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Luxury Hotels Are Redefining Decadence To Mean Wellness And Advocacy

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Luxury hotels are changing how people view them. Instead of focusing on decadence and catering to guests’ every whim, they’re now concentrating on things like wellness and advocacy instead.

This concept represents a profound shift in the way hotels view the world. Instead of seeing themselves as hospitality outfits that focus solely on the needs of guests, they now recognize that they need to adopt a more holistic approach to garner a sense of wellness. In a sense, luxury is being redefined.

We already saw this sort of thing with the recent movements towards the focus on health instead of wealth. While having a large bank account balance is a nice experience, it is no longer something that distinguishes people from each other. Millionaire status is now quite run-of-the-mill. These days, it is all about health and sustainability. Taking care of the planet really matters.

So how are luxe hotels redefining decadence?

Focusing On Holistic Wellness

Previously, luxury hotels put most of their efforts into creating spas with various treatments. These allowed guests to feel pampered, but they were mainly cosmetic.

Now, many hotels are taking over the role of focusing on their health as a whole in order to give them a more profound experience. While spas tinker around the edges, more holistic approaches get to the crux of guests’ problems.

We’ve seen all sorts of examples of this in action, from wellness consultations to fitness studios. Many top-end hotels have nutritious dining experiences and sleep specialists available to help patrons get the shut-eye they need. It’s all part of enabling guests to recover properly during their time away from work and their local communities.

“This focus on wellness is something that we’re seeing across the board,” says Beards & Daisies, a floor plants distributor. “Hotels are becoming obsessed with making their interiors greener and more beneficial for their guests’ health.”

Experiential Wellbeing

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But that’s not all. While holistic approaches are becoming more popular, we’re also seeing the rise of experiential wellbeing. Wellness gurus are offering patrons bespoke itineraries that combine recreational activities with fitness and food. These retreats are often similar to what the early lifestyle medicine doctors, like Nathan Pritikin, did with their patrons, except in luxurious surroundings.

For example, these gurus are starting the day with a fast hike up a nearby mountain and then providing guests with whole food meals to help them feel their best. After that is meditation, a dip in the pool, and perhaps a massage session.

One of these interventions alone might not make much of a difference. But combining them into many can have a tremendous effect on guests’ sense of well-being. And that’s essentially why it is redefining luxury. Looking at gold-plated room ornaments is nice, but actually feeling like a million dollars inside is even better.

Of course, there’s work involved. Guests can’t sit on a sun-lounger and expect the benefits to arrive. But for many, this new approach to luxury is worth it. Life is already full of conveniences. Sometimes hotels need to offer what’s edifying, not just what’s pleasurable.

Sustainable Opulence

There’s also a move towards sustainable opulence. Hotels are ditching the plastic and foam for substitutes that perform the same function. One example we’re seeing is the use of carbon offset programs for guests. While hotels can’t yet eliminate their CO2 emissions completely, they are creating schemes that enable guests to reduce them elsewhere.

Another difference between luxury now and then is the increasing use of local materials. Shipping construction items from nearby destinations reduces the CO2 impact and helps to make the entire process considerably greener.

Then there is the use of plants in interiors. Instead of adopting ornaments or furniture, many luxury hotels are showing off by introducing more greenery.

“This is something we’re seeing a lot in our industry,” Beards & Daisies explains. “Hotels want plants that can live indoors and give their interiors a greener feel to put guests at ease.”

The degree to which this trend will take off depends on the amount of natural materials hotels start using in their lobbies and rooms. Many brands are looking for opportunities to complement their existing décor and make guests feel at home.

“It’s certainly a movement we’re seeing occurring across the sector. Hotel managers at luxury resorts see greenery as a way to make their interiors more approachable and to appeal to the upcoming generations who are enthusiastic about embracing the natural world.”


Alongside wellness, there’s also a trend in today’s luxury hotels toward advocacy. Many institutions are partnering with social impact organizations to make a difference in communities.

These partnerships are nothing new, but it is now the scale of them that is interesting. Whereas before many hotel chains worked with charities as part of their corporate responsibility, now it is becoming a matter of identity. Hospitality establishments are defining themselves in terms of their work on the ground.

Some hotels are performing beach clean-up work. They aim to reduce plastic on the land and ocean, providing a healthier environment in which sealife can thrive.

Other hotels are working on education. Establishments are looking to improve the status quo in the industry and make taking care of the environment fashionable.

Greater Personalization

Alongside these changes, hotels are also redefining luxury with personalization. Managers are seeking to provide guests with unique stays that meet their individual needs.

Part of this involves the use of AI inside in-room consoles. Guests can get these systems to design room service or itineraries for them, taking away some of the burden.

This personalization is also seeping into spa treatments using biometrics. Incredibly, some guests can now get AI-recommended treatments based on what they tell them about their health and biomarkers.


In summary, it seems as if the era of decadence is giving way to a new concept of luxury. Gold-encrusted ceilings and satin bedding have been done to death, and the benefits people get from it are marginal. Health-focused travel is more exclusive and therefore, more attractive to the wealthy.

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