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Sweating in Seattle

Seattle, WA, USA

The Good:

  • Good size space with plenty of open floor
  • Good selection of cardio and machine weights
  • Quiet and bright
  • Cable cross machine with pull up options
  • 24-hour guest access
  • Complimentary headphones
  • Close to Whole Foods for healthy post workout snacks and meals

The Bad

  • Limited free-weight selection
  • No foam rollers, med balls, tubing or kettlebells
  • Must go outside to access
  • Stability balls & mats were DIRTY

Dayna's review: 4 dumbells


In need of a few days away, Seattle is always a great option from Vancouver. A few hours drive and the ease of Nexus making it a speedy getaway and a great change of pace. We stayed at the Pan Pacific this time, located in what would be considered the Google and Amazon neighborhood called South Lake Union. It offers views of the space needle and is walking distance to plenty of shops and restaurants as well as the Pike Place Market. My friend had a few business meetings while in town and found the location easy to access the I-5 and get to scheduled appointments with little effort (although this could vary greatly as Seattle traffic can be crazy at times).

The Gym

The long drive had me needing to move, so after settling into the room I donned my workout gear and headed over to check out the space. It is across the courtyard from the hotel in a separate tower that also uses the facility but this didn’t seem to affect the volume much as I only encountered a few other exercisers during my visits. The space is very large by hotel standards, bright and well equipped with plenty of cardio equipment including a rower and a few spin bikes. A row of windows and high ceilings made for a nice bright room.

There was also a good selection of machine-based weights to work with and cover all your body parts if that is your sort of thing. I am of course always more interested in open spaces, free weights, and the functional ‘FUN’ stuff.

The gym had a nice cable machine with a variety of pull-up grip options, a few sizes of stability balls, and a couple of BOSU’s. The free weight selection was 5-50lbs in 5lb increments, limited but not bad for a hotel gym, and 2 adjustable benches to choose from. There was plenty of floor space for dynamic warm-ups, walking lunges, and frog hops if these are part of your programming. There were no foam rollers or tubing, so pack your own if these are something you use regularly.

I appreciated the towel service and filtered water (that fits my giant Swell bottle) as well as complimentary headphones for the cardio machines or if you have forgotten yours.

The change rooms were nice, with a traditional wood sauna, and decent shower facilities including lockers (bring your own lock) towel service, toiletries, and hair dryers. I presume the men’s was a similar design. Rounding out the space was a small hydropool (shared) for post workout leisure and recovery.

The workouts

Day 1 – It was a short week due to the travel and had me lifting fewer days so I had planned to do at least one full body workout while on the road. I had lifted the previous day, choosing to do a heavy lift day as I wasn’t sure what to expect from a new gym as far as equipment goes. This left today’s session as a cardio interval day and the sometimes dreary PNW weather had me opt for an interval run on the treadmill.

The cardio equipment is all made by Life Fitness. I found the treadmill well maintained and enjoyed the onscreen tele to watch the basketball game while I worked up a sweat. They all faced the windows and looked out into urban Seattle and the abundance of construction that is going on in the area. After 20 minutes of hard work, I finished with a short cool down and stretch. Total workout time was an easy 30 minutes and my body felt recovered from the long drive. I was ready to search out some good eats and wine!

Day 2 – I started the day with a morning workout, following breakfast at the hotel – a yummy steel-cut oatmeal and a side of bacon (of course). My workout started soon after eating – sooner than I typically like to, but I knew that if I went about the day the window for my workout may disappear so I opted to start with my CARS and Kinstretch to give my body time to digest a bit.

I used the open floor area for this which was perfect to work my transitions. 30 minutes later, tight hips were no more and I was ready for a little lift. I opted for an easy circuit of three rounds that looked like this:

  • Hip bridges x 12
  • Goblet squat 45lb x 12
  • Bent over DB Row 35lb x 12
  • Single Clean and Press 25lb x 12
  • Tricep Push ups x 12
  • Reverse fly 5lb x 12
  • DB pullover (on Stability ball) 45lb x 12
  • Pikes (stability ball) x 12

Total workout time was just under an hour and I left feeling loose and adequately sweaty! Post workout, I strolled down the steps from the hotel to Whole Foods for a post workout smoothie and I was off to enjoy the rest of the day in the city.

The Neighbourhood

If your looking for an active neighbourhood to stay in while traveling for business or pleasure this is pretty great. Runner? Lake Union is close by and the full loop is reported to be 10kms (plus the few minutes walk or run from the hotel) Biker? Pronto bikes are available nearby for leisurely rides or you can arrange a rental for about $25/24 hours at a few different bicycle shops in the city.  Although I didn’t rent on this trip, I did last year and found it a great way to explore, making my way over to some of the city’s hip neighborhoods without having to fight the traffic. Class junkie? There are a bunch of small studios within a few blocks of the hotel that offer Barre, Spin as well as various fusion type classes (TRX etc) Drop-in seems to be in the $15-30 range and most offer pass options if you’re staying more than a few days. If yoga is what your after Be Luminous Yoga is in the hotels courtyard loop and offers a 3 class deal to hotel guests for $32 (usually $20/per class) and has a good selection of midweek classes beginning at 6am and ending at 9:30pm (depending on the day) Weekend classes are less but still many to choose from. The studio is nice and also offers a few flavors of Kombucha on tap.

I enquired at the hotel about onsite Personal Training and at the time of writing it doesn’t have a PT list for guests looking to work with a trainer while in town. There is a small studio called ‘Heroics’ in the courtyard that offers individual and small group training as well as on site Physiotherapy. Upon request, the hotel concierge did supply me with a list of other gyms close by that offer personal training and classes. Oddly enough, they did not mention the yoga or PT Studio. If you are planning to visit the area and looking to work with someone while in town, please send me a message and I’ll try and hook you up with a kick ass trainer!

All in all, I enjoyed my sessions in the gym at the Pan and found there was more than enough equipment for me to put together a good workout plan myself or any client.

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