Healthy habi­tats

Judy Chap­man looks at the ur­ban ho­tel well­ness revo­lu­tion Once you’ve been stretched and pum­melled, you don’t have far to go to fall into bed

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

THE new gen­er­a­tion of ur­ban ho­tel rooms con­sists of nat­u­ral bedding, in-room fit­ness pro­grams and healthy din­ing. Well­ness­fo­cused habi­tats of­fer health-con­scious guests the op­por­tu­nity to main­tain their ex­er­cise regime, eat well and sleep soundly. Could this spell the end of the era of wel­come ameni­ties such as bot­tles of cham­pagne and cheese plat­ters, and mini­bars stuffed with cho­co­lates and crisps? What next? Or­ganic wine bars and hy­brid limou­sine pick-ups? Stay tuned.

The Metropoli­tan Bangkok: Years ago, Christina Ong, cre­ator of the Como ac­com­mo­da­tion group, which in­cludes the Metropoli­tan, in­tro­duced the con­cept of in­room yoga mats and com­pli­men­tary yoga classes. To­day, well­ness-themed gue­strooms fit­ted out with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als also fea­ture med­i­ta­tion chairs, healthy in-room din­ing menu and mini­bars stocked with or­ganic op­tions. The aro­mather­apy-based bath­room ameni­ties are all nat­u­ral.

Glow, the ho­tel’s or­ganic cafe on the sec­ond floor, of­fers en­er­gis­ing wheat­grass shots, su­gar-free desserts and or­ganic wines; nat­u­rally, the Metropoli­tan’s spa has lush fa­cil­i­ties and holis­tic treat­ments. www.metropoli­tan.como.bz.

iSawan at the Grand Hy­att Erawan Bangkok: Guests who check into one of the six so-called spa cot­tages on the fifth floor are treated to a uni­verse of well­ness. Each of the cot­tages is lo­cated near a juice bar, gym and spa with all the well­ness equip­ment needed to keep guests re­ju­ve­nated. Call ahead and your mini­bar and in-room din­ing menu will be cus­tomised with or­ganic and herbal op­tions. Or­der per­sonal med­i­ta­tion and yoga in­struc­tors; yoga mats and well-be­ing DVDs are pro­vided.

Guests are en­cour­aged to co-de­sign be­spoke detox meals with the head chef and also avail­able is colon cleans­ing for a com­plete detox. Each cot­tage boasts its own spa treat­ment area; the ben­e­fit of tak­ing a Thai mas­sage in your room is that once you’ve been stretched, pulled and pum­melled, you don’t have far to go to fall into bed. www.isawan.hy­att.com.

The Plateau at the Grand Hy­att Hong Kong: Guests who check into the 11th-floor Plateau at this Hong Kong Is­land prop­erty have di­rect ac­cess to a full range of well­ness fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing fit­ness and ex­er­cise stu­dios, sauna and treat­ment rooms. The 14 res­i­den­tial suites en­com­pass a world ded­i­cated to guests’ well­be­ing, in­clud­ing an over­sized tub with com­pli­men­tary min­eral bath on re­quest and lux­u­ri­ous fu­ton treat­ment area. There’s a healthy room-ser­vice menu and Ae­sop bath ameni­ties; even bet­ter, late check-in guests can or­der in­room mas­sages, re­flex­ol­ogy and shi­atsu mas­sage up to 11pm. www.hongkong.grand.hy­att.com.

The Man­darin Ori­en­tal Hong Kong: A ho­tel suite with your own spa treat­ment area, steam room and over­sized tub with hy­drother­apy jets over­look­ing Hong Kong Har­bour . . . guests who check into this freshly re­fur­bished ho­tel’s Man­darin Suite are treated like celebri­ties. Gone are the days of cheap sham­poos and soaps; en­ter de­signer ameni­ties brand Aro­mather­apy As­so­ci­ates. The sig­na­ture Time Rit­u­als treat­ment ser­vice al­lows guests to book cus­tomised treat­ments or, for a se­ri­ous check-up, the Man­darin Ori­en­tal has aligned with one of the best tra­di­tional Chi­nese herbal medicine cen­tres in Hong Kong. www.man­dari­nori­en­tal.com.

The Halkin, Lon­don: Kick-start your day on smooth­ies at this Bel­gravia bolt­hole, a mem­ber of the Como group. Gue­strooms are fit­ted with mini­bars stocked with herbal ton­ics and or­ganic dried fruit as well as aro­mather­apy can­dles, eye pil­lows, bath salts and scrubs. What’s new is the ho­tel’s holis­tic gym, fea­tur­ing state-of-the-art equip­ment by Life Fit­ness.

But if you don’t want to ven­ture out, call a Como Shamb­hala spa ther­a­pist for an in-room treat­ment. Guests can also prac­tise yoga in their rooms via two com­pli­men­tary 24-hour yoga chan­nels; mats are pro­vided and per­sonal train­ing, yoga and pi­lates in­struc­tion are avail­able. www.halkin.como.bz.

Chi Edsa Shangri-La Manila: The Chi Pre­miere rooms are re­treat-like, with com­forts such as pos­ture­sen­si­tive chairs, yoga mat, healthy din­ing menu plus an open con­cept bath and shower with nat­u­ral ameni­ties and Kash­were bathrobes.

New at this Manila prop­erty is the so-called Clean menu de­signed by nu­tri­tion­ists for fre­quent busi­ness trav­ellers, con­fer­ence del­e­gates and health-con­scious hol­i­day­mak­ers. Since the Chi Pre­miere rooms are con­nected to the spa, yoga stu­dio, li­brary and re­lax­ation lounge, the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence here is well­ness ori­ented. www.shangri-la.com.

The Adel­phi Mel­bourne: This mod life­style ho­tel has all the eco-chic fa­cil­i­ties that aware trav­ellers ex­pect. Most ma­te­ri­als used through the ho­tel are re­cy­cled, there’s en­ergy-sav­ing power and lighting sys­tems, the food is or­ganic, lo­cal, chem­i­cal-free and low GI. In-room mas­sages are of­fered to guests, who are also granted pri­vate ac­cess to the new spa on the 9th floor, which has a ham­mam-style Turk­ish steam bath. www.adel­phi.com.au.

The Lyall Ho­tel & Spa Mel­bourne: Top-notch well­ness fa­cil­i­ties are in place at this ho­tel in Mel­bourne’s cos­mopoli­tan fash­ion district. In-room of­fer­ings in­clude tan­nin-free teas, 24-hour spa cui­sine menu and all-nat­u­ral sul­phate-free sham­poos and soaps. Even the clean­ing flu­ids used here are low in chem­i­cals. Spa­cious and sleek de­scribes the spa, which of­fers nat­u­ral Elemis treat­ments to boost en­ergy, slim and pu­rify.

Says founder Row­ina Thomas: ‘‘ We called upon a feng shui mas­ter to en­sure pos­i­tive en­ergy flow through­out.’’ She says the Lyall will con­tinue to add more holis­tic fea­tures. www.thelyall.com.

The Man­darin Ori­en­tal Mi­ami: Ex­pect green tea and or­ganic snacks when check­ing into one of this ho­tel’s Spa Life­style gue­strooms. Set­ting a new bench­mark in stress-free style, rooms are fit­ted with spe­cial bed linen and air-pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tems and are cer­ti­fied al­lergy-friendly.

Rooms also in­clude a work­out space with well­ness balls, dumb-bell racks, eco-yoga mats and blocks. A fit­ness-themed TV chan­nel of­fers 24-hour classes for dif­fer­ent lev­els and in­cludes guided re­lax­ation ses­sions to help guests sleep more soundly.

The spa cui­sine is stream­lined through­out the ho­tel and can be taken in-room as well as by the pool. A step up from concierge ser­vice, each room is also as­signed a per­sonal life­style con­sul­tant who will cus­tomise a pro­gram to fur­ther en­hance guest well­be­ing. www.man­dari­nori­en­tal.com.

The Mi­ami Stan­dard: Nutri­tion is now an es­sen­tial el­e­ment of four and five-star ho­tels and at Mi­ami’s hottest bou­tique ho­tel the menu is burst­ing with or­ganic, bio­dy­namic and lo­cally grown foods with plenty of veg­e­tar­ian op­tions. Re­ju­ve­nate, for ex­am­ple, on green spir­ulina juice or wheat­grass and gin­ger shots.

In a bold move, creators have re­vived the com­mu­nal as­pect of the spa, in­clud­ing an op­tional-cloth­ing mud bath (dial the concierge and or­der tubs of or­ganic coloured clays to slather on self and oth­ers).

With lec­tures on health, spir­i­tu­al­ity and sex­u­al­ity, and daily yoga classes, the well­ness vibe flows through­out this ho­tel. www.stan­dard­ho­tels.com.

The Urbn Shang­hai: Shang­hai’s first eco-chic ho­tel is also the re­gion’s only car­bon-neu­tral ur­ban ho­tel. Each of the 26 eco-sen­si­tive rooms has been built from lo­cal re­claimed tim­bers,with low-VOC paints and fea­ture en­ergy-sav­ing lighting, so­lar shades, low-wattage lighting, wa­ter-based and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient air­con­di­tion­ing, eco-bedding and or­ganic ameni­ties.

There are in-room fit­ness kits, yoga and tai chi classes and cus­tomised mini­bars. The ho­tel uses en­vi­ron­men­tally safe clean­ing prod­ucts; or­der herbal bath soaks, acupunc­ture ses­sions and tra­di­tional heal­ers to your room. www.urbn­ho­tels.com.

The Naumi Sin­ga­pore: Creators of this new life­style ho­tel have dreamed up sev­eral con­cepts to re­ju­ve­nate guests. The ho­tel is fra­grant with lime and gin­ger es­sen­tial oils pumped through its ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, and a yoga room is open 24 hours a day with a holis­tic mu­sic sta­tion ca­ter­ing to hard-core gu­rus who like to rise early to salute the sun.

Meals are de­scribed as en­er­gis­ing: start the day well with low-kilo­joule op­tions, fresh juices and whole­foods. www.nau­mi­ho­tel.com.

Sher­a­ton ho­tels world­wide: Even the big­ger brands are well­ness-con­scious. Sher­a­ton has part­nered with Core Per­for­mance and by the end of the year will roll out 360-de­gree train­ing and nutri­tion pro­grams across all its prop­er­ties.

This in­cludes healthy mini­bars, kilo­joule-con­trolled din­ing, sleep-en­hance­ment pro­grams and state-of-theart fit­ness cen­tres. Also on the agenda are in-room fit­ness kits, on-de­mand well­ness videos and work­out DVDs that come with mas­sage sticks, work­out cards and mats, stretch ropes and foam rollers.

For sleep-de­prived guests there are ther­apy pro­grams and, af­ter check­out, a cus­tomised 365-day on­line train­ing pro­gram en­ables you to con­tinue a healthy life­style. www.sher­a­ton.com.

Novo­tel ho­tels, Aus­tralia: While there’s no or­ganic bedding (yet), this four-star brand­ing has plenty of healthy and green ini­tia­tives to shout about. In-room re­ju­ve­na­tion, for in­stance, in­cludes a 24-hour yoga chan­nel and com­pli­men­tary yoga mats with per­sonal train­ers on call. In Bal­ance Fit­ness Menus show­case healthy choices such as all-or­ganic fruit com­pote, ba­nana bread and muesli.

Each ho­tel of­fers meals an­a­lysed by Good Health So­lu­tions and de­signed with the right pro­por­tions, good oils and proper nu­tri­ents in mind.

Novo­tel re­cently signed with the lead­ing Aus­tralian in­ter­na­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­gram Green Globe to achieve cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of its 400 ho­tels world­wide. www.novo­tel.com.au.

Tan­gula lux­ury trains, China: Well­ness-themed ac­com­mo­da­tion is not lim­ited to ho­tels. The soon-to­launch Tan­gula lux­ury trains — from Bei­jing to Lhasa through the vast Qing­hai prov­ince and over the Ti­betan Plateau or from Bei­jing to Li­jiang through Yun­nan prov­ince — will fea­ture com­part­ments fit­ted with nat­u­ral bed linen, healthy mini­bars, or­ganic toi­letries in biodegrad­able bot­tles and en­suite show­ers sup­plied with AquVita pure wa­ter. www.tan­gu­lalux­u­ry­trains.com.

Eleventh heaven: One of the res­i­den­tial spa suites with fu­ton bedding that make up the Plateau on the 11th floor of the Grand Hy­att Hong Kong

Bath­time bliss: Soak­ing in style at the re­fur­bished Man­darin Ori­en­tal Hong Kong

Eco-chic: The car­bon-neu­tral Urbn in Shang­hai

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