In the Pursuit of Well-being at The James Hotels

NEW YORK—Wellness is about becoming aware and making choices toward a healthy life. Catering to guests’ mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs, The James Hotels has launched the Four Bodies Wellness program.

“From talking to our guests, we know that travelers are seeking an environment in which they can both unplug and play,” said Carl Cohen, chief commercial officer, Denihan Hospitality, owner/operator of The James Hotels. “We took note of the exploding wellness trend and saw that as an opportunity to integrate offerings into our hotels that can provide a bit of balance to their busy lives as they travel. Many travelers have their own wellness routines at home, so we wanted to bring those different aspects right to their rooms.”

There’s a lot of noise in the wellness space. To differentiate from competitors, The James Hotels team partnered with wellness expert Ruby Warrington of The Numinous to help curate this program. In addition, the team sourced unique wellness experts, including a prizefighter, guru and mystical explorer to bring the experience to life.

“Each of the partners is aligned with one of the four bodies. In selecting our partners, we wanted to work with people who have strong followings and have impacted people’s lives through their crafts,” said Cohen. “Guru Jagat, for example, is aligned with the ‘spiritual’ body, and has a range of devotees who swear by the mind-channeling benefits of her Kundalini yoga practice.”

Among the wellness offerings include the following:

Physical: Guests receive an in-room TV workout session led by Aerospace co-founder Michael Olajide Jr. The exercise uses guests’ own body strength or resistance bands are available upon request. Guests receive priority access to his Manhattan studio.

“I like to call the workouts that we do at Aerospace HPC ‘aggressive meditation.’ The James Hotels guests can experience a workout with inherent physical and mental benefits, while moving with purpose and engaging the mind through focus and concentration,” said Olajide.

Mental: A complimentary one-month membership to the INSCAPE app is offered. Founded by Khajak Keledjian, the app curates meditation and relaxation experiences. Guests are also given priority access to the Manhattan studio.

Spiritual: In-room TV Kundalini yoga sessions are led by Jagat. The program is designed to help guests maneuver through the pressures of traveling.

Emotional: Warrington has curated a “Readers on Room Service’ menu for guests to schedule one-on-one sessions with intuitive counselors. Astrology birth chart readings, transformational coaching, tarot reading, hypnosis, Reiki healing and sound healing are among the options.

“In our partnership with Ruby, our key goal was to create a program that offers experiences that are powerful yet accessible. We want our guests to come away from engaging with this program, whether doing an in-room workout or a meditation, or experiencing another part of the program and feel more balanced,” said Cohen. “When curating the partners and designing each of the offerings, we wanted to ensure each aspect of the program came with ease for our guests but also has substance. For example, the Aerospace in-room workout designed by Michael Olajide Jr. is designed to do in your hotel room, at the click of a button, but will still give you a workout that keeps you on your toes.”

Food can be healing, too. And, it is a key component of wellness.

“The in-room dining at each of our hotels vary in personality, due to different food and beverage operators, but each menu features healthy items, and we continue to look at ways we can further expand these offerings to meet guests’ desires,” said Cohen. “Our newly launched in-room dining menu at The James New York–NoMad features a range of healthy items, such as a coconut chia seed parfait for breakfast and a tuna poke bowl for lunch or dinner. The James Chicago’s breakfast menu includes an impressive offering of juices and smoothies for guests to stay healthy on the go.”

There’s more to come this year as the Four Bodies program evolves.

“In 2018, we will be hosting live on-property classes with some of our wellness experts, giving our guests the opportunity to engage with them directly, which will bring the program to life in a new way,” he concluded.