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Saturday June 8, 2013

Hotels for health-minded travellers

Feeling healthy? There are hotels now that offer healthy holiday packages with perks like a loaned pair
of sneakers or even a running buddy called a ‘running concierge’. Feeling healthy? There are hotels now that offer healthy holiday packages with perks like a loaned pair of sneakers or even a running buddy called a ‘running concierge’.

Wellness is one of the hottest hotel trends this year.

HEALTH-minded travellers have never been so spoiled for choice – there are now hotels offering fitness concierges and appointed running buddies.

Here are a few good places to stay while on a vacation.

> InterContinental has launched a new hotel brand called Even, the first mainstream hotel brand to focus exclusively on wellness.

Exercise options include in-room touches, such as a coat-rack that doubles as a pull-up bar, well-equipped gyms, personalised fitness advice for all guests and a Wellness Wall with exercise ideas, walking distances and equipment rental information on display.

The first Even hotel is slated to open in New York by the end of 2014, while the company envisions opening another 100 US locations over the next five years, InterContinental announced late last year.

> Four Seasons in Canada uses wellness concierges, who plan your daily wellness itinerary, including spa appointments, healthy meals and workouts.

In addition, Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers a Path To Wellness package, a three-night stay offering meditation, aromatherapy and a yoga mat, as well as a fitness plan and outdoor guide to direct guests on mountain adventures.

> At the New York boutique hotel, guests can borrow the new “Forgot It? We’ve Got It – Runner’s Edition” kit which includes a music-filled iPod shuffle, a sports watch with a built-in pedometer, a running belt, water bottles and a map of the Hudson River running path.

Return from your run and you’ll find a Gatorade and a Power Bar waiting in your room.

> Perks being offered at Sheraton Hotels and Resorts include a “workout in a bag”, which includes instructional cards, foam rollers and a mat.

> Westin Hotels and Resorts will loan guests a pair of New Balance sneakers and workout clothes just in case they’ve left theirs at home. If you need a running buddy, a “running concierge” can lead the way.

> Launched as a health club business in 2000, Europe’s Aspria recently added four urban wellness hotels – Berlin, Brussels, Hanover, Hamburg – that offer a sports club, spa, and healthy meals at its “vital lounges”.

> Las Vegas’s MGM Grand recently converted numerous rooms into “Stay Well” rooms, chock full of 16 health amenities. Expect personalised spa menus, wake-up light therapy, air purification and aromatherapy, vitamin C-infused showers and wellness videos from Deepak Chopra.

> Fairmont Hotels and Resorts now offer a new “Fairmont Fit” programme, rolling out in 80 of their hotels around the world this year.

The package includes fitness gear, mp3 players and cruiser bikes to borrow, with some hotels offering group fitness and “run clubs”.

> London’s Eccleston Square Hotel offers Hastens’ “Mind Spa” relaxation programming, which broadcasts sleep-inducing natural images and sounds in your room to promote better sleep.

> Hotel Rio Sagrado near Cuzco, Peru, also offers a package called “A Good Night’s Sleep”, where yoga instructors meet guests in their room for sleep-inducing yoga sessions and herbal massage sessions. – AFP

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