HOTELS • January 2018
It’s the start of the new year, which means most of us will have ambitions to end the coming year fitter than we are now. Editor and founder of Globetrender, Jenny Southan looks at the ways hotels are using innovation to keep us fit – from in-room gyms to rooftop running tracks and space-age gym design
If you have trouble talking yourself out of bed and getting down to the gym, Hilton has made life very much easier with its Five Feet to Fitness in-room workout stations. At select US hotels, you’ll find a Wattbike, a Gym Rax hub with weights, suspension straps, medicine balls, and even a built-in touchscreen that plays 200 bespoke fitness videos for personal high-intensity interval training and yoga sessions.
Hyper-trendy Soho House Chicago members’ club and hotel has an enormous 1,579sqm retro gymnasium, with reclaimed timber flooring from an old school and a Rocky-style professional boxing ring in the middle of the room. There are also heavy leather punching bags suspended from the ceiling so you can practise your jabs and hooks, and speed balls to help improve your hand-eye coordination.
The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon has a 400-metre running track on its roof, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea beyond. Raised up high, in the centre, is the huge neon ‘Ritz’ sign that glows blue at night. You can’t run all the way around the building, so the U-shaped track has two lanes and a loop at one end so you can change direction.
Most hotel gyms are badly lit, grey walled and buried somewhere deep below ground with no natural light. Needless to say, it doesn’t inspire one to pound away on a treadmill for half an hour before breakfast. Realising this, the W San Francisco has gone to great lengths to create a space-age workout environment with a circular sky ceiling, rainbow illuminations, murals and pumping music. In the centre of the curved room, flanked by cardio and strength equipment, is a self-serve bar and chill-out area.
Starwood’s Westin Hotels in the US are installing hi-tech Peloton bikes in their on-site gyms and guest rooms. Unlike regular indoor cycles, these have personal screens that stream spinning classes, which can be viewed on 22-inch touchscreen displays. Fitness buffs have the choice of on-demand sessions from the video library or live classes beamed from Peloton’s New York studio.
New for 2017, the Viceroy Hotel in New York has teamed up with Fit Tours NYC to offer hotel guests one-hour jogging and yoga tours of Central Park. You can choose from a 5km running route led by a professional trainer; the Core Tour, which incorporates strength, balance and flexibility exercises with sightseeing spots such as Bow Bridge, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and Belvedere Castle; and a sunrise walk interspersed with yoga poses.