Fitness Centers

In our new series, Oyster Stats, we’re sharing surprising tidbits on a range of topics using data we’ve accumulated from our hotel coverage and site traffic. Our goal is not to provide scientific data but to provide interesting directional insights about travel trends.

We’ve all heard that French women don’t get fat, make better parents, and are generally superior at everything. So it should come as a surprise to approximately no one that the French don’t have to work out at hotel fitness centers to maintain their figures. Or at least, that’s what the data we’ve collected on Oyster seems to suggest.

Of the hotels Oyster.com visited in Paris, only 26% had fitness centers, while in New York City, 73% of the hotels we visited did. Since most of the people staying at French hotels are French, it’s possible to assume that the French aren’t working out much in traditional fitness centers when they travel — and because most people staying in U.S. hotels are American, it’s possible to assume that there is a higher demand for hotel fitness centers stateside.

As Paul Rudnick’s satirical piece in the New Yorker indicates, the French could be staying in shape other ways:

“The American woman obsesses over every calorie and sit-up, while in France we do not even have a word for fat. If a woman is obese, we simply call her American…To maintain my figure, I eat only half portions of any food, always arranging it on my plate in the shape of a semicolon. For exercise, at least once a day I approach a total stranger and slap him.” [Ed note: This sounds like a diet plan New Yorkers could get behind.]

Below, see a bar chart of the percentage of hotels with fitness centers (out of the pool that Oyster covered) in different cities.

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The adult pool at the Marriot Harbor Beach Resort and Spa; Fort Lauderdale, FL

Our friends at SELF.com like to remind us how important being active is — and how important it is to eat healthy, too — even when you’re on the road. So when they let us know about their new Jump Start Diet Plan, created by uber-trainer (and former Biggest Loser star) Jillian Michaels, we were happy to jump on board (pun intended). The plan features some kick-ass workout moves that mesh toning and cardio to save time while burning mega-calories, plus easy-to-follow diet tips that making shaping up a cinch. But what we loved the most about the plan is, that if you join SELF and sign up to Jump Start online, you’ll be entered for a grand prize trip to the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in super-sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Not only is the total package worth over three grand, but the hotel also has a well-earned, 4-pearl rating from us here at Oyster.com.

If we won, we’d start our day with a killer yoga class — or just a great workout at the sleek 24-hour fitness center — and then lounge on the beach or poolside in the quiet adults-only area. To cap the day off, we’d stop by the spa for a luxurious treatment. We recommend the Harbor Beach Signature Tropical Tiki Bliss massage (80 minutes for $225), designed to soothe even the achiest of muscles while still Zen-ing you out. Check out more photos of the hotel after the jump, or read the full review now to see why we love this spot.

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We know how bloated/badly/gross you felt on New Year’s Day — and how you vowed to kick the nasty habit causing your “pain.” (Or weight gain, whatever.) Well, folks, it’s January 16 — can you say that you’ve started your resolution yet? Because around here at Oyster.com, many of us have (whoops) let our resolutions fall to the wayside — because we’re so dedicated to our jobs, of course. But for the rest of you, well, you don’t have an excuse. No matter what you’ve planned on resolving, we’ve got the perfect hotel to remedy it.

YOU RESOLVED TO: HIT THE GYM

VISIT: The Affinia Dumont, New York City

The fitness center at the Affinia Dumont; New York, NY

WHY: This fitness-themed hotel (Like, literally, there’s sports-themed artwork in the lobby) provides a complimentary “StayFit Kit” in each room, which includes a yoga mat, stretching blocks, 3 DVDs, workout bands, wrist/ankle weights, and a city map for a DIY jog. Basically, the Affinia Dumont is giving you all the tools to get ripped — in your PJs. And since the hotel is suites-only, you’ll have the space in your room to do so. Should you want to actually throw on some clothes, there’s an amazing gym and a special fitness concierge to help whip you into shape, too.
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Credit: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto/AP

Credit: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto/AP

Season 5 of MTV’s Jersey Shore premiered last week, and it’s nice to seem them back in Jerz, with the boardwalk, the beach, and plenty of — or in some cases, too much — booze. But now that each of ‘em rakes in $100,000 per episode, our favorite Guidos and Guidettes can afford to get drunk and trash a place that’s way more luxe than their current Shore digs, so we found hotels where the cast can GTL (for non viewers, that means “gym-tan-laundry”) and enjoy a whole slew of Jersey-approved amenities. After all, you can take Snooki out of the Jersey Shore, but you can’t take the Jersey Shore out of Snooki. 

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OK, so even though Oyster.com is a travel website and our main goal is to deliver the truth about hotels, we also secretly moonlight as a life coach. That’s right, we can dole out advice on waaaay more than just hotels; don’t forget — we helped you get over your ex, offered Lindsay Lohan some sound legal advice, and dissected the key moments in Kris and Kim’s “marriage” (if you can call it that) that lead to the split. So yeah, we’re basically the new-and-improved Dr. Phil with a ton of travel tips to boot. To help transform your lifestyle, we scoured the globe and found the destinations best suited for changing your life for the better. (We guess some people can handle the total transformation at home but a vacation is always nice, right?) So grab a friend who’s also in need of a little improvement and head to Oyster’s top five picks for transforming your life! Check ‘em out below or on Shape.com.

Sunday Farmers' Market in Washington, D.C.

Sunday Farmers' Market; Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Ranked by PETA as one of the most veg (and vegan)-friendly cities in the country, Washington, D.C. is the perfect spot to transform your diet. Going vegetarian is all the rage (Meatless Monday, anyone?) — it’s been proven to be good for your heart, your skin, and your immune system – and D.C. has tons of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants. But even if you’re just looking to increase your veggie intake without completely swearing off meat (I mean, have vegetarians never had a hamburger before? Hard to give up, don’t you think?), D.C. is a good place to be. With the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” nutrition initiative, the capital is all about you getting your three to four servings of fruits and veggies (each!) every day. Read More »

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You know what New Year’s Eve means: cocktail dresses, wild parties, a midnight countdown, and just hours until your New Year’s resolutions kick in. It can be tough to start in on your new diet-and-exercise regimen — especially after a night of raucous debauchery — so we’ve come up with the top six last-minute active getaways to help you jump start your goals for 2012. You will have never looked or felt better! We have a destination for every kind of woman in every kind of location (with great deals to boot) so getting in shape will be fun – we promise! Whether you like to burn calories whizzing down the slopes or want to start fresh with a detox and yoga, we have a spot for you. Check out Oyster.com’s top picks for active getaways below, or on Shape.com!

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

For the party-girl: Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach in Miami

Some of you will undoubtedly be hitting up the clubs in Miami Beach for a wild New Year’s Eve. So for all you party girls out there, the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the perfect choice: It has a slightly more relaxed vibe than other Canyon Ranch resorts (so there will be no judgment for your escapades the night before) and it offers about 40 free fitness classes everyday (so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories from the New Year’s Eve champagne toast). The Canyon Ranch brand is synonymous with good health and the Miami Beach outlet is no different; guests sign waivers that they will not smoke while at the resort, the restaurant serves healthy options off of a menu with detailed nutritional information next to every item, and the massive fitness center includes dozens of cardio machines and a rock-climbing wall. Best of all, starting on January 1st, the hotel offers a four-night Your Stay, Your Way package for guests staying in room types of the Ocean Palm suite or higher, which entitles them to a $400 credit that can be used towards the spa, the shop, and the restaurant. So after a sunset yoga class or a beach conditioning workout, you can order an icy, alcoholic beverage by the pool (albeit low-cal and flavored with acai juice) – hey, you’re still a party girl at heart.

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