4 Ways Hotels Are Taking Fitness to the Next Level
Gone are the days when a hotel gym consisted of nothing but a treadmill, an elliptical machine and some dumbbells forgotten in the corner. Nowadays, in order to attract guests who don't want to miss their workouts on the road, hotels have upped their fitness game big time — the trend is so huge that high-end fitness chain Equinox actually plans to open its own hotels starting in 2018.
Until then, there are plenty of options for health-conscious travelers that you can visit right now. Here's how hotels are kicking things up a notch in terms of wellness amenities, with a special look at several properties already ahead of the fitness game in case you're looking to kick-start that New Year's resolution to stay in shape with a stay this January.
1. Featuring Full-Scale Health Clubs
To go bigger and better, many hotels have opted to build state-of-the-art gyms on premises. The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile debuted a 9,000 square foot, $2 million renovated fitness center earlier this year, which features row upon row of top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment machines plus an open studio with 1,200 on-demand fitness classes that may be cued up whenever guests want. The Hyatt Regency Maui's Moana Athletic Club — which offers five fitness classes a day, including yoga, barre and water aerobics — is open 24 hours. In Beaver Creek, Colorado, the enormous 27,000-square-foot Westin Riverfront's Athletic Club stacks the schedule with 70 classes weekly, as well as specialty events like YoMa, a yoga-martial arts fusion class.
2. Adding High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) Spaces
A number of hotels are capitalizing on the popularity of functional fitness and high intensity interval training (HITT), offering classes similar to CrossFit. In fact, the Lyons Twin Mansions B&B Hotel in Fort Scott, Kansas, actually has an on-site CrossFit box (parlance for "gym"), where you have the option of taking private lessons with a coach. In Miami, 1 Hotel South Beach's Spartan Gym — a partnership with the famed obstacle mud race — features tools of the trade, like climbing ropes, monkey bars and even custom obstacles. The Kimpton Alexis Hotel in Seattle features a Functional Fitness Room with a rock-climbing wall — co-planned with a local bouldering gym — as well as monkey bars, kettlebells, boxes, and jump ropes, plus a selection of trainer-created workout routines designed specifically for the space.
3. Bringing Studio Classes Straight to You
For some hotels, especially those that lack the space for a fully equipped studio, the draw is the expertise they offer, in terms of strategic partnerships with boutique studios and their instructors. The W Hotel New York on Lexington Avenue hosts regular classes in its multi-purpose room with cardio-dance studio 305 Fitness, with workouts choreographed by the instructor to tunes spun by a live DJ. Both the Langham Huntington in Pasadena and Art Hotel in Denver are buddied up with CorePower Yoga for classes at their respective properties, while the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh offers a weekly yoga class taught by an instructor from local favorite Inhale Pittsburgh on its rooftop patio.
4. Providing Fitness-Themed Guest Rooms and Amenities
TRYP by Wyndham hotels around the world have Fitness Rooms, variously equipped with cardio machines — a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike — and a fitness kit including a mat and workout clothing to wear. Hilton Garden Inn properties offer a "Stay Fit Kit" with yoga and Pilates equipment, an ab ball and easy-to-follow instructions. Fairmont Hotels offers a Fairmont Fit kit, which is similarly stocked and includes a Reebok-branded outfit and sneakers to borrow, while Starwood hotels lend out New Balance gear for those wishing to stay in shape on the road without packing too much.