Planning and Design - The Fitness Amenity

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | April 01, 2010

So very much of your time today is correctly focused on the guest experience. What factors inspire guests to utilize your fitness amenity? Are they purely driven by an acceptable level of equipment offering? Not any more. Properly outfitted and substantive fitness equipment offering some time ago moved from being an option to an expectation. Today, the best examples of hotel based fitness amenities incorporate a thoughtful design of space, not simply a supply of gear. The most challenging aspect of this endeavor is that an offering in fitness should not simply be static in nature, but rather a continually evolving and dynamic space, incorporating inspiring esthetics while always remaining functionally relevant.

Great design in fitness today requires revisiting your wellness offering frequently enough to insure the guest experience exceeds the growing expectation of this valuable amenity. Management should continually observe the way in which participants make use of the facility during limited but valued exercise time while away from their likely more sophisticated offerings at home. The following are 10 important areas of Planning & Design to be mindful of to more effectively maximize your property's commitments to fitness. .

Begin with the end in mind

The commitment to ongoing flexibility within the fitness environment requires both budgetary and creative support; areas often easier to contemplate than achieve. For existing facilities, a plan to "phase" into improvements to both equipment and interior design elements, while always working towards a vision of the finished product is the suggested way to start. Backing into an operational budget that will allow for the planned rotation of equipment with allowances for preventative maintenance, accessory support, and periodic re-freshing of floor coverings and other interior elements is essential.

Light and Space

A fitness environment is highly sensitive to energy flow. Natural or well planned artificial light sources are critical. Even with the best planning, real estate will generally always be constrained. However, by incorporating windows for effective lighting, and a measured use of mirror, you will always have the essential building blocks to work with for fitness. Mirror offers a duality of purpose as it is both desirable as a training tool to focus on ones exercise form, while at the same time it may be used effectively in creating the illusion of a larger space. Today, framed or free standing mirrors provide a more tailored look vs. the more commonly incorporated floor to ceiling supply found in health clubs.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.