Nowadays, more travelers in both the business and leisure markets are trying to maintain healthy lifestyles while away from home. Organic foods, cutting-edge workout equipment, and engaging on-site activities are beginning to factor into guests' booking decisions.
With an increased demand for healthy menu options and high-tech fitness facilities, the hotel industry is listening to feedback and coming up with creative and exciting exercise options for travelers of all skill sets.
Lodging uncovered three hotels that have recently rolled out inventive, personalized programs to give guests options for staying active during their stays.
In March, Swissotel Hotels and Resorts launched a Vitality Program and offered a trial of the fitness-related program to guests in select resorts, including the Chicago property.
The fitness aspect of the program gives guests access to in-room workout equipment including yoga mats, Pilates rings, Thera-Bands, an Aero Step, and a Swiss ball.
"We understand that guests want to continue their workout routines even while traveling," says Nicole Ettenhofer, regional director of public relations for Swissotel Chicago. "Guests do not always have the time for a full workout at the gym, especially when traveling on business. The Swissotel Vitality Program allows guests to workout on their own time and in their own comfort zone."
As part of the newly launched program, Swissotel Chicago is also offering on-site activities for guests who want to get outside and move around. The property hosts a weekly group run and yoga class. The run is lead by a hotel team member and is complimentary for all guests, while the yoga class is taught by a certified instructor and costs $15 per session.
Ettenhofer says that the hotel will also be rolling out 30, 60, and 90-minute walking tours this summer, meant to implement physical activity into city sightseeing. Special classes, such as self-defense and even chess classes, will also be offered on an occasional basis.
HILTON MCLEAN TYSONS CORNER
Located adjacent from Hilton's Worldwide Headquarters in McLean, Va., the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner often becomes a testing ground for new ideas and projects.
Most recently, to compliment the hotel's commitment to organic, locally sourced food, Hilton McLean Tysons Corner developed two different fitness rooms—a cardio room and a yoga room—to give guests the benefits of a gym without the hassle of leaving their guestrooms.
"Our property is very much focused on organic food and beverage options—our chef has his own bees on the rooftop and we have our own organic garden," says Stephanie Sanpkoski, sales and marketing director for the hotel. "We thought focusing healthy living into a concept for two different fitness rooms was a natural transition."
The cardio room is equipped with a Precor AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer), specialty flooring, a mirror, and a workout bench, all housed in a dedicated workout area within the room. Strength training accessories by SPRI including hand weights, resistance bands, a stability ball, and stretch mat are also available.
For those guests who prefer to practice yoga, a dedicated room has been set with all the needed amenities. The yoga room includes specialty flooring, a full-length mirror and yoga accessories by GAIAM including a Jala mat, cork bricks, a stretch strap, foam roller, and stability ball.
In addition to the physical equipment, both the cardio and yoga rooms feature quality on-demand workout content and a variety of food and beverage amenities including Muscle Milk, specialty teas, fitness water, and on-the-go lunch service.
"These rooms are for any travelers who want to feel more comfortable working out in the privacy of their guestroom," says Snapkoski. "If you're traveling for a meeting or traveling for business, it's just easier to have all that equipment provided for you."
Currently, the fitness rooms are only being tested at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner and the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, but Snapkoski says that the brand is likely looking into offering the rooms at other hotels in the future.
TURNBERRY ISLE MIAMI
Taking note of the popularity of triathlons in Florida and the rest of the country, Turnberry Isle Maimi decided to develop a fitness program for triathletes at all levels.
Created by Fitness Director Tait Smith, the new Tri-Turnberry program combines Schwinn fitness bikes, a lap pool, and winding paths through the property's golf course to offer up an exercise experience for both hotel guests and local residents.
"The Tri-Turnberry program is something different than what's out there," says Smith, who regularly competes in triathlons. "Serious triathletes will look at this and say, 'Oh, that's a really great exercise class,' but someone who is older and has never done it before will see it as a challenge."
The swimming, biking and running program is available in three different categories: Beginner which includes eight laps in the pool, an eight-mile bike ride, and a one-mile fun run; Sport Class which consists of 12 laps in the pool, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 5k run; and Elite Class, which is the most intense workout with 20 laps in the pool, and 18-mile bike ride, and a 5k run.
During the course of the triathlon workout and other fitness programs at the hotel, Turnberry instructors use heart rate monitoring to ensure that guests work out at the proper exertion level. This allows for guests at any skill set to exercise safely and effectively.
"If Lance Armstrong, my grandmother, and my son wanted to work out with us, all three could do any of our classes because they're based on heart-rate training and conditioning," says Smith.
Smith, who has been with the resort for four months, explains that the goal of the Tri-Turnberry program and the upgraded fitness offerings at the property is to really make the hotel a destination for athletes and a training facility for locals that competes directly with big-name gyms in the area.
"We're trying to turn the spa into a destination point," he says. "A lot of people that come in for the Miami Nautica Triathlon will come and stay at Turnberry before the race because they know we're going to have a couple of training days for them. We are a spa and a hotel, but we're trying to get people to know that we're more than that too."
Sunday, July 01, 2012 by Brandon Flowers, The Dynamic Advantage
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