New upmarket Even health-minded hotels for InterContinental

By John Walton, March 1 2012

Even, a new upscale hotel chain aimed at the keep-fit business traveller, is arriving in the US from the InterContinental Hotels Group.

That's good news for those of us who groan to find a lonely 1990s treadmill and an unloved exercise bike in a dark, downstairs hotel gym, and return to the room to find late-night room service options are deeply unhealthy.

Slotting in around the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands familiar to Australians, Even will be eligible for earning those business traveller favourite IHG Priority Club loyalty points.

Even hotels plan to up the healthy hotels stakes in four areas: exercise, eat, work, and rest.

Exercise: you'll find in-room workout options (like a coat rack doubling as a pull-up bar), top-notch gyms with decent equipment and group exercise options, specific info about local fitness options, plus advice and instruction -- all as part of your room rate.

Eat: Even will aim for "natural, fresh, fit and energising" food, with open-air café and bar, flavoured filtered water available any time (and bottles so you can take some back to your room), as well as free coffee and mini-smoothies at breakfast-time.

Work: wifi, multimedia ports, easy-access power points, a decent amount of desk room and spaces in the bar and lobby to get some work done outside your room.

Rest: your room gets hypoallergenic linens, powerful showerheads, natural lighting, LED dimming lights and antibacterial wipes.

Further details are sparse at this stage, though the amount of "wellness" jargon is mindblowing -- "customised approach to holistic wellness", "better lifestyle decisions" and all. The InterContinental group plans to announce the first location within the next few months and open the first Even hotel in 2013.

An IHG spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller: "Primary locations identified as priorities for EVEN’s rollout include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington DC."

But "there are no expressed plans to introduce Even Hotels to this region at this stage", the spokesman confirmed, so you'll need to be across the Pacific to find one.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


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