I try to exercise every day when I am in a hotel (it helps mitigate the guilt from the excesses in the lounge) - I try, where possible to find out what's available before booking a hotel, but this is not always possible. Last month I had a very pleasant stay at a very well appointed hotel in Northern Italy (the chain is immaterial so I will not identify it, other than to say it rhymes with "Wilton"). All of the facilities were excellent, so imagine my disappointment when at 6.30 in the morning I entered their large "fitness centre" and discovered that the sum total of the equipment consisted of one treadmill and one recumbent exercise bike together with some yoga mats. Long, long ago I chose to misspend much of my youth (and early middle age) playing a crazy game called rugby, accordingly my knees can no longer do the "high impact" stuff so the treadmill was out. That left one piece of equipment. There were four of us in the gym....enough said. For me, the minimum requirement for a fitness centre is a good selection of equipment, preferably consisting of cross trainers, exercise bikes and rowing machines. I have a very low boredom threshold, so need my iPod with lots of stimulating stuff whilst I exercise. Heaven for me is one of the Technogym cross trainers or bikes, which allow you to do Sudoku etc whilst you train, of even better, a Trixter X Dream bike (Fitsystems Inc. - Xdream Bikes - YouTube ). After exercise, I love to relax for 20 or 30 minutes in a sauna, then a shower and a very gentle swim.
I'd be very interested to know what others believe to be the essential components of a good fitness centre - any examples of where you have found excellent facilities would be most welcome.