Hollywood Hotel Creates Gym Utopia for Guests

Hollywood Hotel Creates Gym Utopia for Guests

For 60 years, the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood has been the go-to sanctuary for Grammy-award winning musicians, such as Paul McCartney, Bono and Rhianna, as well as many other A-list celebrities. 

While luxury hotel options abound in the area, celebrity guests return to the Sunset Marquis for its unique culture, history and ability to provide a tranquil respite just steps away from the famed Sunset Strip.

“We’ve gained a reputation among the entertainment community,” said Rod Gruendyke, the hotel’s general manager. “One of our original slogans was: ‘We’re the best-kept secret; if you know where it is, you know where it’s at.’ ”

A lush, opulent garden, complete with a koi pond and waterfall, blankets the entire property. Together with the individually curated rooms and the elegant Cavatina Restaurant, guests are treated to an experience that pampers all the senses. 

When the hotel’s owner decided to add a new on-site gym during a major renovation of the property, the challenge was to design a fitness studio that captured the unique ambiance of the iconic hotel.

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From utilitarian to utopian

Guests of the Sunset Marquis are given access to the exclusive Equinox West Hollywood fitness club across the street, so there is no shortage of high-end equipment or classes available to them. 

What was missing was a way for guests to get their blood pumping without having to leave the grounds of the hotel. Rather than duplicate a classic fitness club experience, the hotel decided to create a Wellness Studio that could offer a more intimate space in which to work out. 

But the new gym space, which is located in the basement level of the property, “had a very utilitarian feel,” said Eric Rosen, of Eric Rosen Architects, the lead architect on the project. The square room, located directly under the Cavatina Restaurant, had exposed pipes in the ceiling and a multi-leveled floor. The room was modestly sized at 800 square feet.

One option was to embrace these functional elements and create a warehouse design with mirrored walls and industrial decor. But Rosen and his team instead took things in a completely different direction, using potentially negative design elements to create a magical space. 

First, they capitalized on how the Wellness Studio was removed from the hotel’s central hub by leading guests on a journey of discovery down an underground pathway to the gym.

“We tried to give you the feeling of wandering through these hidden parts of the property, when suddenly you happen upon this hidden gem,” Rosen said.

Rather than trying to cover up the industrial components located in the ceiling, the architects used these elements to create a multi-faceted and visually interesting design that draws the eye upward. 

Taking inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” a large circular structure was built into the ceiling. Textured panels and exposed wooden beams add to the stunning effect of the room. The use of color and uplights give the illusion of sky and lift. Curved walls were built around the perimeter of the room to create a circular shape. 

“Circles are a symbol of unity and eternity and timelessness,” Rosen said. 

The white walls — together with light, natural wood floors and wood trim throughout—also evoke feelings of cleanliness and purity.  

“Every detail was chosen to give the feeling that you were in something special,” Rosen said. 

Justin Cordova, jacordova.com, Instagram: @jacordovaphoto

Like working out at home only better

Responding to clients’ wishes, Sunset Marquis ensured that the Wellness Studio gave guests more privacy.

“They wanted to be able to bring their own trainers or security detail into the gym with them,” Gruendyke said. “The Wellness Studio gives them a discreet space that doesn’t limit them to working out in their room.”

Guests can even reserve the entire Wellness Studio during specially designated time slots.

Everything about the space, such as the intimate size, the calming pathway that leads to a pleasant “surprise” and the circular design, creates an experience that is both invigorating and rejuvenating. 

“We wanted it to feel as comfortable and personal as if it were your gym at home,” Rosen said.

Justin Cordova, jacordova.com, Instagram: @jacordovaphoto

Using small details to create the biggest impact

Designing a space that embodied the restorative and luxurious culture of the hotel, while also providing a high level of performance, required attention to every detail. 

“During the design phase, we were very particular about our specifications of products,” Rosen said. This applied to major decisions such as the building materials used and what fitness equipment to install. 

The modest-sized room contains eight pieces of fitness equipment, selected for their performance reputation and efficient use of space. Each of the top-of-the-line Technogym machines “packs a punch” and has the versatility to be used for multiple exercises, Rosen said. Between the multigym, multipower bench and Tonal all-in-one machines, guests can perform hundreds of different exercises. 

A massive television screen nearly fills  the entire front wall of the gym. 

Justin Cordova, jacordova.com, Instagram: @jacordovaphoto

“The idea was to create a very specific experience using the large screen to create a window to the world,” Rosen said. “You can choose to watch a simulation that takes you on a mountain road, or view a wide open vista, or watch a sports game — whatever you want.”

Smaller details were equally scrutinized. “Every door knob, every hinge and every fixture mattered,” Rosen said. 

One important detail pertained to protecting guests’ health. They installed Vaask hand sanitizing fixtures because they matched the carefully curated environment while also delivering superior performance.

“Part of our job is to find those functional pieces that not only do the job but look good while they are doing it,” Rosen said.

Like the high-end equipment populating the gym, Vaask’s fixtures employ state-of-the-art engineering for long-lasting and precise performance. Gruendyke agrees that Vaask’s design set it apart. The all-metal construction and LED lights on the all-black fixtures add to their “cool factor.” 

“It’s great that we found a way to provide something as utilitarian as hand sanitizer in a way that makes people stop and take notice,” Gruendyke said.

Interested in installing Vaask in your facility? Call us at 512-956-7687 or request a product demo.