Hotels often don’t place much emphasis on their fitness centres and gyms, but this lesser-acknowledged part of the hotel could be a key to attracting more guests. We check out the how hotels could use better fitness centres to their advantage.
Millennials and fitness
It is rarely out of the headlines in hospitality industry news how millennials have drastically changed the hotel landscape. From their reliance on AirBnB to demanding local “experiences” and co-working areas, no demographic has shifted the hospitality model as much as millennials. Hotels have to work hard to keep up with their changing demands, and are often at a loss as to how to attract this tricky segment of the market. Well, perhaps the hotel fitness centre could be one way of doing this. Millennials are far more health and image conscious en masse than previous generations, and exercise is as much a part of their lifestyle as Instagram and remote working. In most hotels, the fitness centre is an afterthought, with just a handful of machines and dumbells that won’t satisfy an avid gym-goer. Making more of the gym could be a sure-fire way to lure millennials through the door by allowing them to work out while they travel.
Gym as social space
The contemporary lifestyle hotel puts the focus heavily on common spaces. Whether it be the hotel-as-town square attitude, putting accessible co-working spaces on the ground floor levels to attract guests, or marketing the hotel bar as a place to mingle with members of the public, spaces that facilitate socialising are more important than ever. However, the fitness centre is not seen within this realm. This could be seen as contradictory to a gym, where people go not only to exercise and work out, but also to meet people. Whether it is to make friends at a yoga class or to flirt with someone across the exercise machine, gyms are undoubtedly social spaces, and hotels could add another string to their bow by investing in better equipment and space within which to house the fitness centre. Having a cafe associated with the fitness centre would also encourage guests to mill about, chat and spend money in the hotel as opposed to going outside to try and find an independent gym.
Fitness and wellness
Wellness centres and spas are also a big hit in many hotels, yet these facilities often lack a fitness centre that could live up to its potential. Hotels planning a feature spa and wellness centre as part of their identity should consider the gym alongside the other amenities to give themselves a competitive edge.