It doesn’t seem like too much to expect from a hotel gym – a treadmill in good working order. Yet it’s all that’s needed to keep travellers happy, at least according to a poll conducted by USA Today.
The poll saw 52% of readers say they were “happy to find a treadmill that works”, while only one in three wanted a set of free weights.
Just 5% nominated “a private area for stretching, yoga or Pilates” as a key criteria for a hotel gym, although it should be noted that these are often activities which can be done in the privacy of one’s room – and several hotels are now offering larger ‘fitness rooms’ along with yoga mats (and exercise balls) for guests who want to stretch in their own suite.
Barbara De Lollis, editor of the USA Today Hotel Check-in column, says the results of the poll match what Hilton Hotels’ fitness guru Jodi Sullivan told her during a recent interview: “Customers say, ‘We just want cardio equipment that functions properly’”.
De Lollis also cites Jim Kaese from athleticmindedtraveler.com, who says that “runners (and) walkers are the most frequent athletic-minded guests… they are the most popular exercise activities so it makes sense that a working treadmill comes in at number one.”
However, Kaese also noted that many runners and walkers prefer to get active outside the hotel if possible rather than confine their activities to the gym.