Posted on November 24, 2017 by Gordon Smith
These days, an increasing number of travellers are looking to maintain a good level of exercise whilst they are away on business or pleasure. They are becoming more discerning about what they want when it comes to hotel fitness facilities.
In fact, research from Hotels.com found that 44% of travellers would not sacrifice a gym for a cheaper hotel room, while TripAdvisor uncovered that 52% of travellers favoured a hotel gym for a holiday workout.
This has created a competitive environment, whereby hotels are increasingly looking to offer more comprehensive fitness facilities – as well as associated fitness programmes – to attract guests and get repeat business.
And the trend is not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, gym brand Equinox is opening a fitness hotel in 2018 and Hilton hotels are now offering fitness equipment in guest rooms, which shows the pressure hotels are under to keep up with fitness trends and provide the best equipment.
So, what does a hotel need to do when looking install or upgrade current gym equipment, and what should they be offering? Additionally, what should they consider in order to gain competitive advantage?
Exercise now comes in many shapes and forms, so whether it’s a yoga, Pilates or a cardio workout, guests need the space to do the exercise they want to do.
The rise of online fitness coaches has also meant that people are moving away from the more ‘traditional’ forms of exercising to being more creative with more mobile resistance equipment such as kettlebells, medicine balls or mat work.
Hotels are having to respond and react to this, with some now even offering rooftop yoga sessions. Gone are the days of a treadmill and water fountain in the basement.
Rob Clarke of motive8 says:
‘The world of fitness is constantly changing and evolving, so it is important for hotels to stay ahead and respond to changing guest needs.’
With all this in mind, it is important to think about space and how to maximise it to allow for guest choice. Understandably, for some hotels, space is an issue, so it is important to think about being smarter and more efficient with existing space.
One way is through multi-use exercise stations. They are a great way to reduce space as they combine strength exercises, weights and stretches in one piece of equipment. Also look at buying more compact cardio equipment, such as ellipticals, treadmills and bikes, which are reducing in size to become more space-efficient.
It is easy to fall into the trap of large-scale buying when it comes to gym equipment, but it’s worth noting that gyms don’t necessarily need rows of treadmills, bikes and rowing machines. Instead, it’s about the smart use of space through multi-purpose equipment, and ensuring you have enough mats, weights and resistance equipment for use during busier times.
Tech savvy guests want a joined-up, seamless fitness programme that syncs with apps, phones and watches. This is a great opportunity to maximise gym equipment in order to extend this experience to guests and add value to their stay. It puts them in control, so they can continue their home exercise programme no matter where they are.
So if you don’t have the budget for an in-house yoga or Pilates instructor, why not offer a workout programme in the form of a Youtube video, app or web link that guests can watch on their phone or handheld device? This means they can workout either in their room or the gym, which, in turn, helps maximise space.
Not only that, but most cardio equipment now has Internet access, so how about creating a microsite or link to a website with training programmes for guests, or healthy eating programmes, that they can watch while they workout.
Management and maintenance
Perhaps more crucially, hotel guests want fully functioning equipment when they need it, which means that broken equipment just won’t cut it, so it is important to ensure all equipment is maintained and repaired regularly. This can be done by the hotel through an in-house team, but it can also be outsourced, which carries less risk and could also reap longer-term financial benefits.
By outsourcing your gym management and maintenance, you are not only making sure your equipment is up to scratch, but it also means that you are getting the best industry expertise and knowledge of latest fitness trends to help your brand stay competitive.
Where to start?
A motive8, we provide the latest and greatest gym equipment for hotels and maintenance to suit every budget and hotel size. We understand the importance of getting the best ROI from your gym and can support you every step of the way.
We can also give you the best advice on how to get the most out of your gym in order to make your investment work for you in the most effective way possible.
You need to stay ahead of the competition- isn’t it time we started talking?