The Keys to a Great Hotel Fitness Center

Why should hotel owners take their hotel fitness center to the next level?

Offering a fitness facility, sauna, spa, and even a pool is great for attracting guests. Here’s what the best hotel fitness centers offer and how you can include them in your hotel.

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When was the last time you seriously considered the question, “What separates a good hotel from a great hotel?” Hotel owners must contend with an enormous amount of competition. The key to success is standing out from the crowd—what marketers call differentiation.

Differentiation in the hotel industry is ultimately an ongoing exercise in creativity. For as many cookie-cutter corporate hotel chains in the world, there are just as many unique hotels offering innovative, creative, and truly one-of-a-kind experiences. Yes, the competition is fierce, and defining your own unique and attractive voice is challenging, but so are the rewards that come from meeting this challenge head-on.

As a hotel owner, there’s a very good chance that this is precisely why you got into the business in the first place. So, while there are many topics we could focus on that can help you to differentiate your hotel experience, today we’ll be focusing on just one—your hotel fitness center.

Fitness, in general, is an important part of many people’s lives, especially in today’s world of super-star Instagram models, endless YouTube channels dedicated to fitness, or #fitness trends surging across social media.

In short, fitness is a big deal to a great many people.

Offering a hotel fitness center is a great way to boost your attractiveness to travelers, potential long-term guests, and even local residents. Depending on the type of traveler, their needs for a gym or specific types of fitness classes can be an important deciding factor on whether they stay at your hotel or the one down the road.

So, What’s The Status of Your Hotel Fitness Center?

Many hotels advertise a fitness center, only for guests to find out once they arrive that the hotel “fitness center” is little more than a repurposed closet. Or, the fitness room is a poorly maintained, out-of-the-way room with shoddy machines and maybe a few weight sets. In these cases, it would be better to not have a fitness center at all, rather than to surprise guests who expect more.

But then other hotels offer cutting edge, visionary fitness centers. Some even span multiple floors, where everything from weight and cardio rooms, obstacle courses, boxing rings, yoga and meditation rooms, and Olympic sized swimming pools are made available to guests. Many hotel fitness centers don’t stop here, but also offer access to trainers, personal coaches, and specially-focused classes such as spinning, dance, HIIT, CrossFit, martial arts, and more.

Where does your hotel fitness center fall on this spectrum? Are you offering the very best and marketing your hotel as the place to stay for fitness-minded travelers, or are you trying to pass off a converted utility closet as a perk?

Wherever your hotel fitness center falls on this spectrum, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered more than a few inspiring ideas from the world’s best hotel fitness centers. This list is an excellent tool you can use for inspiration as you build, remodel, or update your hotel fitness center.

4 Key Features Your Hotel Fitness Center Can Offer to Attract Guests


Gym Partnerships

Chances are there are at least a few gyms located nearby your hotel. From major chains to hometown local fitness solutions, the opportunities for building a gym partnership are good. Partnerships like this create a mutually beneficial—and profitable—alliance between your hotel and partner(s) in a variety of ways.

Partnering with your local gyms, personal trainers and coaches, yoga and martial arts instructors/schools, wall and rock climbing, or parkour and obstacle courses is an excellent way to help build your local community while enhancing your hotel’s fitness center offerings.

These partnerships can include discounts or free trials at nearby gyms and advertising and marketing opportunities for your hotel and its partners, all while generating interest and enthusiasm for your hotel’s fitness center and the gyms around your local community. You could even incentivize your guests by offering some form of point rewards that can be used toward future bookings.

Partnering with local gyms is a great way to boost your hotel fitness center’s appeal because it allows you to offer a potentially wide variety of classes, personal training opportunities, and unique fitness offerings. Instead of hiring specialty staff, coaches, instructors, etc., and starting from the ground up, your hotel’s fitness center need only provide the space, equipment, and time slots, and the gym will do the rest.

For many, your partnership can provide a regular fitness space. This is very important for local instructors in need of a place to host classes, enabling them to attract local residents to your hotel’s fitness center, which can be great for awareness and reviews. A big perk of this partnership is that your arrangement will include that the instructor(s) make classes available to travelers and other hotel guests. Depending on the contract terms, you can even advertise these local instructors as specialty trainers available to fitness-focused travelers.

Hotel Pools and Fitness

Hotel Pools—indoor and out—are among the key feature attractions travelers look for, especially when on vacation. However, swimming and other pool activities offer a wide range of fitness solutions to guests looking for one of the best, low-impact workouts around.

While some hotels feature Olympic sized pools meant for fitness and training, your hotel doesn’t need to offer an Olympic training pool to attract guests with pool-themed fitness.

Designing fitness programs using your hotel pool(s) is a great way to attract guests, both local and traveling. Everything from fitness training, senior calisthenics, recovery, and even swimming lessons are potential offerings that can boost your hotel’s fitness center without requiring any significant investments in new equipment or finding additional space.

Yes, pool safety must be carefully monitored and regulated to prevent injuries, but using your hotel pool as a part of your overall hotel fitness program is an easy way to get fitness-focused guests excited.

In-Room Equipment Rental

While many people enjoy working out in group and class style settings, others prefer privacy. You may have a world-class hotel fitness center, but to those who want privacy, your fitness center may not be a strong enough lure.

One creative solution to meeting these privacy seekers’ needs is to offer in-room equipment rental.

Promoting this feature is an excellent way to attract these guests. You could provide this as an additional service offering during guest check-in, where guests can select their equipment needs for later delivery to their room. Additionally, if you build in-room equipment rental into the online reservation process, your guests can be greeted by a room all set up for them with whatever machines and other equipment they booked. How cool is that?!

In-room equipment rental is an easy way to ensure that all of your guest’s fitness needs are met while providing your hotel with an additional revenue stream that is very low-cost. When not in use, your equipment can be kept in your hotel fitness center, requiring no extra storage space.

Offer On-Site Fitness Classes

Offering on-site fitness classes in your hotel fitness center, courtyard, or any other suitable location on your hotel property is another exciting feature your hotel can offer to guests. This may be another way to establish gym partnerships, but there are quite a few independent fitness coaches, personal trainers, yoga instructors, and other specialized instructors who do not operate out of a gym.

For example, there are plenty of martial arts instructors who need a regular space to work out of that your hotel could provide for a fee. In many cases, these instructors likely already have a handful of local students, which can be a great way to help promote your hotel to the residents in your city.

On-site fitness classes won’t just impact your local community and travelers who are looking for the convenience of on-site yoga or spin classes. These classes can give your hotel an edge over the competition, especially if you offer unique and uncommon classes.

Rock climbing walls, obstacle courses like Spartan or CrossFit, fitness-focused dance classes, hot yoga, HiiT training, and more; the options here are nearly endless.

As an added feature, some of these classes may greatly benefit from (and attract more interest) if they are held at scenic locations around your hotel. Perhaps your hotel has beautiful gardens, breath-taking mountain views, or overlooks a gorgeous shoreline. If your hotel features creative architecture art galleries and aesthetic design, you could easily arrange to host on-site fitness classes in these areas.

Market Your Hotel Fitness Center to Differentiate

No matter what the status of your hotel fitness center, actively (and honestly) marketing it is an essential part of your overall advertising strategy. Travelers make their booking decisions based upon hotel features and amenities, and fitness is a big one.

Differentiating yourself from the competition is a vital hotel marketing strategy. Your hotel fitness center is only a part of this strategy, but a key part of it. Highlighting, improving, and expanding your hotel fitness center’s offerings is an easy way to enhance your hotel’s attractiveness to fitness-minded travelers.

Check out these fitness-focused hotels for more ideas and inspiration.

Check out our hotel marketing ideas and techniques blog for more tips that will help you inform new and repeat guests about your hotel fitness center!

Featured image and post images licensed for use via Unsplash.