Working Out Away from Home—Better than Before

Remember when the hotel “fitness room” was a sad little place akin to the mandated but forgotten tot lot in a planned community? One creaky stationary bike, a wobbly treadmill, and sometimes a scruffy mat and mismatched dumbbells? Well, we’ve come a long way, baby!

Nowadays, because so many of us have embraced a fitness lifestyle, hotels are one-upping each other to provide better fitness equipment and access to services. The number of hotels offering an exercise room or fitness facility has grown from 63% in 2004 to 85% in 2016, according to the 2016 Lodging Survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Giving passes to nearby facilities is also on the rise. I recently sojourned at a modest (ahem) Days Inn that nonetheless gave me access to a beautiful Gold’s Gym right across the street!

As a Washington Post lifestyle article noted in May, among the newest trends are in-room fitness options, such as Hilton’s “Five Feet to Fitness” rooms. These rooms, which cost between $45 and $90 above standard prices, include about a dozen pieces of equipment right in the room, along with a fitness “kiosk” with touch-screen access to 200+ videos featuring cycling, high-intensity interval training, and yoga classes. Snazzy!

For those of more modest means (like me) who still want to work out in-room, consider the guest “fitness kit.”  My friend and client says this about his experience with the Omni in Charlottesville:

“For many years, my wife and I have attended the annual Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, always staying at the wonderful Omni hotel, where many festival sessions are also held. Since we’re once-yearly Omni regulars, we joined the free Select Guest program. Among its benefits is the ability to register my preference for a well-stocked fitness kit for in-room exercise (see pictures to left), nicely supplementing the well-equipped fitness center with multiple treadmills and other professional-grade equipment (pictures above). Both are free. Another always-pleasant aspect of these stays is the hotel’s Loyalty Ambassador, a staffer who contacts guests shortly before arrival to convey a welcome message and ensure a pleasant customized experience; for me, this raises Omni above other hotel visits.”

Cool, huh?  Have you had a good fitness experience on the road?  What was it?  Next time you book your trip, ask about the hotel’s fitness options. It may simplify your choice and prompt you to work out while away.

–Keep moving, Jen

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