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Travellers can keep fit like the First Lady by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HEALTH + WELLBEING By Maggie O' Sullivan

What do Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham and Michelle Obama have in common? They’re all mad about SoulCycle. The First Lady even name-checked the fashionable fitness brand on Twitter last May.

Done on a studio bike to energising music, SoulCycle is essentially a take on Spinning, with added hand weights and core work turning it into a full body workout. According to the company’s website, SoulCyclists can burn up to 700 calories in a 45-minute class. And the best bit is that it takes place in a dark, candlelit room. Perfect for celebrities and First Ladies who’d rather the whole world didn’t see them dripping with sweat.SoulCycle has studios across the US (Michelle Obama is said to be a regular at the Georgetown SoulCycle studio in Washington DC). It’s not in the UK yet (watch this space), but if you’re travelling in the US, check whether it’s on offer at your hotel since a number of properties have recently introduced SoulCycle packages. London hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp’s NYC outpost, the Crosby Street Hotel (above), is on the same street as SoulCycle’s SoHo studio and features the brand on its website. The hotel does have its own fully equipped gym so if you want to work up to your SoulCycle session, you can do that too. Never mind packages, the new super-stylish 1 Hotels South Beach, on Miami’s Collins Avenue, has its own 2,600 sq ft SoulCycle studio, with 54 bikes and a SoulCycle boutique featuring the brand’s clothing collection. The hotel itself is one of two ‘lifestyle’ hotels launched last year by Barry Sternlicht at Starwood (Sternlicht created the W Hotels brand). The new brand targets younger, affluent travellers hence the SoulCycle hook up.The Santa Monica SoulCycle studio, meanwhile, is right across the street from the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. However, instead of SoulCycle, the Miramar offers core cycling by an equally fashionable fitness brand called Exhale. Exhale is popular with Hollywood’s finest, including Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence, though they apparently prefer the ballet-inspired Core Fusion Barre classes. But if you want to be really up to the minute, you need to be doing YAS, a combination of yoga and Spinning (not at the same time), favoured by Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel. YAS has fitness centres in California and Portland, with the original studio in Venice, CA. The most glamorous hotel in this part of town is the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey, just down the road. Of course, if YAS sounds too much like hard work, you could always go old school, rent a bike from the hotel and cycle to the beach…

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