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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.
Trump Hotels are now ensuring that their guests will be in tip-top shape when checking-out thanks to new wellness program they've introduced, aptly called Trump Wellness. The three initiatives will be rolled out at each of the luxury brand's properties across the world and feature some of the best health-minded perks in the industry.
The first program, called Nourish, will focus on healthy options when you are dialing up room service at 3am. The revamped menu will offer vegan, gluten-free and organic selections with complete nutritional values printed right on the menu--so there's no saying "I didn't know!". Even the kiddies can get in on the healthy options with Healthy Kids Menu by Trump. If the Snickers bar tempts you too much, each minibar will be revamped with healthier snacks rather than the standard minibar fare with at least one-third of all choices at each hotel in a "health food category", whatever that means.
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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: Windsurfing and jet skis
What’s In: Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
As synchronized swimming fell out of favor after the 1950s and windsurfing mania waned in the 1990s, another wet trend has emerged: Paddle boarding. And with so many hotels getting in on the action and upping the game (yoga paddle boarding, anyone?), we think it may just be here for awhile.
For the luxury crowd, Raffles Praslin Seychelles offers complimentary stand up paddle boarding so guests can take in the stunning Indian Ocean scenery. If your main goal is to simply enjoy the Seychelles' waters aboveboard and not below, the resort also launched hourly lessons for new users, with an expert teaching you the proper way to stand on the board, keep balance and paddle (what -- all at the same time??).
Another luxe resort, the Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand offers straight-up SUP, but then raises the challenge level by combining stand up paddle boarding with yoga. Their “Yoga on the Ocean” program begins at sunrise or sunset when you paddle your board out on the indigo Andaman Sea and enjoy a yoga class floating on your watery yoga mat.
Interested in losing weight but not so keen on staying at one of those Biggest Loser Resorts? Then stick with Omni Hotels since they just hired the Biggest Loser's nutritionist to put healthy choices on all the hotel restaurant and in-room dining menu.
Cheryl Forberg R.D. is a James Beard award-winning chef as well as a nutritionist and she's been tasked with creating delicious yet good-for-you meals for all Omni Hotels. She's even revamping the Omni Kids Menu which we hope will be free of chicken nuggets, pizza and mac n' cheese. Or at least, she'll find a way to sneak some veggies into those options.
Hiring a nutritionist to work on their menus is just the latest action Omni Hotels has taken in healthy hotel living. Back in 2007, Omni was one of the first hotel brand to eliminate trans-fat cooking oil from their kitchens and start exclusively using cage-free eggs. Omni has also added gluten-free breakfast stations in their hotels and have included more locally sourced items like condiments, jams and honeys and even a special sausage patty with blueberries made exclusively for Omni. To learn more about Cheryl Forberg, check out the Omni's Q&A with her.
While we're still believe in treating yourself at a hotel, we're actually keen to stay at an Omni on our next trip because we know we won't totally go off the rails as far as our diet is concerned. What about you? Does the new nutritionist make you want to stay at an Omni Hotel next time you go away? Tell us in comments below!
[Photo: Omni Hotels]
Co-founder John Mackey told USA Today the idea for a Whole Foods resort came out of the company's existing employee health program which "focused on weight loss and reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol." Mackey didn't divulge too many details on what the resort would include but it would be in the mold of a Canyon Ranch spa resort. And we're gonna assume that it will have a mini-Whole Foods market off the lobby.
But all you health foods nuts out there should slow your gluten-free roll. The resort is still a ways away from opening. Right now the company is looking for the right real estate and hotel chain to operate it. (Hmmm...may we suggest Even Hotels from IHG?)
Yes, we really wish every shower in Vegas featured this crazy contraption. So what is it?
Well, it's a Vitamin C infused shower head that is found in one of the brand new Stay Well rooms at MGM Grand. These rooms are tricked out with the new furniture, bedding and technology that all MGM Grand rooms feature as part of the property-wide renovations but the Stay Well rooms also have a bunch of goodies the regular rooms do not. Like air purifiers, wellness lighting in the bathrooms (they give a shot of melatonin), funky nightstand sleep machines and these vitamin shower heads.
We'll have an in-depth tour of the Stay Well rooms next week but we will say now that we came to Vegas feeling as if we were on the cusp of a cold and right now, we're feeling pretty fantastic.
Best of all, this room, with taxes and resort fee included only cost us $114 for the night.
[Photo: Juliana Shallcross for HotelChatter]
We’ll be beat you to the punch—many of us at HC are germaphobes. Yet, we absolutely adore spending time in hotel rooms where hundreds upon thousands of people have stayed in. It is what it is. But as the saying goes “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” and we try to live by that, until folks throw tidbits, factoids, and all sorts in our faces, causing our paranoia meter to run rampant.
That happened today.
Our “WTF?” meter was raised courtesy of an invention called the NanoSeptic, which apparently has been used at the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia. When we started reading this ditty, we stopped and made ourselves a Lynchburg Lemonade (no relation) and tried to figure out what this “portable, removable, and self-cleaning” product was all about. Apparently it kills “bacteria, viruses, and fungi” that may get in contact with your items while you’re in a hotel.
We took a sip and read more, eyebrow raised like The Rock. We knew there was something here. But what?
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We've long known that hotel rooms, even the most expensive ones, can't always be completely germ, stain or hole-free but a new report from ABC News's "Medical Unit" has us thisclose to buying our own personal germ zapping blacklight wand.
Researchers from the University of Houston swabbed 19 hotel room hideouts, from door handles to headboards, and found the fecal bacterium E. coli hiding on 81 percent of the surfaces, including the remote control, the telephone and the bedside lamp.
We've long avoided touching the remote control by either placing a shower cap over it or wiping it down (and thanks to the Lodgenet iPhone app we can avoid the remote entirely) but we never thought about the telephone, where we make our room service calls, or the bedside lamp. Gag.
As it turns out, the folks responsible for flinging the poo are not just the guests who stayed in the room before you but also the housekeepers. Apparently, bacteria was found on the mops and sponges they use to clean the hotel rooms. Oh dear lord.
So what's a traveler to do? Well, you could avoid hotels completely but that's no fun. Here are HotelChatter's Tips for a Cleaner Hotel Stay:
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Bed bugs are a hotel guest's worst nightmare. But there's not much you can do about them since they are so hard to see and it's only when you've returned home from a trip that the telltale red bumps start to invade your skin.
And not even avoiding skanky budget hotels will protect you as luxury hotels have been known to be infested too.
But now there's a product out there that claims it can keep bed bugs from getting into your suitcase EcoSmart Bed Bug Travel Repellent uses botanical ingredients to "erect a barrier around [a] suitcase and other areas so bed bugs, if they're lurking can’t hitch a ride home."
And if you're staying in hotel rooms, you can spray EcoSmart around the headboard of the bed and the mattress area to keep the bed bugs from biting in your sleep. You can even spray EcoSmart in your home if you think the bed bugs may have followed you there.
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If you are the type who hates the monotony of the same old workout and needs a little variety in your exercise routine, the Hotel Solamar in San Diego has options for you. The Gaslamp Quarter hotel just launched a wellness program called Mind Your P's: Pilates, Power Walks and Pedal Pushers. It's a new initiative for the hotel to encourage guests to get active and live like a local.
You can do your downward dog at poolside Pilates classes. You'll get to breathe in that fresh SoCal air on its fourth-floor rooftop deck while a local instructor helps you work on your core during the mat sessions. Classes cost $10 a person and are held Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m.
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Just the kind of place we fancy doing some push ups
There are two types of travelers: the ones who stick to routine while they’re away, hitting up the gym and eating the way they would at home, and the ones who let good intentions slide, fill up on burgers and hail a cab as exercise, because they’re on a jolly. Both, however, can benefit from a new deal that the fitness-freaky Affinia Dumont in New York is offering.
With the Push Up, Push Down Your Rate deal, you can save up to $40 on your stay by performing push ups at check in. Yes, push ups at check in. Remember to check out your modesty at the door.
The idea is simple: you book a room as normal, and, as you check in, staff will give you 30 seconds to perform as many push ups as you can (we’re not sure if there’ll be whistles and shouting, bootcamp style, but we’re crossing our fingers that there will). Each is worth a dollar, and they’ll accept a maximum of 40. The amount will then be deducted from your first night’s stay. Ta da! If you’re a lazy hotel guest, you can go and eat something greasy while feeling virtuous. If you’re an exerciser, it’ll act as a nice warm up.
Hands up who overdid it a little on Labor Day? Not just in the way of drinkz but food, too. You did? Then you might like to make your way over to Switzerland, where the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz--which has two hotels, the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz--has just launched a new weight loss program.
The non-faddy name--it’s just called the Weight Loss Programme--should give you a clue that it’s more of a medical thing than an airy fairy celeb detox center. Run by doctors from their inhouse medical center, it lasts six days and kicks off with a “body analysis” which will scare you into losing weight by checking your bloods, nervous system, and even your spinal column, and pointing out the health risks you’re facing if you’re carrying a spare tire.