Lee Woon Hoe While hotels the world over are postponing wellness plans to focus on their core business in the aftermath of the pandemic, Banyan Tree is forging ahead with a new Wellbeing Sanctuary. The group’s executive director of wellbeing tells Katie Barnes why
The concept will broaden Banyan Tree’s market, says Lee Woon Hoe
28 spabusiness.com issue 3 2020
hen you go to most wellness retreats and destination spas, you typically have a consultation lasting 30 minutes to an hour and you’re prescribed a range of activities that you’re expected to adhere to,” says Lee Woon Hoe, senior assistant vice president/executive director of wellbeing for Singapore-based Banyan Tree Holdings. “My fundamental belief is that you can’t diagnose or prescribe holistic wellbeing in 30 minutes. It has so many facets and means so many different things to different people.” It’s with this mindset that he’s been creating a new concept for the group with Ho Renyung, the daughter of Banyan Tree founder Ho Kwon Ping and brand vice president. The new concept, Banyan Tree Wellbeing Sanctuary, is based on ecotherapy, and guests staying in a Wellbeing Sanctuary villa pay a set rate that gives them access to up to 50 different types of wellness activities a week and a daily massage. The purpose is to encourage individuals to practice sustainable wellbeing and to discover the links between ‘self, others and nature’ with no hidden costs. It also enables Banyan Tree to target a much broader audience. The villas, in their first guise, quietly launched at the flagship Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand, in May 2018. Now, after continuous fine-tuning, the group is ready to officially welcome the concept with full fanfare and has at least three more sites earmarked for its development.