Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fitness Challenge: Magnolia Hotel Dallas

The Magnolia Hotel Dallas, a boutique hotel downtown, is next door to the flagship Neiman Marcus. If shopping isn't enough sport for you, there is a small fitness center. While the fitness room is bathed in sunlight, it has fairly creaky cardio machines, with only an overhead television. The free weights weren't much better - a limited range, in bad shape.
The rest of the hotel is fine, though, and I love that the included breakfast is so laid back - you can stop in for coffee and some fruit before you exercise, then eat more after, and no one is checking your room number. The hotel also offers a nightly evening reception with beer and wine, and room delivery of milk and cookies. So they really want you to work out. The hotel is a creative use of a historic building, the former headquarters of the Magnolia Petroleum Co. It has coffered ceilings and antique chandeliers in the lobby and the 24th floor has original glass transoms, ventilation grates, wood floors, paneling and marble.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hotel at home

If your family travels to you during the holidays, you need extra linens. One place to get sheets and towels is PeachSuite Hotel Supply, where you can get simple solid sheets. And if you encounter sheets on your travels that you like, you can find them here. Chains like Holiday Inn and Holiday Express get their Hotel Supplies here, so you can buy the sheets you like. Peachtree is also a Hotel Amenities Supplier to chains like Country Inn and Suites and Comfort Inn so you can get their soaps and lotions. This is also the place to stock up on dinnerware, glassware and flatware for extra guests at holiday meals.

Fitness Challenge: Dallas Omni

In Dallas, everything is large: the hair, the portion size, the gym at the Omni Dallas Hotel. To counteract the oversized margaritas and slabs of dessert on my recent trip to Dallas, I spent some serious time at the fitness center.
One of the nicest aspects (besides the shiny new equipment - the hotel is just a year old) of the gym is the view from the cardio machines. Ellipticals, stationary bikes and treadmills all faced the floor to ceiling windows. No dark, dank workout area here. There were also free weights, weighted balls, stability balls and strength machines. I thought about taking one of the cushy mats out to the pool deck, since I was inside most of the weekend for a convention. But the women next to me were telling a juicy story involving betrayal, drinking and lawsuits. And they weren't even discussing the new Dallas season. These were their actual lives. I turned down the volume on my iPod and eavesdropped.