What Is A Wellness Hotel? I Booked A Room For A Weekend & TBH, I'm Here For The Trend

By
Ad failed to load

When I entered my room at the HGU New York hotel, it seemed like your run of the mill, upscale space in many ways, punctuated by a few extras like alkaline water, and the offer of a personalized pillow concierge service. These were only minor hints, at first, that HGU New York was the most "wellness-obsessed hotel in America," as they claimed in their initial invitation to me. As a wellness writer and a lifetime lover of hotels, I did have to wonder — just as you, dear reader, might be wondering — what is a wellness hotel exactly?

First of all, yes, a wellness hotel is totally a thing, and mind you, it's not the same as a health retreat. According to Health and Fitness Travel, a wellness retreat is more of a personalized experience guided by health experts that will probably ask you to focus on something specific, like deepening a yoga practice or finding ways to relieve stress. A wellness hotel, on the other hand, is a place that caters to a larger group of guests by connecting them to wellness and healing services, and offers a multifaceted experience focused on overall well-being.

In an exclusive interview for Elite Daily, I spoke with ML Perlman, the executive director of wellness and lifestyle at HGU New York, who tells me the hotel's mission is just that: to create an environment focused on health from head to toe, and ultimately, provide busy travelers with a place to enjoy a really, really refreshing rest. To do this, the hotel creators went "outside their own walls" to partner with wellness practitioners in the city who could offer services for their guests that are in line with the hotel's self-care service mission.

Ad failed to load

Perlman considers a lot of the wellness services the hotel offers to be remedies for a few of the sometimes unfortunate side effects of travel, like dehydration, jet lag, body aches, stress, or a weakened immune system. She tells me that a lot of these services — like that pillow concierge service I mentioned, as well as fitness classes offered at the Solace health club next door — are all included in a typical stay at HGU New York. But other amenities — like guided meditations with Center of the Cyclone creator Biet Simkin, REVIV nutrient therapy IV infusions, reiki with healer Louisa Mastromorino, cryotherapy, gravity colonics, and nutritional counseling by Vitality NYC — will cost you a pretty penny.

As for my stay, I was offered a fitness class at Solace, a REVIV IV infusion, and a cryotherapy or gravity colonic session. While I hard-passed on the cryotherapy and colonic, I was excited for the workout and very curious about the nutrient-packed IV infusion, which would be my first stop before officially checking into my room at HGU New York.

When I arrived at REVIV, I felt a little intimidated at first by the no-frills vibe of the establishment and the painfully bright, overhead lighting that greeted me. Still, I was eager to learn about what would be offered in this experience.

Ad failed to load

As it turns out, you can actually choose from different IV bags depending on what you're looking for — glowing skin, an immune system boost, or even a hangover cure. Side note: Where the hell were these things when I was in college?

The people working the desk at REVIV were ER nurses, as was this guy, Michael, who inserted my IV.

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

Their credentials gave me confidence, as I don't like needles very much to begin with, and before my arrival, I was definitely afraid that I might be placing my life in the hands of an amateur who, for all I knew, might put an oxygen bubble in my bloodstream, and, you know, cause my imminent death.

Annakeara Stinson

Thankfully, not only were these nurses legit medical professionals, they also often got these treatments done themselves, so that put my stress at ease a little. Michael actually told me he did them about once a week himself (sometimes more, he said), and according to him, the difference in his energy was definitely notable. I also happened to notice he had great skin, which was one of the purported side effects of my chosen Vita-Glow bag, jam-packed with glutathione (an antioxidant that prevents damage to cells) and vitamin C.

Ad failed to load

After he inserted my IV, I sat in a luxurious massage chair, and they connected me to the drip, which took about 15 minutes or so to fully enter my bloodstream. For roughly five of those minutes, I attempted to take a selfie to capture this strange experience:

Annakeara Stinson

While this was, at the time, relatively uneventful, and I didn't feel anything different in the moment, I definitely noticed a palpable boost in my energy levels about a half hour later. TBH, I kind of think this is the sort of thing people should be able to receive as standard procedure at a check-up at the doctor's office, it's that good.

Ad failed to load

With a healthy dose of nutrients flowing through my veins, I practically floated over to check in at HGU New York a few blocks away. Inside, I found a darling, low-lit boutique hotel in a 100-year old building that was recently renovated on the inside, a project endeavored with sustainability and environmental impact in mind, I later learned from Perlman, with the help of unique details like non-toxic paints, natural fiber rugs, and a filtered air system. Of course, you wouldn't necessarily notice these thigns on your own while staying there, but these details did provide another level of credibility to the overall wellness theme they're aiming for.

My room was tastefully decorated, offered Dean & Deluca treats for purchase, a selection of very hip art magazines, and the use of an in-room iPad — so fancy, guys.

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

As for the bed? That bad boy was exceptionally cozy. The mattress was firm, the sheets felt like cream against my skin, and it was generous beyond measure in the pillow department. Just so you know, I am a serious stickler for good pillows when it comes to staying in hotels, and I am a firm believer in the fact that you can never have enough fluff on your bed.

Annakeara Stinson
Annakeara Stinson. Bag and Earbuds Author's Own.
Ad failed to load

In fact, I soon called the uber fancy pillow concierge service for two more "firm down" pillows to be sent up from the list of six different pillow types, which happened to include everything from memory foam, to a pillow specifically designed for pregnant women.

Annakeara Stinson

After my pillows arrived, it didn't take me long to find this robe and treat myself to a nice, warm bath.

Ad failed to load
Annakeara Stinson

While there really are only so many ways a wellness hotel room can be different from basically any other nice hotel room in the world, I did feel this one was particularly charming, partially because of the effort in offering such a unique variety of services and amenities:

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

And as for how I slept in that heavenly bed that night?

Annakeara Stinson

I hate to break it to you, but I didn't sleep all that well. But that's 100 percent on me and my old friend insomnia, not any fault of the hotel or its plush bedding. You can lead a horse to water, friends, and you can fill them with vitamins and alkaline water, but you can't make them fall sleep.

Ad failed to load

The next morning, I enjoyed a delicious spread for breakfast, including eggs, salad, sausage, spinach, and coffee.

Annakeara Stinson

After breakfast, it was time for my workout over at Solace New York: a "team-oriented" circuit training and conditioning class that actually turned out to be my favorite part of the whole experience. It was quite challenging, sure, but I had a lovely partner to help me power through some serious moves like dumbbell squats, sprints on stationary bikes, and ab work with medicine balls.

Ad failed to load
Annakeara Stinson

All in all, I definitely enjoyed my stay at HGU New York, and I think it would be cool if all hotels had a similar focus on your overall health, wellness, and comfort.

Now, would I be able to stay at HGU New York with all these fancy amenities on my own dime? While booking a room there can be pretty reasonable (anywhere between $125 and $800 depending on the size of your room, the dates, etc.), I'm more in the Motel 6 realm right now, budget-wise. Still, these guys are definitely onto something.

Ad failed to load

Oh yeah, and one last thing: When I left, I definitely noticed my skin looked fresher than it had when I first arrived. Could it have been the IV?!

I'm going to go with yes.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Here's Everything That's Leaving Netflix In June

Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of opportunity to binge watch more movies and TV shows that we never knew we needed in our lives. May has passed by in a blink of an eye, so I definitely need to catch up on what Netflix is getting rid of afte…
By Kristen Perrone

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Your World Is About To Be Filled With Sunshine

If you've had enough of the sleepy and heavy feeling associated with Taurus season, prepare yourself for a replenishing rush of fresh energy. As of May 20, the sun has officially moved into Gemini, and the weight on your shoulders will finally start …
By Roya Backlund

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett

7 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Life By The Time You Hit 30

Nobody has all of the answers in life, but you're probably pretty proud of yourself for how far you've come. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the hang of adulting and began to appreciate the unexpected things that come with being 20-something.…
By Marisa Casciano
)}