New Hotel Amenity: Talk Therapy, As Hotels Push Into Wellness Space

Kimpton Hotels is providing free therapy to guests. They’re providing “up to 1,000 complimentary video therapy sessions with licensed counselors to any guest over the age of 18 staying at one of Kimpton’s 60+ participating properties.”

And the deal on mental health treatments extends even beyond the stay.

Getting your mind right is perhaps the most important part of wellness. That’s why we’ve partnered with Talkspace, online therapy from the comfort of your phone. Kimpton guests new to Talkspace receive $100 off the first month of any Talkspace plan by entering code “KIMPTON” in the app.

This is a multi-faceted promotion.

  • Kimpton is “putting mental wellness front and center in their marketing”

  • They’ve entered a marketing relationship with TalkSpace to promote the service to their customers, and to their employees (Kimpton employees also get free therapy).

Is it bad to say that you need to have your head examined if you choose to be loyal and earn status with IHG? Although new elite benefits coming next month could change that.

Associating with ‘wellness’ is a way to create a brand narrative that guests can attach to, in hopes of driving a revenue premium. And this is a way to do it without spending your own money and instead spending someone else’s money. TalkSpace’s share price has fallen 80% since going public in a SPAC deal during the pandemic.

I do like the idea of the front desk being able to refer guests to a therapist when they become too demanding, though.

(HT: Jonathan W)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Free therapist: What would you like to talk about?
    Hotel guest: The loss of once-common loyalty benefits which I’ve cherished for so long.
    Hotel guest: It’s gotten so bad that I need counseling and therapy.

  2. Mental health is a serious topic. Psychiatric and psychological therapy has a stigma that physical therapy does not carry. Governments underinvest in the research and treatment of mental health problems. For the capitalist pigs among us, we could increase GDP and investor returns if we as a society give mental health care the attention it deserves.

    Shame on Gary Leff for making crass jokes on the topic of mental health.

  3. @ayenus, mental health is no joke but looking for your hotelier to provide help is like asking Joe Biden for help treating dementia. Can they refer you to someone? Sure but it’s not the right channel. You don’t go to Home Depot because they offer an online counselor that gives you advice how to treat your cat’s hair loss. It’s silly.
    I wonder if those leaving Marriott are making a lot of reservations at Kimpton? Of course, that information would need to be protected by HIPAA compliance data systems which I doubt IHG can provide legally. From a risk standpoint, I think it’s a bad move by IHG.

  4. This potentially opens the hotel up to all sorts of lawsuits. If someone discusses illegal behavior to their “therapist” — does the therapist report it to the hotel, does the hotel have to report it to authorities? What if they report behavior that the hotel might not like (e.g., messing with shampoo dispensers for some “thrill”, theft from the hotel or guests, uncontrolled drug use), does the therapist let the hotel know and get the person removed? Is the therapist and/or hotel now a mandated reporter (e.g., child abuse)? What if they discuss suicidal thoughts or ideation? If they then later make an attempt, can the person or their family sue the therapist and hotel for failing to take action?

    Dumb, dumb idea. Just clean the freakin’ rooms, please, and stay focused on providing a nice place to stay.

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