Mandarin Oriental now has more Forbes ‘Five-Star Spas’ than any other hotel, and has long been at the forefront of developing wellness programming in the luxury hospitality sector. All of that is in no small way due to the efforts of its Group Director of Spa and Wellness, Jeremy McCarthy. Joining the group in 2014, McCarthy quickly applied his expertise in spa management and his personal interest in fitness to create unique, holistic programmes that address every area of wellbeing. In 2018, the brand introduced its signature Digital Detox retreat which was quickly rolled out across all its properties, and in the past year, launched the ‘Mindful Meetings’ initiative to encourage corporate wellness at its properties. Recently releasing a trend insight report for 2020, Compare Retreats took the opportunity to chat to the Global Wellness Summit Speaker on what to expect from Mandarin Oriental in the coming year, and why family wellness is the next big thing.
Which wellness trend in 2020 most excites you? In my 2020 Wellness Trends Report, I described the “Sustainability and Wellness Get Married” trend. I’m very excited to see sustainability taking a leading position in the strategies for big wellness and hospitality brands.
How is Mandarin Oriental addressing this trend? Mandarin Oriental has set an aggressive goal to eliminate single-use plastics from all of our hotels by March of 2021. In some cases, we haven’t yet found the alternative solutions that will help us to achieve this, but setting this goal puts enormous pressure on our suppliers to collaborate with us to find new ways of operating that are better for the planet.
What new wellness initiatives can we expect at Mandarin Oriental in 2020? Next year is all about addressing “movement” and “stillness.” In the first half of the year, we will be partnering with elite Hong Kong-based physiotherapists and trainers at Joint Dynamics to teach our spa teams to better address some of the common postural and mobility challenges we are seeing in clients.
We see mobility challenges becoming increasingly frequent due to our modern sedentary lifestyle and excessive technology use.
In June, we will be launching a new signature treatment called “Intelligent Movement” which addresses the common postural imbalances that are exacerbated by our modern lifestyle (head-forward posture, internally rotated shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, etc.) to help our guests move more and move better. The elite trainers at Joint Dynamics also provide advanced training to our massage therapists and trainers so they can recommend the right stretches and exercises for each guest to improve their mobility and maximize the benefits of the treatment.
Multi-generational wellness travel has been a growing trend since 2018. How are we seeing family wellness develop? We definitely see this trend influencing many aspects of our business. We see multi-generational families travelling together and valuing these trips as chances to reconnect. We see parents who want their children to learn and experience the wellness lifestyle that they have come to embrace. And we see children becoming more sophisticated about wellness in their own right.
How is Mandarin Oriental embracing multi-generational travel? For Mandarin Oriental, this means we need to continually improve at recognising the different needs of different guests from across the age demographic and to continue delivering them the world-class personalised service that we are known for. This is definitely translating into more children and family-oriented wellness programming in our hotels, and especially our resorts.