Are you the type of Muscle Mary that can’t go more than 48 hours without a gym visit?
For many, a vacation is a time when healthy eating and work-outs go by the wayside. However, that’s not true for everyone. We’ve visited some beautiful hotels where the gym facilities sadly came at the very bottom of the list of priorities: Great bedrooms and views, with a pokey, tiny fitness center hidden away in the windowless basement. Not so for the following getaways.
Check out some of the most awesome hotel fitness facilities in hotspots popular with gay travelers.
The Hotel at Midtown, Chicago
Rather than the gym being a hotel afterthought, here the focus is very much on fitness. Guests can access all six levels of Chicago’s Midtown Athletic Club. It’s more a hotel within a gym than the other way around! Its weights area features a distinctive, artificial turf field (so butch!). Other amenities include swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, yoga and boxing studios, and much more besides.
FIT at W Hotel, San Francisco
Situated on the top floor, the FIT gym at W Hotel in San Francisco features a huge, breathtaking skylight. As daylight fades, different color lighting rings completely change the look and feel of the room, lending a more nightclub vibe to the space. It certainly offers the ‘wow’ factor, besides state-of-the-art equipment. The hotel itself is a few blocks from the South of Market (SOMA) gay bars.
Aria, Las Vegas
Everything aims to be bigger and better in Las Vegas, and that’s certainly true of the hotels. Besides falling over themselves to offer luxurious spa facilities, many also take great pride in their fitness centers. Given it’s not unusual for hotels on The Strip to have hundreds, if not thousands of rooms, the gyms have to be big enough to accommodate a high turnover. One of the best is the gym at Aria, which offers a climbing wall, dozens of Technogym machines with advanced biometric readings, and a wide range of classes and personal trainers.
Equinox Hotel, New York City
Given that this New York City hotel is from the same people behind Equinox fitness clubs, it’s no surprise that the facilities at this Hudson’s Yard establishment are pretty spectacular. Opened in 2019, the club includes a 60,000 sq foot fitness center, a saltwater lap pool, SoulCycle Studio, and dozens of elite personal trainers. Guests can also access the E by Equinox private training club, while classes include an outdoor run up the 2,500 steps of the neighboring, iconic Vessel.
At the time of opening, Equinox had its eye on future hotel locations in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Chicago, Seattle, and Houston, although those plans may now be slightly delayed because of the pandemic.
Hotel X Toronto, Toronto
Boasting 90,000 square-feet, the 10XTO fitness center is the biggest one of its kind in Canada. Opened in 2018, it’s free to use for any guests of the Hotel X Toronto. Within that space, you get a huge, well-equipped gym, along with nine squash courts, four tennis courts, and several studios for yoga and other classes. It also boasts a terrific view, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario.
The Four Seasons, Lisbon
The Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal (a city so beloved by Madonna that she bought a home there), offers one of the most breathtaking running tracks in the world. The runway boasts a stunning rooftop view over the capital city. The 400-meter, u-shaped track looks out over the city and Tagus river. Inside, you’ll find a 700-square meter fitness facility stocked with state-of-the-art equipment and personal trainers, available 365 days of the year. The hotel offers 282 rooms over 10 floors.
Axel Hotel Barcelona
If you prefer to stay in hotels more aimed at the gay community, your first choice is likely to be Axel, which has ‘heterofriendly’ (i.e. gay but straight people welcome) branches in nine international hotspots. These include Berlin, Miami, Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Madrid. The one with the best gym is probably Axel Barcelona (not to be confused with the slightly smaller Two Hotel Barcelona). It offers a large range of free weights and cardio machines and some fabulous spa amenities.
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St Martin’s Lane Hotel, London
Some hotels offer great gym facilities because they happen to share space with a great, private gym. Such is the case with the gorgeous, Philippe Starck-designed St Martin’s Lane Hotel in London, which occupies the same building as GymBox. This modern, expansive and sleek fitness center boasts a huge free weights section, cycling studio, an Olympic-size boxing ring (it is after called GymBox), dozens of treadmills, daily classes, and nightly DJs! Its location places it just a five-minute walk from the gay bars of Soho.
Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
Opened in 2018, Hyatt Centric (formerly Hotel VIC) is a luxurious, twin-tower skyscraper overlooking Hong Kong’s famed harbor. With around 665 rooms, it offers a large, well-equipped rooftop gym. Not only does it offer stunning views over the harbor but it boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including two ICAROS: virtual reality flying machines!
The hotel is in North Point, near the gay bars and saunas in the Wan Chai district, while the Sheung Wan ‘gayborhood’ is about 25 minutes on the subway.