Why You Should Book a Solo Weekend Away in Your Home City

Taking time for yourself doesn’t always involve heading to the airport. T+L’s research editor checks out the latest hotel innovations making “me time” more meaningful.

A group of hotel guests are being guided in a gong bath session on the Peninsula Hong Kong rooftop
A wellness session with a view at the Peninsula Hong Kong. Photo:

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

Apartment life can be exhausting. But so too can the trek out to John F. Kennedy International from my Manhattan home. So when I heard about the new Life Lived Best wellness program at The Peninsula New York, I packed my weekender bag and ran out the door for a getaway without the hassle.

Two photos from the Peninsula New York, one showing a room service spread on a table by a window, and one showing detail of a guest bed
From left: Room service at the Peninsula New York; a guest room in the hotel.

Vanessa Tierney/Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

After a quick cab ride down Fifth Avenue, with Central Park’s autumnal colors kaleidoscoping outside the windows, I arrived a million miles from where I’d started, ready to enjoy the old-school hotel’s beneficence. I settled in to my room with its views down the avenue, the buildings glinting in the sunlight. Next, I checked out the lineup of meditations from Breethe on the hotel’s wellness portal, which I streamed on the room’s TV before heading to an in-person meditation session in the hotel’s yoga studio led by Breethe cofounder Lynne Goldberg.

I’d also been invited for an evening run with a coach in Central Park, but, I confess, I skipped lacing up my sneakers in favor of staying in: room service had delivered a taste of the program’s plant-based menus, including crudités and hummus, garnished and plated to look like a garden. At evening turndown, staff delivered bath and aromatherapy products by Subtle Energies, including an oil perfumed with jasmine and rose for a calming before-bed ritual. Feeling cosseted, with a sleep patch on my chest, I fell into an undisturbed slumber.

A still life of beauty products
Bath and aromatherapy products from Subtle Energies.

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

This blissful evening typifies the ways in which luxury hotels across the country have doubled down on feel-good experiences, in an effort to lure locals to spend the night. At The Langham, Chicago, concierge Philippe Gills can arrange a tour of the many landmark buildings in the surrounding blocks, a bourbon tasting, or an over-the-top sunset Champagne service in a suite with views of the skyline. At Utah’s Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection, guests can get a different perspective on Park City, with a boozy history class that illuminates Wasatch Mountain lore through a selection of cocktails.

A smoothie garnished with pineapple, in a glass, on a table
An energizing smoothie with banana, pineapple, almond milk, carrot juice, ginger, and turmeric, on the Naturally Peninsula menu offered at The Peninsula New York.

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

“True luxury is about choices, so our wellness program is personalized to each guest,” says Rolf Buehlmann, general manager at The Peninsula New York. That’s the case whether one is checking out Life Lived Best in the Windy City, where a coach from Chicago’s Go! Running Tours leads scenic jogs, or in Hong Kong, which has an array of cardio-intensive, trainer-led fitness classes. As for my own dreamy overnight, it brought new meaning to the sentiment, “There’s no place like home.”

A version of this story first appeared in the March 2023 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline “The Return of the Staycation.”

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