Rock climbing in Miami. Yogalates in Cancun, Mexico. Khmer boxing in Cambodia. At a time when niche workouts have become a trendy hotel amenity, some properties are embracing something a bit more minimalist: the pound of the pavement under your own two feet.
“Guided runs are just one of the many ways hotels and resorts are offering their wellness-minded guests the opportunity to maintain their daily routines while traveling,” said Anne Dimon, president and chief executive of the Wellness Tourism Association. “A guided running tour is also an ideal way to explore a new destination in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Good for the person; good for the planet.”
Good for the wallet, too: Guided sightseeing runs are free at the seven hotels below.
At this 150-room hotel in downtown Seattle, general manager Amanda Parsons leads twice-weekly runs at 6 a.m. The 45-minute route weaves through Pike Place Market and down to the Olympic Sculpture Park waterfront path.
“The aha moment of the sunrise, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula is breathtaking. Even though I’ve lived here for 20 years, it still reminds me how beautiful this city is,” said Parsons, who has been running alongside guests since the Thompson opened in 2016.
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Situated in the Unesco-listed Canal Ring, Andaz Amsterdam offers weekly Wednesday morning runs as part of its “Arrive a Visitor, Depart a Local” program. Guided by several staff members, the 5K runs explore the surrounding neighbourhood, including the city’s picturesque “Nine Streets.”
Equinox Hotel, New York City
Ever since Hudson Yards opened in March, the Instagram hashtag #thevesselnyc has been used more than 37,000 (and counting) times. Guests at the new Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards, can try snapping the perfect shot while scaling the Thomas Heatherwick-designed stairway to nowhere on a 45-minute Vessel Run (April to October).
Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Several Four Seasons locations offer guided runs, including in Montreal and Philadelphia. At the Paris hotel, rotating staff members, including the spa director, lead a 5.5-mile sightseeing route that breezes past key landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde.
The Hoxton, Portland
At The Hoxton in Portland, Oregon, guests can tap the expertise of the operations director — an ultramarathoner and Portland native — David Vialli.
The hotel offers weekly organised runs, often with Vialli at the helm, in collaboration with the local fitness collective Wy’east Wolfpack. The 4- to 6-mile route, which often weaves along the Willamette River, is open to hotel guests, hotel employees and locals.
“Portland’s not that big; the entire city can be almost covered within a 10-mile run. People are blown away at how beautiful the city is and how easy it is to get around,” said Vialli.
At The Point, on Upper Saranac Lake in upstate New York, guests can flex their muscles with the assistant general manager and triathlete, Tony Loscavio. Because the intimate hotel has only 11 rooms, runs take place on demand and can range from 4 to 9 miles.
The Westin New York at Times Square
Every Thursday at 6:30 a.m., just as “the city that never sleeps” awakens, Eric Amador, the Westin Times Square’s operational excellence manager, leads a handful of guests on a 3.2-mile jog along the Hudson River Greenway.
“New York is a great city to see on foot for two reasons: density and diversity. Walk or run 10 blocks in any direction, and you’re likely to find yourself in a new neighborhood, each with its own unique story,” Amador said.
The 873-room Times Square hotel is one of 250 Westin properties worldwide, from Nashville, Tennessee, to Maui, Hawaii, with run concierges under the brand’s runWESTIN umbrella program. Like Amador, most have another official role — say, as a manager or front desk agent.
“There’s no better way to kick jet lag and feel situated in a new city than by getting outdoors for an easy 2- or 3-mile run or walk,” said the Westin global run concierge, Chris Heuisler, who leads runWESTIN globally. “Aside from the physical benefits of running, it provides our guests the opportunity to really immerse themselves in the sights, smells and sounds of their destination.”