When it comes to working out while staying in a hotel, some women will never be seen in the hotel’s fitness center. Why? I’ve heard several reasons from women travelers, and I have a few reasons of my own too. The top reasons are:
- Not feeling safe using the hotel’s fitness center, especially late in the evening after a very long business day or late flight arrival;
- Not being comfortable with the machines or weights. Every treadmill, elliptical and weight machine is a bit different and knowing how to each machine can be daunting.
- Not feeling ‘fit’ enough – which seems crazy since that’s the reason TO use the fitness center. But women who feel overweight or out of shape aren’t always eager to be working out in a hotel fitness center.
- Lack of access to the machines you want. Prime working out times (6am to 8am, 6pm t 8pm) can keep you from getting a treadmill or other equipment that you’d like to use.
- Didn’t pack work-out clothes. Sometimes there just isn’t room for the sneakers or fitness clothes in your luggage (a very handy-dandy excuse on why you can’t work out!).
- Bad hair morning. There are just some times we don’t want to be seen in public after rolling out of bed with hair spiking in every direction.
- You just don’t want to be with people! After being in meetings all day, you just want a quiet workout away from the crowds.
Business traveler Joanne Dennison says “it is so frustrating to not be able to use the fitness centers for lots of different reasons!”
So what’s the solution to feel safe, be comfortable and be able to work out no matter what (even on a bad hair day)? In-room fitness options, of course!
Hotels are taking away our excuses on why we don’t work out. Lots of options exist now to get a workout in right in the comfort and safety of our own hotel room.
According to American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 2010 Lodging Survey of over 8,500 properties, 21% of luxury hotels have in-room exercise equipment, as do 17% of upscale hotels, 15% of midprice, 7% of economy and 4% of budget properties.
- Omni Hotels Resorts offer Get Fit Kits and Get Fit Rooms. At each of its properties, Omni guests can request a complimentary Get Fit Kit that contains two 2-pound dumb-bells, a floor mat, stretch cords, a mini AM/FM headset and a bottle of water. The Get Fit Room, which guests can request for a nominal fee, features a treadmill and a Get Fit Kit.
Kimpton Hotels offer complimentary tote bags filled with mats, blocks, straps, and exercise bands to use for in-room yoga and Pilates practice. Kimpton was the first hotel company to offer a 24-hour yoga channel and use of yoga props to its guests back in 2003. Since then, they’ve expanded the On Demand fitness programming to include Pilates, core strength training, and most recently, a “Travel Healthy” in-room workout video featuring health and nutrition expert Joy Bauer.
(Photo by Karna Kurata)
Kimpton, with its 50 hotels attracting approximately 47% female travelers, knows that most women need more than a treadmill to stay grounded and motivated when on the road.
SHAPE UP YOUR STAY (available at Kimpton’s 70 park avenue hotel in NYC). Just in time for bikini season, Kimpton’s 70 park avenue hotel is offering a health-inspired “Jump Start Your Day” package, which includes:
* 20% off the Best Available Rate
* Complimentary in-room yoga basket
* Jump rope hung on door
* Healthy Power Bar and bottled water
* Personalized running route mapped by the concierge
- Hilton Garden Inn’s Stay Fit Kit is available at no cost to every guest. The Stay Fit Kit includes:
Yoga Mat, strap and bricks
8 lb. ab ball
3 lb. hand weights
In addition, in-room fitness programming is available on guest room televisions, which exercise programs providing a bit of encouragement and instruction to working out. The kit also comes with instruction cards detailing exercises for each piece of equipment to get you started. (I recently used the Stay Fit Kit at the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen, Scotland and I really liked the variety – though I didn’t think to check the television for fitness programming.)
The Westin New York at Times Square offers a total of 15 WestinWORKOUT rooms for guests. These rooms feature all that is needed to keep up fitness routines while on the road. There is a choice of either a Reebok Tomahawk XL Indoor Cycle or a Life Fitness Treadmill. The rooms also include a fitness shelf that holds Reebok Pilates/Yoga and Spinning DVDs, dumbbells, resistance tubing, a stability ball, yoga mat and additional Reebok workout equipment.
The Westin New York at Times Square is going a step further and offering guests a $100 NEW BALANCE gift card. After test-driving shoes and apparel via the gear lending program, travelers can apply the credit towards a purchase of their own at a later date.
(I recently toured a WestinWORKOUT room in Dublin, Ireland. I loved the room . . . just found it very difficult to find which properties offer these great rooms. Shhh, It’s a Secret! WestinFitness Rooms)
- Affinia Hotels, boutique hotels with seven locations in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., helps travelers stay in shape with complimentary Experience Kits including:Walking Tour Kit: iPod Shuffle or Nano loaded with Affinia Walking Tour and workout playlists, City Walks deck of cards, city guidebook featuring popular walking tours, StreetWise city map, pedometer; and towelStay Fit Kit: Yoga mat, stretching blocks, yoga, pilates, and boot camp DVDs, workout bands, wrist/ankle weights, and StreetWise city map
Dana Hotel in downtown Chicago offers a kinesis machine in select suites, which is newer technology that is only available in select hotels throughout the country.
- Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort provides detailed maps of running and walking trails, as well as GPS watches, if guests prefer to work out in the magnificent outdoor setting of Southwest Florida.
The Hotel at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles offers an elliptical stair machine in select rooms as well as in room fitness programs.
- Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Michigan (in the state’s Upper Peninsula) offers an in-room treadmill in its Presidential Suite.
And very unexpectedly, though fitting for this article, the JW Marriott in Houston upgraded me to a room with a treadmill this week. I can see it out of the corner of my eye while I’m writing this. The JW has an amazing fitness center, which I use in the morning. Though after sitting for a few hours at my hotel desk writing, it’s time I get on the treadmill to reach my goal of 10,000 steps for each day. And I can do that without caring what my hair looks like or that my makeup is washed off for the night . . . then fall into bed within seconds!
I love in-room fitness equipment. And I know other travelers do too.
So if you’d like to work out in your hotel room, let us know in the comments below. And if you’re a hotel not listed above and offer such amenities, let us know also.
And I’m now jumping on my in-room treadmill!