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NYC is like the Holy Grail for fitness hounds: jogging the Central Park reservoir, kayaking on the Huson, anti-gravity yoga classes. The list goes on. But for first-time visitors, the array of options can easily become overwhelming.
Luckily, this summer, hotels are going out of their way to offer unique work-outs, custom-tailored to individual guests' needs. So forget staring at a blank wall while pounding the treadmill, and consider these brand new hotel fitness amenities:
70 Park Avenue: Kimpton's swank Park Avenue abode just launched a new fitness center, and to promote it, the hotel is offering two new fitness amenities—first off, a "Power Bar" menu, which offers an a la carte list of different fitness options, from in-room personal training sessions ($100) to yoga ($65) to boot camp ($65).
Alternatively, guests can check-out a mini iPad pre-loaded with a Virtual Fitness Library of workout videos, tutorials and fitness tips.
Two more after the jump!
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Trekking to the hotel gym
What's In: In-room workouts that rival a personal training session
The hotel gym. We know people use ‘em, but sometimes it’s hard to find that last bit of energy needed to drag yourself out of your room after a busy day of sightseeing or making deals. Or maybe you’re just jet-lagged and are up at 3 a.m. thinking, “Man – I could really go for a workout right now.” At these hotels, the gym comes to you.
Dorchester Collection’s new contemporary hotel 45 Park Lane in London offers you an exclusive in-room workout with fitness guru and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts, through a bespoke and full-body in-room video program. The hotel committed to get fit during the London Olympics and got Matt to create five workouts, each video focusing on a different area of the body using the furniture at hand. (We’re not suggesting they’re copying us here at HC, but sort of like our Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises series we brought you about a month or so ago.)
When you leave you’ll also get a freebie Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack which includes step-by-step training techniques for beginners through pros, a healthy eating plan, and “in the know” tips from the trainer -- things only Matt Roberts and Naomi Campbell knew till now.
At Raffles Praslin Seychelles space is your friend if you want to have an in-room workout. In the privacy of your own 410 sq ft (minimum) villa, with a vast outdoor terrace looking out over the ocean, you can do as many Sun Salutations as you want without bumping into the furniture. All villas already include a yoga mat and, at your mere request, the resort will deliver a fitness kit consisting of a dumbbell set, skipping rope, stability ball, resistance band and a selection of exercise DVDs. If that’s not enough to get you going you can arrange for an in-room personal trainer to take you through your paces with a customized exercise program.
And don't forget, HotelChatter's Sweat-Worthy Workouts: Can't afford to hire a personal trainer to come to your room? Or more likely, are you staying in a property that doesn't have a gym or in-room fitness videos? We've got you covered with our five sweat-worthy workouts, all of which you can do in your hotel room. Watch the videos for instructions on the different body parts to work out. You're very welcome!
Two more fitness-crazed hotels below!
To stay at a hotel that's literally across the street from CAA (one of the biggest talent agencies in the world), you're going to want to look good. This means fighting off Cinnabon (and french fries and pizza and bagel sandwiches). The easiest solution is simply walking downstairs to the Breeze restaurant.
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles just launched the Perfectly Portioned menu with meals that are 500 calories or less. And the options look delicious, like seared ahi salad and vegan mushroom risotto. Guests can also create their own meal with "my menu" options. Here, they choose a meat/fish/poultry and have it prepared whatever way they want with whatever sauce. They then add a pasta, a vegetable and a starch (these meal options are not all 500 calories or less, but hey, it's good enough for us).
While we're on the subject of health-minded food, the Hyatt Regency is also known for their stellar vegan options, and the chef even has aspirations of going full GMO free. Watch him speak about all the health-minded goods here. Oh, and did we mention the gym at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza is an Equinox? Talk about upscale urban detox resort. We feel fat just by thinking about it!
Room rates from $275.
[Photo: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza]
We admit, we're borderline gym addicts. We love the muscle machines, the calisthenics classes, the inflatable balls, and hardwood floor studios. And judging from a poll we took last spring, it seems quite a few of you agree.
Which is why, when we were staying with a friend recently in Warsaw, we were glad to be saving money on hotels (for once), but we sorely missed having a nice clean gym to work off all the kielbasa and pierogies. Enter InterContinental Warsaw to the rescue!
For fun, we decided to try out the hotel's fitness center, which, we were delighted to learn upon arrival, sits on the 43rd floor , offering amazing views of the city.
Before heading straight to the gym, though (we were on vacation, what's the rush?), we slipped into a robe and slippers and made a beeline for the indoor pool, which we eventually nicknamed 'the pool in the sky.' Surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling windows, it was easily one of the nicest hotel pools we've seen in a while. We snapped the above photo of Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science (or "Palac Kultury i Nauki", if Polish is your thing) standing at the edge of the pool, wary of seeming too touristy, but then again, with a view like that, who cares?
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Technology has become a fundamental part of fitness these days. Often, at the gym, folks on treadmills or ellipticals seem more preoccupied with watching an episode of Real Housewives than their actual workout. And for many, a 20-minute exercise routine consists of hopping around the living room with a Nintendo Wii controller.
So we guess it's only fitting that Element has stuck to its promise of bringing iPhone-charging stationary bikes into all of its hotels. The nifty equipment was first unveiled in March at the launch of Element Miami. And now, nine months later, the "charge-as-you-go" bikes have been installed in the fitness centers of all 10 Element hotels.
Fitness centers, which, we should point out, remain open 24/7, leaving you no excuse for ever having an un-charged phone—or, for that matter, missing a workout.
Final stop after the stretch
Sunrise yoga. Noontime meditation. Rush hour water aerobics. Really, we thought we'd heard of everything when it comes to lower impact fitness classes offered at hotels. That is, we thought we'd heard of everything until we got wind of the "Good Night Sleep Stretch" at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Sure, the hotel may be more famous for its cloud-high New York Bar where pivotal scenes of Lost in Translation were filmed, but unlike the bar with its evening cover charge, the Sleep Stretch is a free amenity for guests.
So what happens? Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 9pm in the Aerobics Studio of the hotel's Club On The Park, guests come together with an instructor to "relax and stretch [their] entire body before bed to promote a restful sleep." Simple and relaxing. And did we mention it was free?
Recently, an acquaintance was
badgering pumping us about hotel recommendations for Hong Kong. After mentioning a few that we recently checked out, said friend asked us, "But which one has the best gym?"
See, we're not really the fitness-oriented type when it comes to our hotel stays. Indeed our first reaction to the announcement of IHG's new fitness-oriented hotel brand, Even Hotels, was wondering if we would be judged for carrying fast-food take-out back to our room. We'd rather book our room based on the following criteria--newness, cheapness and in some special cases, design.
But considering that this was the second time that we heard of a friend booking a hotel room based on the gym offerings, we started to think that there must be a ton more of you gym freaks out there, studying photos of the hotel fitness centers perhaps more closely than the rooms.
So you tell us, do you book your hotel stay based on the hotel gym offerings? Let us know in comments below!
P.S. To answer our friend's initial question about Hong Kong, we would have to give a shout-out to the Ritz-Carlton (pictured above) where you can Facebook and Google from the treadmills.
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Oh dear. It looks like the InterContinental Sydney is going to have to look into installing some of that linen tracking technology—though, in this particular scenario, it's not guests who are the culprits.
An individual who claims to work for the cleaning company that services the hotel has gotten his hands on a gym towel, used (he claims) by British boyband One Direction singer Zayn Malik. So he's done what any other self-respecting hotel cleaner would do after snagging something a teen idol has wiped his body with: put it up on eBay. And the best part? There's still another 8 days and 14 hours until this "once in a lifetime opportunity" comes to an end.
What don't hotels have these days? They've got libraries, art galleries, luggage robots, pilates studios, cantilevered pools...you get the idea. But it wasn't until this weekend that we encountered a hotel amenity that has almost gone extinctthat of the racquetball court.
Racquetball courts are typically found in older, resort-like hotels in areas that aren't known for beaches or much hot weather at all. The fun and fitness mostly happens indoors, and if you're at a hotel with a racquetball court, it also means you're likely not leaving the property.
We came across one of these rare extras this weekend, at the Tarrytown House in Irvington, NY. We paid $286 plus tax for two nights and the fitness center was definitely the highlight of the place. We weren't there for a bar mitzvah, wedding or family reunion, so racquetball it was! Maybe Even Hotels will consider bringing back the racquetball court? We'd play!
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There is seemingly no end to wave of Hotel Fitness news these days! Today, we've got word of a cool complex, The Underground, at Le Parker Meridien in New York which encompasses a spa, fitness center, two salons and a healthy cafe.
Long known for its delicious Norma's restaurant, secret burger joint and rooftop swimming pool, surprisingly, Le Parker Meridien has never had its own spa--until now. Moonshine has just opened in the hotel's new Underground space. Yes, Moonshine where the dark, cave-like treatment rooms are named after Prohibition-era cocktails like Sidecar, Gimlet, Bee’s Knees, Rusty Nail, Stinger and Salty Dog.
But of course, the custom massage and facial treatments here don't pump toxins into you but rather, extract them out. Although, there is a shot of moonshine on offer before your treatments. Massages and facials (which use Tata Harper products) start at $120 for 60-minutes.
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It feels like ever since Even Hotels announced their new brand of health-conscious, fitness-oriented hotels, we've been seeing similar amenities start to pop up in other places. Now, Element Hotels, known for healthy breakfast wraps, 24-hour fitness centers, rentable bikes and en suite kitchens, are installing bike charging stationsUnlike Even Hotels and Tryp's fitness rooms, these stationary bikes will be placed in the actual fitness centers, not next to your bed. Because, really, plugging your laptop into the wall is much less exciting when you're doing it in your room.
Travel is all about choice: do you splurge on a business class ticket, or settle in for a cozy ride in economy? Spend the morning on the beach or shopping in town? Or, better yet, go shopping first for a new bathing suit, which you can then wear on the beach?
Here's question for all you Caribbean jetsetters: on your next visit to Buccament Bay Spa & Resort, would you consider taking part in an all-inclusive boot camp program? Now, before you go diving under the covers picturing mean-faced drill sergeants screaming at you to do more push-ups than are humanly possible, just keep in mind this is actually a luxury boot camp. So while the goal is to work out, the parallel goal is also to pamper.