European Spa talks exclusively to Amanda Al-Masri, Hilton’s new vice-president of wellness

We discuss the spa veteran's new role and find out how she sees the world of wellness developing in the near future, and how Hilton aims to lead the way for its guests


By Wendy Golledge

18 April 2023

At the beginning of 2023, spa industry veteran Amanda Al-Masri joined Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ as its new vice-president of wellness.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, Al-Masri has worked with all the major brands, from Marriott and One&Only to Starwood Hotels, Equinox and Kempinski.

European Spa spoke exclusively to Al-Masri about her new role and how Hilton intends to lead in wellness and spa.

What do you hope to bring to your new role?

“As a wellness strategist, I look forward to enhancing our current offerings while developing new, scalable solutions that meet rapidly evolving consumer expectations.

“To me, delivering wellness in a hotel environment – most effectively and at scale – requires a multi-pronged approach.

“We’re working to reduce the friction of maintaining healthy habits on the road, while infusing a wellness focus into each of our brands.

“Then, more broadly, I’ll be identifying ways in which we can infuse a wider view of wellness into our 19 brands.”

Hilton Rijeka Costabella
The Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort on the Adriatic coast is home to eforea spa

Where do you see wellness shifting in the next 12 months? Which of these shifts will stick?

“The wellness landscape will continue to rapidly evolve, with more people than ever perceiving wellness as a priority during travel.

“Today, there are a growing number of wellness-oriented travellers and an expanded definition of wellness.

“Our recent global 2023 Trends Report found that half of global travellers are seeking experiences that align with their wellness goals this year.

“Specific fads will come and go, but the overall trend of holistic wellness while travelling is here to stay.

“Travellers are actively looking for solutions that improve their mental and emotional health while traveling. Because of this, meeting guests where they are at in their wellness journey is going to be essential.”

How is Hilton going to lead in wellness and spa?

“The pandemic accelerated guests’ wellness expectations and this cultural shift is the catalyst for Hilton’s increased focus on wellness.


“In a world where spa experiences form part of most hospitality wellness offerings, the future of wellness at Hilton means thinking differently.


“We aim to integrate wellness touch points throughout the stay. To do so, we’ll continue to track evolving guest preferences while deepening other existing areas of expertise, namely fitness and spa.


“Beyond that, though, we also plan to expand our offerings in other areas such as movement, recovery and mindfulness through regionally relevant programmes and strategic partnerships.”

Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre - Flotation Suite
Hilton has created a floatation suite at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, supported by a Halotherapy (salt inhalation) suite

What do ‘meaningful wellness solutions’ look like in practice?

“Meaningful wellness spans the entire guest experience, from rethinking hotel design to incorporating elements of biophilia.

“Prioritising wellness is a goal that will be championed across our global portfolio.

“For example, we’ve announced an industry-leading partnership with Peloton to bring at least one Peloton Bike to all properties across America and beyond. We’ve also been exploring new programmes focused on sleep and recovery.”

What spa and wellness trends will Hilton be focusing on specifically?

“As industry leaders in wellness, we aim to present a unified wellness point of view that translates into every aspect of the guest experience, and look to stray away from an overly trendy or one-size-fits-all approach.


“In Europe specifically, the eforea Spa Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort in Croatia, serves as an example of forward-thinking wellness that translates across the entire stay experience.


“These range from a wellness bar with selections of Ronnefelfdt organic teas and champagne to a Rasul thermal mud bath for deep skin cleansing.”

How are guests enhancing their spa visits?

“As spotlit in our 2023 Trends Report, people are turning to travel for deeper, more engaging wellness experiences.

“For our spas, that is translating to increased interest in enhancements that are unique to the destination and local culture.

“We have also seen an increased demand for spa suites and extended facilities, allowing guests to remain in a completely private space.

“Increased interest in technology-led treatments is also transforming spa menus.

“For instance, in the spa at the Waldorf Astoria Kuwait, we partnered with Gharieni to provide the enhanced MLX i3 Dome that combines far infrared technology with plasma and light.”

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
The private suite at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah offers a private reception, thermal facilities including sauna and steam, a hammam, Rasul and hydrotherapy, and double treatment spaces

If travellers could do one thing to increase their wellness, what should it be?

“I personally believe that movement, even a few minutes each day, is the most universally beneficial thing we could do to benefit our overall wellbeing.

“This could be as simple as taking the stairs or taking a stretch break between meetings.

“While travel may mean a change of venue and routine, I do my best to reframe this as an opportunity – a chance to have a run in a new city or explore Peloton cycling classes in our fitness centres.”

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