Properties appealing to travelers who want to keep their training in the peloton
Author, journalist and blogger Leah Ingram trains quite religiously on her Peloton bike, so she hates the idea of missing a workout while traveling.
When she first bought her bike in 2016, most friends weren’t sure what a Peloton was. Fast forwarding (literally and figuratively) to 2021, the brand now has instant name recognition and 4.4 million subscribers. About a million people own a Peloton bicycle or treadmill; the others use the Peloton application (on phone, tablet or SmartTV) or on the website to take courses. (In addition to cycling and running, Peloton offers yoga, weight training, Pilates classes, etc.).
So it’s no surprise that when booking a hotel or rental accommodation, Leah and many other travelers look for properties that allow them to maintain their exercise routine. With so many avid users, having a Peloton in a vacation property is also a steal.
How could anyone know whether or not they will find a Platoon there? Leah took on the task of making finding Peloton bikes at travel accommodations cheaper for herself and others.
Forbes.com explained to Leah how and why she became such a follower of the Peloton:
What does Peloton make people want to continue with their routine when traveling, even on an active vacation?
Leah Ingram: People joke that owning a Platoon is a bit like being in a cult. It is somewhat true. Also, Peloton has done a really good job of “gamifying” so that you earn badges for consecutive days you train or badges, awards and achievements for the types of courses you take.
Personally, I’m involved in something called the Power Zone Challenge, where I’m part of a team that earns points for doing some Power Zone-like rides. If I miss a race while on vacation, I know I’ve let my team down.
What types of hotel accommodation do the Pelotons offer in rooms?
LI: Originally, Peloton partnered with Westin Hotels to have Pelotons in their Fitness Centers or Westin Workout Fitness Studios. Next, some Westin hotels have created Peloton suites that allow guests to have a bicycle in their room. Once this Peloton / Westin partnership was announced, Peloton created a hotel search option on their website.
However, I found the user experience on the Peloton site to be quite awkward as you had to click on a map and the map would move etc. After trying to use the site to find a Peloton hotel, I decided to create a catalog of these hotels and expand the list to other brands of hotels. For example, many Kimpton hotels, which are part of IHG hotels and resorts, have Platoons in their fitness rooms. I have stayed at all of the Kimpton hotels in NYC. All but one had Platoons.
I update my list at least once a week after researching each hotel to add. I also use TripAdvisor to check my impressions. Right now, my list of Peloton bike hotels includes hundreds of hotels around the world. While most hotels with Peloton bikes can be found in the United States, some Westins in Canada have them, as do some boutique hotels in the UK. And recently, Kempinski hotels in Germany added Platoons to their properties.
I recently compiled a list of airport hotels with Pelotons. When the word got out, hotels emailed me asking to be added, and I’ve even had properties direct message me on Instagram.
How do I locate an Airbnb or VRBO rental property with Peloton availability?
LI: Unfortunately, I found that neither company did a very good job of letting potential tenants filter a rental search for Peloton availability.
So I used my journalism research skills to dig deeper into these sites to find those that offer Peloton bikes. It was not easy and it took me days. Now rental owners are also contacting me to ask me to add their home to my list of vacation rentals with Pelotons.
Has the pandemic made some travelers reluctant to use hotel gyms?
LI: I have seen many photos on social media of people riding Peloton bikes in hotel gyms with masks on. Honestly, earlier in the pandemic, most hotel gyms were closed, making it harder for people to ride their bikes. Some people were still traveling and wanted to do their workouts.
That being said, I think it’s because of the pandemic that I’m hearing about more hotels offering them as in-room amenities. Just yesterday, I learned of the existence of a hotel offering a “Bike in the city” package including a Peloton in the room.
How to stay connected to Peloton away from home?
LI: Each owner has a username and password that allows them to log into Peloton, anywhere. Another way to use Peloton on the road is to use a Smart TV. If your hotel or rental home has a Roku TV, you can access all classes through the Peloton Channel. This is how I do my yoga and bodybuilding classes outside of the bike.
Do I have to have special shoes or equipment to Peloton in a hotel or in a private house rental?
LI: Shoes are the main consideration. There are two types of bike crampons (these are the items under your shoes that clip into the pedals). Peloton bikes in one person come with something called Look Delta pedals, so you need shoes with Look Delta cleats (which are triangular). Private home rentals usually have bikes with pedals compatible with these shoes.
Most spin bikes in fitness centers have SPD pedals. SPD cleats are sort of wavy rectangles. I explain this because most hotels have double sided pedals. One side is SPD and the other usually has shoe cages. This means that you can slip your sneakers or shoes into the “cage”, which keeps your foot in place as you pedal.
Before booking an AirBnB or VRBO listing with a Peloton, ask if you need to bring your cycling shoes. I mention this because some Peloton owners prefer the SPD pedals and swap them out on their bikes.
Don’t assume that a bicycle in a rental has one type of pedal or another. You can also ask a hotel if their Platoons have the shoe cages I mentioned earlier. This way you don’t need any special shoes at all.
If I’m not sure, can I just call ahead to find out if a hotel has a Platoon?
LI: You can absolutely call ahead to ask, but I’ve found that most hotels still don’t know what Pelotons are or if their fitness center even has one. Many establishments are so misinformed that people have written to me saying that they cannot connect to the hotel bike because the hotel never even activated the bike after installing one.
Is staying at a property with a Peloton a good “try before you buy” way?
LI: Absolutely. Reserving a property with a Peloton in the bedroom or onsite is a great idea for someone who wants to give it a try before making a large financial investment that could turn into a hanger.
A friend of mine was on vacation in Maui with her boyfriend when she first tried out a Peloton bike. She loved it so much that she ordered one, on her phone, while waiting at the airport for her flight home. Now she rides almost every day.
PS Leah has found her own way to gauge the popularity of the Peloton with travelers:
“We recently bought a second home in Maine to rent to make more money,” she says. “We ended up buying a second Peloton – the Bike Plus – for the house to make it more attractive to Peloton tenants. We are already full for the summer. “
Note: This conversation has been slightly edited and condensed for clarity.
About Leah Ingram
Leah’s blog, the True sophisticated consumer, provides smart Peloton shopping tips and more. She is an expert on money saving and lifestyle and author of 15 books. Previously, she was a longtime contributor to Parade.com and NBC Universal.