Travel fit: Health-minded hotels keep your workout on track


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A rendering of a EVEN Hotel gym facility, making its debut in 2013.

What is the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear the words “fitness center” and “hotel” in the same sentence? If it’s a small, dingy gym in the underbelly of a hotel, you’re not alone. Lucky for us, this idea is becoming a thing of the past as more and more hotels and resorts are catering to road warriors who refuse to put their workout on hold just because they are away from home.

Holiday Inn parent company IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) this week announced the U.S. launch of its new wellness-focused hotel brand, EVEN Hotels, which will open in 2013. Guest rooms are designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities (the coat rack doubles as a pull up bar and the luggage rack morphs into a workout bench!). The gym features best-in-class cardio and strength equipment, a free-weight area, and room to stretch. You can even attend group exercise activities lead by hotel staff. The “Wellness Wall” in the lobby will help you find local fitness options, tips and equipment rental. IHG says that this is all at no added cost to the guest.

For the full wellness treatment, EVEN Hotels will offer nutritionally designed menus with a focus on natural and fresh meals; an open air café and bar; free flavored filtered water with glass bottles available to fill up and take back to the room; and free coffee and mini-smoothies in the morning. Each room will include hypoallergenic linens, powerful showerheads, natural lighting, LED dimmers and antibacterial wipes.

Westin Hotels & Resorts announced earlier this year that they are revamping their WestinWORKOUT, which is an in-the-room, gym and outdoor program to “match the evolving fitness trends among guests and further enhance the brand’s goal of promoting well-being in travel.” The program already includes the RunWESTIN program where a running concierge will lead you on a trek through the area you’re visiting while pointing out interesting facts about the area. You also can grab a trail map and take off on your own. Its gyms feature exercise equipment, such as treadmills and spinning cycles from Life Fitness, Precor and other world-class brands. You also could grab a mat and do some Pilates or yoga.

Westin plans on transforming fitness facilities at its hotels around the world into highly designed fitness studios featuring new equipment, blue-light therapy using ActiViva Lighting (Philips’ new energizing fluorescent lighting) and a new layout design which includes a natural, soft-tone color palette and organic materials including textural woven flooring inspired by nature. These new fitness studios will roll out globally throughout 2012.

Back in 2010, Westin announced an exclusive partnership with New Balance. Guests were able to borrow New Balance footwear, apparel and fitness program content. Later this year, it also will be expanding its in-room SuperFoodsRX menu items to also include lunch and dinner options.

Last summer, Sheraton Hotels announced the launch of its signature fitness program “Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance” (Sheratonfitness.com) in all 28 hotels in Latin America. Sheraton said guests experience its program through multiple touch-points that incorporate four fundamentals of optimal performance: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery.

Omni Hotels and Resorts offer healthy food options and a Get Fit Kit .

In addition to gym, Omni Hotels and Resorts offer a Nourishment Program that provides you with healthy meal options; Get Fit rooms that are set up for an in-room workout. You can also ask for a Get Fit Kit that includes a canvas bag, floor mat, two dumbbells, an elastic exercise band and a booklet of exercises. You’ll also receive a bottle of chilled water and a hand towel, oh my!

Tell Us: Do you choose your hotels based on its fitness amenities?