Monday, January 7, 2013

Living “well” in Vegas: MGM Grand wants to keep you healthy in Sin City

Having a truly restful and rejuvenating vacation — particularly in Las Vegas — can be a challenge. That's why the MGM Grand is hoping visitors will be willing to cough up an extra $30 per night for specially designed wellness rooms. These rooms, say MGM and Delos, the wellness real-estate firm that designed them, will help cure jet lag, balance your body's hormonal levels, and reduce your life stress.
That's a big promise.

A vitamin C-infused shower

The 42 StayWell rooms, which opened in October, have lighting designed to regulate melatonin levels, bursts of blue light said to reverse the effects of jet lag, dawn simulator alarm clocks, an advanced air purification system to reduce toxins and pollutants, filtered water coming out of the taps, photo-catalytic coating on heavily used surfaces to break down bacteria, built-in protection from the electromagnetic fields emitted from electric devices, extra sound-proofing, special mini-bar food, and even Vitamin C-infused showers. Guests also have access to apps from the Cleveland Clinic to manage stress and help with sleep and nutrition programs.
"The health and wellness amenities in the new StayWell rooms are designed not only to help guests lead a healthier life while traveling, but also to extend the healthy impact beyond the hotel room," said Morad Fareed, co-founder of Delos, in a press release announcing the venture.
Delos is not new to the idea of selling wellness. The company, which both Dr. Deepak Chopra and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt sit on the board of, previously focused on the launch of high-end wellness condos in Greenwich Village. The condo development will open later this fall and will be built from top-to-bottom with the aim of promoting its residents' wellness.
Showers will be infused not just with Vitamin C, but also with aloe. Floors are built with materials to keep you standing straighter and sync with your temperature. The lighting will encourage circadian rhythms, and a wellness concierge will manage all your yoga, Pilates, reflexology and acupuncture. You can also opt for the personalized aromatherapy pumped in through the purified air vents or spend some time in the safety of the electromagnetic-free zone.
Of course, while a stay in an MGM StayWell room will run you an extra $30, the wellness penthouse condo will cost a bit more.
It will go on sale for $40 million.
The question for that much money is: Does it work?
Yes, say the board of high-profile people that run Delos. They spent the last four years working with the Cleveland Clinic and the Columbia Medical School to come up with a set of building standards that promote health and wellness.
Those standards, called WELL standards, will be rolled out to hotel rooms, residences, and offices this year and next. The plan was announced in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative in September. And, the hope is that this becomes a new kind of sustainability standard for us to worry about.
"Just as LEED set the standard for environmental building, WELL addresses an equally critical input, which is enhanced human health and well-being," said Fareed.
Fortunately, you can start enhancing your well-being easily — on your next trip to Vegas.
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