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This Hotel is Going Above and Beyond to Keep Business Travelers on Their Feet

This Hotel is Going Above and Beyond to Keep Business Travelers on Their Feet

When you travel for work frequently, receiving premium service and exclusive treatment becomes the norm, be it at the airport or hotels. No stone is left unturned to pay heed to your requests and fulfill them at the earliest. But Westin Hotels &Resorts is breaking the chain, by ensuring that its business travelers stay on their feet. Why? Well, while hopping cities and countries regularly may seem enticing initially, the glorified world of business travel exposes frequent travelers to serious health risks in the long run.

A study conducted by Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, shows how frequent travel has an adverse effect on physical, social and emotional well-being. In his paper A Darker Side of Hypermobility , Cohen compiled data from 15 years of extensive research and studies to conclude that frequent travel accelerates ageing and increases the risk of a stroke. Another study titled Executive Travel Stress: Perils of the Road Warrior , states that 70 per cent of business travellers suffer from lifestyle disorder with symptoms including high stress, mood swings, disorientation and erratic sleep patterns.

The urgency of the situation has led hospitality players to ensure they prioritize wellness of guests. In India, The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace follows the global initiative by the hotel chain - a wellness programme called Let's Rise, which focuses on six areas - Eat Well, Sleep Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, Play Well. From fitness coaches to sleep consultants, the pack of the wellness concierge has arrived.

Per the Oxford Dictionary, the meaning of a 'concierge' is 'a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests by booking tours, making theatre and restaurant reservations, etc.' However, the role of a concierge these days has expanded to encompass a lot more responsibilities to provide personalised experience to guests. A business traveller usually stays at a hotel for two to three consecutive days. The concierge plans nutritious meals, treatments, yoga, meditation, detox and fitness regimen for such guests.

"As a concierge, we have a very big responsibility of ensuring that all the needs of our guests are met with. We should be able to make everything possible," says Westin concierge Manoj, who has been in the business for more than five years.

"We begin by focusing on the eating habits of guests. The menu is designed by doctors and specialists who focus on food high in antioxidants and low on fat & calories. We also believe that a good night's sleep is very refreshing.

Next, we ensure that the tired traveller's recovery is smooth. To ensure the guest sleep well, we provide the signature Heavenly Bed, which is one of the most comfortable beds in the world.

The next morning, we focus on fitness by running with the guest for approximately around 5 kms around the hotel."

Yes, the concierge also doubles up as a fitness buddy.

A 2012 study shows that having a fitness partner improves one's performance.

"We get many requests for a morning jog or run. We have one regular guest who stays with us for two weeks to one month, and staying in a hotel for such a long time can get monotonous. If you don't have friends, it becomes very sad at the end of the day. So, we club a couple of guests in the same time slot and go for a group run. Over a period, I have noticed that guests really like mingling with each other. They run together, become friends and sometimes share business ideas too. Some good bonds have formed over early morning jogs", says Manoj.

"60% of the guests, mostly business travelers like this initiative a lot. They travel light, and don't have running shoes. We take care of that aspect as well by providing a basic running kit that includes running shoes and gear at a nominal cost of $5 (Rs 250 approx). Business travelers prefer running for a few minutes over hitting the gym for a workout as they are short on time mostly.

Post the run we offer them breakfast, and then they start their day on a healthy note," he adds.

With a concierge at your disposal, you can have it all - good food, workout and sleep. Safe to say, now there are no more excuses to ignore your health and fitness while traveling.

Image source: Thinkstock

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