In Anaheim, wellness gets personal

ANAHEIM, CA—The way people work out has changed, and in order to meet guest needs, the Anaheim Marriott recently renovated its fitness center.

The renovation was part of an overall modernization of the hotel. Phil Aldax, director of hotel operations, Anaheim Marriott, said, “We’ve renovated our rooms. We’ve renovated the lobby. We have actually really modernized the hotel. When the hotel was built back in 1981, it was a very modern hotel for its time. Over the years, obviously, we have changed it, but in the last five years, we’ve really modernized it to set it up for conventions of the future and the transient guests of the future.”

Aldax said that the fitness center was fairly modern already when the renovations began. “We never really got too many complaints,” he said. “The only feedback that we got was the equipment we had in there was great, but at the end of the day, things are changing in the fitness world right now.”

Now, the fitness center offers indoor turf designed for speed, agility training, and absorbing impact; a new 65-in. Wexer touchscreen on the fitness floor containing on-demand virtual content; TRX training videos on the Wexer touchscreen; a new Octane MT8000 HIIT Trainer; and a custom-designed and built amenity station including an Elkay bottle filling station.

Through research, including visits to Peloton, and working with Growth Fitness Design of Orange County, CA, the operations team found that people want fitness on-demand. “With time constraints, people are trying to create fitness on-demand at home,” he said. “What you are starting to see now is people have their workouts, their routines, whether they wake up at 5 in the morning or they get home at 7. But they get fitness on-demand—workouts that are designed for them, connected, yet interactive workouts that they can do at home.”

Guests want to take those routines with them when they travel and want equipment that will let them do that. “What we did in selecting a lot of our machines is try to see how much connectivity [we could add] without being overdone—because we are not trying to be a 24 Hour Fitness,” he said. “But we wanted to make sure as a traveler, when you are away from home, you can bring those workouts with you, you can go downstairs and actually do an interactive workout and carry your profile with you.”

To help coordinate the workouts for guests, the Wexer touchscreen offers the latest trending workouts. “The Wexer is really incredible,” said Aldax. “The Wexer designs a workout with everything that is within the gym so you are being given direction of how to work out.”

The hotel is also the first property to receive new interactive equipment from Life Fitness, according to Aldax. “They have classes on-demand now that you can sign up for,” he said. “As people are buying them—and you are going to see this more and more in the next few years—if you buy a Life Fitness treadmill at home, you are going to be able to follow that Life Fitness workout as you travel in different hotels. A lot of hotels that are doing renovations are starting to think about this. It was an expensive upgrade, but it was worth it.”

The property also offers exclusive custom-created Spartan Race training video workouts on the Wexer unit. Spartan also inspired the addition of turf in the gym. “They create zones in the way you work out,” he said. “We thought it would be great if we created a zone where you could do dry land workouts. To do that, we wanted to make something a little bit different with a different feel in our gym. That is why we started talking about the turf. It is a zone where you can go in and do everything on the TRX System as well as the Wexer. Everything is incorporated, so if you want to do sandbags, medicine balls, stretches, you can; it is like a zone kind of workout.” HB