July 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM ET
When it comes to staying in shape while traveling, sticking to a workout plan can be a tricky endeavor. Yes, it’s possible to eke out a session in a cramped gym under glaring fluorescent lights (or, even more challenging, in a hotel room when no fitness center can be found). But for many travelers, missing a morning run or forgoing a daily yoga class simply isn’t an option.
Thankfully, an increasing number of top hotel properties agree, offering guests first-rate gyms and spas that are anything but afterthoughts. These facilities present fitness as a major selling point.
Staffs of personal trainers and health and wellness experts, hi-tech equipment, well-designed studios and a wide variety of classes abound—and the options keep expanding. Fitness evaluations, custom workouts and nutritional advice are becoming as commonplace as treadmills and free weights.
Many hotels pull out all the stops. The SLS Beverly Hills can recommend scenic Los Angeles bike routes for outdoor-minded visitors, and New York’s brand-new Gravity Fitness at Le Parker Meridien features a glass-enclosed rooftop pool overlooking Central Park. For a more traditional workout, the classic Bellevue Club in Bellevue, Wash., hires private trainers and holds more than 70 fitness classes per week in its 200,000-square-foot space (the copious amounts of natural light do not hurt either).
Hotels abroad are taking design to new heights when it comes to fitness centers. In Phuket, Thailand, guests at Amanpuri enjoy sweeping views of the Andaman Sea through the hilltop gym’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and Munich’s Bayerischer Hof fitness pavilion—set amid a lush garden on the hotel’s top floor—features equipment hand-picked by a former Mr. Universe. (And for post-workout recovery, many hotels have spas that bring the wellness experience full circle, ending things on a relaxing, rejuvenating note.)
So whether you prefer to work out alone, crave a group class or want to explore something new, these hotel gyms can’t be beat for a home-away-from-home workout you won’t soon forget.
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