Running while on vacation and even taking "running vacations," can be amazing ways to see the world and make new friends. But planning a workout into your schedule can sometimes be a hassel when all you want to do is simply strap on your sneakers and go. We have compiled some great recommendations for those who need a "Running Concierge".
Forget the old treadmill in the hotel's dingy fitness center. Some hotels are pulling out all the stops to help guests stay fit and healthy. Look for a hotel s with a "running concierge" that meets groups in the lobby for daily runs. At dozens of Westin properties, for example, runners of all levels can go on three- and five-mile guided runs through major cities. You'll even receive a towel and a bottle of water on your return. Some properties make jogging strollers available at no charge to bring little ones along for the ride. Select Kimpton hotels offer regular group runs as well with especially good programs in San Francisco. Stay at Kimpton's INK 48 in New York and they really have you covered; they'll provide a runner's amenity kit, including a Hudson River path map, pre-loaded iPod Shuffle with headphones, and an athletic sports watch.
Perhaps you prefer a quiet, individual workout. Get your fitness fix in private -- in your room, no less -- so you can exercise whenever the mood strikes. Just book a signature Fitness Room (you'll have to pay slightly extra) at any one of the 100-plus TRYP by Wyndam locations around the world, and your room will come stocked with an exercise machine (like a stationary bike, elliptical machine or treadmill) and complimentary exercise clothing.
Staying fit at Fairmont requires little other than a phone call to the front desk where you can request Fairmont Fit. You'll then get workout apparel and footwear, an MP3 player pre-loaded with music, and yoga mat and stretch band you can use during your stay. (You have to be a member of the President's Club, which is free. When you register you'll be asked to fill out your apparel sizes so that information is available to Fairmont staff when you call.) Love the fitness gear? You have the option to purchase it. If you're lucky enough to stay at a location that offers this, take an innovative fitness class (fees might apply) like Aerial Yoga at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona where a hammock is suspended from the ceiling, or Floating Yoga at the Fairmont Orchid on Hawaii's Big Island where you can practice yoga on stand-up paddleboards.
Most of the Hyatt hotels also have a fitness concierge who can help you get workout gear (like swim goggles) and give you maps with designated running and walking routes. Some can even provide GPS watches so you don't have to worry about getting lost when you log an outdoor sweat. Hungry? Choose healthy cuisine from the StayFit menu.
Here's a new twist on room service: When you call the front desk at a Sheraton, you can ask for the complimentary Gym-In-A-Bag with tools to help you log a good sweat session. You'll get a book packed with exercises, mat, resistance band, massage stick and foam roller. And if you have to order room service, Sheraton's Color Your Plate program features meals generally under 500 calories with a minimum of three colors from fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Sometimes your hotel can find great fitness opportunities within the local community. Like the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz., where you can take advantage of the guided hikes to nearby Pinnacle Peak. If you're visiting Whistler, B.C., for the Ironman Canada, use the free bike washing stations, tuning kits and storage. (Four Seasons Whistler also has a ski concierge.) Don't have time to hit the gym in Beverly Hills? Use the custom personal training app on your in-room iPad. Going for a morning run in Boston? Borrow workout clothes, running shoes and a jogging map on your way out, and get a towel and water when you return. In fact, several Four Seasons hotels will lend you workout clothes, so you don't have to worry about what do with those sweaty socks while traveling.
So lighten your luggage, leave your workout clothes at home, and enjoy a worry-free (not a workout free) vacation!