 2 free of charge, plus healthy food options like the Plant Café and Napa Farmer’s Market that offer green drinks and organic local food. There are even healthier choices in the vending machines for the traveler running to catch a flight.

Baltimore Washington International (BWI) boasts the only fitness center past security with ROAM Fitness. It includes 12.5 miles of walking paths, yoga gyms and bike rentals. They will monitor your flight, check your luggage and provide workout clothes and showers for $40 a day.

Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) has a yoga studio that provides travelers with free mats plus walking paths and two 55 foot staircases. Some healthy food options can also be found at Minneapolis–Saint Paul Airport (MSP) and Salt Lake Airport (SLC) with the French Meadow Bakery.  Atlanta and Orlando each have a Nature’s Table location for lighter fare, while Los Angeles International (LAX) offers vegan dishes at Real Food Daily.

Hotels

Hotels, it seems to me, have always done more to improve the traveler experience and cater to healthy options.  This year many hotels have increased their offerings to include hotel groups that are built specifically around wellness and rooms that are designed for fitness.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has introduced a new room category called Five Feet to Fitness that is built around 11 pieces of work out equipment, including:

  • A Wattbike indoor bike
  • Gym Rax training station
  • Equipment tutorials featuring more than 200 workouts
  • A meditation chair

InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has a new brand called Even Hotels which unveiled two properties this year built around this concept. Some of the key highlights are:

  • Infused water at check in and in the lobby
  • In room fitness including resistance bands, exercise balls and exercise programs on TV
  • A staircase in the lobby as an alternative option to the elevator

I would love to see the airlines contribute to this trend. How about a stair machine and farm to table fresh options on long haul flights?

With this trend making news and so many travelers taking advantage of it, maybe it’s time to add a section on traveler wellness in the travel policy… perhaps under duty of care or work life balance. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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