Monday, September 8, 2008

Wellness Center's Offerings Include An Overnight Stay

“It seems like you can practically live at some health clubs. In addition to the usual treadmills, bench presses and yoga classes, many clubs have spas, restaurants, salons and gift shops. But when's the last time you slept over at your health club? At the Marsh, a self-described ‘center for balance and fitness,’ members and nonmembers really can live there. Well, temporarily anyway. Six hotel rooms are set off in a quiet corner of the building, and business travelers, wedding parties, rehabilitation patients, world-class athletes and vacationers have stayed anywhere from one night to four months. The arrangement is rare, say representatives from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association and the Minnesota Lodging Association. All guests can take advantage of the workout facilities, restaurant, spa, meditation spaces and walking trails that wind through the back-yard marsh. The limited number of rooms is intentional, said Ruth Stricker, founder and executive director of the Marsh. ‘The idea is that it's a very human scale,’ she said. ‘There are only six rooms, not 60 or 600, so it's really like a retreat atmosphere and more like home.’ ‘It's a healthy place if people are looking for that,’ she said. ‘We also have beer and wine and chocolate chip cookies. It's absent the rat race of being in a city, so people have a chance to mellow out and do some long-distance viewing and thinking.’”

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