Guest Post written by Elaine S. Friedman
Eager to escape the cool temperatures and the often grey, rainy skies of winter in the Pacific Northwest, we ran away to sunny southern California a few weeks ago. Since beach strolls, park hikes and city walks filled some of our days, we did get, along with the welcome sunshine and warmer temps, some exercise outdoors. But we both have established routines using machines, weights and mats, which are best done inside a gym.
I don’t always use a hotel’s fitness center when we travel – my husband, Bob, is more conscientious at that – but I always check it out. I often prefer to sleep in, but that doesn’t stop me from taking a look the fitness center shortly after arrival, in hopes it’s enticing enough get me back.
When I saw the facility at the Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles Westside, I knew I’d be back. While the view of the parking lot is no comparison to amazing views available from some hotel gyms, a good view does not make up for cramped space, broken machines and limited facilities. What drew me back to this fitness center multiple times during our five day stay was its roomy and well lit floor plan; new, working aerobic machines; free weights and an adjustable pulley weight machine; and the balls, yoga mats and ample space I need to do all my floor exercises.
You swipe your room key to enter the light, bright, airy and spotlessly clean fitness center, which is open 24/7. The center has three areas, which are set apart by two partial room dividers. Immediately to your right in the first area are two Life Fitness treadmills, which face the windows.
Ahead of you, set against the first room divider and under a clock, is a tasteful wood cabinet, stocked with towels, disposable headphones, tissues, hand sanitizer and an enclosed bin for used towels.
Along the wall to the left of the entry is a padded bench, a good place to adjust your headphones or set your bag. The TV is mounted above the bench. Further to the left is open exercise space, with exercise balls, yoga mats and foam rolls. There are two big mirrors on the wall.
While the open area looks a little dark in this photo, perhaps due to the blue carpet, there is adequate light and ample space, and I was able to do all my exercise ball and floor routines with ease, which is not always the case at many hotel fitness centers.
The central section of the fitness center has two of the three elliptical machines, facing the windows.
A water dispenser with cups is against the back side of the first partition, and a bosu ball ab chair machine is under another clock on the second partition.
In the third section is one more elliptical, facing the windows and in line with the others. The back wall is fully mirrored. There’s shelving for the free weights along the mirror, and a dual adjustable pulley machine in the adjacent corner.
The open area between the ellipticals and the pulley machine has two adjustable exercise benches, with enough space to avoid that crowded feeling.