Poll: How Much Would You Pay to Use a Hotel Gym?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

A few months ago, I blogged about how "fit people" are usually in the habit of working out when they travel. It's a good habit to have, because exercise should be a permanent part of your healthy lifestyle, even when you're on vacation. I know that I plan for fitness, packing my workout shoes or portable equipment whenever I'll be away from home; and from the sounds of it, lots of you do, too.

This past weekend I was in San Diego for the Spark Your Life Convention, which kept me away from home (Ohio) for a few days. It was my fist work-related trip, believe it or not, and even though it was short—just two nights in a hotel—I planned for fitness by packing my workout clothes, shoes, and iPod. Before I left home, I checked the hotel website—Hooray! They had a gym, and I planned to exercise there on Friday after arriving to my hotel.

I got to my lovely room, checked my little book of "guest services" to find the gym's location and hours. It was open, so I got dressed and headed downstairs only to find the gym with its doors locked. I turned to the staff person at the desk behind me, and she informed me that I had to fill out a waiver…oh and I had to pay $15 per day to use the gym!

That led me to wonder: How much would YOU pay to use a hotel gym?

I have to say, I was floored! This was a very nice hotel and its gym was equally beautiful. $15 for a single workout, when I'm already paying a pretty penny to stay in this swanky place? I don't think so. I think that what upset me most is that I assumed it would be included in my hotel costs, especially since the hotel website and room information didn't mention anything about a fee. I was there for work, but I couldn't justify listing this expense, not even on SparkPeople's dime! I stared at the waiver and explained to the woman that none of the resources I checked (website and hotel room) mentioned a fee. I told her, "I don't know if I could justify this expense to my employer," and I was ready to turn around and just head outside for a nice jog. (If you're wondering why I didn't do that in the first place, being that I was in San Diego, you don't know how bad my sense of direction is.) The woman was very nice and to my surprise, she said, "Don't worry about it. Just sign the waiver and I'll take care of the fee—but just for today."

SCORE! The gym was lovely and I was the only one there. I picked a treadmill facing the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the hotel pool. I was on a tight schedule, so I fit in 30 minutes of cardio and some stretching before heading to my obligations later that day. If I had to pay for the gym, even as nice as it was, no doubt about it, I would have said no and headed outdoors. (Although I'd probably still be lost in downtown San Diego as a result.) I don't travel much; I assumed that when a hotel had a gym, it was a given that it was free for guests to use it. Big mistake! Next time, I'll call the front desk before I travel to be sure, but when I'm already shelling out the dough for a room, you better believe I won't be paying extra money just to use a treadmill for 30 minutes.

How about you: Have you ever paid extra money to use a hotel gym? Would you pay to work out at a hotel if it was the only option? If so, how much?

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    I would NOT pay for a hotel gym/pool. These are amenities that should be included with the room. I work at a hotel which allows me a tremendous discount on hotels all over the world, even with that discount I wouldn't pay the extra fee. - 10/26/2014   6:44:06 PM
  • 526
    I have never paid to use either a gym or a swimming pool at a hotel. Please let us know which hotel this is so I'll know where NOT to stay. - 8/18/2014   2:23:20 PM
  • 525
    The only way I'd pay to use a gym at a hotel was if I was a resident in the town and it had some of the most reasonable monthly fees for the gym (some places do it like a membership thing-same with the pool). I mean you can use the cable and workout in your room if you need to....or dvd's or ......if worse comes to worse the stupid piped in music and dance or jog your little heart out (once caught a cute video for feet workout) . As a guest of the hotel, and paying for a room, it should be as a courtesy and part of the perks to get business! - 4/20/2013   1:12:20 AM
  • 524
    I always try to use the gym at the hotel whenever I travel. And I do my best to stay at places that have a gym. In fact it's the first thing I look for. But would I pay an additional 10 or 15 bucks for one..... No Way. Not even if it was 15 below outside. However, if I was staying a week and it was a one time fee and it was $15 or less, then I might consider it. - 11/5/2012   2:22:01 PM
  • 523
    I would pay if my only other choice was running up & down the stairwell, but I'd also complain about it because I believe that it should be covered by the room fee. I'm guessing the attendant waived the fee for you so they would have someone actually use the gym.

    Having said that, I don't have a gym membership, and pay "day use" fees of $10 when I want to use the pool or an elliptical - a workout I can't do at home. So for me, this sort of thing would be similar, and I'd still pay it. - 11/5/2012   1:02:54 PM
  • 522
    I've never had to pay to use the gym at any of the hotels where I've stayed. I would not do so if there was a fee. I carry my mini dvd player and exercise dvds when I travel, so I can work out in my room, if necessary. Otherwise I walk around the neighborhood for an hour or more. - 9/7/2012   9:25:51 PM
  • 521
    I would not pay. I run outside a lot anyway and would probably do that. - 9/6/2012   12:08:37 PM
    I wouldn't pay ANYTHING to use a hotel gym. I think that is ridiculous. That's like the airlines nickel and diming for every little thing. I would just bring running shoes and tension bands to work out in my room and go for a jog around the hotel. If the weather was bad, I would use the hotel stairs and go up and down them. - 8/26/2012   8:29:43 PM
  • 519
    Since I only stay in Hilton properties and have been a Diamond member for MANY years (since the program started), hotel gyms are always complimentary for me. And I ALWAYS use them. If I ever encountered a property that wanted to charge me, I would speak to the manager, then call Member Services at Corporate if necessary. The fee would wind up waived! One way or another! When one hotel tried to charge me for the breakfast buffet, between the General Manager and the Concierge, I wound up with a $75 gift certificate for a free DINNER, and did not have to pay for the breakfast either. But brand loyalty has always been the determining factor - which is why I only stay at Hiltons. So much so, that if a given destination did not have one, I would change my destination before I would spend money at another brand. Bottom line: NO I would never pay to use the gym! - 7/7/2012   1:30:18 AM
  • 518
    This tried to post double, so I just edited it out.... - 7/7/2012   1:30:17 AM
    Have you ever paid extra money to use a hotel gym? Would you pay to work out at a hotel if it was the only option? If so, how much?

    No, I have never paid extra to use the facility, it is part of the package.

    - 7/3/2012   6:37:31 AM
  • MARIAL9090
    I would appreciate if the article would mention the name of the hotel chain and location. It would be off my list of any future travel. When I book a hotel room I expect that all advertised features are included unless stated otherwise. A letter to corporate might help, but asking for the manager would be my first stop. If I were staying on a vacation, and not on business, I would consider re-locating. - 6/26/2012   10:59:10 AM
    When I travel, I have never had to pay extra to use the "fitness room" as a paying guest in a hotel.

    The facilities have ranged from wonderful to laughable!

    I don't think I would pay extra to use a hotel gym.

    I'd walk outside, even in the parking lot. That way I wouldn't get lost! - 6/22/2012   11:02:45 AM
    Most of the places we stay don't charge a gym/spa fee, however, we've stayed in places that charge $30+. If the temp/weather/ area is not conducive to outdoor activities, we allow for the extra expense. Otherwise, it's the pool or walking or hiking! Pushups in your room or pull-ups on a tree, plus walking work for us, too. - 6/21/2012   2:33:14 PM
  • 513
    I took a road trip several years ago, and many of the hotels had a workout room for guests--free of charge. These were all middle of the road hotels (Comfort Inn, etc). Next month, I'm going to Vegas and staying at a nice hotel (triple the cost of some of the hotels from my roadtrip). They have a gym...and it would cost me $20 a day to use!!!! Are you kidding me?!? $20 for at most a 40 minutes run on the treadmill? That's a hell of a mark-up! No freaking way! I'll just run outside...in Vegas in July and die of heatstroke before the end of my first mile. I'd pay a nominal $5 in order to avoid the godawful heat (though I'd still resent that given the price I'm paying for the rooms--yes, multiple rooms, it's my parents' 50th anniversary). So, nasty heat, here I run. LOL

    P.S. So when it's a swanky hotel as Nicole mentioned...what the heck is the room fee for? I've never yet stayed in a hotel where the room itself was worth over $100 a night. I'm just sleeping in it for crying out loud. One assumes that there will be some amenities included when we're shelling out some dough. - 6/21/2012   1:12:01 PM
  • 512
    No I wouldnt cuz if they keep there gyms as clean as there rooms I will pass! - 6/19/2012   9:13:33 AM
  • 511
    Okay, I know it is a capital expense for the hotel to provide a gym, but it is also important to some clients to have it. If I do not move, I risk my arthritic neck throwing a major tantrum. Not nice.
    However, if there is an extra charge, I will go to my room and use my bands, roller and tennis balls I always pack. I can walk outside if need be. I can watch TV and walk or do other movement. If I have my computer, there are loads of SP videos that use little or no equipment.
    Nope, I'm not paying extra.
    Dianne - 4/21/2012   12:27:03 AM
  • 510
    What a timely topic! I have been traveling to Japan a couple times this year, and realized that they do charge for the hotel gym. I had never been charged anywhere I traveled in the US and Canada, so I was not happy, but I paid about $8.50 for one workout. The gym was teeny and the free weights were too light for me (how embarrassing!). I will never do that again -- someone gave me a good idea here on heading to the stairs and using the hallways. When sit-ups, push-ups and squats in the room aren't enough, I will do that! - 4/19/2012   5:10:32 PM
  • 509
    That's crazy...I would not pay extra. I would just head to the stairwell & go from floor to floor down the halls. - 4/12/2012   12:31:53 PM
  • 508
    No. But I might pay for a treadmill on an airplane! - 4/12/2012   11:18:16 AM
  • 507
    I've never encountered a hotel gym where I had to pay, even when I did stay at a swanky hotel. I think $15 per day is a bit pricey. If it was a nominal fee such as $5 or less per day or $15 for the duration of the stay, I think I would paid for the convenience, especially if there was nowhere safe to run outdoors or the weather was bad. I would have done the exact same thing Coach Nicole did and tried to get the fee waived. I think it's ridiculous that a hotel would not mention the fee anywhere. That's false advertising and I would have made a formal complaint to management as well. - 4/2/2012   11:38:48 AM
  • 506
    I have never paid for one, and do not plan on paying for any. - 2/28/2012   4:49:06 PM
  • 505
    No way. I bet you can take the stairs for free. Just clomp up and down the stairs for half an hour. Other guests may pay your gym fee just to get you to stop. :) - 11/6/2011   8:04:03 PM
  • 504
    I would not pay. I stayed at several hotels that gave vouchers for the gym. On most trips there were others who worked out. We walked or jogged in groups and skipped the fees. - 10/12/2011   8:44:58 PM
  • 503
    Nope - I wouldn't pay to use the fitness center at a hotel. A hotel that boasts a fitness center is probably very nice and subsequently charges a premium price which should include the cost of the center. Unbelievable...and I might add, a bit tacky. - 10/12/2011   9:08:38 AM
  • 502
    I've never paid anything, but once was in a hotel that had a private gym in it's building and they would give us a voucher thing to use it for free.
    Don't think I'd ever pay when I can walk/ run outdoors or travel with resistance bands. - 6/30/2011   2:16:22 AM
  • 501
    Nada, ziltch, zero. The prices for hotel rooms are ridiculous as it is esp. since most of the time, you return there late only to sleep & shower. The gym should be included. I also balk at paying $12-20 a day additionally to park in the hotels garage. - 6/27/2011   5:37:08 PM
  • 500
    I was just looking at attending a conference in MN and the company that is putting on the conference said there would be a $14.95 charge for the pools & fitness center added to each room each night! I saw this two ways, first I was totally outraged that they would just add it on. Second, I thought "dang, for $14.95 I'm going to use every piece of equipment if I have to stay up all night!" so...it's a swanky place, from the pictures it looks like they every imaginable piece of equipment and the pools look gorgeous. I don't know if I'll be attending, I don't know that I really want to add $50 to my conference costs and I have no idea if my company will pay that add on fee or not...interesting dilemma. - 6/25/2011   1:42:53 PM
  • 499
    I could see paying a flat fee depending on the weather (maybe $10-20 for the length of the stay) but I would have to find a way to exercise in my room or outside if it was more than that. I like exercising outside anyway. - 6/24/2011   11:05:10 PM
    Never heard of paying a charge for an onsite fitness room. I'm not so pleasant when it comes to add-on charges and I would have been all over the hotel manager on this one. - 6/22/2011   8:52:12 AM
    It should be included in the price to stay there. I would not pay extra and if it were extra, I'd go outside for a walk or run or do some exercises in my room or walk up and down some handy stairs for exercise, would not pay extra. - 6/18/2011   8:01:27 AM
    wow! I always assumed that the gym was included in the hotel bill. Anyway, if I was in that situation, I would work out in my room. - 6/4/2011   1:43:09 PM
  • 495
    $0. As long as there is a pavement outside I would use that or walk the hallways and stairs like I have done so many times to exercise. - 4/25/2011   9:41:21 AM
  • 494
    That would be like having to pay to swim in the pool. All extra are in the built into the room fee. It should be free. - 4/21/2011   10:34:54 PM
  • 493
    Zippo! Nine times out of ten, I'm staying at a cheapo place that either doesn't have a gym, or has a small one and provides FREE access. (I think it's ironic that the less expensive hotels provide things for free, and when you pay more for the room, they charge for the extras. This applies to other things like Wifi and free breakfasts too.) - 4/13/2011   1:36:56 AM
  • 492
    I thinks that's crazy and think that should of been included when you booked the hotel but besides that. I probably would of pay it, just so I can get my workout in ... - 4/6/2011   12:54:30 AM
  • 491
    Why should you have to pay to use the hotel gym when you've already paid way too much for your room? Three dollars would be tolerable. Putting on walking shoes and seeing the sites for exercise (assuming it's safe to walk in the neighborhood) would be better. Pack a "stretchy band" or Xertube, and you're all set. - 3/31/2011   1:32:53 PM
  • 490
    I've paid when we were in New York City. The fitness center at the hotel also operates as a public fitness/gym with memberships, which may make a difference in how they run it. $10/day, or $20 for the length of your stay (so if you are staying more than 2 days, it's worth it). I run outside, even in NYC, but doing strength training is a lot easier with access to the machines, free weights, etc. - 3/15/2011   10:09:23 AM
  • 489
    I have paid. It was a small fee of 2-3 dollars per day. Max of 5 dollars. Anything more is hard to do. To your point it is worth it when ive worked extremely hard to get on schedule. My job has me traveling at times for several weeks and I hate missing out on staying consistent. It takes nothing for me to get off track. When I travel I do take time to workout and always bring a band in case my room and pavement is all I have. Explore a new place I carry enough money to get a cab back to hotel if I am too twisted. - 3/13/2011   10:50:15 AM
  • 488
    I would not pay to use a gym. I travel a lot and I love training (I go the my gym at home 5-6x/week) but I am cheap and I would not pay. I prefer to pack up my suitcase thinking I might have to train outside (in any conditions! -rain, cold...). Plus I get the benefit of exploring a new city! Worse case scenario I do Yoga and core exercise in my room. (to be honest - maybe 5$ if the gym is really really nice... not more!) - 3/13/2011   8:26:39 AM
  • 487
    That's a new one on me! I've never seen a hotel gym you had to pay for! I wouldn't do it! If there was an instructor and a class I found interesting I might pay to take a class, but not to use a piece of gym equipment. I can run outside and do Pilates and/or other strenght training without their gym. I always carry exercise bands with me when I travel. They are lightweight and there are so many exercises you can do with them! - 3/12/2011   4:13:04 PM
  • 486
    I'm with you - I would not pay for use of the gym. I have not traveled a lot but never have had to pay to use the gym. - 3/11/2011   3:35:15 PM
    I'm with you. I wouldn't pay for the gym AND it would influence my decision about where to stay next time I need to book a room. - 2/18/2011   8:51:38 AM
  • 484
    What a rip off. That should be built in the the outrageous price that hotels charge. - 2/16/2011   4:28:41 AM
  • 483
    I agree I wouldnt have paid the money and I would have been upset. I think that is crazy esp if you are staying at that hotel. - 12/8/2010   7:49:50 AM
  • 482
    I have been fortunate to not have to pay as we belong to Worldmark Timeshares and almost all of their properties are equiped with fully furnished/well stocked really nice gyms.

    I would have been really surprised just like you were and I wouldn't have paid the extra fee. - 11/29/2010   12:10:03 PM
  • 481
    I would not pay for a gym or extra for a swimming pool! I recently got back from staying at a hotel in Dallas and they added in a $15 "resort fee" that covered the use of the gym and the two bottled waters a day. If the man I see wasn't staying there on his company's dime I would not have paid the $15. I took a great walk outside all 3 days and took the stairs. I think when a hotel advertises a gym, pool, etc. it should come as part of the hotel stay. As a consumer I'm tired of the travel industry nickle and diming us! It's getting outrageous to travel any more. - 11/14/2010   6:59:13 PM
    For me, it would depend on how long I had to work out... If I'm traveling with my husband on one of his "work trips" and I have plenty of time to fill while he's working, I think I'd pay up to $20. Not only would I be guaranteed to fit in an awesome workout and get a chance to use all of the machines, but I could also justify it as "entertainment" - because if I was out wandering around in the city, I'd surely spend more than $20 shopping or whatever. - 11/3/2010   9:12:31 AM
  • N16351D
    I would pay up to $15.00 to use a gym for one day. I have, and will do that again. Normally though, I will go outside for walking and/or jogging. - 9/4/2010   9:41:09 AM
  • N16351D
    I would pay up to $15.00 to use a gym for one day. I have, and will do that again. Normally though, I will go outside for walking and/or jogging. - 9/4/2010   9:35:51 AM

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