Hotel gyms used to amount to a few dusty pieces of outdated equipment stashed in a utility room.
"There have been big changes when it comes to hotel fitness over the past 10 years," said celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. "Traditionally hotel gyms used to have just one brand of cardio equipment," he said, "now it's about 'best in class' equipment."
Hotels are realizing there's money to be made by attracting guests who don't want to miss a workout by installing top-notch equipment, cutting-edge sound systems, select beverages and snacks, Wi-Fi, and of course cardio equipment with built-in entertainment screens.
But that's not all.
Some hotels are partnering with fitness clothing brands. For example, Westin offers a "Gear Lending" program in partnership with New Balance. (Workout clothes take up a good deal of precious packing space). The hotel chain also curates outdoor run "experiences" for guests, and has also partnered with FitStar by Fitbit to give guests workouts to follow on their smartphones.
At IHG's Even Hotels, where the motto is "Where wellness is built in," there's space for an "in-room training zone" in each room. TRYP by Wyndham offers "fitness rooms" that come with a treadmill, elliptical or an exercise bike. (Yes, in your room.) Many hotels now offer video-on-demand guest room workouts. Element Hotels has a "Bikes to Borrow" program for exploring your destination city. And the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills brings in celebrity instructors such as yogi Rainbeau Mars for on-property workouts.
"Guests are expecting a more complete fitness experience," and "higher-end brands will be scrambling to provide it for them," says Laura Mandala of Mandala Research, a travel and tourism research firm. Equinox – known for its upscale fitness clubs – is taking it up a notch with plans to launch its first luxury lifestyle hotel in New York City in 2018. "These are hotel guests for whom health and wellness is a priority," Mandala says.
Here are a few hotels that have pumped up their fitness offerings:
Virgin Hotel Chicago
Gym offerings including a plyometrics station and state-of-the-art Technogym branded equipment. virginhotels.com
The Venetian Hotel Las Vegas
Among the offerings at the hotel's Canyon Ranch Las Vegas SpaClub: A 40-foot rock climbing wall. venetian.com
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Highlights include aerial yoga and booty sculpt classes. fairmont.com
The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Indoor cycling, Pilates, TRX classes, plus Power Plate equipment and more. houstonian.com
Los Angeles Athletic Club
Highlights include Technogym and Free Motion equipment plus a wealth of sports and group classes. laac.com
San Francisco W Hotel