Hotels for Groups with a “Healthy” Appetite



A century ago, hotels were a great place to stay in shape. For calves, quads and hammies, there were staircases, and often only staircases. For biceps, triceps, lats and gluts, you would heft your own luggage. As for pecs, delts and abs, there were inevitably those enormous, ungodly-heavy windows to force open and wrestle closed.

Fitness center? Ha! The whole hotel WAS a fitness center, at least until automation took all the toil out of a three-night stay.

Today, we’ve come full circle as fitness-minded travelers increasingly gravitate toward hotels that offer lunges with their luxuries, bench presses with their buffets and jogging paths with their jitney rides.

To keep up with the use-it-or-lose-it fitness zeitgeist, hotels are becoming havens of health and wellness. In fact, according to a study by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the number of hotels with fitness facilities jumped from 63 percent in 2004 to 84 percent in 2014, while the number of properties that offer in-room exercise equipment nearly doubled, from 7 percent to 13 percent, in the past decade.

Just how are luxury brands putting a little sweat into their equity? Major trends include:

Rooftop yoga: While they’re unlikely to replace the obligatory rooftop bar, rooftop yoga classes now vie for top-floor billing at hotels across the land, including the Mondrian South Beach in Miami and The James Hotel in New York City.

healthyhotels4Paddle sports: The Standard in Miami Beach didn’t stop with its waterfront yoga classes; guests can also enjoy paddle board lessons, followed by a revitalizing green drink at the juice bar.

Spin classes: Spinning more your thing? Increasingly, hotels are following the lead of 1 Hotel South Beach, which offers regular Soul Cycle classes.

Running maps: More of a free-range chicken? Flag down a concierge at any of Kimpton’s four New York City properties (Eventi, Ink48, Muse and 70 Park Avenue) for a running kit that includes a map of the Hudson River jogging path and a preloaded iPod Shuffle to provide the beat.

Loaner bikes: Hotels are jumping on loaner bikes big-time, from the Jane Hotel and the Kimptons in New York City to the Hotel Monaco in Portland, OR and the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, CA. No similar sidecar move yet, unfortunately.

In-room equipment: Wyndham guests can request a room with an elliptical machine, stationary bike or treadmill, while Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Even Hotels feature a training zone with yoga mat, exercise ball, foam roller, resistance bands and 19 fitness videos in every guest room.

Yoga cards: The W hotel chain partnered with yogi Tara Stiles to offer free in-room yoga videos and tip cards, which suggest poses for awakening, relaxation and (ahem) recreation.

Fitness monitors: Guests at Trump SoHo can check out free Fitbit health monitors during their stay. Westin also partnered with Fitbit to offer its guests free personalized exercise videos they can download on their phone.

Workout clothes: Forgot your sweats and sneakers? Trump Hotels has partnered with Under Armour, Fairmont with Reebok and Westin with New Balance to suit you up for a fraction of retail.

Health food options: Eating right on the fly has never been easier. Kimpton hotels offer healthy room-service menus that substitute quinoa and oats for white flour; Westin has its own SuperFoodsRx menu, and Trump Hotels offer stir-fried veggies and tofu on its express menus.

Where will the healthy hotel trend jog, paddle and bike from here? Perhaps it will come full circle when President Trump places out-of-order signs on each and every elevator in his hotel chain.

Fitness-wise, that would be HUGE!


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Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald is an award-winning journalist, author and blogger who incorporates humor and human interest into a broad range of topics. Follow him on Twitter @omnisaurus

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