'A guestroom dedicated to movement and mindfulness’: Hilton launches new in-room wellness concept

by Jane Kitchen | 18 Jul 2017
Travellers are committed to fitness more than they’ve ever been, and they’re experimenting with non-traditional exercise. Five Feet to Fitness is a programme that’s designed to meet those evolving needs
– Ryan Crabbe

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 innovator Wattbike, which can be used for either longer indoor exercise sessions or focused interval-training workouts. A dynamic Gym Rax functional training station delivers strength, suspension, core and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Also included in the room is a meditation chair, blackout shades for restorative sleep and Biofreeze 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 embedded within the Gym Rax system, 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. Crabbe was inspired to do his own guest research, and he found that a quarter of Hilton guests expressed interest in a dedicated in-room fitness concept. This, combined with a growth in popularity for functional training and the capacity challenges that every hotel faces at peak times, led to the development of the concept.

“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,” says Crabbe.

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

The Five for Fitness concept, which has just made its debut 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. Hotel owners interested in the concept must commit to at least three Five Feet to Fitness rooms.

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

The programme will launch in the US, but Crabbe says there’s “real potential for it to go global,” and that he intentionally partnered with companies with global distribution to create the room.

Hilton  Five Feet to Fitness  design  fitness  Ryan Crabbe 
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
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The Five Feet to Fitness concept brings more than 11 different fitness equipment and accessory options into the hotel room / Hilton
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