Keeping fit and making healthy choices when travelling for business is always difficult and takes more discipline. We are creatures of habit, so when at home it is easier for us to stick to a routine when in a normal and consistent environment. Being on the road disrupts your usual way of life where nothing is familiar and we are out of routine so it is easier to sometimes forgo the normal routine. Facing buffet breakfasts at the hotel tempts you into eating larger portions with the variety of food provided. Or being an unfamiliar city deters you from your usual run. Just how are you able to keep yourself fit as a road warrior?
Hotel gyms these days are more than just static machines. Personal Trainers, tailored fitness programs, a variety of classes with professionals, spa services…the gyms offer a lifestyle service to guests.
This is why hospitality groups like InterContinental Hotels Group have created a new brand called EVEN to cater to those caught up in the fitness frenzy… There are now hotels that have been designed for travellers who maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and want a complete wellness experience while away from home such as Starwood with the Westin hotels where they provide full workout clothing. We have out together a list of recommended running routes and hotels with top gym facilities when visiting popular SE Asia business travel destinations:
1. Kuala Lumpur: Westin Kuala Lumpur
Westin’s gym is known as WESTINWORKOUT® Fitness Studio. It is on the fourth floor of the hotel and aside up-to-date equipment, the hotel offers guests a complimentary yoga class or cardio circuit aerobics classes. There is a gear rental service program known as WESTINWORKOUT®. At 5USD, you can loan a pair of New Balance in your size with socks. Another special feature is its RunWESTIN® services, where custom pocket-sized maps are made available for guests. As part RunWESTIN®, group running sessions are conducted at dawn and reservations to join the run are required.
Guests can even enlist the help of a personal trainer in a private. After working out, soothe your body in the sauna. Complimentary headphones, fresh towels, and water are always available.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park Running Trail
Approximately: 1.5km per loop
Surrounding yourself with greenery in Kuala Lumpur is quite a rare situation. You can find solace in the jogging trails at KLCC Park. The route here is friendly for the knees, layered with a special EPDM rubberised surface that gives you good grip and keeps your feet bouncing. There are markings on the track for every 100m, as well as drinking fountains to keep you hydrated. A full loop is 1.3km. Make 8 rounds to reach 10km.
2. Shanghai: Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai
Kerry Sports is the largest hotel health club, spa and recreation facility in Shanghai covering 6,000 sqm over three floors. It is a 24-hour gym. No wonder it was the Readers Choice in Time Out Shanghai’s Best Gym in 2014. The facilities within the vast fitness space include Aerobic/Exercise Studios and Training Rooms, the gym, Jacuzzi, Outdoor Basketball and Tennis Court, a Swimming Pool and other wellness facilities like the Sauna, Steam Room and Spa. Classes fall into 3 categories Group Fitness/Aerobics/Dance, Spinning and Yoga & Pilates. There is a wide range of dance and various types of Yoga.
Pudong Running Trail
Start at Lujiazui Metro Station (Line 2) this route runs through the broadwalks of Century Avenue and takes you past Shanghai’s iconic landmark buildings from the Pudong side (Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jinmao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center etc.). This run has plenty of space with not much of a crowd and ends at Century Park.
3. Hong Kong : Langham Place Mong Kok
Langham Place is situated in the youthful district of Mongkok. When working out in this property’s Fitness Studio you are rewarded with a million-dollar view of the city’s famed skyline, as the gym is located on Level 41 and is open 24-hours daily. Expect state-of-the-art equipment with experienced trainers to assist you. There are also classes ranging from Taekwondo to floor workouts. A unique aspect of the Langham Place in Mongkok is their up-to-date audio-visual equipment rental service so guests can catch a DVD while working out. The hotel takes pride in its local heritage by introducing Tai Chi classes conducted by Master Cheung Yau Fu for all guests twice a week.
Kowloon Park Running Trail
Start from Park Lane, ran up the stairs to Kowloon Park and then headed straight to the running track. From there make your way to the end of the harbour to enjoy the view of Hong Kong Island and West Kowloon. Retrace the path to the running track, doing several laps, before heading back to Kimberley Street.
4. Bangkok: Sofitel So Bangkok
Sofitel’s gym is aptly named SoFIT fitness centre, offering a range of innovative activities in a fitness studio and aerobics room complemented by relaxation beds and even a beauty salon for those who wish to pamper themselves after a hard workout. The gym is fitted with Technogym fitness equipment and you will be under the guidance of personal trainers that will oversee your regiment. You can also attend a pilates or yoga class with a professional instructor or maximise time and output with So FIT’s signature fitness programmes. You can take a look at the hotel gym’s class schedule here.
Lumphini Park Lake Running Trail
Approximately: 2.5km per loop
Just across Sofitel is Lumphini Park, the largest park in central Bangkok of 58 hectares. This park is the go to place for Bangkokians for its dense lushness that is lacking in the city. Tall, old tree overarch the paths and there is plenty of grass lawns to cool down after a hard run. The running track here goes around the man-made lake. There is even a free outdoor gym of weights and benches. Mass aerobics and Zumba classes usually start at 6pm in the evening. Join the regular running crowd together for a work out after knocking off.
5. Jakarta: InterContinental Jakarta MidPlaza Hotel
Intercontinental Jakarta MidPlaza hotel is a 5-star luxury property situated in the heart of Jakarta's business and commercial district in the Sudirman and Thamrin area.
The hotel’s Fitness Centre is opened round the clock featuring the latest electronic cardiovascular machines, as well as free weights. Fitness instructors are also available on site to offer assistance with personal workout routines and supervise gym goers.
The hotel has a large swimming pool with beautiful landscape garden opens from 6am until 10pm. Other sport activities, such tennis and squash can be arranged upon request.
Gelora Bung Karnon (also known as GBK) Stadium Running Trail
Approximately: 800m per loop
Nearby Jakarta’s Convention Centre is one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, which is open to the public to use as an athletics track. This is possibly the only place in Jakarta one can run undisrupted and safe from the notorious traffic of the city. If you come in on a Saturday morning, it is the place to be for the locals to get their weekend exercise in.