Maximize Monday: Which Hotels Are Healthiest
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I’ll be honest, traveling totally messes up my fitness and dietary regimen. I don’t mind going to my local gym when I’m at home, but getting me into a hotel gym is a challenge and I’m always more apt to eat unhealthy food while traveling. I’m sure I’m not alone, so for today’s Maximize Monday I wanted to take a look at the hotel programs that help both travelers stay healthy while away from home. Feel free to share your tips/tricks for not falling off the wagon when you’re on the road!
The Healthiest Hotel Programs
Many hotel chains offer perks that go straight to your waistline, such as all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets or complimentary cookies, but thankfully some do have health-conscious guests in mind.
Days Inn: Days Inn announced earlier this month the launch of their Dayfit program targeting health-conscious travelers by upgrading properties with better fitness facilities and a more nutritious start to the day with new breakfast options. Adding to the current Daybreak Breakfast, there will be choices such as Dannon Light & Fit yogurts, Quaker Oats Oatmeal Hearty Kettle and a low-calorie cheese omelet. The new Dayfit fitness centers will be custom-designed by Precor and standard equipment will include a treadmill, elliptical, stretching mat, stability ball and medicine balls.
Fairmont: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts properties have incorporated healthy eating into their menus with the Lifestyle Cuisine program, developing tasty offerings for guests with an eye toward nutritional meals, including low-carb, low-fat, and vegetarian diets. In the Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program, they go a step further with macrobiotic, vegan and vegetarian options too. Guests can then wind down with herbal Fairmont Wellness Teas.
The Fairmont Fit program is open to all Fairmont President Club members and is complimentary for Premier and Platinum-level members. Lightening the load in more ways than one, the hotel perk provides Reebok workout clothes and shoes so you don’t have to bring your own, an MP3 player and a yoga mat with stretch band so you can either workout in your room or hit the gym even if you didn’t pack the right gear.
Hilton: Having just debuted its Herb N’ Kitchen take-out restaurant at the Hilton New York Midtown, the chain is taking one more step into the realm of wholesome eating. The latest venture aims to incorporate local gourmet food into an upscale restaurant and accompanying take-out market. Guests can buy healthy food to take away, and order diet-friendly meals in the restaurant or for in-room delivery. With plenty of salads, sandwiches and flatbreads, the focus is that food-on-the-go shouldn’t mean that you are piling on the calories in an effort to save time. Separated into four sections – Arrival, Barista, Oven and Buffet – the Herb N’ Kitchen aims to have every meal covered whether you want a quick to-go salad, or a more substantial hot entree.
The new concept is the latest health-conscious move by Hilton, which in 2006 partnered up with Precor to launch Fitness by Precor facilities at Hilton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites Hotels across the US. The specially designed fitness centers include Precor cardio machines with personal TV screens so you can while away the hours watching your favorite show while working up a sweat.
Hyatt: The motto “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” was adopted by Hyatt in 2012 to introduce health-conscious food options to their guests that focus on portion control and calorie counts – as well as fat, sodium and additive amounts. They have since paired up with Partnership for a Healthier America to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and offer them non-fat or low-fat milk.
IHG: Why dedicate one room to health and fitness when you can gear a whole hotel to it? That is the thought behind IHG’s upcoming EVEN Hotel chain. The new collection of properties are putting the emphasis on healthy travel with in-room workout spaces with exercise equipment available for checkout, better food options, and free filtered water throughout the hotel. Currently, their interactive website is already taking suggestions and feedback from future guests to enhance the experience, including comments about there being too much greasy food and not enough gym equipment in most hotel chains. The sleek and modern rooms have been designed by Amsterdam-based branding specialists Uxus and are a sharp contrast to IHG’s other brands such as Holiday Inn and InterContinental. Rooms will include yoga mats for floor exercises, and innovative space savers such as a coat rack that doubles as a pull-up bar, and a luggage bench that turns into a weight bench. The first two EVEN hotels are set to open early next year in Rockville, MD, and Norwalk, CT.
J.W. Marriott: Having brought in nutritional expert Keri Glassman and chef Ryan Littman, J.W. Marriott created its own healthy eating blog to inspire people whether they were staying at the hotel chain or not. However, it doesn’t seem to have been updated in a couple of years! Marriott needs to kick up their focus on healthy living if they want to keep up with the competition.
Kimpton: Boutique chain Kimpton likes to think outside of the box – and onto the yoga mat. Among their many unique perks is providing a yoga mat to every room and free on-demand fitness TV perks. If pedal power is more your style than Downward Dog, they offer stylish 3-speed bike loans from San Francisco company PUBLIC. Most Kimpton hotels have fitness centers and pools, and if not, the concierge are dedicated to directing you to the nearest exercise hot spot. Kimpton also joined up with an expert to dish on healthy options, and Joy Bauer created a full Travel Healthy In-Room Dining Menu. Each item include calories, fat, carb and protein content from Slim Style Oatmeal or Smokey Turkey Burger Melt.
Omni: Guests at Omni hotels don’t even have to leave their rooms to workout thanks to the Get Fit Kit. The hotel provides a handy bag with a set of dumbbells, an elastic exercise band, a floor mat and a mini AM/FM headset so you can create your own routine, and they bring even water and a chilled towel to wind down with afterwards. If you literally want to go the extra mile, why not book into the Get Fit Room, which features a personal treadmill as an added amenity.
Sheraton: Color Your Plate by Sheraton Fitness is a dining program aimed to brighten up your diet by adding three colors from fruits and vegetables to your plate, all adding up to 500 calories or less. The rainbow bright initiative is part of Core Performance’s “Nutrition Color Code” that offers guest an easy-to-follow way to eat better on the road. The color table includes:
- Yellow foods: optimize brain functions
- Green foods: rejuvenate musculature and bone
- Orange foods: support skin and eye health
- Red foods: support heart and circulatory health
- White foods: enhance immune system, lymph system and cellular recovery
- Purple foods: promote micro-circulation
Sheraton Fitness also includes a handy collection of travel workouts that you can follow online either from your laptop in your room or on a tablet in the hotel gym. Simply pick which routine best fits your body, download it and you are good to go. Workouts include warm-ups, full-body strength or cardio routines and rejuvenating stretches. If you workout better in a pack, join Sheraton Fit Meetings for group exercises, tips and nutrition training.
Westin: This other Starwood chain has embraced the SuperFoodsRX program, which offers guests dishes that are rich in antioxidants and nutrients and low in calories. Created by a team of nutritionists, they focus on “food synergy,” a fancy term for pairing nutritionally-rich foods that still taste great. Favorites include wholewheat pancakes or black bean hummus. You can even encourage your business colleagues to jump on the healthy with bandwagon with SuperFoodsRX Meeting Breaks that serve smoothies and protein shakes. Westin also has a Gear Lending program that loans guests workout clothes and New Balance trainers for a $5 fee. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, simply leave them in your room in a mesh bag.
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