3 -min. read

A good gym may be a temple for the body, but hotel gyms rarely have the looks to match the awe-inspiring results that they can generate. In fact, hotel gyms are usually the saddest part of a property – often buried in a basement or squeezed into a tiny corner of a building, where it seems that the architects and designers ran out of budget. You know the look: uninspiring décor and horrible fluorescent lighting. If you’re in a beach resort, or maybe in an urban oasis kind of hotel, you could get lucky with water or skyline views from the elliptical. Otherwise, it can be too easy to skip that workout before bed and hit the lobby bar instead.

Le Méridien hopes to change that, declaring an end to “windowless closet”-style gyms in favor of pretty fitness spaces that even feature designer wallpaper. You could say the wallpaper is what anchors the whole idea, with Le Méridien commissioning Brooklyn illustrator Dan Funderburgh to create three exclusive wallpaper patterns for the brand’s fitness centers, including a new take on the traditional toile. The Le Méridien gyms will also get other updates such as more flattering lighting, retro-style SMEG mini-fridges for cool towels, and water cooler cases with a mid-century modern design.

The new look kicked off at Le Méridien New Orleans, where the brand’s promise to add local flourishes to each design included the addition of vintage boxing gloves in the gym — paying homage to the first heavyweight boxing championship that took place just outside the city in 1870. Monaco and Paris are also flaunting the new gym design and later this year Le Méridien Houston and Le Méridien Fort Lauderdale will open with the new concept. Look for it in all of the brand’s properties by the end of the year.

Here are two other non-fugly hotel fitness centers we’d happily work up a sweat in – but there’s still room for the industry to get its game face on ahead of Equinox Hotels opening in (supposedly) 2019. We’ll be watching…


In a place where the gym is as important as the club, the new all-suite Hyde Hollywood Beach resort has what looks to be one of the best views from a treadmill, this side of working out opposite Dwayne Johnson (or whomever your chosen fitspo god or goddess may be). Put in your time at the state-of-the-art “cardio theatre” (sounds impressive) and treat yourself afterwards to a spell in a private cabana poolside. There’s also a yoga and Pilates studio.



It is hard to beat the workout you get playing basketball on the John R. Wooden Award Court. #laac #basketball

A post shared by The Los Angeles Athletic Club (@losangelesathleticclub) on

OK, so perhaps this fitness center has an unfair advantage… all 80,000 square feet of it. The Los Angeles Athletic Club was one of the first private membership gyms in the city and has facilities for yoga, squash, basketball, personal training and swimming in an Olympic-size pool. It’s also a pretty easy on the eyes boutique hotel with 72 rooms and suites. Your room rate gets you access to all things fitness on site.


Rebecca Wallwork
Rebecca Wallwork is a writer based in Miami Beach, although you’ll also find her checking out the newest hotels in New York City. She is a former contributing editor to HotelChatter, and loves dogs and books as much as she does hotels.

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