If your enthusiasm for keeping up with your resolutions is beginning to wane just over a month into the new year, well ... I feel you.
One of my many 2020 pledges was to embrace new forms of exercise; January saw me trying Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time after some gentle but persuasive nudging from founding instructor Pinij NaLampoon. However, when I was recently offered the opportunity to test one of the 14 new Peloton King Suites at the C. Baldwin Hotel, I hesitated.
As a consummate SoulCycle junkie, I've always been dubious of the Peloton—and not just because of its recent cringe-worthy holiday commercial, but because of what I love about Soul, its community spirit, and the resulting friendships I've forged there. Would tapping it back in a hotel room (albeit a very nice one) surrounded by a virtual pack of riders have the same appeal?
I decided to find out. Recently, I checked into the C. Baldwin at 3 p.m. and was immediately impressed by the interior design renovations to the space, which formerly housed an unmemorable DoubleTree. The operating room-style, '80s-era lighting and bland color scheme had been upgraded with warmer earth tones and cozy illumination. Knee-level shelves holding (gasp!) real books lined the various seating areas that preceded the entryway to the elegant lobby bar.
My room was equally chic and inviting, with gold accents and a lush charcoal marble bathroom. After a brief nap and a snack, I approached the Peloton, which was positioned adjacent to the bed but not so close that I might spray the comforter with errant sweat drops.
Creating an account was easy enough; the greater challenge was choosing what type of class to try based on duration, difficulty, and music. Peloton clients have the option of selecting live as well as on-demand rides, and I opted for an '80s rock-themed ride led by Ben Alldis.
Alldis was certainly not lacking in vigor or positivity, which helped to distract me from the fact that I was indeed riding a bike to nowhere alone in an empty room. A side console on the bike screen displayed metrics for things like calories, heart rate, and cadence, which was also entertaining, and the ever-changing "leaderboard" ranking the ride's various remote participants definitely activated my competitive chip.
Still, I'm accustomed to riding with a single focal point—usually the instructor—higher than eye-level, so I found this positioning initially awkward. I was comfortable by the time the class ended, though, and with more Peloton rides under my belt, I'm sure I would adjust.
The C. Baldwin's Peloton rooms are obviously great for the business traveler who wants to squeeze in a workout before and after morning and evening meetings, respectively, without having to face the unwashed masses at the hotel gym. But they’re even more ideal for guests (i.e., this reporter) who want to transition tout suite in their suite (ha!) from an intense cardio workout to an intense Netflix binge. The proximity of the bike to the couch, not to mention the big screen TV and prompt pasta delivery (try rigatoni with unctuous wild boar ragu, and do add the egg) via room service from the C. Baldwin’s on-site Rosalie Italian Soul.
The C. Baldwin is currently offering a special rate starting at $199/night that includes a stay in one of their special Peloton rooms, a complimentary fresh-squeezed juice upon arrival from Good to Go, and 24-hour fitness room access.