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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.
We got a little fitness crazy last week—inspired, of course, by IHG's forthcoming fitness-oriented brand Even Hotels. And while we're excited to see the super-healthy rooms open in 2013, Even will by no means be the first hotel on board with the whole workout-in-your-room concept.
It turns out Tryp Hotels, which has a strong presence in Europe and South America, but is slowly making its way into major US cities, offers a similar amenity. When booking one of the hotel's Fitness Rooms, guests can choose from a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine, plus a complimentary exercise mat. Water and towels are provided too, but then again, what hotel doesn't offer those?
For a super healthy amenity, why not just go the extra mile and install a water cooler and a mini pool at the foot of the bed? In fact, why not just do away with hotel gyms altogether.
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Loews Santa Monica isn't about to let kids get away with saying "I'm booooored" during their stay. Through its brand new Fit For Fun wellness program, families wanting to get in a little exercise during their stay can choose from over a dozen outdoor activities offered at the iconic beachfront hotel.
Kids age five and up can try doing yoga on the beach, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains—they'll even get a taste for celebrity life in the "run from the paparazzi" jogging tour. Parents are of course encouraged to join in on the fun too, but the bulk of the activities are geared towards keeping kids fit and healthy.
As the hotel puts it, "Muscle Beach’s newest body builders are four-feet tall and weigh in at 46 lbs," which is probably true ever since word got out that one of the Jonas brothers likes to work out here too.
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Even though this mega midtown hotel renovated its 8,000 square foot fitness facility back in 2007, new equipment was just brought in two weeks ago. So as you spin, step, pedal or jog on the brand new Precor spinning machines—with the light pouring in from the glass domed ceiling above—you can rest assured your machine doesn't have the sweat build-up of five years' worth of guests.
After your workout, you might want to consider booking a "quench massage" at Spa Merge just down the street at Hilton Club. Margaret Lora, the Spa Manager, devised the treatment to alleviate sore and achy muscles of athletes who frequently over-exert themselves.
If these walls could talk...
How's this for some light motivation? We spotted this maxim-filled wall at the second-floor gym at Sheraton New York, which true to its word, has been amping up its Core Performance fitness program over the past year.
Back then, we learned about new on-demand fitness TV shows in rooms, workouts-in-a-bag, and online training programs. But for the more traditional fitness types, there's still plenty enjoyment to be had from working out in a regular old gym. With inspirational mottos like "fuel for it" and "everyday is a challenge" written on the wall across from the treadmills, you might have an easier time getting into 'the zone' than if you were just alone in your room with a bottle of water and a yoga mat.
Westin Hotels & Resorts is transforming the fitness centers at each of its 186 hotels around the world, based on research into what guests want in a hotel gym. The new design means new equipment, more floor space for stretching, yoga and other mat-based work, and something called blue-light therapy.
New York has really cleaned up its act since the 80s, and the likelihood of getting mugged on the Upper East Side is pretty much slim to none. However! If you happen to be staying at The Mark New York, and are looking to beef up your self-defense skills, a good place to start might be the hotel's new martial arts and kickboxing studio, Punch Fitness Center.
The studio, which opened in November, and its owner, Adelino Da Costa, were profiled by the NY Times back in 2008 for introducing the world of boxing to the affluent Upper East Side neighborhood—and with great success. Now, Da Costa has set up on the hotel's second floor to offer his unique blend of Thai boxing, boxing, kickboxing and martial arts conditioning to guests whenever they want it.
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The Aqua wall and weights just inside the gym entrance
Happy Friday! We've spent most of this week filling you in on everything from the beds and balconies to the design details of the just-opened Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago, but there's one huge area we've saved for last: the massive fitness center, outdoor activity deck and two pools.
The reason for these extra amenities and the large gym is the fact that the Aqua Tower is also a condominium. Want to live above the Radisson Blu hotel? You can, and if you do, you'll need more than a typically small hotel-size gym. Thus the fitness center is 8,000 square feet with new machines, stretching areas and floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside it is also what we'd consider one of the coolest "secret" amenities of the hotel: a basketball half-court.