Resort Workouts

Properties on the Garden Isle are improving their fitness facilities.

By: Marty Wentzel

POIPU, Kauai Even when clients are visiting a destination like Kauai that’s rich in outdoor adventures, many of them still rely on their daily trip to the gym. With that in mind, properties on the Garden Isle are improving their fitness facilities.

The Fitness Factor

A recent survey of business travelers sheds light on the growing importance of exercise rooms in hotels. Ninety percent of the people who responded said exercise relieves stress on the road. Sixty percent said exercise helps alleviate jet lag, and 78 percent said workouts are a good way to get over a rough day. (The survey was conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide for Westin Hotels & Resorts.)

“Working out is a way of life for many upscale travelers,” said Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide chairman and CEO, who exercises four days a week. “In fact, 69 percent of business travelers said that a state-of-the-art fitness facility in a hotel would favor that hotel in their selection process.”

Additionally, 59 percent said that the quality of hotel fitness facilities is an important factor in their choice of a hotel.

Sheraton Kauai Resort, a Starwood property in Poipu, has made access to its fitness center complimentary to all in-house guests who pay the hotel’s daily resort charge.

“While it’s true that Kauai offers great outdoor fitness experiences, there are many people who are still interested in getting their exercise through familiar means, like lifting weights, running on a treadmill and using exercise equipment,” said Erica Neves, Starwood Hawaii spokesperson. “Our guests have that option available to them.”

Sheraton Kauai’s 1,211-square-foot fitness center provides ocean views for guests looking for an inspiring workout locale. Clients have access to such equipment as presses, pull-downs, benches, treadmills, stationary bicycles and free weights, and they can sign up for yoga classes there.

New Equipment

Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort and Spa has improved its fitness center as part of a recent $1 million makeover of its 25,000-square-foot Anara Spa. Upgrades included new floor and wall coverings and the addition of new cardio equipment like Life Fitness treadmills, elliptical trainers and recumbent bikes. Other amenities include stairmasters and a variety of weight equipment, from shoulder presses to bicep curls.

A separate room is set aside for a broad range of fitness classes like Pilates, aerobics, tai chi and yoga. Windows on one wall of the workout room offer views of tropical gardens.

Also in South Kauai, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has announced plans for the creation of Poipu Spa and Fitness, a 7,000-square-foot structure on five acres near the area’s shopping village, golf course and accommodations.

A private venture managed by Outrigger, the facility is expected to open within one year. Along with a spa component, it will feature such fitness services as personal training, sports-specific exercise training, functional training, body composition enhancement, multi-station weight machines, free weights and classes in aerobics, yoga and Pilates.

Workout With a View

On the East Coast, meanwhile, Radisson Kauai Beach Resort opened a boutique spa and exercise center last year. Located on the first floor overlooking the hotel’s lagoons, it features a 1,000-square-foot workout room. For $8 per room per day, guests seeking structured exercise can use its free weights, universal gym, stationary bikes, treadmills and sauna.

Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club recently took the wraps off its bigger, better fitness and aerobics center, relocated to the ground floor of the resort.

“The workout facility was moved to an area more convenient for our guests,” said Rod Lau, Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club director of sales. The 2,500-square-foot center features equipment such as a crunch machine, treadmills, runners, recumbent and stationary bikes, a smith machine, flex systems, a lat/midrow machine, bench press, shoulder press, leg curl machine and free weights. Guests can sign up at the facility for aerobics, yoga and Pilates classes.


Today’s hottest travel accessories are a pair of sneakers and some sweats, according to a recent survey by Lieberman Research Worldwide. Here are a few more results from the firm’s survey of 300 business travelers, titled “Road Runners: Working Out on the Road”:
" 70 percent of those surveyed said that working out is a good way to bond with colleagues
" 53 percent said exercising is good for their business image
" 62 percent said that during the reservation process, they ask if a hotel has a workout room

But while working out on the road is important, hotel fitness rooms could be in better shape, according to the survey:
" 61 percent of travelers surveyed have encountered hotels without fitness facilities
" 53 percent said they didn’t like the workout room
" 49 percent have encountered broken equipment in hotel fitness rooms
" 64 percent said hotel fitness centers feel like an afterthought
" 75 percent said the quality of hotel workout rooms is inconsistent from one hotel to the next
" 55 percent have decided not to use a hotel workout room because it was in such bad condition
" 41 percent said the facilities were too crowded
" 46 percent said the workout room was closed when they needed it