Hospitality brands set sights on lucrative wellness real estate sector  

Wellness real estate has become a natural—and profitable—extension for brands like Aman Resorts, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Mondrian, Montage and more 

Yesterday, the Global Wellness Summit’s nonprofit sister organization, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), hosted its inaugural Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium in New York and virtually around the globe. (The full day’s presentations and takeaway materials are available on demand.) The event drew hundreds of attendees and featured power players from every aspect of this BOOMING sector, including developers, investors, architects, interior designers, suppliers and more.

And when we say “booming,” we’re not kidding. A highlight on the day’s robust agenda was new data presented by GWI researchers showing the growth of wellness real estate (a sector GWS trend watchers originally identified in 2007 as “spa real estate”) has been nothing short of extraordinary. The researchers shared the wellness real estate sector nearly doubled from $148 billion in 2017 to $275 billion in 2020 and estimated there are over 2,300 wellness projects worldwide (either built, partially built or in development), up from 740 in 2017.

One very successful component of this explosive sector: resort/spa/hospitality-based wellness real estate projects.

Though there’s no doubt the market was gaining some serious momentum prior to the pandemic, the new report entitled “Wellness Real Estate: Looking Beyond COVID-19,” also illustrates that the pandemic, which has put health and wellness at the forefront of our consciousness and created a new work-from-home lifestyle, fueled the demand for wellness in every aspect of the built environments where we live and work.

Businesses making the most of this opportunity include innovative hospitality brands, such as Aman Resorts, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Mondrian, Montage Hotels and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, among others.

As remote, flexible living becomes the norm, look for more blending of everything: resorts serving not only as short-stay wellness retreats, but also offering fractional and full residential ownership models alongside local community activities.

Every brand in this space is listening to consumers’ varied needs and innovating in real time to create new concepts in wellness living that meet the evolving realities—and opportunities—that today’s redefined work/life reality offer. COVID has blurred the lines between home, work and wellness and successful brands are making that transition, too.

For more on this trend, check out the recent Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium package from the GWI. You will get deep dives into the ways hospitality and wellness brands are reshaping the real estate landscape.

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