A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Hotel Gym


If you belong to the hospitality industry, you must have an idea of the growing trend of in-house spas, gyms, and pools etc., offered aside from lodging.

A gym can especially be a great addition to your hotel due to increasing health and exercise awareness in recent years.

As the gym industry grows to include new techniques and equipment, staying updated with the latest trends is essential for hotels with fitness centers to meet their guests’ requirements.

Below is all you should know to make your hotel gym a smoothly running facility.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

1. Why You Should Set a Gym in Your Hotel

Nowadays, many people prefer to exercise during travel, whether they’re vacationing or on a business trip. Many of them are quite critical about their workout environment as well.

According to a Hotels.com survey, 44% of people are willing to pay extra for a hotel that offers a gym. Another research by TripAdvisor found 52% of people preferring hotel gyms for holiday exercise. As a result, many hotels working on improving the fitness facilities and programs offered at their locations.

An innovative gym adds extra appeal to your hotel, attracting more clients. Offering your guests such perks during their stay is a great way to make your business successful. Now that people have started to spend more on gym memberships, it’s a good sign that guests will appreciate and use the one at your facility.

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As of now, there’s still a sharp increase in the availability of exercise opportunities and equipment in hotels. Hilton Hotels have even gone as far as providing gym equipment in guest rooms. This makes it clear that you will have to meet the highest standards for providing fitness-related services.

Knowing where to start when installing or upgrading your gym equipment can be challenging. You need to make sure you set up a workout space that gives you a competitive advantage while being safe and convenient for your guests. In the following sections, we have some valuable tips to help you in the process.

2. What Do Guests Look for in Hotel Gym Equipment?

Extra facilities are an important factor in the success of any hotel business. Modern lodging isn’t just about a bed to sleep in anymore, with top chains setting high entertainment, recreation, cuisine, and comfort standards. Fully equipped gyms are also the new norm in popular hotels. Below you’ll find out about the type of fitness equipment hotel guests expect from you.

  • Clean and Space-Efficient Equipment

One of the basic requirements of gym users is space. Instead of filling up the whole area with bulky equipment, choose the kind that leaves some free space to enable exercisers to work out without getting in each other’s way. You’ll also need to ensure your equipment is kept clean at all times – you don’t need to drive away customers because your gym lacks hygiene!

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  • Equipment which Offers Variety

Nowadays, gymming isn’t just about using a treadmill and lifting some weights. There’s a wide range of exercises and fitness programs that require different gym machines and accessories. You’ll have to keep up with the latest workout trends to make your fitness center useful for your guests.

  • Equipment with the Latest Technology

Just the basic tech-friendly features can make your equipment a lot more impressive. For instance, gym machines and treadmills that sync with workout apps and smartwatches like Fitbit can be enough to keep your guests engaged and motivated.

3. Space Planning with Gym Equipment


With the high standards set by top hotel chains for on-site gyms, people’s expectations have also increased. They are used to feeling secure and comfortable and having access to luxuries they normally don’t enjoy. Therefore, it is essential to plan your fitness center in a way that adds to your overall image instead of causing annoyance or injuries to the users.

While mapping out your gym space, make a practical floor plan to use the available space wisely. We also recommend including a balanced amount of aerobic and strength equipment.




Key Points

Yanre Fitness also offers a list of fitness equipment for different areas, check it right now!

4. What to Consider When Installing Gym Equipment

4.1 Distance

It’s better to have different zones for cardio and strength equipment. Aerobic equipment should have a 40 cm clearance on each side to allow a fitness trainer to stand at a safe distance and guide the users. The back of a treadmill should have 120 cm clearance as well. Cardio machines are best placed facing a window or have a built-in TV to keep users engaged. Consider installing mirrors in the strength training zone to enable guests to maintain proper form and positioning during weightlifting exercises.

4.2 Space

A growing trend of online fitness coaches has caused a shift from traditional exercising methods to more innovative techniques with mobile equipment like Swiss balls, kettlebells, and yoga mats.

Hotels have used these newer trends to favor their ratings and reviews, some even offering rooftop yoga classes to attract guests. The simple treadmill by the basement’s water fountain is not enough anymore.

Bearing all this need for innovation, it’s important to use your space to its greatest potential. Even if you have a limited area available for your facility, you can maximize its impact with smart and efficient planning.

Multi-use exercise units and dual-function fitness machines can be great for allowing a variety of exercises in limited space. Many offer a range of strength movements, weights, and stretches, all in one unit. You should also prefer more compact cardio machines such as space-saving treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes if you’re short on space.

5. Best Hotel Gym Equipment Brands

Once you’ve figured out the type of equipment you’ll include in your hotel gym, you’ll need to decide which brand to go with.

As of now, leading hotels around the globe are choosing any of the following brands for fitness equipment: Technogym (an Italian brand), Life Fitness (American) and Johnson Matrix (American). We’ve described each of these below to help you choose.


5.1 Technogym | Representative of Classic European products

Technogym is a world-renown state-of-the-art aerobic and strength equipment manufacturer with bizarre development speed. This influential brand has premium-quality products using innovative technology. Styled in Italian fashion with a soft appearance and matching colors, Technogym products look trendy and aesthetic.

Since the launch of aerobic equipment having built-in LCD TV and touchscreens in 2003, the brand has attracted more customers than before, enabling it to give top American brands some serious competition. Technogym’s major success is being appointed back to back four times as the Olympic Games equipment supplier. However, its major drawback is its price, which is quite high compared to American brands.

5.2 Life Fitness | Classic American Fitness Equipment Brand

Life Fitness has earned a reputation for top-quality fitness equipment, especially its innovative treadmill design. The modern design ideas and innovative anti-shock feature have raised the bar for professional treadmills. Its series of treadmills, including TR9000, TR9100, TR9500, and TR9700, have taken the fitness industry by storm. However, models like the 90T, 91T, 95Ti, and 97Ti are suspected of being imitations of other brands.

As of now, Life Fitness is a powerful brand with a vast clientele, including large corporations. Its effective marketing strategies for several years and reliable quality products have helped it maintain its large market share. Still, it may not be the brand for those wanting modern equipment and innovative designs. High after-sales service expenses are another drawback of Life Fitness.

5.3 Matrix | the Fastest Growing Commercial Fitness Equipment Brand in Asia.

Matrix comes under the umbrella of Johnson Health Technology. Being in the industry since 1975, Matrix has gained a global reputation as a leading fitness equipment brand in a relatively short time. Its corporate culture promotes innovative concepts, welcomes new ideas, and supports creative problem-solving.

Matrix’s fast-paced progress is no coincidence. It has set high standards for other brands in just a decade and has become a mover and shaker in the fitness equipment industry with its creative yet practical solutions.

5.4 Yanre Fitness | Self-design Gym Equipment Manufacturer

A growing number of Chinese brands have also emerged in recent years.

Yanre Fitness is one such brand that works closely with the Chinese Olympic Canoeing Team, along with the largest fitness PT training base in China, Siapu. With premium-quality products comparable to top global brands, Yanre has several top organizations in China and across the world among its clientele.

6. How to Choose a Trusted Hotel Gym Equipment Supplier?

No matter what kind of gym equipment you choose for your hotel gym, the maintenance requirements are inevitable.

A lot of equipment crammed into your gym space can make users feel uncomfortable. Avoid crowding and leave enough space between equipment to allow your guests to work out in relative privacy. Clear a path all around the gym that leads to the entrance, so that users can look at everything it has to offer.

Many suppliers offer maintenance services free of cost for a set period, after which you have to pay for the services. Some organizations tend to ignore these maintenance services, believing them to be an extra expense.

However, it is essential to sign a regular services contract with your supplier since scheduled maintenance services have the following benefits:

  • Ensure your guests’ safety when they use the equipment
  • Avoid equipment damage and wear
  • Protect equipment parts while saving replacement expenses
  • Increase the service life of the machines

Hence, gym maintenance contracts can save you from unnecessary hassle and bigger expenses in the long term, ensuring your guests and your equipment’s safety. It enables your facility to run smoothly, addressing problems soon after they arise.

Yanre Fitness has a range of state-of-the-art fitness equipment for hotel gyms, offering maintenance packages for all kinds of budgets and hotel sizes.


6.1 Warranty

While gym equipment suppliers might claim that the warranty they offer covers all kinds of equipment services, you should know that wear and tear is not part of it! In actuality, negligence of your equipment makes your warranty invalid.

Maintenance contracts can solve this issue since they will ensure the replacement of parts where needed, and proper servicing in case of wear, enabling you to avail your warranty to the max.

Some equipment problems may have simple solutions you can implement yourself. For such situations, a phone support option can be useful if present in your contract.

6.2 Maintenance

You’ll be surprised to know that according to many hotel managers, the after-sales service of a product is more significant than its brand. This also goes for hotel gym equipment.

Failure and breakdown during use are common with any kind of equipment. This has made it challenging to reduce the likelihood of failure and minimize troubleshooting after any malfunctioning occurs.

It all depends on your choice of equipment supplier, which will ultimately determine the extent of effort you will need to keep your hotel gym running smoothly.

Some suppliers or agents aren’t looking at the bigger picture at all, only caring about their immediate interests.

We recommend avoiding such sellers who cannot guarantee professional after-sales services unless your hotel can bear plenty of complaints or even injured guests.

Here are a few matters worth considering when looking for a reliable gym equipment supplier:

  • Is your supplier a general agent, or does a brand authorize them?
  • Does your supplier have several years’ experience in this industry?
  • Does your supplier stock enough spare parts?

Despite the above tips, we understand how tricky it can be when choosing a supplier for the first time. We recommend having a list of credible brands to choose from, to stay on the safe side.

From our own experience over the past decade working with leading commercial fitness equipment manufacturers in China, here is our list of the top 10: Top 10 Gym Equipment Manufacturers in China

7. Factors to Consider when Making the Floor Plan

There are many options when making the floor plan of your gym. To keep it practical while using the space in the best possible way, there are the following things to consider:

  • Budget
  • Space
  • Function (commercial, club, user age, male/female ratio)
  • Frequency of use (decides the level of durability you need to look for)

8. Bonus Tips

The following tips will help you create one of the best hotel gyms your guests ever visit!


Tip #1 Overall Plan

In the initial stages, you should have an idea of the overall design process, for instance:

  • Studying the feasibility; project analysis
  • Project management and floor planning
  • Creating 2D and 3D floor plans
  • Contacting manufacturers directly to order equipment
  • Receiving and installing equipment
  • Staff training
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Signage and branding
  • Facility Maintenance, service, and support

This design plan can be adjusted to suit your situation and needs.

Tip #2 Design

  • Avoid low ceilings – they’ll give a depressed feeling to the area
  • Install mirrors in the strength training zone
  • Sports rubber or high-quality carpet are the best options for flooring
  • Stay away from wooden flooring except for group training rooms
  • Gyms near public spaces generally get more attention, such as near food outlets or a pool
  • Lighting is a crucial feature of any good gym. To keep your guests motivated, you need flattering lighting that makes them look good in the gym mirrors while being bright enough to allow energetic hotel workouts
  • Provide enough natural light and outdoor views as well

Tip #3 Management

Some hotels offer membership plans to gain regular income that can initially cover the cost they have put into their facility. For those clients who prefer keeping the gym only for paying guests, a proportion of their room charges could go towards the regular functioning and maintenance of the hotel fitness center.

Tip #4 Hilton’s Standard on Fitness Center:


9. Conclusion

With more people conscious about their fitness, hotel exercise is becoming an increasing trend. Many people like keeping up with their workout routine even while traveling, and a gym can automatically help you attract more customers. You just need to select a reliable hotel gym equipment supplier to make sure your facility stays functional and running smoothly.

We hope this article was of value for you in planning your fitness facility. If you have any further queries, comment below, and we’ll be glad to help!

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