30 August 2021
Hotels are turning to professional athletes and coaches to add a new dimension of wellness to their on-site fitness programs.
In the surfing paradise of Costa Rica, novices can now learn from professionals at Marriott's El Mangroove luxury hotel. Inspired by local Costa Ricans using downtime during the pandemic to learn new hobbies, it has launched a program connecting professional surfers with guests. Through the program, these surfers help guests develop new skills, combining in-pool aquatic fitness training with in-ocean surf sessions.
'We loved seeing how many brand-new local surfers came to us to learn to surf, and so we decided to build a program for guests once travel began to pick back up,' says Jairo Torres Villicaña, marketing and sales director for El Mangroove.
It isn't the only hotel investing in professional coaches. When Sensei Porcupine Creek opens in California in early 2022, its wellness packages will include sports performance coaches who help guests achieve personal fitness goals. Then there's the new sports and fitness hotel brand Siro, slated to open in Montenegro in 2023, whose advisory board comprises professional athletes who will travel between its properties to oversee activity programming.
Building on our Resilience Culture macrotrend, next-gen hospitality brands are taking active travel to the extreme, leveraging our year of homebody living to market a new breed of stamina-boosting retreats.
One of the more extreme options from Mandarin Oriental's new Inner Strength – Outer Strength retreats is a triathlon on the Caribbean island of Canouan. The hotel has marked training trails for the traditional three events of swimming, cycling, and running, alongside modified island activities such as kayaking sprints, held year-round on the resort’s 1,200-acre property.
Aman has also debuted a series of adventurous sports retreats called Fitness for the Future. From rock climbing in Italy’s Dolomites to desert and mountain sports in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, each are branded as 'transformative sports retreats to heal and strengthen body, mind, spirit.'
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