10 Fitness Escapes that Won't Break the Bank
If freezing temps and gym-bound workouts have you dreaming of warm-weather getaways, get packing: We researched destinations near and far to find 10 fitness escapes for every type of exerciser. Best of all, these hotels and resorts allow you to get five days and four nights of sunshine—and fitness—for under $1,000
The nearest ocean may be hundreds of miles away, but you can still get up close and personal with marine animals at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. In the resort's "Yoga Among the Dolphins" classes, you're invited to bend and stretch next to the glassed-in dolphin habitat. Yogis can also take their practice outside to the open-air poolside sessions for a good stretch and a healthy dose of vitamin D. Addicted to the gym? An on-site fitness center boasts full amenities and personal training. If you plan to get your fitness fix by dancing all night long, visit the Mirage's resident nightclub, 1 Oak. And keep in mind: Although entertainment options abound on the strip, some of the best shows are held in house at the Mirage, including The Beatles LOVE, Boyz II Men, and the Aces of Comedy. (Starting at $79 a night; mirage.com, 877-880-0880)
If you're an adrenaline junkie, kiteboarding and windsurfing will draw you to the blue waters of Viva Wyndham Tangerine, a large resort on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. If you'd rather float among the fish, snorkeling and scuba-diving outings--which can be arranged by the concierge--may be more your speed. But even land-lovers have plenty to do at this sun-kissed resort, from hiking and tennis to beach volleyball to a trip to the destination's state-of-the-art fitness center and spa. Viva Wyndham Tangerine is all-inclusive, which means that beverages and meals in the property's many restaurants--plus several sporting options--are included in the price of your room. (Starting at $81 a night, per person, for a double occupancy room; Wyndam Tangerine website; 877-999-3223)
Related: Before you book your trip, get fit fast with this Customizable Fitnesss Plan
Camelback Mountain towers over the hustle and bustle of Phoenix and its neighboring cities, but few snowbirds ever attempt the climb it. Stay at the Best Western Plus in Scottsdale and you won't be one of them. With its Climb Cambelback package, this laidback resort has made it easy for fitness-minded folks to enjoy the mountain's splendor: visitors for three or four nights will receive two water bottles and a guided hike up the 2,700+ foot peak, which is just five minutes from the hotel. After ascending and descending Camelback--all the while getting a bird's eye view of the city--guests can unwind in the hotel's heated pool or hot tub. Want to bring Fido along for the adventure? Pet-friendly rooms are available. (Starting at $799 for 4-nights, website, 800-780-7234)
Red Rock Resort is just 10 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip, but it's also equidistant from the red rocks of the Nevada desert, a renowned playground for hikers and rock climbers. Use the resort as your jumping off point for outdoor adventures and you can wash off red clay in the deep soaking tubs that come standard in each room. (Even newbies can hit the desert with guided hikes, rock climbing, and horseback riding offered through Red Rock's Adventure Spa program.) Or, stay on-property and splash around in the three acres of swimming pools that grace the resort. (Related: Drop Pounds in the Pool) Unwind in a poolside cabana or at one of the many table games (think blackjack and craps), slot or video poker machines, or sports betting centers. An in-house spa and nearly a dozen restaurants make it easy to experience the grandeur of Vegas without ever having to leave the resort. (Starting at $96 a night; redrock.sclv.com, 866-767-7773)
Stay in paradise on a budget at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort. Fitness options--from sea kayaking to surfing to strolling along the beach-- abound at this resort, which is on the south shores of Oahu, near Honolulu. Guests who sign up for the "Waikiki Beach Fun Package" (starting at $230 a night) can claim a paddleboard lesson for two and a day of free lounge chair use on the beach. Breakfast for two is also included in the package. Need inspiration to get out in the waves? Visit the in-house bar and lounge, which doubles as the Honolulu Surf Museum. If hula dancing is more your speed, you can get into the Hawaiian spirit at the hotel's Magic of Polynesia dinner show. (Starting at $229 a night; website; 1-888-HOLIDAY.)
If your idea of a warm-weather vacation involves more sand traps than sandy beaches, consider Tampa's Saddlebrook Resort. Golf lovers will delight in the two 18-hole Arnold Palmer signature championship courses and newbies can schedule a lesson with a pro at the Saddlebrook Golf Academy. The resort is also home to the Saddleback Tennis Academy, which offers group and private lessons as well as court rentals for open play. The property boasts a whopping 45 courts--including some with red clay and grass surfaces--which means you'll never have to wait to play (court rentals start at $14 an hour). In addition to pools and running trails, the resort also maintains a 3,300-square-foot fitness facility and The Athletes Compound at Saddlebrook, an intense training center that often hosts world-class sports stars, such as Derek Jeter. (Starting at $219 a night; saddlebrook.com, 800-729-8383)
Before you go, do these exercises to improve your golf game.
Californians have long said "the west coast is the best coast," and visitors to the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa just might agree. The property, which is about 30 miles north of San Diego, sits right on the beach. Wade into the blue waters of the Pacific to surf or bodyboard (board and wetsuit rentals can be arranged by the hotel) or stick to the shore for a stroll or bike ride down the beach. Add some pampering to your fitness getaway with the Spa and Stay package: each night you sleep at the hotel you'll earn a $100 credit towards services at the resort's 5,600 square foot Ocean Crest Spa. The package starts at $249 a night, which means that after 4 nights you'll have spent around $1,000 and earned 400 spa dollars to be used on anything from couples massages to facials. (Starting at $169 a night; website, 760-602-0800)
It's not surprising that the environmentally-conscious, LEED gold-certified Shore Hotel offers yoga--it's in the hip city of Santa Monica, a favorite spot for eco-friendly, zen-loving Hollywood stars. But what stands out about the boutique hotel's yoga program is the quality of instruction: Top yoga teachers from around Los Angeles guide vinyasa classes for participants in the destination's YogaVacay package. The three- and seven-day plans work like a yoga retreat, only in a city instead of on a remote island. Guests take two yoga classes each day with the area's best instructors; between classes they can pedal around town on the hotel's bikes, stroll along the waterfront, or visit the shops that dot Ocean Boulevard. The beachside hotel also features an indoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center. (Starting at $250 a night; website, 800-599-1515)
There are private villas, and then there are private islands. Experience both at Palm Island Resort, which features 100 villas on Palm Island, a small stretch of white sand in the Florida Gulf--just a six-minute ferry ride offshore. Fitness enthusiasts can take their pick of activities, from paddleboarding and kayaking to bicycling, tennis, or water aerobics. Sportsmen may charter a fishing boat; birdwatchers can stroll the shore with the on-site naturalist. Between May and October, guests may observe sea turtle hatchlings make their way into the water. All villas are equipped with a full kitchen, a detail that can help cut costs and decrease temptation to indulge in vacation-style eating. (The Palm Island Resort Land & Water Package starts at $750 for 3 nights with a fourth night free. After February 7th, rates start at $280 a night; palmisland.com, 800-824-5412)
Each year Sedona attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in search of a spiritual experience, but the red rocks of Northern Arizona also provide a stunning landscape for outdoor pursuits. The Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa offers guests a luxurious home base for trail outings--on foot or by bike--and is close to the Seven Canyons golf course. Yoga classes are held on-property at the hotel; there's also a fitness center and an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. For relaxation, the Sedona Rogue offers dozens of treatments at its in-house spa, an observation deck for stargazing, and outdoor fireplaces. (Starting at $999 for four nights; SedonaRouge.com, 866-312-4111)
Exclusive offer: For stays through August 31, 2013, use booking code SRHFIT and receive four night's accommodations in a Deluxe Sedona guest room plus a $200 credit for The Spa at Sedona Rouge and a $100 dining credit for Reds Restaurant, all for $999.