Ask any avid traveller and they’ll tell you that staying fit on-the-go can be a mammoth task. Trudging around with suitcases and fighting the inevitable jet lag aren’t exactly optimum ways to getting pumped for the gym. This hasn’t deterred a growing number of fitness-savvy people from hitting the fitness centres at hotels, and making its wellness amenities a big part of their accommodation choice.
Upscale hotels are responding. More big hospitality brands are catering to this growing need and prompting a wave of on-demand fitness programs. Bringing this personal experience to guests is the new frontier of luxury travel and just one of the few ways hotels can recreate the familiar feeling of home, while keeping ahead of this exponentially growing curve.
JW Marriott for instance has partnered with America’s premier ballet company — The Joffrey Ballet — to launch Behind the Barre, a series of workout videos that are available on demand for travelers residing at its Asia-Pacific properties. Utilising the foundations of ballet, the program is the first guest-centric partnership from the two storied brands.
In the videos, two of Joffrey’s professional ballet dancers incorporate full-body barre method, core strength and stretching exercises into fun and challenging workouts. The best part is they’re all designed specifically for executing in a guest room. In Singapore, this experience is currently offered at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach.
“Guests of JW Marriott are always seeking new and innovative ways to stay active while on the road,” said Christy Donato, Vice President, Global Brand Management, JW Marriott. “Our partnership with The Joffrey Ballet provides an elevated fitness experience that goes beyond the traditional in-room workout, allowing our guests to tailor their fitness routine to best fit their travel schedule.”
Westin Hotels & Resorts is also offering its own spin on the phenomenon, now that a partnership with interactive exercise bike company Peloton is fresh in the bag. The advanced machines have been added to a number a guest rooms for on-demand spin classes, straight from the comfort of their temporary homes. This initiative comes after the chain’s New Balance gear lending service, which brings you workout clothes whenever you fancy.
The Fairmont Fit program by the namesake group also offers a similar service by outfitting guests in Reebok sports apparel and equipment — including running shoes, yoga mats, and resistance bands — saving them the hassle of packing extra should they wish to continue their active lifestyles during their travels.
It wasn’t so long ago when active travellers chose their accommodation simply based on how well-equipped and good-looking the hotel gym was. It’s now become less of an amenity and more of a must-have, and as the business in fitness and overall wellness continues to burgeon, it’ll be interesting to see how the hospitality industry evolves beyond swanky gyms with more sophisticated, out-of-the-box options. Clearly, going on-demand is a big step in the right direction.