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Will Sheraton’s Core Performance Fitness Program Deliver?

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide just announced its $120 million roll-out of its new fitness program developed by Core Performance: “Sheraton Fitness Programmed by Core Performance.”  60 hotels feature the new fitness program with an additional 70 coming on board before the end of 2010. All Sheraton Hotels around the world will feature the fitness program by end of 2011.

The Sheraton Fitness Program is built around four key areas of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement and Recovery, and was derived from the same Core Performance training methodology used by professional athletes. Sheraton claims that their fitness program will help travelers train and eat healthy on the road, as well as refresh, recharge and refocus their minds and bodies.

When you go to the Sheraton Fitness Website, it is difficult to find a ton of information. Further, much of it is housed on a blog on the Core Performance Website. That said, here are some of the benefits of the Sheraton Fitness Program that I’ve been able to uncover:

  • Gym Design: The new hotel gym will feature 20 – 3o minute themed workout programs designed by Core Performance to work with busy travel schedules. Every Sheraton hotel gym will be standardized and carry Life Fitness equipment.
  • Nutritional Improvement: Sheraton will now feature healthier dining options for both in-room dining menus and hotel restaurants.
  • In-Room Workouts: Guests can access four 30-minute Video On Demand workouts at no charge and get nutritional or wellness tips through Starwood’s internal channel, Starwood Preferred Guest TV. Further, a guest can get a complimentary “workout in a bag” for their room, containing workout cards, a workout mat, foam rolls, a resistance band and a massage stick.
  • Online Support: Guests can access the fitness program online at www.sheratonfitness.com, which features downloadable Core Performance workouts for both at home and on the road (these appear to be the same as the In-Room Workouts). Additionally, Core Performance is offering Sheraton guests a free three-week trial of online training at CorePerformance.com. Finally, the site provides “Life Tips” from experts around several categories, that ultimately come back to the mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery categories.
  • Healthier Meetings: FIT Meetings allows corporate businesses to enhance performance at meetings by providing healthy breaks, techniques to keep the mind and body sharp, and customizable group workout options. FIT Meetings will be piloted at nine hotels, and is expected to roll-out brand wide in early 2011.
  • Advanced Technology: Finally, Power Plate – an exercise device that uses vibration technology – will be offered in select properties.

When it comes to healthy travel, I think four things are important:

  • Extensive healthy meal options at all F&B outlets, in room dining and at catered functions
  • A well stocked and relatively spacious hotel gym, with up-to-date fitness equipment that is fully functional and working
  • A well designed hotel room with a comfortable bed that promote a solid night’s sleep
  • Spa services for stress management…and this can be offered in-room

I applaud Sheraton for addressing the fact that frequent guests are looking for more than an old meeting room that has been fitted out with outdated hotel gym equipment, and a fruit cup on the restaurant menu. This is a step in the right direction…for sure. The most successful healthy offerings, however, are embedded into the guest experience. Things like an upgraded hotel gym and healthy food options make sense. Beyond that, I’ll be interested to see how many guests use some of their other fitness program offerings. Things like the “Power Plate” and pre-programmed workouts sound a bit gimmicky. Additionally, although in theory the “Life Tips” on the SheratonFitness.com website seem like a good idea, the rest of the website is a bit lacking…so I’m not convinced that the tips will get much exposure. Finally, Core Performance obviously wants something out of this deal. After the free three week trial of online training, I’ll be interested in seeing how many people purchase the service thereafter.

Have you stayed at a Sheraton with the Fitness Program by Core Performance? Did you like the upgraded hotel gym? Do you think this will make your stay healthier?

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