Upscale fitness brand turned luxury hotelier, Equinox Hotel, has upgraded its RoomBars with a range of ‘immunity boosting’ products such as face masks, vitamins and probiotic juices. Olivia Palamountain reports

Equinox launched the first of its wellness-inspired hotels in the Big Apple’s Hudson Yards development in 2018. (Read Globetrender’s review here.)

The property focuses “on living a well-balanced life with guests enjoying access to state-of-the-art facilities, active-minded programming and nourishing dining, all within luxurious surroundings” and its in-room offerings from the RoomBar are an extension of this philosophy.

Equinox Hotel was at the forefront of the “Hyper Health” and “Extreme Wellness” trends as reported in Globetrender’s Future of Luxury Travel Forecast, with RoomBar offerings supplying guests with more than 70 nutritious goodies to eat and drink such as kelp jerky and Moon Juice adaptogens, as well as products and treatments to enhance well-being.

Now, in the age of Covid-19, it is amplifying its RoomBar selection with a range of “immunity-boosting” goodies.

The range features an “Immune Protect Pack” and a “Respiratory Protect Pack” from Alive + Well, each supplying 30 days worth of “professional grade” supplements made up of various vitamins and plant extracts. The packs cost US$75 a piece.

A “Probiotic Travel Pack” consisting of vegan juices enhanced with 2.5 billion CFU of so-called “good” bacteria costs US$20, while the “Stamba Travel” advanced adaptogenic superfood blend will set you back US$62.

A “Stay Safe Kit” of a reusable face mask and gloves, plus a wash bag treated with “Fuze anti pathogen” (US$18) and hand sanitiser from Repêchage (US$9) is also available.

Equinox Hotel’s vice-president of food and beverage, Ara Dalzell-Patterson, tells Globetrender: “As hotel accommodations are ever evolving, I believe in-room retail will continue to offer guests carefully sourced products, chosen with intentional and functional ingredients.

“This new way of in-room service will provide a seamless, efficient and restorative experience, as hotels become more intuitive to their guest’s needs. With this trend, we will continue to  focus on striking a balance between comfort and health, with purposeful offerings, to better nourish our bodies and minds.”Equinox hotel in-room amenitiesEven before Covid-19, immune health was a growing trend, but during the pandemic interest has surged. According to a paper published by BMC, an analysis of Google Trends showed that the phrases “immune boost” and “immune boosting” saw a large increase in February 2020, around the same time concerns around the virus intensified.

Further, from April 15 to May 15, 2020, the popular hashtag #immunebooster increased on Instagram posts by over 46 per cent.

The concept of “immune boosting” is not without controversy. While this paper claims that it is scientifically misleading and often used to market unproven products and therapies, the growing consumer desire for immunity-led products is fuelling brands to jump on board.

New research undertaken by market researcher MMR Worldwide in association with Toluna in April 2020 found that immunity was now the number one health concern in China and South Africa, and only beaten by heart health in UK and US.

“It is inconceivable that immunity won’t remain a raised priority in people’s minds for years to come”, says Andy Wardlaw, brand and insight director at MMR Research Worldwide, who argues that brands must respond now. (Find the full interview here.)

Contactless in-room dining and RoomBar replenishment has now been introduced, with purchases made via a tablet.

Along with a variety of artisanal food and beverage options, RoomBar also offers high-end skincare, supplements that assist with anything from sex to sleep, and the signature “Regeneration Tool Kit”, which includes a yoga mat, props and foam roller. The pack, along with a selection of performance apparel, is also available for purchase.

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE

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