Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Leisure Report (A new way to serve up hotel fitness) on how I see a very different kind of health and fitness proposition for hotels. What follows is a story about Brio House, which is a hotel I conceived and am yet to build!
It is Sunday evening and you are about to set off on yet another business trip that will see you away from your family and normal routines for three nights. You researched that the hotel has a health and fitness club and so pack your gym bag. Fast forward the clock to the following Wednesday when you haul your weary body back through your front door, re-acquaint yourself with your family and un-pack. Guess what? Yet again, your gym shoes shared no time with your feet. Why is it that in the intervening three days a miserly thirty minutes was not found to enjoy the pool or walk the beautiful hotel grounds?
It is this ‘good intention’ mind-set that has influenced hoteliers to build health and fitness facilities into their offer. What started as installing a cheap home exercise bike into a disused store room has evolved into purpose designed spa and well-being centres such as the new Radisson SAS Farnham Estate Health Spa in Cavan, Ireland costing £7 million and spanning 40,000 (3,700 square metres). However, here is the quandary.Some hotel-based health and fitness centres may now compare well with David Lloyd and Holmes Place, yet only 3-5% of hotel guests continue to use them. Building bigger and better has made no impact on hotel usage.
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