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Travel Weekly: All’s Well with MGM Grand Program

Can a stay in a “healthy” hotel room make us feel better? And is it possible to leave meetings energized rather than drained?

Guests of the MGM Grand’s Stay Well rooms may start to believe the answer is yes.

In 2012, the Vegas hotel-casino unveiled 42 Stay Well rooms on the 14th floor of its Main Tower. For an additional $30 per day, guests can experience features such as air purifiers; vitamin C-infused showers, said to neutralize chlorine for healthier skin and hair; and circadian lighting systems, which are designed to mimic natural light, helping the body’s internal clock by regulating melatonin production.

The rooms proved popular, which led MGM to transform the entire 14th floor into a Stay Well floor this year, increasing the number of Stay Well rooms to 171.

And on Aug. 18, MGM and Delos unveiled Stay Well Meetings at MGM Grand, which brings similar Stay Well features and concepts to meetings spaces.

Wellness guru Deepak Chopra, who helped create the Stay Well concept, said during a press event in August that he is excited about transforming meetings into events that energize rather than drain.

“Stay Well Meetings will be adding meditation breaks to all meetings along with breathing breaks and breaks to disconnect,” he said.

Features of the Stay Well meetings areas include self-cleaning surfaces and a cleaning protocol using hypoallergenic products and tools to neutralize bacteria; acoustic elements that reduce noise from outside the room; ergonomic furniture intended to provide optimal comfort and to prevent stress or injury; a strategically placed hydration station; and healthy menu options.

Seeing the light

After a two-night stay in a Stay Well room, I found myself believing that “wellness rooms” could transform travel.

With no stale or chemical smell, I found myself breathing the purified air more deeply, and I perked up whenever I entered my room after being out and about because it simply smelled good, thanks to the aromatherapy diffuser; I wish my own home smelled like that.

In fact, by the time I checked out there were several wellness features I coveted for my home, ranging from the all-natural mattress that minimized my tossing and turning to the Dawn Simulator alarm clock that gently awakened me with a soft amber light.

The Light Therapy Mirror fascinated me the most with its two settings: a bright, blue-shaded Wake-Up light to increase energy and suppress melatonin and an amber-shaded light to increase melatonin levels in the evening for better sleep.

Paul Scialla, founder of Delos, the New York-based real estate company that created the Stay Well concept with input from wellness professionals, including Chopra and doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and Columbia Medical School, said circadian lighting was developed about 12 years ago when doctors realized that light affects the optic nerve of all humans, even the blind, and that indoor artificial light has a negative impact on the human body.

In 2008, as the sustainable building movement took off, Scialla began asking, “But what about the people in the buildings?”

Delos brought together designers and doctors and is today developing spaces that are both eco- and human-friendly.

Scialla said he uses light therapy rather than coffee to wake up in the morning. I only managed 10 minutes in front of the mirror rather than the prescribed half-hour, so I might need Wake-Up lights in more than one room.

A Stay Well app for Apple and Android users offers a dose of the Cleveland Clinic to go, including jet lag prevention guidance.

All Stay Well guests receive credit to utilize Cleveland Clinic’s online stress management, sleep and other programs for 60 days after a stay. The app is available at http://staywellrooms.com/app/stay-well-mobile-app.

For more information on Stay Well rooms, visit www.mgmgrand.com/hotel/stay-well.aspx. For more on meetings, go to www.mgmgrand.com/meetings/staywellmeetings.aspx.

Source: Travel Weekly