If you quizzed most travelers and asked them to name top wellness destinations, I don’t think it’s much of a gamble to posit that Las Vegas would not be high on the list. MGM Resorts MGM International is trying to change that.
In a city where making hotel rooms stand out is usually accomplished with gold faucets, grand pianos and butlers, the Stay Well collection at the company’s flagship MGM Grand are something else altogether.
I saw a displayed mockup of one of these rooms last year while I was in the city and figured it would be the last I heard of it. I was wrong. That initial experiment, a block of specially equipped rooms on the hotel’s 14th floor, was such a success that the number of Stay Well rooms was just quadrupled, and the concept now occupies the entire floor, with 171 rooms and suites plus the common Stay Well Lounge. That’s bigger than many US hotels, but given that the MGM Grand is the nation’s largest with nearly 7,000 rooms, the trend still has room to grow.
The Stay Well rooms were digested by the Delos company in conjunction with Delos’ exclusive partnerships with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra. Delos is a real estate developer known for its trademarked Wellness Real Estate, housing that incorporates amenities to enhancehealth and well-being.
The Stay Well rooms include over 20 features intended to allow guests to maintain their healthy lifestyle practices while on the road. Examples provided by MGM include: shower water infused with Vitamin C to neutralize chlorine and promote healthy hair and skin; air purification using the most advanced HEPA-standard system to reduce allergens, toxins and pathogens; water purification to reduce disinfectant byproducts, chlorine, pesticides and some pharmaceutical and personal care products; warm white room lighting to improve the body’s internal clock and sleep/wake cycles; energizing light therapy to increase energy and reverse the effects of jetlag; a “dawn simulator” to awaken the body gradually; an all-natural mattress made without harmful VOCs, toxic chemicals and off-gases; and EMF shielding to protect guests from electrical equipment that emanates electromagnetic fields.
“We introduced Delos’ Stay Well concept in response to guest feedback as well as current trends we were seeing in healthy travel,” said Scott Sibella, president and COO of MGM Grand via a release. “We knew the product would be a welcomed addition in this market, and are thrilled at how quickly word has spread about how you can have the Vegas experience without giving up your commitment to healthy living.”
It is tempting to mock the concept, especially in “Sin City,” but given that the Stay Well rooms and suites run approximately $30 per night above prevailing rates – an amount that would be a non-remarkable single hand of blackjack – it suddenly seems hard to justify skimping on clean air and water at the very least. MGM has even tried to make that traveler’s willpower nemesis, the mini-bar, healthier with the addition like yogurt-covered raisins, raw almonds and coconut water. But to truly make Las Vegas healthier for visitors, they might need to add a 21st feature: a lock on the outside of the door.