Q: I travel alone and frequently for work and am always terribly disappointed with the fitness room in hotels. Are there any chains that offer better equipment, fitness services or in-room programs? Or perhaps, a nationwide gym so I don't have to search every time I go to a new city.
I too travel a lot alone and find it frustrating when the hotel states it has a workout room only to find out it has out of date machines or very little to work with. Calling ahead or upon arrival it is a good idea to ask about the facility. A lot of hotels now have partnerships with local gyms nearby that offer a free day pass if you are staying at the hotel.
Another option is to ask the concierge to recommend a walking or running route (that is SAFE) in the area. Not only does this get you outside, it's a great way to see the city you are staying in. Some hotels now offer a fitness channel where you can try yoga, stretching, strength work or cardio. Ballys Total Fitness is a national chain: www.ballysfitness.com, you can enter the zip code where you are staying and find a local club. You can also try www.ifafitness.com/gymstart for a listing of other local fitness centers while you are traveling.