JW Marriott Raises Barre on Fitness Programming

BETHESDA, MD—A ballet dancer’s body is an instrument and, with proper training, it can appear to perform effortlessly. Hard won, the result of these graceful movements is a body that is more toned and elegant in posture.

Barre classes are gaining in popularity at exercise studios in major cities, and JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has tapped into this trend by partnering with Chicago’s renowned The Joffrey Ballet to bring these graceful moves to guests via “Behind the Barre,” a collection of in-room exercises available on on-demand video.

“The JW Marriott guest is passionate about wellness and staying healthy while on the road, though does not always have the luxury of time. Many of our guests arrive on-property in the late evening or early morning, and cannot commit to taking a local class or indulging in a lengthy workout in the hotel fitness center,” said Christy Donato, VP of global brand management for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “This is where our new ‘Behind the Barre’ program comes in, providing guests with access to an elevated fitness experience that goes beyond the typical in-room wellness offering. Our guests can utilize ‘Behind the Barre’ in the comfort of their own guestroom at a time that fits within their schedules.”

The initial partnership with Joffrey Ballet dates back to 2014 with the creation of Poise & Grace, an internal training initiative for the brand’s global associates. Joffrey and JW Marriott developed a program inspiring associates to exhibit poise and grace as part of their daily routines, bringing an elevated and luxurious experience to JW Marriott hotel guests, explained Donato.

“The partnership naturally grew into a guest-facing experience,” she said. “Guests can expect seamlessly choreographed barre videos highlighting three of Joffrey’s professional ballet dancers, showcasing fun and challenging workouts that include full-body barre method, core strength and stretching.”

A first for the brand, JW Marriott plans to build on this momentum with additional well-being initiatives to be announced. The brand’s barre videos are designed to be short, running between two and four minutes each.

“Guests can incorporate moves and stretches taught by Joffrey’s professional ballet dancers to customize an in-room fitness routine at a length of their choosing,” she said. “Whether indulging in a quick stretch before a full day of meetings, or spending 30 minutes strengthening the core and elongating the spine, guests have all the tools needed at their fingertips to get in a workout that fits their needs.”

The program rolled out earlier this fall at participating properties across the U.S., and they’ve recently activated ‘Behind the Barre’ in the Asia-Pacific region, with plans to bring it to life in other markets, such as Europe, explained Donato.

While focusing on providing a deeper travel experience to guests, the brand’s ultimate goal is to continue to enhance the guest experience by developing programming, amenities, and luxury brand partnerships to create enriching experiences that speak to guests’ passions.

“We’re always considering new ways to extend our partnerships to help elevate the guest experience, and are currently working with Joffrey Ballet to develop additional programming for families,” she said.

The feedback to the offering has been positive among associates and guests alike. “They find it to be an innovative and fun way to exercise beyond the gym walls,” she said. “Ballet workouts result in enhanced flexibility, improved balance, and lean sculpted muscles—no gym required—making ‘Behind the Barre’ an ideal workout for anyone on the go.”