Hotel gyms and health clubs were once forgotten spaces tucked out of sight and out of mind, under-resourced and under-used by hotel guests. However, with today’s increased competition for attention, loyalty, and dollars, and with technology promising to reshape the hotel gym with new fitness content and equipment, hoteliers have the opportunity to distinguish their properties with exceptional health and wellness experiences.
What does this opportunity look like? Here’s a quick primer.
Cost Savings From Hard Fixtures
The gyms of the 1990s and early 2000s had one thing in common: the need for heavy, expensive, and quickly outdated pieces of equipment, from treadmills and stationary bikes to fixed weights. This necessitated larger footprints, regular maintenance, and ongoing upkeep of fitness centers that could still quickly look and feel outdated. The advent of advanced hardware—flat screens, digital kiosks, touchscreens, and the content they deliver—meant smaller footprints, a more intimate feel, easier and less expensive maintenance, and greater customization for the guest.
Create Custom Experiences for Guest Loyalty
The hospitality industry has undergone incredible change over the past few decades, including the boom in boutique brand hotels and experiences, in-room design and product packaging, common area lounges, and more. Hotel guests now expect an exceptional experience across all touch points, and on-site fitness centers are the next frontier for exceeding those expectations. Specially curated, on-demand fitness content can help guests maintain their activities even while on the road and allow them to synchronize their workout progress with the same digital programs they use at home or in their own gyms, e.g., daily work out challenges, cycling through exotic locations, and specialty exercise classes. Guests can even wind down from the stresses of travel through guided meditation, stretching, and yoga.
Fitness Technology Helps Brands Level Up
Many hotel chains are leveling up and looking to position themselves as luxury brands at every price point. Hotels have used rooftop pools and indoor wellness spas as focal points to market premium experiences to guests for years. Today, the health club and gym space has become a new kind of experiential currency—softly lit, intimate, tech-forward spaces where guests can use touch-screen panels to call up personalized workouts or wind-down content, free from the fluorescent lighting and clunky weight rooms of yesteryear. Some chains are introducing a version of on-demand fitness content into guestrooms, combining inexpensive equipment such as resistance bands and balance balls to create private fitness environments.
Omnichannel delivery connects guests to the brand’s experience through mobile apps, in-studio content, in-room workouts, and e-marketing initiatives. Presenting premium digital fitness content geared towards customer demands creates a seamless experience between the guest and hotel brand, making a hotel’s brand stickier in a competitive field and helping to generate affinity and loyalty over the long run.