Posted on January 24, 2018 by Gordon Smith

2018 is going to be an exciting year for the hospitality industry. From an interior design perspective, key hotel trends will include bright colour schemes, lobbies functioning more as ‘hubs’ or key focal and social points, and guest rooms looking and feeling less like hotel rooms and more like being in a home environment.

Comfort will also be key to the guest experience, as well as a continuation of the ever-popular wellness trend with of hotels aiming to bring the outdoors inside.

What does all this mean for hotel gyms? The good news is that the outlook is positive with the wellness trend continuing strong, and the ‘being at home’ hotel experience means guests will want to continue their fitness routine when away. The hotel gym is now more important than ever.

We look at 2018’s top fitness trends, and how you can use them to inspire your hotel gym design.

Fitness trends hotels should know about

If you’re starting the year with a gym upgrade, then the first thing to look at are the top fitness trends for this year, as they may help with your purchasing decisions. There are all types of trends emerging, but the top activities include:


High Impact Interval Training continues to be very popular and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. This consists of bursts of high impact activity followed by low intensity recovery.


Low Impact Interval Training will start making a breakthrough. It’s similar to HIIT, but with less intense bursts and takes longer to complete a session.

Group training

Whether it’s Spin, HIIT, dance or Yoga, people are opting into group classes to keep motivated and get a serotonin kick from the social interaction.

Weights or bodyweight training

Once again, weights are proving ever popular and look set to remain so in 2018.

Fitness for older adults

We’re seeing an increase in fitness awareness in older adults, so it’s not just the youngsters who are keeping fit.

In-room gyms

Many of the larger hotels, such as The Westin Group and Hilton Group, are putting gym equipment in hotel rooms – such as ellipticals, treadmills, bikes and weights – giving guests more time to exercise from the comfort of their own room.

It also makes for a more personalised workout as guests have the choice to exercise when they want, and can also use workout DVDs or workout programmes on their TV without disturbing other guests, as they might in an open gym. This is also a good alternative for hotels that don’t offer classes.

Additionally, some guests also prefer a bit more privacy and doing their workout separately when staying at a hotel, especially if they’re on a business trip and want some downtime away from colleagues and meetings.

Not only that, but for hotels that are tight on space, in-room gyms could be the perfect compromise. Guests are increasingly choosing hotels for their wellness facilities, so in-room fitness could help maintain that competitive edge.

The smart hotel

Fitness technology is already huge and growing rapidly. One area is the ever-growing Fitbit trend, which is giving people ‘always on’ access to a wide-range of workout and fitness stats.

Fitness equipment is getting smarter through web access and apps. These days, guests expect to be able to sync their wearables or phones with the piece of equipment they’re using. This not only means they can track their workouts in real-time but it also means they can browse or watch programmes online whilst working out.

It’s worth noting that poor wi-fi just won’t cut it anymore. Guests want and expect a seamless service, which is why there is a new alternative emerging with some hotels now moving over to Li-Fi, another trend set to increase in 2018.

Has the treadmill run out of puff?

The way we exercise has shifted towards group classes, weights and resistance exercises. As a result, we’re seeing less of a need for rows and rows of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and rowing machines, but instead a bigger focus on functional equipment, weights and mat work.

This doesn’t spell the death of the treadmill, however. Quite the opposite in fact. Gyms may need less cardio equipment, but there is still a demand for high quality, smart and reliable gym equipment.

Not only do gyms need the right cardio equipment, they also need multi-exercise weight and resistance machines, as well as a choice of handhelds, such as free weights, kettle bells and medicine balls.

As part of their hotel experience, guests will expect to use equipment without having to wait, so make sure there are enough sets of weights, cardio and resistance machines to cope with the busiest periods.

Leading the pack

Guests are getting more and more discerning about what they want and expect from a hotel, so it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and remain on-trend.

At motive8 we know the fitness and hotel industry inside out, and we understand current and emerging trends that affect your business. As a result, our experts can give you the best advice on how to get the most out of your gym in order to make your investment work for your hotel in the best way possible.