Re­sort pro­grams, for re­sort prices

Los Angeles Times - - WELLNESS TRAVEL - By Valli Her­man

Could well­ness va­ca­tions be the lat­est sta­tus sym­bol?

Per­haps. More than 60% of trav­el­ers con­sid­ered a bal­anced sense of well-be­ing a sta­tus sym­bol of suc­cess, an in­ter­na­tional sur­vey by Westin Ho­tels& Re­sorts found.

Some of the ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered by re­sorts — ocean­front boot camp, yoga with celebrity train­ers, ex­otic hikes— will have you work­ing up a sweat, but the ex­er­tion is of­ten buffered by deluxe ac­com­mo­da­tions and ser­vice.

Well­ness re­treats are of­ten based at full-ser­vice ho­tels that part­ner with ex­perts and cus­tomize ser­vices to suit their up­scale clien­tele. Westin, for in­stance, has named per­sonal trainer Chris Heuisler as its na­tional run­ning concierge. He ad­vises the com­pany on run­ners’ spe­cific needs aswell as leads runs at ho­tel prop­er­ties or events, where he shares race strat­egy and fit­ness tips.

Westin’s new Well­ness Es­capes are an on­go­ing se­ries of re­treats to in­spire and teach par­tic­i­pants about fit­ness, mind­ful­ness, nu­tri­tion and more through ac­tiv­i­ties, seminars and work­shops. The com­pany launched the se­ries with a women’s strength-train­ing week­end and con­tin­ues with three-day run­ning work­shops.

As ho­tels and tourism com­pa­nies dis­cover that fre­quent and oc­ca­sional trav­el­ers alike want more than a change of scene, they’re also re­think­ing the pur­pose and de­sign of a ho­tel.

Ear­lier this year, Even, an In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tels Group brand cen­tered on well­ness, de­buted in Nor­walk, Conn.

Its rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive guest rooms ($160 to $190 a night) have built-in mini-gyms with cork floor­ing, a bal­ance ball, re­sis­tance bands, a sit-down and a stand-up desk, er­gonomic task chair and a yoga mat.

But, like any sta­tus sym­bol, th­ese well­ness va­ca­tions aren’t in­ex­pen­sive.

Westin’s Mam­moth Run­ning Es­cape in­cludes a run­ning coach at the Cal­i­for­nia re­sort for three days for $1,500; a seven-day me­tab­o­lism re­boot pro­gram with Moun­tain Trek in Bri­tish Columbia is $4,500. The all-in­clu­sive pro­grams at Ver­aVia in Carlsbad start at $3,850 for the four-day ex­press op­tion.

Book­ing a well­ness retreat is a highly per­sonal, of­ten re­search-in­ten­sive pur­suit. Many re­sem­ble camp for grown-ups— all-in­clu­sive ex­pe­ri­ences de­signed to en­hance a skill such as ski­ing or yoga, at­tain a per­sonal goal such as sum­mit­ing a moun­tain peak or re­cover from ex­haust­ing lives with na­ture hikes, clean food and lots of pro­fes­sional ad­vice.

Speak with the pro­gram guides to be sure your goals match theirs, or else youmay learn how to eat ve­gan when you only want to kick caf­feine.

Price isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a mea­sure of qual­ity or a guar­an­tee of good re­sults. Look for pro­grams led by well­known ex­perts, part­ner­ships with rec­og­nized in­sti­tu­tions and fol­low-up com­po­nents that can help you sus­tain new reg­i­mens. And if change is what you seek, not just re­lax­ation, be pre­pared to work hard for it.

J&D Images

WESTIN Ho­tels of­fer a well-be­ing pro­gram.

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