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It was only a matter of time. After the launch of Even Hotels, an entire hotel brand built around fitness and wellness, now comes a hotel brand that's actually built around an existing chain of fitness centers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Equinox will open its first Equinox Hotel in 2018 in NYC at the Hudson Yards development. It will be designed by hotel designers du jour, Yabu Pushelberg, and will have indoor and outdoor swimming pools along with the world's largest Equinox fitness center, at 60,000-sq.ft. An Equinox Hotel is also expected to open in Los Angeles in 2019 and Equinox hopes to open around 75 hotels worldwide.
And so far, the model is pretty simple--build a hotel around a high-end gym with the latest in fitness technology. Which is great, if you're into that sort of thing. #roomservicecheeseburgersforlife
If that triathlon preparation is making you want to punch something, or you’ve done your swim-cycle-run madness and still have some energy left, perhaps a round of kick-boxing may appeal?
Rather than a sweaty back alley gym, Four Seasons Hotels brings a more pleasant option with the installation of a Muay Thai boxing ring – with sea views – in its resort on Koh Samui. It’s best not to let yourself be distracted by the views though, as the hotel can pair you up with a resident muay thai champ to train you in the “art of eight limbs”, using fists, feet, shins, knees, and elbows.
The nightclub-y gym is setting up shop in Boston.
No one would accuse the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers of being too hip. No tea, no shade — it’s just that the Park Plaza appeals to travelers who want a prime location with an “old school Boston” atmosphere. But clearly the property is looking to edge-up its image.
First came the announcement of a glitzy upcoming steakhouse with a racy name, Strip by Strega. (If you think the meat-sex innuendo isn’t intentional, check out its recent advertisements.)
Now: news that David Barton Gym will open its first Massachusetts location at the hotel. The fitness brand has leased a 19,000-square foot space at the property, though there’s still no firm timeline for the opening. The Boston location one of several upcoming outposts for the gym line.
It seems like every few weeks, there is a new fitness offering from a hotel chain trying to lure the healthiest of travelers to their properties. Some hotel brands have put together new and flashy fitness offerings while others are just doing the bare minimum (i.e. two cardio machines, a set of dumbbells and some free weights.) Yet even after we created our very own workouts to get a good in-room-sweat on, we've been asked the question: What do gym-junkie travelers want from a hotel while on the road? Well, here's what we think:
Firstly, have a look at the fitness facility. After motivating ourselves to push through the jet-lag and hit the gym, all we want is a room that inspires us to maintain an elevated heart rate. What can really send us back up to the room are horrible ventilation, wall-to-wall carpeting, awful views and poor lighting. Carpeting is just gross because fitness facilities get hot and people sweat and carpeting makes the room seem hotter. Even more so, if the AC isn't working properly. Having pleasant views and great lighting, however, will help us extend our workout time.
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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.