Worth over 4 billion pounds in the UK and with more fitness club members in London than ever before, the fitness industry treadmill doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Let’s face it there was a time, in the not-too-distant past, when a commitment to health and vitality promptly dwindled in the departures lounge. Most people threw caution to the wind and accepted that they were about to have a ‘bad week’ and few actually made use of the poorly lit hotel gyms. Since the advent of ‘Fitness Fridays’, the introduction of scantily clad ‘gods’ at Barry’s Bootcamp and trends such as the Cult of Soul Cycle across the pond, hotels have had to up their stakes and create something more inspiring than a pokey area containing a rickety elliptical trainer and a spattering of dumbbells – hence the inception of the fitness hotel. These days normality has been turned on its head, quite literally in some cases, with unconventional workouts to motivate you whilst you’re away from home…
Since the world has become inspired by space exploration, and latched on to the potential for interstellar travel, anti-gravity exercise classes have sprung up in hotels, as evidenced by the swathes of fabric dangling from the ceilings of many state of the art gyms.
Preparing for Space
Hoteliers are now offering guests far more than just traditional yoga classes. Expect laughter, levitation and an unbelievable workout.
Next Generation Cycling
Everyone is familiar with the gruelling addiction of spin classes, however most travellers tend to opt for fresh air and beautiful surroundings instead. In response to this hoteliers have gone the extra mile – in the sea and even in the sky (!) – to keep this two-wheel sport spinning. Partnering with luxury brands to provide guests with something new and next generation, hotels now offer everything from air-borne tandem bikes to part-bike-part-catamaran open water spin classes: opportunities to soak up spectacular views of your destination, whilst getting a strenuous workout.
Morphing Into the Mysterious Open Water Wildlife
Wild water swimming has also found its way into the spotlight this year. After all, what’s better than being at one with nature and discovering the splendours of your surroundings, whilst improving your health and fitness?
For something even more wacky and wonderful, ‘Mermaid Fitness’ is the latest craze on everyone’s minds. A fusion of synchronized and monofin swimming; sessions teach participants to swim like a mermaid, wearing a specially designed, colourful ‘tail’. A fairytale come true and great for adults wanting to tone with the kids.
Sport’s Buddy Service
‘Sports buddy’ services are the latest fitness cult in hotels. Talented hotel staff members are paired with guests in order to offer up a huge range of activities, even in the smallest luxury boutique hotels.
This could mean anything from tennis with the hotel’s general manager, to trampolining with the executive housekeeper. Or for those in search of cerebral stimulation, perhaps a spot of chess with the head of F&B?
There’s even a Running Butler Service to help guests pick up the pace – perfect for those in training and to ensure that exercise in the parks is as comfortable as possible, the butlers will tend to the runners’ every need; from refreshing soft drinks to home-made protein snacks, followed by as aromatic bubble bath to soothe tired muscles on return.
Olympian in the Making
Looking fit is not enough these days. Since this year’s Olympics there has been a huge surge in amateur athletics with people being inspired to run, cycle, jump and swim. In fact, Olympians are on speed dial at many top luxury hotels and regularly collaborate to entice guests to fall in love with a sport and to dedicate a little time to their physicality.
Research suggests that this sector is going to grow 50% faster than regular tourism through 2017, so it has never been as important for hoteliers to skip, hop and jump onto the latest fitness trends, especially if they want to entice the sports-savvy traveller.