Posted on January 13, 2020 by Gordon Smith

We are seeing so much change in the fitness industry that we believe there are some really exciting times ahead. As we move into 2020 we take a look at what’s new in gym design and give you our predictions for the year ahead.

Eco Hotels

The hospitality industry, especially the hotel sector, is under increasing pressure to show its eco credentials. The amount of energy used by residents, combined with the fact that the majority of guests are travelling by air or road to reach the hotel, it’s important to offset their carbon footprint.

Research has shown that 68% of travellers actively seek eco-friendly hotels, so, with that in mind, it’s crucial to start getting with the eco programme, especially in the gym space, which can be achieved in a variety of ways.

Managing energy consumption in the space can be one way of addressing the issue. There are many ways to achieve this. Sometimes it’s the small things that can make the biggest difference – for example you can set timers on equipment so that they power down at times of low usage and use sensors for lights so they don’t stay on constantly.

Nick Sadler, Managing Director of motive8 says:

‘The hotel industry is working hard to improve its eco credentials, and as guests become more discerning, your hotel will need to show how it’s offsetting carbon and reducing energy consumption.’

Making your green achievements clear and visible to guests will also help. It can be your manifesto. For example, when you upgrade gym equipment, is it re-used elsewhere or is it broken down and recycled? Find out and make it a feature point.

Plastic is obviously a huge issue, so instead of having plastic cups in the gym, residents could get their own branded water bottle. It’s a great promotional tool and will significantly reduce plastic wastage.

Floor mats tend to wear down quickly, so using mats made from recycled materials will help reduce your footprint. Rubber is recycled a lot today, especially car tyres, so it’s worth exploring mats made this way.

Be a destination

Increasingly, guests don’t want to workout in a traditional hotel gym. They want an experience, they want to do something different, and this is a great way to stand out against the competition.

More and more hotels are offering personal trainers, yoga classes in the hotel gardens or on roof terraces, spin classes with stunning views or cutting-edge, hi-tech gyms. In fact, the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills is home to the Upgrade Labs, the world’s biohacking health and fitness facility.

The space has a cryotherapy chamber and cold HIIT classes, which currently forms part of NASA’s Mars training programme, an Atmospheric Cell Trainer and the Cheat Machine, which gives you a week’s worth of weightlifting in 15 minutes.

We believe we’ll start to see this form of ‘alternative’ fitness starting to hit the more high-end or cutting-edge UK hotels over the course of 2020.

Don’t just think about the gym

If you’re thinking of doing more with your hotel gym or want to transform it into more of an experiential space, then it’s worth thinking more strategically about getting a better return on your potential investment.

For our commercial clients, we are increasingly seeing a fusion of fitness and leisure, and we think this will also be the case with hotels, where fitness steps outside of the realm of the actual gym space in f avour of more collaborative activities, such as table tennis.

There is also scope to create alternative fitness pursuits, such as axe throwing or functional fitness stations, which can be located either outside or in other areas of a hotel complex.

More hotels are also offering in-room gym facilities, which is an effective way of saving space if your hotel is city-based and at a premium. It also gives guests the choice of how, when and where they want to workout, as well as offering a bit more privacy.

In the UK, alcohol consumption is decreasing year on year in favour of a generation that is more inclined to drink coffee and keep active, as opposed to staying in a bar all evening. With that in mind, the potential is endless for hotels looking to break free from the mainstream or differentiate to attract new guests.

These are just a small selection of the trends we’ve spotted over the last year that will develop in the gym design industry in 2020 and beyond.

At motive8, we believe we are one of the most forward-thinking gym providers in the UK. our expertise in the corporate, residential and hotel sectors means we have a more holistic view of how society and leisure is changing. We know what and understand what hotel guests want from their stay and we can help you achieve that.

Get in touch by emailing us at or calling 020 8481 9700 to find out more.