Entering the ‘amenities arms race’ at luxury apartments: IV drips and Botox without having to leave your home

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Rental residents used to be content with a nice pool, free lobby coffee, and even valet trash service. But the wealthy living in today’s ultra-luxe apartments—largely in major cities— want more. Now, some luxury apartment buildings in the U.S. have started offering med-spa services like IV hydration and Botox.

“Property managers are venturing into amenities like health care and aesthetics to meet the evolving demands of luxury renters and stay competitive in an amenities arms race,” John Walkup, co-founder of real estate analytics firm UrbanDigs, tells Fortune. “Luxury implies exclusivity, and developers constantly seek to outdo each other by offering the latest and most unique amenities. Yesterday’s pool is today’s pet spa—and tomorrow’s pool is the Botox [and] rehydration lounge.”

The amenities arms race has been brewing for a while as renters have come to expect more from the rising price tag of apartment living. Take Washington, D.C. apartments, for example, which have also started offering luxury amenities including Tesla rentals, art galleries, greenhouses, and creative studios, according to a 2023 Axios report. “Our pandemic shift to spending more time at home has furthered the amenities arms race,” Axios reporter Paige Hopkins writes. The share of apartment buildings in New York City offering health and wellness amenities has also increased almost 3.5% in the past five years, according to UrbanDigs data provided to Fortune.

Take The Park Santa Monica in California, for example, which early this year started offering concierge IV drip services for residents through a partnership with Drip Hydration. Residents receive a discount through the partnership for IV treatments for dehydration, hangover relief, energy, immunity, and beauty that cost up to $399 per session. 

Offering these services, which are administered by registered nurses, at the apartment building instead of a med spa location, “makes a big difference for tenants who have a busy day or week ahead, and makes it possible to prioritize wellness without having to compromise,” a spokesperson for The Park Santa Monica tells Fortune. Residents pay for their service either in-person at the lobby or through The Park’s resident app, and also have access to on-site salt saunas, steam rooms, and on-demand massages.

IV drips became popularized by celebrities like Adele, Jane Fonda, and Chrissy Teigen a few years ago—specifically for improving energy levels and recovering from dehydration due to high temps in sunny California. These types of services have become so popular, in fact, the number of med spas and hydration clinics has ballooned into a $15 billion wellness industry offering IV therapy, skin care, cosmetic procedures, according to The American Med Spa Association. While Adele reportedly received treatments that cost about $200, some IV drips can cost up to $1,000 depending on the provider and location. 

Condo buildings like 53 West 53 in Manhattan also partner with med spas to offer at-home luxury services. Celebrity-beloved facialist Aida Bicaj offers spa services at this luxury building either in the property’s treatment room or their own condo. 

“Access is the ultimate amenity,” Samantha Sax, chief marketing officer USA for Pontiac Land Group, tells Fortune. “Being able to offer residents a level of exclusivity with the brands and services that are likely already part of their daily lives” is a way to enhance condo living beyond typical amenities. 

Residents can book appointments for more than a dozen services in the 15,000-square-foot wellness center at 53 West 53, which is a Pontiac Land Group property, or can request in-home treatments.

“As partnerships of this kind have been well-received by our residents at 53 West 53, I would not be surprised if other properties follow suit,” Sax says.

Are wealthy residents really ‘too busy’ to go get in-person med-spa treatments?

Imagine waking up in your lush apartment in Los Angeles, Miami, or New York City. You spent the night out with your other ultra-wealthy friends—and maybe even rubbed elbows or shared tequila shots with celebrities. But now you have a yoga class to hit this afternoon and are wildly hungover. That’s where mobile IV drip services can come in handy. 

Other luxury apartment buildings also offer Botox, fillers, and other more invasive services, making an in-home experience even more appealing. 

Patients “can return home immediately after treatment without facing the crowds with red, bruised, or blotchy skin,” Elizabeth Donat, a licensed esthetician with 20 years of experience in spas and med spas, tells Fortune. “Having the option to retreat to the comfort of their own home without encountering a number of onlookers is especially appealing to those undergoing more invasive treatments.”

At-home services also benefit patients because they’re less likely to engage in activities that could harm the results of their treatment—like exercise or drinking alcohol, Donat says. 

“Patients who visit a traditional offsite med spa during their daily errands are more likely to engage in activities that jeopardize their treatment, such as attending a yoga class, getting a facial, or going to happy hour,” Donat says. 

Is it safe to get med-spa treatments at home?

Like many things in the medical world, there’s debate about the safety of receiving IV drips, Botox, fillers, and other med spa treatments at home. Some doctors and nurses sing their praises, while others are more cautionary. 

While there’s been reports of infections and other injuries associated with IV drips and other cosmetic or vitamin injections during the past few years, many patients end up just fine and report positive outcomes such as improved energy levels and a cure for a hangover

Heather Hinshelwood, a doctor, medical director and owner at The Fraum Center on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, cautions against at-home treatments from a patient safety standpoint. While she’s “encouraged” by the interest and lure of wellness options offered at apartment buildings across the U.S., she says they should be physician-led.

“I am concerned that these companies may opt for the lowest bid rather than prioritizing patient safety,” Hinshelwood tells Fortune. Florida and South Carolina have started cracking down on these types of services without a physician on site in response to “boutique clinics offering patient care options without ever seeing a provider and the overuse of remote clinic directors that are not meaningfully involved.”

What do property managers get out of these partnerships?

While med spa services are still a niche offering, Walkup says, they’re still a part of the “arms race mentality” for offering premier amenities. 

“If they successfully attract tenants to pay higher rents, expect more buildings to offer them in the future,” Walkup says. “These amenities help attract and retain affluent tenants willing to pay a premium for convenience and exclusivity because they see the offered services as added value. This makes the property more competitive in the luxury market and often allows for higher asking rents.” 

In other words, apartment buildings can make more money in the long run by offering these types of amenities without having to invest in renovations or installations of more common amenities like a pool or club room. 

Luxury apartment buildings are also more likely to offer med spa services to attract new tenants because there are just simply fewer housing options for wealthier income brackets seeking an ultra-plush experience. 

“Because the pool of people looking for luxury apartments is significantly smaller than non-luxury apartments, competition is often quite a bit stronger,” Seamus Nally, CEO of TurboTenant, tells Fortune. “So, including new, interesting, and inventive amenities like these are ways that property managers will try to persuade luxury apartment buyers that their building is the very best.”



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