Hope for health-minded travelers

Trying to stay fit on the road is a challenge, even at the best of hotels.

Most roadside hotels are off busy highways, dissuading travelers from taking a run or a walk after check-in. The fitness center is often nothing more than a small dreary room crowded with outdated weight machines. The pool has limited hours. And the menu at either the hotel restaurant or surrounding chains is heavy on fats and calories. What’s a health-conscious traveler to do?

Well, there’s good news down the pike. InterContinental Hotels Group, the company that owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, plans to open a chain of hotels (100 in the next five years) with health-minded travelers in mind.

With the creation of EVEN Hotels, IHG says it’s responding to the needs of 17 million healthier-minded travelers “who find it hard to stay active and eat right, and often ‘fall off the wagon’ when they travel.” EVEN Hotels will cater to travelers in four priority areas: exercise, eat, work and rest. Here’s what EVEN Hotels has in mind:

Exercise: Guest rooms will be designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional amenities (the coat rack will double as a pull up bar, for example). Look for upgraded gym equipment and group exercise activities.

Eat: Menus will be designed with a focus on nutrition. Hotels will include an open air café and bar. Flavored filtered water will be available free. Free coffee and mini-smoothies will be offered in the morning.

Work: Rooms will boast high speed Wi-Fi, multimedia ports, easy access to outlets, and ample desk space. The bar and lobby will feature social gathering space.

Rest: To revitalize and relax guests, rooms will feature hypoallergenic linens, powerful shower heads, natural lighting, LED dimmers and antibacterial wipes.

EVEN Hotels plans to announce its first location in the next couple months, with the hotel expected to open in 2013.

Greg Tasker
Greg Tasker is Detroit News Arts and Entertainment Editor and has been writing about travel for more than a decade. His travel stories have appeared in AAA Living, Frommer's Budget Travel, Scouting, AMC Outdoors, Vermont Life and Island Life.