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Hilton has an answer for fitness fanatics who can’t take a rest day, even on vacation.
For the last five years, some Hilton locations have included Five Feet to Fitness, an “in-room wellness concept” that offers 11 different fitness machines and exercise tools steps from a guest’s bed.
The rooms, which are available in Hilton locations in Atlanta, San Francisco, Shanghai, and more, are equipped with an exercise bike, medicine balls, light-weight dumbbells, bands, TRX ropes, yoga blocks, and other supplies.
The setup includes a giant TV filled with tutorials on how to use all the equipment, and guided workouts for yoga, high intensity interval training, cycling, boxing, and .
It’s Hilton’s answer to the travel industry introducing new features to cash in on the $639 billion “wellness tourism” trend, or wealthy travelers’ interest in retreats focused on self-care, health, and spirituality.
In 2019, the Four Seasons launched Sensei Lanai, a relaxation resort offering wellness consultations and sensory walking meditation. Marriott will offer wellness-focused suites, complete with deep soaking tubs, bath salts, and wood decor, in its renovated Newport Beach location
I stayed at Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness room in the DoubleTree at Newark, New Jersey to see how “well” they made me feel. Here’s what it was like.
Upon walking in, I was immediately impressed by the selection of different tools. The hotel gyms I’ve stayed at typically don’t have TRX bands and guided training like Five Feet to Fitness rooms do.
With weights that ranged between 5 and 18 pounds, the setup felt geared more toward light strength training and might not appeal to guests who are used to heavier weights and more intense reps.
Though the setup could be stressful for people who don’t want to workout on vacation, I view physical exercise as a mental health treatment. After struggling with and anxiety for years, consistently working out has brought me relief that I struggle to break from during long trips.
Business travelers could further benefit from having exercise equipment so close to them. Frequent business travelers were more likely to report poor self-rated health, no physical activity, and trouble sleeping, according to Harvard Business Review. Five Feet to Fitness rooms can provide a place to workout late at night, when hotel gyms might close.
Hilton said the Five Feet to Fitness rooms are ideal for “road warriors, exercise enthusiasts and wellness aspirants who want to maintain their fitness regime, even while on the road.”
I decided to workout in two different ways: a guided cycling class with the exercise bike and a high-intensity interval circuit using the other equipment in the room.
The exercise bike was easily adjustable, but I struggled to move the heavy equipment around to face the TV.
The bike itself was high-quality, but I found the tutorial a bit distracting due to the playlist on the right-hand side of the screen. The tutorial programmed 15-second breaks between videos within a playlist, instead of just having one 30-minute long video with non-stop biking. I ended up ditching the video and just cycling on my own for a half-hour.
Though my plan was to immediately switch to another workout, I found myself yearning for the giant bed five feet away from me as I toiled on the exercise bike.
I decided to lie down immediately after cycling, and I stayed in bed for an hour — maybe a bit longer than I should have.
Even though I wanted to call it a day, the exercise equipment right next to me made it difficult for me to make excuses not to workout.
I pulled out a medicine ball, some dumbbells, weighted sand bags, a bosu ball, and the TRX band and went into my HIIT circuit.
Though yoga mats are supposed to be in Five Feet to Fitness locations, the Newark room did not have a yoga mat. I found that my socks kept slipping on the hardwood floor, and I didn’t have that much carpet space.
My favorite part about Hilton’s set up was the privacy I got. I usually work out in gyms, where I can’t loudly sigh “I don’t want to do this anymore” or “I hate this” in the middle of my sets. But in the privacy of a hotel room, I got to count loudly and complain as I pleased.
In the morning, I did a guided meditation tutorial. This was actually a full video, not just a playlist, so I found it easy to follow.
I normally don’t meditate, but the tutorial was an excellent way to clear my mind before starting my day.
But aside from the meditation class and foam roller, the Five Feet to Fitness rooms primarily included fitness equipment. The rooms were supposed to come with Biofreeze muscle soreness relief wipes, but the Newark location did not have any.
I would love if the rooms offered a massage chair, adjustable beds, natural light lamps, or any other wellness products.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Five Feet to Fitness room. I think the rooms are a perfect option for people like me, who struggle with not working out during vacation, and business travelers who can’t easily exercise in hotels.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort