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Top Gyms For Traveling Executives

Thursday, 29 Jan 2009 | 4:33 PM ET

Finding time to squeeze in a workout can be hard for anyone, but for senior executives who may be traveling 60 percent of the year hitting the gym can teeter on impossible.

Thankfully, there are hotels that pride themselves on providing fitness facilities so complete, even the most time-crunched business executives are lured to the locker rooms.

So, here’s a handful of hotels that score high marks for convenience and facilities.

The Houstonian – Houston, Texas

Leave the personal trainer at home?

Well, the Houstonian Club, the private gym in the Houstonian hotel, has it covered, and then some.

Guests are entitled to train with one of the Houstonian Club’s 37 certified personal trainers and may also participate in a group exercise class.

The Houstonian Club offers 100 exercise classes per week ranging from stretching to cardiovascular infused weight training. These group classes, however, offer some extra incentive for those who struggle to find the will to hit the gym.

“The thing with hotel gym fitness classes is you get the whole group therapy of it,” says Jim Kaese, co-founder of Athletic-Minded-Traveler, a Web site dedicated to reviewing hotels around the world based on their business and fitness accommodations.

It doesn't stop there.

“You don’t just have to ride a bicycle or use a treadmill, there’s all kinds of things for guests to do,” says Leslie Friedman, spokeswoman for the Houstonian.

If guests prefer a solo-based routine, they can always try one of the 200 plus cardio and strength training machines, or do some running on the indoor track.

Hours: Monday – Friday 5 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 6 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Mandarin Oriental – New York City

What this gym lacks in size, it makes up for with a luxurious environment and incredible view.

The 6,000-square foot gym is located on the 36th floor of the building, where guests can take a run on one of the treadmills, either enjoying a skylineview of the city or watching their own LCD plasma TV.

Ron Roswell’s, CEO of the Fit for Business Web site, a site dedicated to finding the best hotels to accommodate the health conscience business traveler, says the Mandarin is one of his favorite picks because of its superb atmosphere.

“The 36th floor fitness center, the newer cardio machines, the LCDs, the bamboo flooring, it all goes with a top-of-the food-chain, luxury hotel,” he says.

Guests craving to take a dip are also in luck. The 25-yard indoor pool is a rare find in Manhattan and is the most striking aspect of the hotel’s gym, says Kaese. Although the pool lacks floating lane lines, it does have lanes painted on the bottom of the pool for those who are active swimmers.

Hours: Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Le Parker – Meridian – New York City

If the perfect lap pool is not a must, but strength training is, then business travelers should consider staying at this hotel.

The 15,000-square foot spa and gym has two floors of strength training equipment and is also amply equipped with 10-thousand pounds of free weights.

If court sports are your thing, then this place is for you. Such facilities are unusual in this group, but the Le Parker-Meridien is equipped for racquetball basketball.

One of the best things about the hotel’s gym, the Gravity Fitness & Spa, which is located below the hotel, is that it meets the litmus test to get guests to the gym, says Kaeses.

“Our research has found that there is no better motivating factor than having a true state of the art gym that is convenient,” says Kaese.

Hours: Monday – Friday 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The Ritz Carlton – The Boston Common

This hotel offers its guests access to The Sports Club/LA fitness center, which packs some extra punch with a state-of-the-art boxing studio, but its real gem is its array of indoor courts.

The 114,000 square foot fitness center is fully equipped with four international squash courts and one multipurpose basketball and volleyball court.

You can also practice laps in an eight-lane, 25-meter swimming pool, take one of the 120 exercise classes offered each week or simply enjoy a workout routine on one of the 150-cardio machines.

The location of the gym is also a plus. It's directly accessible from the hotel via a private elevator.

“By staying at the Boston Commons you are provided access to one of the leading upscale gyms and it is all in the same building,” says Kaese said. “Which is great in Boston winters when you do not have to leave the building to go work out.”

Hours: Monday – Friday 5:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The Four Seasons – Miami, Florida

Winter weather may not be such a worry when doing business in Miami, but convenience is still important when it comes to squeezing in a workout.

Centrally located in downtown Miami, this hotel is not only a convenient place to stay but also has "a real gym, as opposed to a little room with a treadmill like some other hotels,” says spokeswoman Eveliny Bastos-Klein.

The Four Seasons, like the Ritz Carlton in Boston, teamed up with the Sports Club/LA, to offer guests a real gym experience.

The 50,000-square foot fitness center is decked out in state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment, including 100 cardio machines that all come with their own satellite LCD screen.

The facility also sports the 50-inch plasma touch screens that show the group exercise class schedules and large windows offering views of Miami.

But if guests prefer a more private workout, trainers will provide in-room personal training.

Hours: Monday – Friday 5:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Saturday - Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Venetian – Las Vegas

Business professionals staying at The Venetian in Las Vegas will want to trade in rolling the dice during their free time to try out the 40-foot indoor rock-climbing wall in the hotel gym.

The Venetian and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub partnered up to offer guests access to the 69,000 square-foot spa and fitness center, where guests can either retreat into the steam room or get their heart rate up by working out on one of the 50 pieces of cardio equipment.

If guests still feel like hitting the town after a rigorous routine, they can always find their way to the salon or barber shop located in the spa to get pampered before heading out.

Healthy Horizons -- A Special Report
Healthy Horizons -- A Special Report

Unlike the other facilities in this story, this impressive gym is not free with your stay; costs range from $40 for a one-day pass to $150 for a five-day one.

"Like all Las Vegas hotels gyms, it's pretty steep," Kaese said. "But then again it is pretty cool."

Hours:Monday – Friday 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Fairmont – Chicago

Business travelers stopping in Chicago can have a gym experience similar to that of the Venetian if they stay at The Fairmont, which partnered with the Lakeshore Athletic Club Illinois Center.

Like Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the Lakeshore Athletic Club has a rock-climbing wall inside its gym, but at 110 feet high, the wall at Lakeshore gives the Spa Club’s wall a run for its money.

But what really makes the health club stand out is the convenience of where it is located, which is right across from the Fairmont and connected to the hotel by an indoor walkway.

“The good thing about staying at the Fairmont is, at least from an athletic-minded perspective, is the location of the gym,” Kaese said. “You are really gaining access to one of the nicest gyms in the area. It’s a full-scale gym.”

Like the Venetian, the Fairmont also charges extra to access the Lakeshore Athletic Club; it is $10 a day for Fairmont President's Club members and $25 for nonmembers.

Hours: Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m..., Saturday - Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.