By: Michelle Magnan
In early September, I spent a long weekend at the incredible Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. My room in The Cove property was gorgeous, the view stunning, the beach perfect. There was something else that set the resort apart from all of the others I’ve stayed at, though: the fitness center. The 10,000-square-foot facility is impressive – much bigger and better equipped than a standard hotel gym. I was excited to check it out, having had my share of “workouts” at resorts that meant sweating my life away on a rickety treadmill set up in what felt like a closet.
During dinner our first night there, I told my media colleagues about my plan to check it out in the morning, bracing for the usual blowback. Most people do not react well to the idea of working out on vacations. And by “not well” I mean they think it’s ludicrous and look at me like I’m an obsessed workout freak. But I just like starting my day with exercise, simple as that, even when I’m away. Actually, especially when I’m away. Nothing feels as good as a run or a workout in the gym, followed by a tasty breakfast that includes coffee and caramel Baileys (I could write an ode to coffee and caramel Baileys), followed by absolutely nothing but reading and relaxing. My favorite vacation workouts have included runs along the beach in Hawaii, Mexico and Victoria, B.C., hikes in the mountains at Rancho la Puerta and weights workouts at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York.
To my surprise, my media friends didn’t scoff at the idea of working out at the Atlantis gym; there were no volunteers to join me, though. They had their own plans in mind – walking on the beach, swimming, sleeping in – which was fine with me. The bigger surprise was how many people were in the gym when I arrived that Saturday morning. Many men and women were attacking their workouts, be it on spin bikes, in the weights area or in the pool. I was impressed, not to mention inspired. On Day 1, I did an interval workout on the treadmill; Day 2 was all about a circuit-style weights workout. And on Day 3, I didn’t set my alarm. Instead, I ordered room service and enjoyed my breakfast sitting on the balcony, overlooking the water. Sometimes nixing the workout and starting the day with absolutely nothing is an equally amazing luxury.