– First and foremost, we want to be a wellbeing hotel, but the concept of wellbeing is much broader than what people think, St. George’s Head of Wellbeing Experiences HANNE VILPPONEN says. In her opinion, conventional models of wellbeing, which revolve around nutrition, physical exercise and sleep, are too rudimentary.
– The focus tends to be on very traditional elements. At St. George, we want to give equal emphasis to other issues, such as the enjoyment of art and human relationships. After all, wellbeing as a concept is as multifaceted as life.
The Circle of Joy Focuses on Happiness
To explain the philosophy of St. George, Vilpponen has created a bespoke model of wellbeing for the hotel, which she calls the Circle of Joy. Besides food and drink, rest and recovery and exercise, it includes friendship and love, and art.
– All of these are sources of happiness and joy. At our hotel you can pick and choose the elements of wellbeing that you need most at that particular moment, Vilpponen says.
– Sometimes an artisan cocktail at St. George’s Wintergarden or a tasting menu at restaurant Boon Nam with a friend can be more invigorating than strenuous exercise. After a stressful week at work it’s lovely to just sit down and laugh together in beautiful surroundings.
Listen to Your Body and Mind
When it comes to any element of wellbeing, Vilpponen stresses the importance of enjoyment. In terms of food, a freshly baked pastry or a glass of full-bodied wine can be the best source of wellbeing on one day, while the next day might call for a fresh salad or green smoothie.
–Food can be nutritious and enjoyable at the same time. Constraint and self-denial are rarely connected to experiences of joy. What matters most is listening to both your mind and body, as the wellbeing of the two is closely interlinked, Vilpponen explains.
In addition to emphasising quality across the board, St. George takes into account the unique needs of different guests. The hotel’s own street-level cafe and bakery, St. George Bakery, serves the creations of a vegan patissier alongside traditional pastries. Its popular sourdough bread is baked locally, and the hand-pressed fresh orange juice is one of the highlights of the hotel breakfast.
–We want food to be a part of the hotel experience, too, Vilpponen says.
Enabling a Peaceful Sleep
According to Vilpponen, waking up in a good mood has a positive impact on the entire day. That’s why creating a restful sleeping environment has been another central objective at St. George. Televisions are hidden behind folding screens, lights have a dim sleep setting, and the colour palette of the rooms exudes harmony. A tranquil swim or an unhurried massage at St. George Care spa can also help guests relax at night.
– After the long isolation of the pandemic, a gentle treatment with a human touch does us all the world of good, Vilpponen says.
For those who want to be physically active, the hotel has its own gym, which has been especially designed with bodyweight training in mind. A fitness band with workout instructions is provided in each hotel room, and a jogging route by the sea starts from just a few blocks away.
The elements of joy and well-being go hand in hand at St. George. The aim is to combine them in completely new ways, for example, by featuring local artists’ exhibitions at St. George Care spa and gym, morning yoga at Wintergarden, and an art walk in the hotel staircase to encourage guests to opt for the stairs rather than the lift.
–Art is present everywhere in the hotel, so why not in the stairs? It looks beautiful, inspires new thoughts and is a conversation starter, plus walking up the stairs improves physical endurance, Vilpponen says.
Vilpponen encourages every hotel guest to discover their own way to relax and find joy and happiness in life’s little moments.
–We should look for wellbeing with calm and curiosity, with the starting point being what we enjoy and what we’re aiming to achieve. Here, at St. George, we want to offer as wide a variety of opportunities and unforgettable moments as possible to help our guests achieve that perfect feeling of wellbeing.