‘Hotel gym’: two words that often fill us with dread — and for good reason, in our opinion, when sunshine and sightseeing, architecture and adventure lie just beyond those always-too-close and clammy walls.
Yet somehow, the Marktgasse Hotel in Zurich has managed the impossible and convinced us to pack not only our trainers, but also every variety of lycra we have to our name, from brunch-ready yoga leggings and stylish swimsuits to not-so-chic padded-bottom cycling shorts (yes, we own those), thanks to the launch of its new fitness offerings. The hotel has partnered with a series of local groups and clubs to offers its guests unique experiences which combine sightseeing with keeping fit, artfully solving that age-old internal battle as whether to hit the gym or the town (somehow, the gym always loses).
Aspiring Paula Radcliffes can set off with one of Zurich’s local running groups to explore the cobbled old town, leafy Seefeld or the trendy former industrial of Zurich West, whilst Bradley Wiggins wannabes can join local cycling fanatic, Yoko Vogel, to navigate beautiful Lake Zurich or scale the heights of Uetliberg Mountain (a mission not to be undertaken lightly, we might add). Seeking something a little more leisurely? Fear not: all running and cycling tours can be tailored to your fitness level and interests — a leisurely cycle to discover Zurich’s impressive collection of chocolate shops, perhaps?
You can also limber up alongside locals at a yoga at the Marktgasse’s neighbour, chic sportswear boutique Lululemon, or enjoy free entry to one of Zurich’s famous lidos — of which there are over 40, with many boasting bars, pop-up restaurants and outdoor cinemas — to cool off after all that active exploration.
As dusk falls, we would wholeheartedly recommend undoing all your good work by tucking into one of the Marktgasse’s famous Cinnamon buns from its street-facing deli, Delish, or sampling a cocktail from its trendy bar, which many a soul will tell you are ‘the best in Zurich’. It’s all about balance, right?
Rates for the Marktgasse’s wellness package start from CHF 629 on a single occupancy basis, including 2 night’s accommodation, daily breakfast at Delish, a dinner at Baltho Restaurant, a round of drinks at Baltho Bar, one hour’s bike ride, access to Lululemon’s scheduled yoga classes and scheduled running classes, entrance to Seebad Enge and a juice from Juicery 21. Bespoke fitness experiences start from CHF 95.