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Meet Emlyn Brown, GVP of Wellbeing at Accor

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By Lily Niu on 1st November 2022

We’re all familiar with Banyan Tree, Raffles, Fairmont, and Rixos but what of the hospitality giant, Accor, behind the properties we know and love?

Join The Sybarite as we chat with Accor’s Global Vice President of Wellbeing, Emlyn Brown, about how the group is elevating the scope and depth of their guest experiences.

And with an interest in luxury at an all-time high, it makes sense that wellbeing is an important aspect of the product offering; one that encompasses not only subtle enhancements such as improving noise control but more obvious ones, like in-room fitness, for instance.

Read more to learn what you can expect from an Accor stay and how the hotel group is growing with new offerings.

When people think of “wellbeing” in relation to hotel stays, their thoughts go to gym facilities and an in-house spa. What does Accor do differently to expand on the concept of wellbeing? 

Well-being has moved far beyond the walls of the spa – that feeling of rejuvenation should be reflected throughout the entire stay experience. We do this in subtle ways, from ensuring high quality air filtration and noise control systems, to more overt programs, such as pillow selection, circadian lighting, in-room fitness and guided meditation.

We seek to connect the concept of well-being with all other services and areas of the hotel, for a well-rounded experience that will leave our guests feeling better when they leave than the day they arrived. 

Health and wellness tech is moving fast and creating exciting new possibilities that we are exploring, from sleep therapy and guided meditation to dynamic bathing, cryotherapy and infrared saunas. Our guests are training like professionals and dressing like athletes, so we are designing recovery and rejuvenation treatments on par with that level of performance.

Connectivity is also vital – guests want to track their progress and feel part of a community. Social media and digital apps are now an essential part of the business strategy for our health, fitness and spa programs.

What are some of Accor’s greatest wellbeing “hits” with guests across the properties? 

Our guests are among the most well-travelled and discerning travellers in the world and they are increasingly motivated by the possibilities of maintaining and improving their health and well-being along their journeys. What we have seen is that our guests like to have a variety of options, from thermal bathing, to being part of a community with our Les Mills Power fitness partnership with Pullman Hotels.

Pullman Power Fitness Fuelled by Les Mills makes Pullman the first boutique fitness hotel brand with around-the-clock innovative fitness classes, in-room fitness amenities, challenging boot camps and Pullman Fitness Squad events, while unleashing the full experience of the Pullman Power Fitness community made it a real success.

Are there any Accor properties you’re particularly proud of for their guest wellbeing initiatives? 

Physical, emotional and mental well-being are now widely recognised as contributing to a higher quality of life, and for hotels, this must permeate the entire guest experience. I’m very passionate about making wellness approachable across all of Accor’s brands - there is a real concern that wellness has been traditionally considered as a one-percenter or a five-percenter aspiration, but it needs to be for all. 

Fairmont Windsor Park offers a unique approach to wellness inspired by nature, combining relaxation with innovation. The wellness experience extends beyond the spa to create a sense of calm and tranquillity throughout the hotel, helping guests receive a holistic spa experience. 

The state-of-art spa is a destination in itself, to give you an idea, it boasts 18 treatment rooms, a six-person hammam, a cryotherapy chamber, 20m indoor pool, a Himalayan salt room, a courtyard hydrotherapy vitality pool and a Japanese Ashiyu foot ritual bath. 

How does Accor attract and integrate with local communities through wellbeing?

One area we are very focused on is community. People want to come together and have more communal experiences. Spa is historically an individualised experience, but the younger generations coming up into the luxury market, below Gen X (such as millennial, Gen Y, Z and so forth) have much different aspirations in what they want from well-being.

Community for them is very important, so things like bathing – such as urban bathing, big sauna and pool areas – where you can come together and enjoy a self-guided spa experience at a very good price point – this is an area we are exploring very actively.

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