Forget free wine hours and on-demand workout videos. An increasing number of hotels around the world are now providing guests with the option to book rooms with filtration and purification systems that minimise threats of air pollution and offer cleaner air.“Interior air quality can be abysmal,” said research director for The Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit organisation for the wellness industry. “Hotels are combating this by installing high-tech systems in some of their rooms that improve the air their guests are breathing.” The quest for clean air is part of the growing interest in wellness travel.
Outside conditions could certainly be a larger factor. According to data released last year by the World Health Organization, 9 of 10 people globally breathe polluted air. Many top urban destinations, particularly in developing nations, have been recognised for unhealthy smog conditions. Wildfires are becoming more frequent, affecting the air quality of hundreds of miles. And travellers with respiratory conditions or allergies may especially benefit from breathing cleaner air. Most hotel properties generally charge a higher nightly rate for their clean air rooms, compared with their standard rooms, and while the amount varies depending on the hotel, a stay can be 5 to 7 per cent more expensive.
The wellness technology company Delos is behind the “Stay Well” designation of more than 1,000 hotel rooms found globally, including those in Wyndham, Marriott and MGM Grand hotels. One of their key features is a wall-mounted air-purification filter that aims to reduce allergens and microbes. For Wyndham’s 50 hotels in North America, the rooms are now a brand standard: According to Danica Boyd, the company’s vice president of brand operations, all of its properties will have at least some Stay Well rooms by the end of this year. When The Oberoi in New Delhi reopened last year following a renovation, air purifiers were installed throughout the hotel, including in all the rooms, to combat the worsening issue of Delhi’s polluted air. More than 40 of the new purifiers filter exterior air as it enters the building; the hotel also measures the quality of the interior air twice a day.