NASHVILLE—Celebrity partnerships are nothing new to hotels, particularly when it comes to food & beverage outlets, but leveraging a local celebrity trainer for a new fitness and health program is a different story. However, that’s exactly what the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel here is doing with the launch of Balance with Erin Oprea.
In partnership with fitness expert Oprea, who is trainer to a number of Nashville stars, the program takes a holistic approach designed to help guests achieve their health and fitness goals while on the road. The Balance program offers guests a private workout in their own room, as well as healthy meal options at Mason’s, the hotel’s restaurant.
General Manager Tony Phillips explained the reason for putting the program in place at the 340-room hotel. “We’ve been noticing an important trend in the hospitality industry with more health-conscious, fitness-focused guests… Our brand has eyes on this [program]because we think it’s important for the industry, not just for the hotel,” he said. He added the program is targeted to both locals and hotel guests.
“As someone who works with clients who travel a lot, I see first-hand how difficult it is to maintain fitness and health routines while on the road,” said Oprea. “This partnership is so exciting because it makes fitness and nutrition easy, private and personal for each guest while offering access to an elite training experience that I guide them through step by step.”
With a call to housekeeping, equipment hand-picked by Oprea, including a Yoga mat, stability ball, resistance bands and a resistance band anchor, is delivered complimentary to the room. “We already have a fitness center so we have contacts with fitness equipment providers. We also already deliver amenities and other things that guests request, so it was actually pretty easy to implement the logistics,” he said.
Phillips further noted, “More and more, people are traveling with bands and other things anyway, so we’re just adding to their routine. We’re lucky enough to have pretty large rooms.”
In addition to the equipment, guests also receive a booklet featuring a full-body, intermediate level workout designed and demonstrated by Oprea. Those looking for more advanced moves can visit Oprea’s Instagram specifically designed for Loews guests, @BalanceWithOprea, and find video demonstrations of modifications and additional workout ideas.
In addition to fitness, guests have access to healthy seasonal dishes—signified by a vintage dumbbell symbol on the menu—at Mason’s during each meal period, including dessert. A collaboration of Executive Chef Brandon Frohne and Oprea, each dish follows a strict set of guidelines, including low sugar, low sodium, high protein and healthy fats.
“Another fun component for us is the food and beverage piece. Nashville has become more of a food destination and foody city. So to have Erin and her team partner with chef Brandon, it’s really exciting to not only have really cutting-edge food, but to have healthy food options as well,” Phillips said.
Dishes include Persian breakfast frittata with shaved asparagus, dried cherries and chickpea mash; swiss chard and oyster mushroom tacos with avocado and chipotle crema; grilled halibut with smoked romesco, grilled zucchini, fennel and mint; and blackberry peach pie crepes with skim milk ricotta and pistachio granola.
In addition to healthy meal options, Mason Bar will feature a low-sugar, low calorie specialty cocktail daily. The bar will also host Healthy Happy Hours with Oprea throughout the year. “It’s an opportunity for guests to come in and have one of her healthy cocktail recommendations. They can also talk to her about workouts and about being healthier, eating healthier and drinking healthier. We’re hoping that is a success and we would continue doing a series of those,” Phillips said.