Summer time is upon us. Will you travel with your family? Business travel scheduled during the sizzling summer? What hotels are doing the right things for their patrons?
Within the last few years, numbers of hotels that are providing lighter options for its patrons has risen. Among them, Starwood Hotels, (whose brands include Sheraton, Westin and W) reported it was eliminating all trans fat at its 400 plus hotels in North America and the Caribbean. Similarly, Marriott, Loews, Hampton's, Red Lion and Carlson, had plans to take out trans-fats from all foods at all or most of their hotels.
Around the same time, the Hyatt introduced its Stay Fit® Menu for the room service at all North American hotels. This menu emphasizes fresh, locally grown ingredients. Hyatt's Stay Fit® menu features appetizers such as: apple, endive and feta cheese salad; and white Organic baby clothing Turkey bean and tomato soup. Entrées include acorn squash ravioli and soba noodles with grilled tofu. Candlewood Suites is offering fruit, and a low fat, low carbohydrate breakfast choices such as cereal and yogurt as a "grab and go" option. Wyndham's "Field's and Sun" breakfasts include a cereal and yogurt bar, fresh fruit and fat free muffins. Radisson's "Tasteful Choices" menu emphasizes low calorie, low fat and low carbohydrate items. Loews offers breakfast items as tofu omelets, turkey based breakfast meats and vegetarian frittatas. Holiday Inn's Kem restaurants have changed their menus in order to cater to the demands for fresh and grilled food items. The restaurants have added more salads, a grilled or steamed vegetable plate and grilled salmon and have removed comfort foods like meatloaf and fried chicken. The Hilton worked with chefs and nutritional experts to create its chain wide Eat Right® menu that features delicious, L.E.A.N. choices.
Shortlist of hotels taking affirmative action towards healthier choices:
Starwood Hotels - including Sheraton Westin and W
Red Lion Carlson
Hyatt Candlewood Suites
Loews Holiday Inn
To expand a little, let's look a bit closer to some of these hotels. It's surprisingly difficult to find this information on some of the hotel websites. Nevertheless, there are some good things going on in several hotel brands.
Kimpton's - Kimpton's has something they call an in-room Mind.Body.Spa. As the name implies, it's all in your room. You can get massages with all organic products, 24-hour on-demand Pilates, and meditation channels on your TV. They also have yoga supplies you can borrow. The mini-bars are stocked with organic food and drinks.
Hilton - The Hilton Chain has been a forerunner in offering more healthful options. Working with professional chefs and even culinary institutes, they created their signature Eat Right® Menu. A lot of thought was put into making this menu both delicious, and healthy. We've already mentioned their Follow your Color breakfast menu. These are all very good steps and offerings for the L.E.A.N. business traveler.
Hyatt Regency - This chain has gone above and beyond creating both their signature StayFit @ Hyatt program, and the StayFit® Cuisine. The fitness program includes on-demand yoga DVDs, walking or running routes, and reportedly upgraded fitness equipment. Their dedication to helping guests be fit includes a 24-hour fitness concierge service whereby you can get workout clothes, and even armbands with GPS and heart rate monitors. The StayFit® menu offers healthy options such as steel-cut oatmeal and has actively sought to make meals tasty and wholesome.
Westin - The Westin can't be left out of the trend towards wellness. They are providing for health-minded guests. They, too, are offering in-room libraries of both fitness magazines and DVDs. They will put a treadmill or stationary bike in your room, and their exercise rooms are state-of-the-art. Menu wise, the Westin puts emphasis on so-called superfoods - those high in omegas and anti-oxidants, like green tea infused salmon.
Cambria - Cambria Suites are rising up in the ranks of hotels catering to travelers seeking healthier options. Their baby steps include banishing deep-fried foods Organic baby clothing Turkey from their menu and building 2,500-square-foot fitness and pool areas. Rooms are stocked with nice additions, such as green tea.
As you can see, hotels are making marked efforts to make changes in a variety of areas. If in doubt, call the hotel. In the end it should be possible to find a hotel that has every amenity you desire, including healthier food and environment.