The first full day of my Around the World in 8 Days trip was spent at Malpensa Airport. According to the schedule, I was to arrive at around 10:30 am and then fly from MXP to Prague at about 7 pm. Factoring in logistics and anticipating exhaustion (as predicted, I was unable to sleep on the Alitalia flight from JFK to MXP), I knew that going all the way to Milan during the day would be impracticable.
Somewhere in my Twitter conversations in the days leading up to the trip, I learned that there was a Sheraton Hotel right at MXP and that you could pay 15 Euros to work out at the hotel’s Fitness Center. To me, that sounded like a perfect way to break up the day, and it was.
After landing, and drinking copious amounts of espresso at the Priority Pass Lounge, Sala Respighi, I found my way to the Sheraton. I was impressed with the entry and lobby area of the hotel.
I was directed to the second floor of the hotel. On my way to the fitness center, was another sitting area as well as a bar.
I was greeted at desk of the Fitness Center and Shine Spa, and paid my 15 Euros (by credit card).
I was told that the pool was not open and not included in the fee. A woman handed me a lock, a towel and a terry robe and escorted me to the locker room area. The locker was large enough to hold my suitcase!
I changed and proceeded to the Fitness Center Area.
The room was large, bright and clean. It was welcoming. The machines were all made by Technogym and appeared to be modern and state-of-the-art.
They even had recommended exercises for jet-lag – JET LAG BUSTER!
On closer analysis, however, I found that many of the machines did not work. For example, both of the stairmaster machines were out of order. The treadmills were working, but I could not get the entertainment console to work. To some extent, I felt like the facilities were a house of cards – everything looked good, but, in reality….
Notwithstanding the above, I still ran a few miles on the treadmill. I had my headphones and my own music. I hadn’t been able to work out for days before the trip, and knew that the next day, I had an early day-trip to Plzen planned. There were windows in front of the treadmills, so I got to look out at a parking lot and a train. Pinch me, I thought: I’m in Italy on a treadmill!! How cool was that? It was just what the doctor ordered. I was tired but refreshed.
I then used the shower in the locker room. My “house-of-cards” experience was the same here. In the first shower, there was no liquid soap. In the second, the door didn’t close. Finally, the third shower worked. Only liquid soap, no shampoo, no conditioner, no body lotion. I am not a snob, but these are items you’d expect to find at an upscale hotel fitness center and spa facility. Again, no problem, I had these items in my suitcase which was there with me in the locker room. And, most important, the facilities were very clean and there was running water!
Here’s a photo of the pool I didn’t swim in:
The Spa did not appear to be open for business when I was there, but I took a photo of what seems to be the obligatory bamboo at the entrance:
So, I got to work out, and shower and take a break from the airport atmosphere – notwithstanding it’s shortcomings, the visit to the Sheraton Hotel Fitness Center at Malpensa Airport was a good choice.