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Dayton Daily News (Ohio)


Travelers have a variety of sophisticated fitness options at home and expect the same when they're on the road, hoteliers say.

There was a time when travelers were lucky to get a windowless room with a few weights and cardio machines in a hotel basement. Hotels upped their game when they realized how popular yoga had become and started offering rooftop yoga classes and stocking guestrooms with mats.

Hotels are getting more elaborate with their in-room workout gear and fitness center offerings. Many tap into fitness crazes that have cult followings.

Guests at Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, will be able to request a WestinWORKOUT Peloton guest room. The popular indoor exercise bikes have online streaming classes.

The 1 Hotel South Beach offers classes from SoulCycle, the spinning class sensation.

The Row NYC hotel has an indoor cycling studio called Cyc Fitness, a beat-based 45-minute ride.

The James has a complimentary in-room, on-demand streaming workout series called ReinventYOU by ChaiseFitness, a New York City boutique fitness brand. Guests at locations in New York and Chicago can try 20-minute workouts that aim to strengthen and improve posture.

At the Star, which is anchored by Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, the Omni Frisco Hotel will offer a Cowboys Fit Package upon the property's opening in July. The package will allow guests to train at Cowboys Fit, where the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders practice.

InterContinental Hotels Group created an entire brand focused on fitness and wellness. EVEN Hotels debuted in 2014, featuring fitness equipment in each guestroom, workout videos and a large gym in a prominent spot in each property.

Hoteliers say they can no longer offer guests standard fitness amenities. Travelers are exposed to a variety of sophisticated fitness options when they are home and expect the same on the road.

"In addressing the evolving fitness needs of hotel guests, brands are offering three different 'brand standards' or amenity options at their affiliated hotels," says Chekitan Dev, an associate professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.

That includes updating fitness centers to include new equipment, offering in-room fitness options or providing their guests complimentary or low-cost access to adjacent or nearby fitness centers.

For good reason. Globally, travelers say they have trouble maintaining their wellness routine on the road, according to a survey of about 8,000 travelers ages 25 to 64, conducted by STUDYLOGIC last year.

In fact, 65% said they exercise less on the road. But 83% said access to wellness programs while traveling is at least somewhat important when choosing a hotel.

In particular, Millennials, those in their 20s and 30s who are starting to travel more, said they intend to exercise on the road. Nearly 40% of them specifically planned to cycle.

Peloton and SoulCycle are especially popular among younger travelers.

In Westin's case, the Peloton guest rooms are available at select locations, including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Boston. Guests will have access to 5,000 on-demand classes taught by instructors.

At other destinations - including Austin, Detroit, Denver, New York City, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle - the Peloton bikes will be available in fitness studios.

"While global wellness trends show a growing demand for tribe workouts, travel can often be solitary," says Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader at Westin. "Peloton's social experience is perfect for Westin guests who are energized by an immersive, group-fitness experience, whether in the brand's signature fitness studio or in the privacy of their own room."

In another twist to the fitness hospitality trend, some fitnessfacilities are creating their own hotels. Last month, Midtown Athletics Clubs announced the construction of Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown in Chicago. The 55-room hotel will include four suites.

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May 1, 2017


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