What’s the latest must-have hotel amenity? No, it’s not Wi-Fi, on-demand movies, or cutting edge fitness centers – it’s yoga classes. According to The New York Times, about one in 10 North Americans practice yoga, and as it has become more and more popular, resorts, hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts began offering yoga programs, classes, and retreats to attract guests – and make more money.
Bjorn Hanson is a hospitality professor at New York University. He says that hotels don’t separate yoga revenue from spa revenue, but hotels with spas have a 10% higher occupancy rate than those without them. They also increase profits, because spa guests spend more money than regular overnight guests. Providing yoga for guests doesn’t have to cost big bucks. A lot of hotels and motels offer on-demand yoga classes on the in-room TV system, and provide mats and straps to guests on request. Other hotels have created large spaces for yoga – sometimes outside – and schedule daily classes for a fee. Still others try to set themselves apart by offering weekend and seven-day getaway packages that include yoga.
For example, the Savannah House in New York has weekends that include yoga and visits to local wineries. The InterContinental Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona has yoga-and-chocolate retreats. The Osprey in Beaver Creek, Colorado combines yoga, skiing and life-coaching sessions. Sea Kayak Adventures in Baja, California offers morning yoga on the beach, followed by whale-watching and kayaking outings. It looks like hotel yoga’s here to stay. Christopher W. Norton is chairman of the Four Seasons’ Global Spa Task Force. He says that every new spa or gym that’s built at one of their resorts or hotels will include yoga.