Why did Meliá Hotels International decide to review its fitness provision?
“If you look across the whole fitness sector, things are changing,” says Robert Louw, Wexer’s Head of European Business Development. “Meliá recognised this. Just as health clubs around the world are looking to give more to their members – more variety, more choice, more flexibility, more innovation – so Meliá Hotels International wanted to evolve its fitness provision to reflect current trends.”
He continues: “In many ways, the need for revitalisation of the fitness space is even stronger in the hotel sector. Guests are increasingly selecting their hotels based on the in-house wellbeing offering, so innovation in this area has the potential to set your business apart, driving up satisfaction scores and repeat business.”
Why was Wexer’s virtual fitness offering seen as the solution?
“Hotels are 24/7 businesses, so they need a 24/7 fitness solution,” continues Louw. “Customer expectations are also rising fast when it comes to the quality of a hotel’s fitness provision – this needs to be at least as good as the gym they use at home.
“Wexer’s virtual platform was therefore seen as the perfect solution: a wide range of group exercise classes, all led by world-leading instructors and filmed with great production values, to bring energy and motivation to the studio at any time of the day – without the need for any staff. It’s the perfect model for a hotel business.
“In addition, Meliá already had small studio spaces – around 25-30sq m – which was used only occasionally, for activities such as yoga or relaxation. The hotels were keen to get much more from these spaces. Offering virtual classes was the ideal solution, both in terms of yield management of the studio, and in terms of guest choice and service standards.”
What specifically has been done?
Over the last year, Meliá Hotels International has piloted in the INNSIDE Brand, Wexer’s virtual class system at two of its hotels – in Palma, Mallorca and in Hamburg, Germany.
Classes are available on-demand, which means guests can select exactly the class they want to do, at any time of day or night; even if you’re jetlagged and want to work out at 4.00am, there are hundreds of great group exercise classes to choose from. This service connects perfectly with the lifestyle of the INNSIDE costumers, who want to be able to keep their routine while they are travelling.
With what impact – what results have been seen?
The results have been notable.
The average guest satisfaction score for the gyms at Innside by Meliá Brand is 78.6%, which of course is already quite good.
However, across the whole brand, the average satisfaction score for gyms that doesn’t have Wexer is 76.8%; the overall average noted above is pulled up significantly by INNSIDE Hamburg and INNSIDE Palma Bosque, where the gyms achieve satisfaction scores of 84.5% and 88.4% respectively.
And when asked specifically about satisfaction with Wexer’s virtual classes, the average across the two pilot gyms is a whopping 85.5 per cent.
User feedback has also been very positive, with reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor and Booking.com raving about the virtual classes, the “modern studio” and the 24-hour gym that “offered everything needed”.
“The wellness offer of the INNSIDE brand has reached a turning point due to Wexer: we are now able to offer a quality 24/7 product with a wide range of gym classes; something long sought after by our customers. Nowadays, travelers want to maintain their exercise routine whether travelling for business or other. Wexer has enabled us to discover this need in an innovative and professional way.”
Ignacio Alastuey, Director – Brand Experience Worldwide, Melia Hotels International
So, what plans to evolve or roll out Wexer’s virtual offering?
Off the back of this highly successful pilot, Meliá Hotels International is now committed to installing Wexer in every new-build site of the INNSIDE Brand, as well as in every renovated site with the potential to incorporate a studio space.
The offering is also set to be refined slightly, to even better meet the specific requirements of a hotel. Louw explains: “We’re working with Meliá Hotels to identify the most popular classes among its guests. While regular gym users will benefit from the 800+ classes available on the Wexer platform, and will quickly familiarise themselves with the navigation, hotel guests may only be there for a night or two. What they therefore need is a streamlined menu that focuses on the most popular classes, making it even quicker and easier to use.
“We will also be working with the hotels to enhance the physical offering, steering towards premium installations and ensuring all the essentials – yoga mats and so on – are available for the menu of classes being offered. The great results of this pilot show it’s well worth the extra investment.”
For more information about our virtual fitness offering please get in touch here