Aromatherapy solutions in hotels are based on a deep rooted sense of wellness and a sense of smell that connects its brand identity to guests.
Aromatherapy has been used by the ancient cultures like the Egyptians, the Vedic people and even finds mention in the Bible. Aromatherapy is a unique healing potential healing treatment that uses natural extracts to promote health and well-being. Hotels today are using these solutions not just in spas but also other spaces to create memorable guest experience.
For any guest, a hotel is a place where they expect a comfort making them feel at home when they are out on a vacation or on a business trip. Irrespective of them staying for a business or leisure purpose, the hotel is meant to offer an unparalleled luxury experience that comforts and relaxes the guest. “Some of the best aromas for enhancing performance are strong and woody Rosemary, which is known to lower stress levels; Lemongrass which energizes and relieves tension, anxiety and anger in the environment; Lavender with its calming properties helps calm down the mind by relieving stress; Jasmine which is subtly sweet and revitalizing; energizes a person and boosts his/her performance and Peppermint which stimulates alertness and mental clarity. The medium through which these aromas are dispersed range from complex diffuser machines placed in the AHU of the hotel to simple mechanisms such as our linen sprays or potpourri,” said Aakash Hongunti, National Account Manager, Soulflower.
Most international chains already have pre-approved signature. For example Le Meridien has LM02, Westin has White Tea by Westin or Aloft has Vibrance. “These signature scents have been developed by ScentAir in our global scenting center in Charlotte, USA in partnership with respective brand owners and implemented globally. Having this scent deployed appropriately in the correct target location is part of hotel’s brand audit for which Scent Air is responsible. We create a customized scent strategy to boost your brand sentiment and increase sales. We’re a partner you can trust to help you select the right commercial diffuser, ambient scenting, and custom-fragrance approach to complement your brand. Our extensive range of scent diffusers perfectly fit any size and space, large or small,” said Vikas Gulabrani, Director, Blue Corpus Solutions Pvt Ltd. (Parters – ScentAir USA). Many large hotel chains have been releasing their custom-developed, signature scents in their hotel lobbies and this trend is growing. “The sense of smell is possibly the most underutilised and is one of the senses that never sleeps. An in-depth study is required to successfully customized a purposeful Signature Scent. We have also introduced the concept of “Aroma Menu” in the Indian Hospitality Sector – Giving an unpresented freedom to the guests to choose the aroma of their preference. Soon, scents will be deployed in countless ways to influence our behaviour, shopping pattern, control moods, boost memory and more,” said Vishesh Vijayvergiya, Perfumer & Scent Branding Consultant at Vedic Aroma Lab™.
Typically used in the in house spas of hotels, aromatherapy is one of the integral components of the wellness experience offered. Aromatherapy address multiple skin and body concerns, whilst delivering high performance results empowering one’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. “At Jiva, by looking at current trends and lifestyle disturbances, using our aromatherapy oil blends we offer solutions for stress relief, restlessness, anorexia and muscular discomforts. The aim is to provide the individual with an evolution process where the body is put into a rest, relax and a restorative state of being, helping to dissolve anxiety and inhibitions,” said Rohit Gupta, Wellness Manager – Taj, North Goa. The essential oils are life force of plants, seeds, roots, leaves, flowers and fruits. “These tiny molecules travel through inhalation or skin absorption depending on the process which works faster in one’s blood stream to reach the brain and provide a sense of emotional calmness. In today’s fast paced life, anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia and anger are becoming increasingly common and these naturally extracted essential oils help in relaxing one’s mind, body and soul,” said Thomas Halam – Spa Manager, The Leela Mumbai. Krishnakali Rao, Spa Manager, Aura Spa at THE Park Kolkata added, “aromatherapy has been recognized as an alternate treatment since ages and its offered for many healing and therapeutic practices. Aroma oil and other aroma compounds help to heal several health conditions such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, trouble sleeping, muscle pain to respiratory infections, skin problem, blood sugar fluctuations.” Manoj Dhiman, Executive Housekeeper, Crowne Plaza Greater Noida said, “we use aroma diffusers with lemongrass, camphor and eucalyptus aroma oils that have anti-bacterial properties, in the spa rooms, steam rooms and salon areas. This helps keep the air circulating in the common spaces and wet areas, refreshed and disinfected. It brings positivity and sets the mood for relaxation.”
Feel Good Factor
Interestingly aromatherapy is not limited to massages anymore. “It is now being actively used as diffuser fragrances in hotels, health centres, offices and even homes, to heighten the senses and create a soothing environment. However, it is primarily performed in a spa or similar wellness centres as these sessions require a specialized therapist or masseur/masseuse,” said Sanjay Kumar Kansodiya, O2 Spa, Novotel, Ahmedabad. Signature aromas are being employed in different public areas like lobby, lounge, meeting rooms, room corridors and more and each aroma has its own characteristics according to its specific area. “For a boutique hotel like ours, Goldfinch Hotel Mumbai, exclusive signature aromas helps us to create that perfect ambience to impress our esteemed guests. We use multiple diffuser systems, including both stand-alone and HVAC-connected units to add fragrance to our hotel. We also use simple candle diffusers where electrical points are not easily accessible,” opined Salmali Gupta, Spa Manager Goldfinch Hotels. Manoj Chauhan, Spa Manager, Sofitel Mumbai BKC added, “these oils are not only used in spa treatments but also in areas such as the lobby, elevators and lift landings. Aromatherapy essential oils (Amber Orange) is also used as part of our in-room bath amenities which gives out a refreshing fragrance, helps to calm the mind, prevent inflammation, boost the brain and detoxify the body.”
The world over, people are leading stressed lives with little time to relax and recoup from pressures of work and life. “The therapies, offered by our trained therapists at our palace-hotels, are most suited to guest-requirements. We have four major variants of essential oils Vishram that helps in relaxing the mind and the body, Pavitra that helps in cleansing the mind and detoxifies the body, Pranati that helps energize and rejuvenate the body and Dhyana which is a meditation oil that will also help you sleep well,” said Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, Executive Director, HRH Group of Hotels. J Tara Herron- Director The Imperial Spa and Salon added, “our signature Sufi Oils are blended using aromatherapy principles of anatomical and aromatic benefits. We are have 7 specific blends using a top grade of pure essential oils and organic carrier oils which are designed to address many common psycho-physiological imbalances our guests may have. The oils menu, their descriptions, ingredients and benefits are in all treatment rooms and reception which are chosen following a wellness consultation and aromatic testing to ensure the correct blend has been employed.”
The last decade has seen a tremendous amount of change in the field of aromatherapy and usage of essential oils for massages. “A general trend to move away from the synthetic chemicals to more naturally produced cleaning and health products or organic products have brought essential oils to the forefront and made them more readily available with many different essential oils to choose from and many different brands. This shows the increased awareness among the guests regarding essential oils and the benefits that aromatherapy brings to the table,” said Yogeshwar Bhatt, Operation Manager Grand Mercure Mysore. Gaurav Shanker, Rooms Division Manager, Sheraton Grand Pune added, “it may have been around for millennia but, set against a shift towards wellness combined with the nascent of green, clean beauty buys, pure aromatherapy is once again being embraced for its therapeutic benefits. Casting the net wider, de-stressing scents are also set to see a comeback as fragrance companies refine past efforts at mood-enhancing perfumes, now backed by scientific studies, bringing together traditional and modern approaches.” A key change that’s occurred is the melding of traditional and modern approaches. With mood-boosting capabilities from energizing to sleep-inducing, aromatherapy is having a modern makeover. “Fragrance companies and aroma therapists are refining their efforts to create the ultimate in mood-enhancing perfumes, incorporating ancient practices with the latest scientific studies. The latest trend that we have witnessed in this space is the use of scientifically blended oils. Blend-creation means that the guest can receive multiple benefits of the product at one time,” said Shibani Jain, CEO and Founder, Baaya Design.
Aromatherapy solutions have an entire process that included constant monitoring at every step. This check further ensures the quality that the suppliers provide is top-notch. Allan Rodriques, Director of Rooms, The Resort Mumbai opined, “before determining a vendor, thorough lab tests are done with each product range which ensures genuineness and uniformity in the quality of the product. Also, how and from which part of the world the essences are sourced along with the international certifications that are accepted universally is a factor.” Selecting any product or supplier for a hotel brand is to define and understand the concept and what they want to offer to their guests. “Some important aspects to select a supplier for aromatherapy solutions would be Purity/Quality of oils as they may also be subject to adulteration at different production stages. This is the process of adding an inferior product into the oil. It’s a little like putting water into milk. Find an honest essential oil supplier to avoid buying an adulterated product. Quality assurance and certified business are important for starting any type of collaboration, customer service, availability of products, reputation and product tests are other criteria,” said Rahul Sabnani, Spa Manager at JW Marriott Kolkata. The most effective suppliers are those who offer products or services that match or exceed the needs of the business. According to Tamyaola M.S, Assistant Spa Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore, “value for money of course the lowest price is not always the best value for money. If you want reliability and quality from the suppliers, one has to decide how much you willing to pay for your supplies and the balance you want to strike between cost, reliability, quality, and service. Strong service and clear communication is another criteria as the best suppliers will want to talk with the brand regularly to find out needs and how the supplier can help serve the brand better.” Hoteliers are certainly upping the ante as far as guest services are concerned and this time it has come as a breath of fresh fragrant air.
This story first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Hotelier India here: Aromatherapy