Get fit on vacation? Westin Hotels ushers in a new wellness program


Fitness, wellness and vacation aren't often three words that seem to go together, but Westin Hotels is ushering in a new program that may change that mentality.

In April, the hotel group kicked off their first Westin Wellness Escapes program taught by "Lift to Get Fit" author and fitness expert Holly Perkins. The two-night, three-day program covered topics like how to love your body, the five fundamental exercises every woman needs to know, and how to get fit when you're on vacation. Perkins also created fitness videos, which are available on-demand in most Westin Hotel rooms in North America.

Bettina Young , a Brand Manager for Westin Hotels and Resorts North America,told AOL that putting together this style of program is just an extension of the fitness programs they already have in place.

"Every single thing we do falls under one of our six pillars of well-being. We wanted to structure the escapes to be inspirational and empowering," Young said. "What makes an escape different from someone hosting a retreat at a Hilton or a Hyatt are two things. The first is that they are going to be coming to a Westin that already has all these wellness amenities available to them; they are going to be eating well and they are going to be sleeping well. The second is that we're helping the fitness expert promote it. We'll put it on our website and we'll promote it socially and through public relations. Other than that, the wellness expert that is coming in is promoting it and they're planning it. It's their event."

Their next wellness escape is set at the Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia, and will be hosted by Westin's Running Concierge Chris Heuisler. Heuisler has been with the brand since 2013 and his job is – you guessed it – to create running programs at different hotel properties and work with guests who participating in destinations races.

It's not a huge surprise that Westin is venturing even deeper into an escapes-style program focused on health and fitness. The hospitality group has been a longtime partner with New Balance and allows guests to rent gear like running shoes, fitness apparel, yoga mats and more while they're on vacation.

And they're not the only hotel that has beefed up their fitness regime either. Kimpton Hotels offers a bike rental program, Wyndham hotels offers rooms with fitness machines in them, and Fairmont Hotels has partnered with Reebok for a fitness-focused stay. These days staying healthy on vacation can mean a lot more than putting in 20 minutes on the treadmill at the hotel gym.

But perhaps Westin is tapping into a new genre – by making health and fitness the reason for the vacation.

Would you book a wellness escape program as vacation? Tell us in the comments below.