With a new year comes an influx of new trends and topics to take note of. Shared after much research by the likes of forecasting agencies and social media analysts, these trends are presented as a guide for society’s interests of the year ahead and beyond. Every year, there’s no shortage of new wellness ideas that come about: from new superfoods to cooking techniques, to new ways to workout. An ever-changing industry, it’s important for the hospitality to keep up to keep travellers happy. So what are the trends we can expect to see coming to play this year?
1. Tuning Out of Tech
In response to social media growing ever present in our daily lives and studies showing rising anxiety and stress, we’re seeing more people wanting to turn off, tune out and shut their phones and laptops down. Does this mean we can expect to see hotels shunning the iPad-controlled everything in a bid to give traveller’s a tech-free service? Or will we instead see a focus on touch-free tech… “Alexa, call room service.”
2. Sleeping Well Becomes a Huge Priority
An obvious one for the hospitality industry to really hone in on: sleep is a top topic. But we’re not talking about more sleep – we’re talking about better sleep. And for hotels, that means optimising sleep. We’re in what the New York Times is calling ‘the golden age of mattresses”, where consumers and millennials in particular are more interested and clued-up about mattresses, with the likes of Casper, Simba and Eve fighting for their attention. This translates for hotels, but it goes further than that: from the pillows to the sleep sprays; the ‘track-your-sleep’ apps, the nifty wake-up light clocks; and to the Lumie… It’s not just a bed for the night anymore – it’s about creating the perfect sleep environment.
3. Natural Beauty to Become the Next ‘Organic Food’
As we grow more conscious and more informed about where and how our products are made, beauty is the next thing to go under fire. As global giants like Unilever change their policies for more ingredient transparency, we can be sure we’re seeing a real shift. More travellers and going to start reading more labels and asking questions, and it’s something hotels should be ready for in terms of their amenities. Whilst Aesop is a luxurious choice, it may have a botanical focus, but not entirely natural nor organic. Better choices include Bramley Toiletries, favoured by the likes of Artist Residence; Stop The Water While Using Me tapped by 25 Hours Hotels; and Dead Clean toiletries, which feature in Sir Hotels.
We can be sure to see ‘self-care’ continuing to grow as a real buzzword through 2018, becoming more of a normality and focus in people’s busy lives as they take time out for themselves. Hotels can respond to the idea of self-care to enhance both business and leisure travellers’ experiences in loads of ways – from bubble bath rituals for bath butlers; to bedside-table books for bedtime stories, and to replacing those little notebooks by the phone with colouring books. The notion is that self-care and ‘me-time’ needn’t be additional luxuries – they can be encouraged and catered for.
5. Collagen and Gut Health
Collagen sounds scary, but it’s moving quicker than ever towards the mainstream, and is sure to be a buzzword for all the wellness warriors out there this year. Along with being one of the cleanest types of protein powders, free from any additives, it also boasts mega gut-healing properties, as well as being good for the immune system, anti-aging, the skin, and helping tackling acne. Collagen is naturally found in our bones, joints, skin and cartilage, but as we age, our production of it decreases – hence we’re all racing to consume more of the stuff. Here in London, Soho House have already tapped into the trend by adding it to their House Press Glow juice, but there’s no doubt it will be hitting more menus in different ways soon.
6. New Wellness Practices: Mindfulness, Mediation and Breathwork
Once upon a time, gym and studio programmes were saturated with high-intensity workouts, spin classes and ass and abs sessions designed to fire you up and burn some quick k-cals. Things are changing – what we want more of now are practices that are beneficial to both the mind and body. Of course Pilates and yoga aren’t going anywhere anytime soon – but there’s also mindfulness, mediation and breath-work workshops quickly gaining traction, which are definitely something wellness-focused hotels should consider including in order to keep ahead of the curve.
7. Unplug Retreats
As more and more of us crave offline time, unplugging is the biggest luxury. Unplug retreats are picking up speed as an emerging trend for travellers, and are set to be a big focus this year, through both traditional-style retreats (the likes of Digital Detox Retreats have guests hand their phone in upon check-in) and hotels innovating through their marketing, messaging and new concepts. Getting rid of plugs and scrapping the free wifi is more likely to irate and than inspire; but how about encouraging guests to switch off with colouring walls, in-room spa rituals, meditation tutors, and yoga classes?
Move over, turmeric! The sunshine-yellow super spice that took over 2017 by dominating lattes and smoothies is about to be replaced by Moringa, the new super powder that stems from South America. With an earthy, spinach-like taste, Moringa boasts twice the protein and three times the iron of spinach. It’s also said to aid digestion, improve skin, and boost energy and alertness. Expect to see it on hotel menus soon in everything from smoothies to lattes, to healthy minibar snacks.