Lighting, guest comfort key in fitness centers

This is part three in a series on fitness center design. Click here for part one: 'Four essential tips for hotel fitness center design.'

Positioning fitness centers within a hotel is key to creating an effective fitness space. Being able to provide access to natural light while remaining secluded enough for guests to enjoy their workouts can be a balancing act, but natural light is a major aspect of what guests are looking for.

“Whenever possible, we like to make more out of the fitness center,” said George Yabu of international design firm Yabu Pushelberg. In their design of the Park Hyatt New York, Yabu and his partner, Glenn Pushelberg, positioned the fitness center on a mezzanine that overlooks the property’s pool, as well as 57th street. 

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“This not only provided the fitness center with a steady flow of natural lighting, but it also animates the guest experience in the space,” Yabu said.

The goal for Yabu Pushelberg is to create a fitness center experience that is opposite of what a guest would find at a commercial gym, and that means higher design fundamentals, such as outfitting the space with cushioned wood flooring that is padded underneath with cork. 

All of these design decisions are made to help guests feel not only comfortable, but healthy. Jon Liles, VP of strategic planning and development for WTS International, said he sees evidence of the words wellness and well-being becoming more popular in reference to fitness centers, with design fundamentals to match the vernacular.

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