Boston Hotels Offering Guided Runs

Running concierges offer guests a healthy way to see the city.

Running along the Charles photo via Flickr/linux librarian

Running along the Charles photo via Flickr/linux librarian

Boston is known as a running capital throughout the country, so it makes sense that travelers would seek out a run on our streets and trails. But trying to get in a run when traveling can be tough, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the territory and are operating on an unpredictable schedule. Even with fancy map apps, the challenge of finding a route can inhibit visitors from ever making it out the door. To help guests get out of the hotel gym and hit the streets, some Boston-area hotels are offering “running concierges” to guide guests on their jogging jaunts.

At the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, there are guided runs along the Charles once a week for hotel guests and members of the community. Now in its second year, the program is a healthy way visitors can see more of Boston. “Boston is a great running city, and [our hotel’s] location on the Charles River makes it a spectacular place to start and finish a run,” says hotel communications manager Meghan Malloy. “Running is a fun way to see some of Boston’s architecture, green spaces, and beautiful riverfront paths.”

The Westin Copley Place’s program is a part of a larger effort by all Westin hotels called RunWESTIN. At the Westin Copley, guests can either take part in guided runs, or more independent runners can take advantage of the running maps available and explore at their own pace. Westin hotels also offers a gear lending program, where guests can borrow running gear and sneakers if needed.

Sean Howe, a representative from the Westin Copley, says that bringing a more personalized experience to guests was one of the motives behind the RunWESTIN program. “We’ve noticed that experience is everything,” Howe says. “There’s no reason for travelers to miss out on staying healthy while on the road.”

Last month, the hotel chain even put out a call for applications for experienced, charismatic marathoners to be RunWESTIN’s specialized running concierge for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series (which is not coming to Boston, unfortunately). The chosen candidate will travel to different cities and act as a personal marathon coach to the Westin’s guests who are participating in each race. Awesome job for a runner, right?

Howe mentioned that the Westin Copley invites all hotel guests to their group runs (usually twice a week) by leaving a voicemail in each room, so there’s no chance of being left behind. And after each run, the doorman awaits returning travelers with clean towels and cold water bottles, “like they’re finishing a race,” Howe says.

Other hotels in town are also taking small steps towards encouraging runners during their stay. The Four Seasons makes running maps available to guests, and the Fairmont Copley Plaza also offers a similar gear-lending program. Because when you are visiting Boston, exercising on vacation is not a chore.