Do People Choose Hotels Based on Gym Facilities?

by joeheg

I’ve been writing hotel reviews for the places where we’ve stayed since we started our website in February, 2017. My reviews include the cost of the room, the check-in process, and a review of the room and dining options, such as breakfast or on-site restaurants. I also include information about laundry facilities, the pool and hot tub, spa options, and gym facilities if available. However, I have only ever used a hotel gym once. That was during our trip to Hawaii in 2012. At that time, we were going to exercise classes, and I woke up early due to jet lag, so I decided to head out to the the gym.

As we were checking out of our most recent hotel, Sharon asked me if I stopped to take pictures of the gym. I said I had, but I wasn’t sure why we included this in our reviews. For all the hotel gyms I’ve photographed over the years, I can say that they’ve been empty 90% of the time. When the occasional guest had been working out, all I needed to do was show up 30 minutes later, and the gym was empty.

I wanted to know if having a gym in a hotel is a significant factor for people when they book a hotel room. Although it’s not essential for us since we don’t exercise during our vacations, it might be important for someone who travels frequently. So, does the quality of a hotel gym affect your decision when choosing a hotel?

Here is a selection of the empty hotel gyms I’ve visited over the past year.

a room with exercise equipment and a mirrora room with exercise equipmenta room with exercise bikes and a mirrora mirror in a gyma large room with exercise equipmenta room with exercise equipment

While hotels all have gym facilities, do people actually use them? It depends on who you ask. If you ask the guests, 50% to 80%, depending on the survey, say they will try to work out while traveling.

However, a recent survey shows that only 22% of hotel guests will actually use the on-site gym.

And many hotel gyms don’t match the workout regimens of everyday people. Look at those pictures. You have a few stationary bikes, treadmills and free weights. You’ll also find a few yoga mats at most places.

But people who work out at home are likelier to have a Peloton bike or head to classes at the nearby SoulCycle or Equinox.

That’s why it’s a big deal when a hotel has a connected Peloton bike.

a exercise bike on a mat

But as someone who doesn’t work out on a regular basis, I’m curious about how important the quality of a hotel gym is to selecting a hotel. Will you pick one hotel over another based on the workout options available?

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Adam w December 26, 2023 - 4:50 pm

As a frequent business traveler, hotel gyms do make a difference in hotel choice for work trips . While I will try to run outside first. Sometimes it isn’t possible. As you stated I prefer a peloton and paid gym quality equipment vs what the limited service hotels have which I likely won’t use. For vacation I don’t use the gym normally and doesn’t factor into my decision. The caveat would be taking a business trip to a resort in which I would likely use the gym facilities

Becky December 26, 2023 - 5:28 pm

Hotel gym matters to me on a work trip (where I try to make my schedule mirror my normal routine as best as possible).

On leisure vacations, I do sometimes work out but it’s a coincidence rather than something I think about in advance.

Mike B December 26, 2023 - 8:20 pm

Certainly there are a lot of fitness devotees out there, and some might use the gym as a basis. People use strange things as a basis. For a good part of my career I could pick between two hotels in a place I visited once or twice a year, and until I caught the travel points virus I chose based on one hotel having pineapple juice available in their vending machines…

joeheg December 26, 2023 - 11:59 pm

That could be the most specific thing I’ve ever heard about why you’d pick one hotel over another 🙂

woketh one December 27, 2023 - 1:32 pm

I do for sure. I usually choose Hilton Garden Inns for their consistency in gyms, and 24 hour access. The O’Hare Hilton gets my business all the time for this reason. The days of hotels having equipment they found on a curb with “free” written on them are changing in a lot of places and it makes a difference to me.


Leave a Comment