With a large portion of the global population under lockdown, wellness hospitality brands are leveraging digital platforms to forge new connections with guests and followers. 

Notably, the vast majority of these brands are uploading free online content, including meditation sessions on Facebook, livestreamed cooking classes and an Instagram tutorial on pranayama breathing exercises.

According to Beth McGroarty, vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, the trend is taking off as demand for online wellness programming skyrockets amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Broth is one of the best things to have when you're feelin' under the weather. Here we share easy ways to ramp up your broth for a 💥 💥 immune system. Need a recipe? Don’t you worry, we got you covered 😉 Grandma’s Broth 💜 0.9 kg (2 lb) bones - chicken, beef, lamb, turkey 1 gallon (4 liter) filtered water 30 ml (2 Tbsp) apple cider vinegar 350 g (1 whole) onion, yellow 200 g (2 whole) carrots 100 g (2 stalks) celery 32 g (8 cloves) garlic 30 g (1 bunch) parsley, flat leaf (or curly) 35 g (1, 5 cm/2 inch knob) ginger root, peeled, sliced 1 Tbsp black peppercorns, whole 2 bay leaves Fresh ground black pepper, to taste Sea salt, to taste Optional: astragalus root (you can find this in Chinatown/order online), coriander root, thyme * * method || ROAST. For a rich, dark broth, roast bones in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F (C). For a lighter, golden broth, omit this step. | ACID. Place bones in a large stock pot. Pour cold filtered water and vinegar over the bones and let sit for 30 minutes or add when cooking (the acid helps extract nutrients from bones.) | BOIL. Add mirepoux (onion, carrots, celery) to the pot. Bring to a boil. If using astragalus root, add now. | SIMMER. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. | SKIM. During the first few hours of cooking, remove any scum (impurities) that float to the top using a spoon. | FLAVOR. During the last 30 minutes, add garlic and herbs such as thyme, parsley, coriander roots. Season with salt, pepper. | STRAIN. Remove from heat and pass through a sieve. Let cool. | STORE. Transfer to a gallon size glass jar (4 L) and chill in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze unused broth for later use (lasts up to 3 months in the freezer). | #AtHomeWithSixSenses #EatWithSixSenses #FluFightingRecipeSeries #broth #grandmasbroth #bonebroth #immunesystem #immunity #foodasmedicine #sixsenses #thailand #bangkok #wellness

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“People are very focused on wellness right now,” McGroarty said. “They’re stuck at home, they have time, and they’re worried about their immune systems and trying to keep as healthy as possible. The internet and all these streaming platforms are becoming a lifeline for people.”

By providing complimentary content during the crisis, McGroarty added, brands can also engender strong feelings of goodwill.

“One of the biggest criticisms of the wellness industry is that it’s too exclusive, so putting expertise online and becoming more democratic is a smart move, especially now,” she said. “One of the first things that Six Senses did [in response to Covid-19] is have Anna Bjurstam, who’s in charge of their well-being program, do a meditation on Facebook Live from her own home. I mean, how much closer to a brand can you get?”

Bjurstam, who serves as Six Senses’ wellness pioneer, has spearheaded development of the luxury brand’s new At Home With Six Senses online platform, which offers free videos, tutorials and advice across Six Senses’ social media channels, newsletters and website. 

According to Bjurstam, the brand has seen e-newsletter subscriptions jump 800% since the launch of At Home With Six Senses in late March. 

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As a meditation practice, 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴-𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 can help us to forgive hurts from the past, feel compassion for others, and deepen our level of acceptance for situations beyond our control. 💗⁣ ⁣ Join #MiravalArizona Meditation and Yoga supervisor, MaryGrace Naughton for a special 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴-𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 meditation and expand your focus beyond yourself. This meditation focuses on four key qualities of love: friendliness, compassion, joy, and calmness. Extend these qualities to those you love, those you don’t love, total strangers, and the world. 🌎⁣ ⁣ By doing so, we will not only survive this crisis, we will thrive throughout it, and come out stronger, kinder and more supportive of each other on the other side. ✨💛✨⁣ ⁣ Link in stories for full meditation 👆⁣ ⁣ #bringmiravalhome #miravalmoments #lifeinbalance #miravalspecialist #wearemiraval ⁣

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“Our social media has traditionally been very manicured, structured and planned,” Bjurstam said. “Right now, it’s giving our branding people a bit of a scare, because what’s coming out is raw and more unrefined. But these are unprecedented times, and people are using social media in ways we’ve never seen before. They’re actually enjoying posts that are raw, honest and real.”

Among the platform’s more popular posts is an instructional video that teaches viewers how to make “rocket fuel,” an immunity-boosting concoction featuring apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, turmeric and other ingredients.

“We really wanted to think creatively and get a positive message out,” Bjurstam said. “The response has been encouraging. I’ve gotten emails from people who have never even been a guest at Six Senses. They’re saying, ‘We’re doing this daily. It’s really helping us, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.’”

Six Senses is hardly alone in its efforts. In fact, the coronavirus-era digital landscape is teeming with new wellness-oriented content and platforms. 

Miraval, which recently suspended operations at its Arizona and Texas resorts, will be getting into the mix with a soon-to-launch online wellness community. Content will be available on the Miraval website and across social media and focus on mindfulness and meditation, stress management and healthful eating and exercise tips, among other topics. 

Susan Santiago, senior vice president at Miraval, said that a “sense of community is even more urgent right now, when so many of our guests and colleagues are feeling confused, scared and anxious.”

Similarly, Equinox Hotels has released to the public its signature AM + PM Rituals video content, previously available only in guestrooms at the temporarily shuttered Equinox Hotel New York. The rituals are accessible on the Equinox Hotels website, showcasing stretches and breath-work designed to prime the body and mind for morning or bedtime. 

Matt Delaney, national manager of innovation at Equinox, said, “Mental health is a major component of well-being. Our Rituals series aims to minimize the adverse effects that high-stress environments may cause that can negatively impact human physiology.”

Other hoteliers posting self-care resources include Montage Hotels & Resorts, which is kicking off a social media push with wellness activities, including an at-home scrub tutorial. Soul Community Planet’s SCP Redmond hotel in Oregon uploads Facebook meditation sessions, created in partnership with Namaspa Yoga & Massage, several times a week. 

Recipes are at the forefront of executive chef Pawan Pinisetti’s digital efforts. Pinisetti, a “Chopped” champion who helms Serevene at the Greystone Miami Beach hotel, is offering cooking classes on Facebook Live in April, making use of “clean, simple yet comforting [food] with ingredients from a typical household pantry.”

Spain’s SHA Wellness Clinic resort is sharing tips and tricks on its social media accounts and online under the hashtag #StayHealthyWithSHA, while Gurney’s Resorts, which has properties in the Hamptons and Rhode Island, launched #GoneHomeWithGurneys, a social media campaign featuring virtual wellness experiences like beach walks and morning meditation.

Additionally, the White Elephant Spa by Darya, part of Nantucket’s White Elephant hotel, is offering wellness and self-care tips via Nantucket Island Resorts’ Instagram page.

“We’re in the hospitality industry, and that doesn’t just end at our physical borders,” said Darya Afshari Gault, founder of White Elephant Spa by Darya. “As the coronavirus crisis unfolded, we knew that it would be integral to share our slice of island life with guests, who need moments of peace now more than ever.”

According to Chuck Welch, a brand strategy consultant with Rupture Studio, the industry’s rush to make free content available even as the sector faces its own coronavirus-related challenges is heartening.

“It’s important not to come off as opportunistic at times like this, but there’s certainly opportunity, even in times of crisis and fear, to connect people and bring goodwill to folks,” said Welch. “It’s great to see companies finding ways to use their resources to bring value to their communities.”


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