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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.
We're always looking to find a treadmill alternative when we hit the hotel gym so we that's why we often gravitate to group fitness classes. Now ordinarily, amenities like the new yoga classes at the Hudson Hotel and the Mondrian SoHo would have us prepping our mat.
But we're tired of the same old offerings on the schedule—spinning is so '90s and even worse, step classes are so '80s. So we looked around to find some classes that not only would help us torch calories but have some fun doing it.
Check out our top five list of fun hotel fitness classes.
Sometimes, a few treadmills and a couple of hand weights just aren't enough for hotel guests when they are traveling, which is probably why Morgans Hotel Group has partnered with Equinox gyms in New York and Miami to offer guests a more complete workout option.
Guests at the Hudson, Royalton, Morgans, and Mondrian SoHo in New York City, and Delano, Mondrian South Beach and Shore Club will have access to the Equinox gyms in town including special guest rates on personal training sessions and 15 percent off spa services. Guests can request a special one-day VIP pass to Equinox through the hotel's concierge.
In addition, guests at the Hudson and the Mondrian South Beach will be able to purchase the Equinox Limited Edition Derringer cycle, Derringer's first pedal bike through Semi-Automatic, the luxury vending machine that's featured at both hotels. Just remember to insert $2,300 into the machine to get your bike.
If you're looking for a way to 1) escape the cold, 2) stay at a cool hotel over the winter break, and 3) do something about those New Year fitness goals, the Mondrian South Beach is calling your name. On December 23, the hotel opens its new SoulCycle Studio, the first outpost of the indoor cycling program outside of New York. Doesn't that make you feel better about hitting Miami in a bikini already?
The new 30-bike studio will be located next door to Mondrian's super-pretty Agua Spa and Fitness Center, and will feature all the same equipment and workouts as the NYC studios. SoulCycle should fit right in at the hotel--they even share a yellow, black and white color scheme.
After waxing lyrical about the cheese at Andaz 5th Avenue's the bar downstairs, we found ourselves drawn back to try even more small plates and cocktails a week later. The spot in the hotel's basement is so warm and cozy and laidback that we found it hard to leave. When we finally did, we stumbled across a part of the hotel we hadn't seen before (but probably should acquaint ourselves with after all that cheese): the gym.
Like many NYC hotel gyms, Andaz 5th's is in the basement. But it's much more spacious and attractive than that suggests.