No matter how sublime the hotel fitness center, getting down to business in gym togs can be a tall order when you’re on the road, whether for business or pleasure. That’s partly why a number of hotels from the Far East to the Middle East are coming up with creative new ways to incentivize the move from the chaise to the gym.
Animal Inspiration @ Fusion Maia Danang
Fusion’s novel Warrior Workout was designed in-house at the all-spa-inclusive resort on Vietnam’s central coast. The 60-minute class blends yoga, martial arts and animal movement, for a heat building and spiritually aligned workout. Each class is in sync with the resort’s Natural Living Program, daily principles that cover a person’s wellbeing from getting social to eating well. Sessions are named after their animal inspiration with the seven day schedule running through a range of creatures from Crouching Tiger to Dancing Dragon.
Swimming with the Greats @ Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo’s ‘Energizing Tokyo’ experience is one way to get in the groove for when the world’s greatest athletes arrive in the city this coming summer. The package includes a number of optional health and wellness activities – such as kayaking, cycling and running, as well as a private swim lesson with former Japanese Olympic swimmer and Asian Games medallist, Hanae Ito. During the one hour lesson in the hotel’s pool, Hanae works with interested guests to perfect their swimming techniques.
Bouncing off the Wall @ Chedi Muscat
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, the fitness guru at the Chedi Muscat lines four guests up against the wall, and lets them have it for 50 minutes. The wall, a Kinesis Wall, is a springboard to a whole body functional workout that provides resistance in every direction. Tethered to the wall by cables, participants lunge and jump, squat and skip their way to greater strength, stability and flexibility. Gluttons for punishment might bounce off the wall and into the hotel’s 103-meter Long Pool, the longest in Oman, for a few laps.
Boxing for the Soul @ Banyan Tree Samui
When in Thailand, do as the Thais. And that could certainly be said for Thai boxing, the national sport and something of a sporting obsession. It looks brutal, but Muay Thai, as it’s known, is highly revered as an all-round routine for mind, body and soul. Banyan Tree Samui’s gruelling 60-minute classes on Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays cater to all levels of fitness and experience and are free for guests. Or you can hire a private coach while you are at the resort, which overlooks sapphire seas and a tranquil white-sand beach. Thai boxing classes for kids (aged 5 -12) are also an option, albeit a terrifying one.
Intimating with the Sunrise @ Paradise Cruises
Renowned for its meditative movements and health benefits, tai chi is all the more special on Paradise Cruises due to the breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay’s limestone karsts. Jutting out of the emerald waters, the towering limestone karsts loom in and out of focus as the vessel glides past them, during the small, intimate sunrise tai chi class on the vessel’s sundeck that starts at 6.30am and lasts for 30 minutes.
Ancient Philosophy @ Anam
Holidaymakers of all ages are kicking, foot sweeping and wrestling their way to fitness as part of the Anam’s new in-resort vovinam classes. Based on the ancient Asian philosophy of yin and yang, vovinam ranks as the largest and most developed of Vietnam’s martial arts, and endeavours to align body and mind through the art of self-defence. Tailored to all fitness levels and abilities, the Anam’s vovinam classes are led by resident vovinam master Huynh Trong Nghia, who has practiced and taught vovinam for 20 years. The classes take place on the five-star resort’s vast green lawn overlooking Cam Ranh’s Long Beach each Monday and Wednesday for adults and each Friday for children from 4.30pm – 5.30pm.