News feature

Five feet to fitness

The company’s senior director of global wellness, Ryan Crabbe, believes the concept will boost the health and happiness of hotel guests around the world

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Hospitality giant Hilton has unveiled a new in-room concept, Five Feet to Fitness, which brings more than 11 different fitness equipment and accessory options into the hotel room and creates an upselling option for hotel operators.

Ryan Crabbe, senior director of global wellness for Hilton says the room is a “personal wellbeing stage”.

“We like to describe it as a guestroom dedicated to movement and mindfulness,” he told CLAD. “It really is the first of its kind – a hybrid room.”

The Five Feet to Fitness room features an indoor bike from British cycling firm Wattbike, a Gym Rax functional training station, a meditation chair, blackout shades for restorative sleep and products to ease muscle tension.

A fitness space – around 100sq ft (9 sq m) – is located near a room’s window and features sports-performance flooring. “People need to run, move and sweat – and you can’t do that on carpet,” said Crabbe.

At the heart of the concept is the Fitness Kiosk, a touch-screen display where guests can get equipment tutorials and follow guided workout routines.

“Travellers are committed to fitness more than they’ve ever been, and they’re experimenting with non-traditional exercise,” said Crabbe. “Five Feet to Fitness is a programme that’s designed to meet those evolving needs and to keep guests happy and healthy before, during and after their stay. What this means for us is we have to broaden the hotel fitness experience by making it easier to maintain – and start – healthy habits while travelling. We now sense a real opportunity for doing that.

“The room is very different from the way others in the hospitality industry have imagined in-room fitness; often it’s been done by putting in a piece of equipment in the closet or rolling in a piece of cardio, but we really wanted to reimagine the space in its entirety and be empathetic with customers who want to work out but don’t make it to the gym.

Crabbe said the concept was inspired by a Cornell University study released last year, which found 46 per cent of travellers say they want to work out while they’re at a hotel, but only around 20 per cent actually do.

“We know no matter how successful people are at making healthy decisions at home, replicating those choices while travelling is often not as easy as it should be,” he explained.

“We’re creating choice for guests and enabling them to control their own fitness experience.”

The concept, which has debuted at the Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco and the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in Virginia, will be an upgrade to a standard room, with customers paying US$45 extra.

Hiltons in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and San Diego have already signed up.

The programme has launched in the US, but Crabbe says there’s “real potential for it to go global.”

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