5 Urban Hotels for Outdoor Fitness Enthusiasts
Often when you're on the biz travel circuit, you end up staying in a concrete jungle of skyscrapers with little nature in sight, which can be a total bummer for those of us who want to keep up our outdoor fitness routine. Sure, hotel gyms are a great perk, but what if you crave fresh air after being cooped up in office spaces all day, or you're a fitness fiend whose legs need to stretch way more than the conveyor belt of the treadmill can allow?
Choosing an urban hotel that's located right next to a park, beach, or other natural feature with jogging paths can solve the riddle. At these five hotels in some of the most traveled-to business destinations, you'll go from city to nature in a heartbeat—and keep that heart rate up to boot.
1. The Dorchester, London
Sprawling Hyde Park is a green oasis in the midst of busy London, and you'll have a ringside seat if you check in at The Dorchester, a quintessentially British property with old-school opulence and rooms that overlook the park. Take a run past a duck pond, plenty of grassy knolls, and a manicured rose garden, then soak in your room's Italian marble bath (the tubs are rumored to be the deepest in London)—a perfect respite for fatigued legs.
2. Shutters on the Beach, Los Angeles
Cape Cod chic meets the Pacific Ocean at this New England-style beachfront hotel. You'll be close to downtown Santa Monica, yet perfectly situated to make a run for it: the Venice-Santa Monica running and biking path runs along the beach right in front of the hotel. Pound the sand-dusted pavement with the ocean breeze in your face, or opt for one of the hotel's alfresco fitness perks, including yoga classes on the beach, surf lessons, and bike rentals.
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Central Park, New York
Expect ultimate park-side pampering at this plush Ritz overlooking the massive Central Park. Blow off a stressful day at the office with a scenic jog along the six miles of drives (which are closed to vehicle traffic after 7 PM). Nature lovers can also unwind from the comfort of their rooms, as view rooms come complete with telescopes and bird watching guides. And when you’re ready to run away from the nature out your window, there's a DVD library focused on Academy Award-winning films that feature Central Park.
4. Le Meurice, Paris
This Old World Paris hotel represents the zenith of refined civilization (think gilded walls, mirrors, and crystal chandeliers), and the natural spaces surrounding it are just as elegant. The manicured gardens of the Jardin des Tuileries are right across the street, or you could simply follow the path along the nearby River Seine for a scenic jog. Stay in touch with nature by following up your exercise with a luscious botanical treatment in Spa Valmont pour Le Meurice.
5. Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC
One of the best perks of this posh, East-meets-West luxury hotel is the stunning view of the Tidal Basin, which should inspire you to get out there and take a run along the waterfront (which is especially lovely when the Japanese Cherry Blossom trees are in bloom in spring). Or, if you're up for something a little more patriotic, take a jog at the nearby National Mall, a lushly landscaped stretch of open space dotted with significant landmarks like the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
Photo of woman running courtesy of lululemon athletics. Photo of Hyde Park courtesy of Patrick Nouhailler. Photo of Sutters on the Beach courtesy of The Purple Passport. Photo of Central Park courtesy of Steve Jurvetson. Photo of Jardin des Tuileries courtesy of Florian. Photo of the Tidal Basin courtesy of Jason Ippolito.
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