Fitness-Focused Hotels Around the Country
Stay healthy when you’re on vacation with these noteworthy fitness and wellness programs.
If maintaining your healthy routine is a priority while you’re on vacation, check out these hotels with noteworthy fitness and wellness offerings.
L’Auberge de Sedona – Sedona, AZ
Guests at L’Auberge don’t have to make any effort to connect with nature — they’re surrounded by it. The resort and spa sits on the banks of picturesque Oak Creek, overlooks lush green woods, and gives you awe-inspiring views of Sedona’s majestic red rocks.
Take a complimentary morning yoga class, and get a Quiet Mind massage in the spa — or in a creekside yurt complete with the sounds of gently-babbling water.
And since this is mystical Sedona (known as much for its spiritual energy vortexes, healing crystal and aura readings as for those postcard-worthy red rock formations), L’Auberge also offers some more creative ways to achieve tranquility. Like the Sound Healing class, which promotes wellness through gentle noises and vibrations. Or Forest Bathing — also known as Shin-rin-yoku in Japan, where it a recognized part of the country’s national health program — the practice of immersing oneself in nature (no actual bathing required!).
A certified Forest Bathing instructor gives a brief introduction to the principles of this art, then extends a series of “invitations” for participants to connect with their natural surroundings using all their senses (think dipping your feet in the rushing creek or sitting still in the forest and following the movements of birds or swaying trees). The aim is to leave guests feeling de-stressed, refreshed and equipped with new tools to connect with nature on a more profound level.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate – Asheville, NC
If your idea of a vacation is a vigorous trail-running or mountain-biking session followed by some good food and a craft beer, Asheville is your ideal destination. And no trip here would be complete without a visit to the city’s famed Biltmore Estate, which boasts 8,000 acres of varied terrain to explore.
You’ve likely seen photos of the spectacular Biltmore House, the 250-room chateau built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. It’s staggering size and beauty will make you wonder if you might be in the Loire Valley instead of North Carolina (to this day, the family-owned Biltmore remains the largest privately-owned home in the country).
If you don’t happen to be part of the modern Vanderbilt clan, the best way to see the house, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed gardens, and the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains is to stay overnight at the elegant Inn that’s also on the grounds. And from there, it’s an easy stroll down to the Bike Barn, where you can get outfitted to hit the trails.
For family-friendly jaunts with young kids, opt for cruisers or tandems (from $15) and head for the paved paths. Meander along the lovely French Broad River past open meadows, working farmland, and a pretty lagoon. Chances are you’ll encounter some horse-drawn carriages and local wildlife too. Or for a more challenging ride, pick out a hybrid or mountain bike and follow the trail map to the more rugged woodland trails that offer heart-pumping uphill climbs along with views of the house and undulating blue mountains.
The Westin Verasa Napa – Napa, CA
This centrally-located Napa hotel makes fitness a priority with running and yoga experts available on-call for guests. Running concierges lead free 5km guided group runs for people of all levels upon request. They’re also happy to talk you through and map out a customized running or walking route that will take you past local sights like the scenic Napa River, East Napa Reservoir and Park, and the famed Oxbow Market. (Be sure to swing by the market when you’re done for a fresh-pressed organic juice at Hudson Greens & Goods.)
Take a free group yoga class in the scenic courtyard, or consider booking a private class with the hotel’s yoga concierge ($75). The sounds you’ll hear while breathing through Downward-Facing Dog and Warrior II al fresco won’t come from a piped-in soundtrack but from happy California birds chirping in the sunshine.
Do some laps in the outdoor saltwater pool and take advantage of the light-filled fitness studio facing the pool and courtyard. It’s roomy and outfitted with ample kettlebells, cardio machines and strength-training equipment, so you won’t get that claustrophobic feeling that comes along with working out in the usual closet-sized hotel gym.
One more thing to love: Westin locations everywhere help guests pack light and stay fit while traveling by offering a gear-lending program. Borrow New Balance shoes and workout clothes during your stay for just $5…and leave room in your suitcase to bring some bottles back home from wine country.
Kimpton Brice Hotel – Savannah, GA
Sure, you could hit the gym while you’re visiting Savannah (and the Brice does have a lovely poolside fitness center). But when the gorgeous, storied and totally bike-friendly city of Savannah is right outside your door, you’ll probably want to get outside instead. So borrow one of the hotel’s complimentary cherry-red Public brand bikes…and get peddling.
The hotel’s location on Bay Street in Savannah’s historic district is the perfect jumping-off point for seeing the city on two wheels: It’s right on the Savannah River with its long stretches of grassy parks dripping with live oaks.
Get the lay of the land on the riverside paths, and then explore the city’s many famous green squares, famed historic mansions and churches, and the iconic fountain in charming Forsyth Park. Make a pit stop for some shrimp and grits (or crab stew, BBQ, oysters, collard greens, or a cocktail), then jump back on your scarlet two-wheeler to burn it all off while seeing the sights. Repeat.
Photos courtesy of the hotels.