LOS ANGELES—To lure the fitness-focused traveler, a hotel must offer more than an on-site gym with a few free weights and a treadmill. Fitness equipment company Aktiv is ready to disrupt the industry by implementing its virtual fitness platform into hotel gyms and guestrooms around the world.
“In terms of travelers, millennials now see travel as a business perk, and in many cases, they fully expect that their experiences and amenities while on the road outweigh those at home,” said Bryan Green, a wellness entrepreneur and founder of Aktiv, based here. “Hotels are upping their game when it comes to fitness amenities to stay competitive. In terms of equipment, functional training tools such as medicine balls and suspension straps and kettlebells must balance out the traditional treadmills and elliptical machines. Variety is important, so offering unique and fresh training tools is a must, and equipment must be on brand and stylish—an extension of the overall environment.”
Green has already inked deals with Hilton’s portfolio of brands and Accor Group properties, including Sofitel Mexico City, Fairmont Kea Lani, and Fairmont Orchid as well as independent properties such as Silicon Valley’s Park James Hotel. The company recently launched, in partnership with Mandarin Oriental, several upcoming installations planned throughout Europe and Asia.
“Today’s travelers expect state-of-the art amenities and innovative functional workout solutions while on the road,” said Green. “People don’t want to have their routine disrupted—rather, ideally, they should be enhanced. Best practices in hospitality are about trying to make sure the guest experience is equal to or greater than what they achieve at home. More and more, that’s what it takes to remain competitive. At Aktiv, we’re committed to helping our clients deliver an exceptional experience and impactful results that exceed their guests’ expectations.”
Here’s how it works: Aktiv Virtual establishes a predefined space, roughly four by eight ft., the same size as what would otherwise be dedicated to a single piece of cardio equipment. Each workout is highly customizable yet simple to begin with, allowing guests to have an interactive experience with the touchscreen kiosk in the sense that they can build a workout of their preference, both by time and duration of exercise intervals, as well as the type of exercise or genre they might choose. It could be yoga one day or high intensity interval training the next or just recovery or stretching. The system will build a workout based upon guest preferences and ability level.
“One of the best features is that guests select a dedicated personal trainer from within for every workout. From there, your trainer will guide and reference the actual equipment located within the bay for use,” he said. “In short, Aktiv Virtual offers travelers comprehensive workouts that rival trendy fitness studios, but in the comfort and convenience of their hotel—and even their own room.”
Personalization is key for today’s traveler. Users select workouts by genre, time, degree of difficulty, and even their favorite trainer. Virtual trainers lead the user though the training session with expert level coaching, personalization and motivation.
“The system integrates a robust content library capable of generating unlimited workout combinations. In-room fitness creates convenience and additional privacy, and assurance that the guest will have an uninterrupted workout routine,” he said.
The wellness industry’s influence on hotel offerings is a shift, not a trend. Green sees functional training and the integration of smart technology to support guided and content-supported workouts as being in focus.
“Guest are looking for highly customizable, personal yet interactive workouts—and the digital component is essential to facilitating it. Guests want to work out wherever they want, whenever they want. Above all, the exercise experience must be second to none, not a mere check-the-box offering,” he said. “We’re a design-first company and, ultimately, we amplify dynamic training areas for the leading health clubs and boutique studios in the world and love applying our experience within the hospitality environment. Integrating the principles of functional fitness with the technical expertise of functional design is what we do best.”