Wellness growing in urban areas

by | Nov 26, 2018 | Chains

The wellness craze is moving into cities in a big way. Formerly the haunt of idyllic exotic getaways and spa retreats, hotels with a focus on wellness are becoming more of a fixture in urban areas. We find out more.

Wellness hits The Big Apple

Hotels and properties offering wellness facilities and packages are often located in remote areas, among nature and wilderness, allowing guests to fully disconnect from their daily lives and the hustle and bustle of the city. However, it would appear that wellness is now also becoming associated with urban areas, and the world’s most famous city, New York, is the destination of choice for some brands that are making a foray into the world of urban wellness. Certain brands associated with fitness and wellbeing such as Equinox, famous for their gyms and fitness centres, and The Well, a private members club with a focus on wellness, are opening hotels in New York. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the demand for hotels offering wellness facilities in cities.

Six Senses, wellness and New York

Six Senses, along with their competitor Aman, have both announced their intention to open hotels in New York. This move might surprise some, who would associated both brands with exotic locations well off the beaten path, where guests go to replenish and relax. However, Six Senses has been moving towards more traditional properties rather than the luxury, faroff resorts that they are known for, and a recent opening in Singapore has been performing well for the group. Their new-build NYC hotel will be located in Chelsea near the High Line and will boast 137 rooms as well as over 200 private residences, and, of course, a state of the art spa. One of the cornerstones of Six Senses’ entry into the urban market is a focus not just on physical wellness, but also on social wellness. The hotel will also cater to the local community by providing co-working spaces and a bathhouse where people can gather. Anna Bjurstam, vice president, spas and wellness at Six Senses, says of this innovative strategy: “We are aspiring to tackle one of biggest threats to wellness — loneliness — by introducing our first Six Senses Place, where hotel guests and members can be part of a community.”

Why cities?

Given the hectic and demanding schedules many city-dwellers experience, it can often be hard for them to arrange holidays to more remote parts of the world, hence why hotel groups have identified a gap in the market for wellness properties in cities. Hotel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt explains, “The answer is simple: Numbers. Not everyone can get to a remotely located resort. Opening a hotel and spa in New York puts Aman and Six Senses within reach of millions of affluent potential customers, including visitors and locals alike. They will also introduce the brands to people who may not be familiar with them.” Bjurstam elaborated, saying, “A lot of our guests come from New York. This is a way for them to continue the experience back home, as we look at the renewal of brand. We feel like for brand development, given the way world has changed, we want to go into different types of markets.


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