The Evolution of the Hotel Gym


In our experience, there are three key areas that hotel guests look for in a fitness facility while away from their home routines:

  • exercise offering

  • attention to hygiene

  • accessibility and availability

Not surprisingly, these elements are also important to what the average health club member requires. The difference is, as with all things in the hospitality industry, the hotel fitness amenity has a much shorter window to get it right given the duration of the average guest stay.

Exercise Offering

Entertainment continues to drive what keeps people “stimulated” when using common cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills and crosstrainers. In addition to the ability to view live or On-Demand TV programming, music videos, and the like, today’s guests want to track their workout data including time, calories, and exercise intensity. There is equipment now that will track this data and allow guests to view the information in the comfort of their hotel room, or when they return home via the web.

Guests also want to exercise in a less restrictive or “uniform” way today than the way a hotel gym may have been traditionally structured. Exercisers today want to utilize products that provide a wider accommodation of their body types and, equally importantly, their exercise preferences. Functional Training, Yoga, Mat Pilates, and balance and core strengthening movements are in far greater demand than in the past.


Little about your facility is as important as a hygiene friendly workout environment to your guests. Good ventilation, natural light (when possible), and towel service instantly set the stage for a safe and healthy workout experience. In addition, providing visible stations of self-service equipment wipe dispensers and hand sanitizers is an important way to show your commitment to this top-of-mind health matter for your guests.

Accessibility and Availability

Revisiting the layout of your space is an important operational exercise to insure its functional relevancy. You may be surprised how guests seeking a better view or wishing to exercise in a manner particular to their needs at the moment may feel emboldened to “rearrange” one or more pieces of equipment. Working with a competent facility design expert can help insure your facility is not only relevant out of the gates, but stays that way.

One thing is for sure, the demand for a safe, clean, and current fitness center remains stronger than ever and the dynamics will continue to evolve.

This post is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Hotel Executive.