Healthy eating on vacation is easy at hotels like the Hilton and Westin, which are re-thinking room service with good-for-you meals and dining options
Healthy Hotel Dining
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If you have a vacation coming up, that means you have some pretty great things coming your way—a chance to check out a new place (we’re fond of these Beautiful Beach Vacations for You to Get Your Yoga Om), a few days away from the office, maybe even the opportunity to try out that new Instagram filter you’ve been saving for a great adventure pic. But it also means you’re likely in for lots of not-so-healthy room service meals and underwhelming hotel food—or, if you try to maintain some semblance of nutrition, you’ll be eating boring iceberg lettuce salads and flavorless, dry cereal. These hotels, however, make eating healthy while away both doable and totally tasty.
Photo: EVEN Hotels
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Thanks to the Westin Well-Being Movement, launched in 2014, healthy dining options are easy to find at Westin properties worldwide. Their menus, chock-full of superfoods, boast delicious dishes like whole wheat blueberry pancakes which are packed with antioxidants and nutrients.
If you’re looking for a quick snack as opposed to a full meal, The Westin Fresh by The Juicery is a way better choice that candy from the mini-bar. The London-based juice store has partnered with The Westin to create unique combinations for hotel guests that are loaded with nutrition but also jam-packed with great flavor—favorites include the smoothie with blueberry, spinach, chia seeds, avocado, almond milk, and granola, as well as the juice with beetroot, acai, pomegranate, spinach, and coconut water, according to Brian Povinelli, Westin’s global brand leader. Sign us up!
The Epiphany Hotel, Palo Alto
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It’s no surprise that a hotel in the middle of tech capital Palo Alto would be ahead of the game in bringing you the coolest ways to eat healthy while on the road. The Fresh Fridge at The Epiphany hotel, offers fresh, seasonal produce from the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market, plus house-made superfood power bars, seasonal house-made salads, local trail mixes, and yogurt parfaits with goji berry and blueberry; there are even juices and nut milks from San Francisco-based cold-pressed juice company, Project Juice.
“The Fresh Fridge came out of conversations that we feel things are lacking in travel dining,” Leah Goldstein, a representative of The Epiphany Hotel, says. “You’re just inundated with food that makes you feel gross.” Not anymore. When making their reservation, guests can sign up for the fridge for a flat fee of $95. Whether you want a full meal or a quick snack to take on the run, the Fresh Fridge has you covered.
Photo: The Epiphany Hotel
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With over sixty hotels in more than thirty cities, the Kimpton brand is taking health and wellness to a whole new level. The popular hotel chain asks chefs at each individual property to use local, seasonal ingredients to create in-room dining menu offerings that taste great, but also meet a number of health guidelines. “The guidelines stem from a set of ‘no-nos,’” Danny Bortnick, director of restaurant concepts, says. “No margarine, no cheese, no cream, no cured meats, no full-fat dairy, no creamy dressing, no preservatives or chemicals, no added salts, no excess oils.”
As a result, these healthy options creatively use superfoods like turmeric, quinoa, amaranth, hemp seeds, and dark greens to pack flavor and nutrition into every bite. Kimpton even rolled out a juicing program, incorporating fresh ingredients that are readily available at local farmers markets. When staying at a Kimpton hotel, keep your eye out for the rocket icon that denotes items that will give you the nutrition you’re looking for on vacation without sacrificing the taste. (Sounds like one The 8 Best Hotels for Healthy Travel.)
Photo: Kimpton Hotels
Affinia Hotels, New York City
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Manhattan—home of rock star pizza and the mouth-watering BEC sandwich on a bagel. Although these iconic items might be worth it every so often, they aren't quite nutritional staples. “You can grab a 500 calorie piece of pizza for a couple dollars, but it’s hard to find a healthy meal that’s under five bucks in New York,” says Cole Hernandez, a marketing executive from Affinia hotels.
Enter the hotel chain’s FreshDirect grocery kits. Hoping to provide guests with a healthy alternative to New York's more decadent dishes, the hotel has partnered with FreshDirect to create pre-ordered kits delivered to the rooms before guests even arrive. The three options, labeled “Keep Going,” “Work Smart,” and “Healthy Spin,” include items for all times of day. In the summer months, picnic kits will also be offered. Creators focus on incorporating real foods, like fruit and vegetables, and are sensitive to any allergies or diets that guests may have.
Photo: Affinia Hotels
Four Seasons, San Francisco
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Hailed for its wellness programs, the Four Seasons brand prides itself on being a leader in the healthy travel space. Combine that commitment to health with the farmers market and juice-crazed California, and you’ve got a winner. The Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco sources the majority of their ingredients locally, whipping up dishes such as Burratta Cheese and Delta Asparagus.
In addition, the kitchen offers custom made smoothies and fresh pressed juice, as any great California hotel would. “We’re in the progress of offering a ‘detox in a box’ program as well,” says Erissa Kido, the brand's director of food and beverage. Between this healthful food program and a concierge that will arrange day hikes, we think we've found a winner!
Photo: Four Seasons
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If you want a hotel that makes wellness its mission, you need to check out EVEN. Part of Intercontinental Hotels Group, this new line built its brand around pillars of health—fitness, nutrition, productivity, and revitalization. Hotel restaurant Cork & Kale allows you to grab a healthy, quick, seasonal meal and take it back to your room or out and about as you tackle a busy day. And each menu item features ingredients that are incredibly seasonal and must be approved by nutritional advisors. The emphasis on fresh, healthy food results in innovative grain salads, creative flatbreads, and organic cocktails.
“We focus on the ingredients, feedback from our advisors, and guest insight as to what they want for their meals,” says Jason Moskal, the vice president of lifestyle brands for Intercontinental Hotel Group. Although EVEN hotels are currently only located in Rockville, MD, and Norwalk, CT, look for multiple openings in New York City in the coming year.
Photo: EVEN Hotels
Hilton, Midtown NYC
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Declaring room service a “dying breed,” Hilton NYC Midtown has redefined in-room dining entirely. “We had a fine dining restaurant that wasn’t working,” says Jason Tresh, the food and beverage director. “Our customer base was really looking for something a little more casual.” In response, the Hilton introduced Herb N’ Kitchen—using very local and very seasonal ingredients, the kitchen is serving up tons of gluten-free options, including baked goods, hand-pulled pizza dough, and freshly baked bread, salads heavy on trendy whole grains, egg-white everything, dark chocolate banana bites, and an awesome breakfast burrito with queso fresco, black beans, charred tomato, and squash.
By eliminating the white-gloves and silver-clad presentation so traditional in room service, costs have been cut by more than half as well. Because of its success in NYC, the program will be rolling out to other Hilton properties this year as well. (See more 9 Clever Ways To Make Your Vacation Healthier.)
Photo: Hilton Hotels