Easy access to good fitness options is critical if you’re trying to stick to your fitness routine while traveling. I’m an avid traveler and also a runner, swimmer, and overall fitness enthusiast. I’ve experienced a wide range of fitness options while on the road and I’ve decided to start sharing my experiences to help other traveling fitness enthusiasts make informed decisions about where they stay. This idea came to me while on a one-month post-pandemic road trip down the East Coast. This is my first review.
The Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. is located in the West End neighborhood, right next to Georgetown. It’s a five-star hotel with the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern in the lobby. Overall, it’s a fantastic hotel with a lot to offer, but let’s take a closer look at what it has for those trying to stay in shape while on the road.
The Park Hyatt’s dedicated fitness center is accessible by key card off of the ground floor lobby, through a breezeway and then up on the second level, where you’ll also find the hotel spa and pool. It’s situated in an unexpected spot within the hotel. If I didn’t ask someone at the front desk, I never would have been able to find it on my own. The basic amenities include bottled water, towels, in-ear headphones, and cleaning wipes. The size of the room is about average for a typical hotel fitness center.
If you’re looking to do some cardio, there are three treadmills, two ellipticals, and a recumbent bike. There are also two Peloton stationary bikes. As usual with the hotel version of the Peloton, your standard Peloton shoes won’t work in these pedals, which have SPD clips on one side and toe cages on the other. The toe cages will let you use any regular gym shoes with the Peloton. If you have a Peloton account you’ll be able to log into it and keep those streaks going. If you forgot your headphones at home, the hotel has you covered. Don’t expect incredible audio quality; after all, they’re free headphones. All of the cardio machines have a nice view of what’s happening on 24th Street if you want to people-watch while working out. By the way, clearly a lot of cute dogs live in this neighborhood.
For those interested in strength training, there’s a single adjustable bench and a set of basic dumbbells which range from 5 lbs to 50 lbs in 5 lb increments. All along the back wall is a very comprehensive set of Technogym pin-selected weight lifting machines for targeting and isolating your muscles. You’ll find shoulder press, chest press, vertical traction, arm curl, leg extension, abdominal crunch, and leg press machines. It’s not the sort of strength equipment I’m interested in, but I know it’s what a lot of people prefer to use. I can get a lot done with the bench and dumbbells, but I would like the Park Hyatt’s gym a lot more if it also had a pull-up bar.
Another wall has a set of Technogym’s ARKE kit, which includes a mish-mosh of different workout tools such as medicine balls, stability balls, a foam roller and a few other pieces of equipment which were completely unfamiliar to me. A guidebook is provided if you’re feeling adventurous… but that’s a no from me. I’ll stick to the classics.
A set of mats are available, hanging on the wall. Unfortunately, the downside to having so much equipment here is that it takes up much of the gym space and there’s not much extra room for floor work. If another guest is using the bench area by the dumbbells, you might be crowding their space if you use any of the leftover floor.
While the Park Hyatt does have a pool, it’s just not going to cut it for lap swimmers; it’s way too small. But if you’d like to take a little dip after your workout, it might fit the bill. Although there’s a nice big skylight over the pool, it still feels a bit cramped in there. A whirlpool is tucked away in the corner. Like with many hotel pools, be prepared for plenty of kids splashing around there much of the day.
Fitness options nearby
If you want to get out and go for a run or ride, you’ll find access to Rock Creek Trail, a paved and dirt multi-purpose trail that eventually makes its way all the way up into Maryland’s Lake Needwood Regional Park on the north end. Or turn south on the trail and you’ll run along the Potomac to get to the National Mall, a favorite spot for runners to log their miles. The easiest way I found to access the trail is by running to Pennsylvania Avenue, crossing over Rock Creek, and taking the asphalt path on the south side of the street right next to the Four Seasons. You can also access the trail further north on P Street just after you enter Georgetown. Early Monday morning during my stay, I ran from the Park Hyatt to the Washington Monument and back, which was about 5.5 miles roundtrip.
Right across the street from the hotel, in front of the World Wildlife Fund building, there’s a Capital Bikeshare dock if you want to grab a bike and pedal around the District of Columbia.
There’s an Orangetheory Fitness and an Equinox just a couple blocks away. You’ll also find a CorePower Yoga on Jefferson Street in Georgetown. That one’s about 15 minutes away on foot.
If you need to shop for gear, the Park Hyatt is a short walk to M Street in Georgetown where you’ll find big name athletic stores such as Nike, Athleta, Outdoor Voices, and Lululemon. There are also two local running stores: Georgetown Running Company (at M Street NW and 34th Street NW) and Pacers (at M Street NW and Potomac Street NW).
Overall, the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. has some solid fitness options for cardio and basic strength training. When I visited in June 2021, most of the equipment was well-maintained and in working order but one of the two Pelotons would not turn on. I visited a few times over the course of my stay and never found it to be crowded. I went through my 30-minute hotel dumbbell workout at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning and had the place to myself the whole time. Otherwise, I never saw more than two people using the space at one time. The hotel’s proximity to trails and local fitness classes are also a plus.
The Park Hyatt Washington D.C. is a good place to stay if you’re trying to stay in shape.