Some people are so focused during their workout that they hardly notice where they are, let alone which famous faces may be passing by them. And we applaud those people who dedicate the utmost concentration to their fitness regimen. But some of us may have a wandering eye while working on our fitness (hey, it doesn’t hurt to see the toned bods of fellow exercisers). For that extra bit of motivation, we’ve come up with a list of the best workout spots for star sightings – and which hotels to stay in to be close to the fitness hotspots. Check 'em out below or head over to Shape.com.
Runyon Canyon Park
It seems like tabloids feature photos of celebs running, hiking or walking their dogs in Runyon Canyon Park every week. At 160 acres, this park offers hiking trails of various difficulties, so it’s no surprise that stars of every age and fitness level are spotted here (and the no-leash policy means it’s also a popular spot for bringing pooches on a stroll). The three main trails are Runyon Canyon Road, Star Trail, and Hero Trail. Named for the celebrities who grace it, Star Trail is a moderate hike while Hero Trail is the most challenging thanks to its super steep inclines. Josh Duhamel and his wife, Fergie, are often spotted jogging together, and Khloe Kardashian Odom was recently spotted alongside her hubby Lamar Odom and her brother, Rob. When Scarlett Johansson was getting hot and heavy with Sean Penn (remember those five minutes?), she and her then-boyfriend got hot and sweaty on a jog with pal Owen Wilson.
WHERE TO STAY: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, L.A., Calif.
The 300-room Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, an L.A. landmark, is a luxe, hip hotel that's just a 10-minute walk from one of the park's entrances. The hotel combines the shimmer of silver-screen history with a cutting-edge party scene, centered around a massive pool (perfect for a post-workout dip) and a bar, plus a casual restaurant open 24 hours. Service is surprisingly good (lacking the snobbery of some upscale L.A. hotels) but the rooms, though well designed, are smaller than average.
Although New York City does not have the sprawling open spaces that some areas of L.A. offer, Central Park is the crown jewel of the bustling metropolis--and at 843 acres, it gives Runyon Canyon Park a run for its money size-wise. An official National Landmark for decades, Central Park is a popular spot for working out (and there are tons of ways to break a sweat), though the running track around the Reservoir – about a 1.5 mile loop– may be the most frequented fitness destination. Celebs recently seen sweating there include Chris Noth, Heidi Klum, Gywneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo. Not a runner? Visitors can also bike, kayak, ice-skate (during the winter), and even rock climb. Central Park is also a popular spot for movie sets, too, so keep your eyes peeled.
WHERE TO STAY: Mandarin Oriental, New York
It's not an icon like the Plaza or the Pierre — but so what? located across Columbus Circle from Central Park, the Mandarin Oriental offers a dizzying array of modern luxuries – a 75-foot pool, one of the city's best spas, sweeping views from nearly every common area (and some rooms have Central Park views), and superb on-site fine-dining options – all while upholding traditional values and outstanding service. For those traveling on a budget, the Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side is just a block from Central Park as well.
Malibu is a given celeb spot, as its just about an hour's drive from LA and has plenty of strips of sandy beach. While some star-gazers may set up a towel and relax in the sun, you’ll probably have more luck getting up close and personal with stars if you hit the waves. David Beckham and Gerard Butler enjoy riding the surf and Matthew McConaughey has been seen paddle-boarding in Malibu's calmer waters. McConaughey has also been a participant in the celeb-heavy Nautica Malibu Triathalon, along with funnyman Will Ferrell. Tiffani Thiessen (of Saved by the Bell fame), The Hangover’s Ed Helms, John Cryer, and Bachelor host Chris Harrison all showed up for the race’s 25th year, which raised money for cancer research.
WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Oceana, Santa Monica, Calif.
A 30-minute drive from Malibu, this Santa Monica hotel more than compensates for its lack of on-site features —no spa, a long walk to the beach— with great design in its large rooms, a welcoming atmosphere cultivated by personal service and a relaxed, low-key vibe unmatched by its luxury rivals Fairmont Miramar, Shutters on the Beach, and Casa Del Mar.
The trend du jour, Soul Cycle is an upbeat spin class that combines top-notch, top-40 remixes with hardcore instructors who won’t let you get by with anything less than working your butt off. Classes are pricey (we’re talking really pricey), but they come with an above-average chance of spotting someone famous. Kelly Ripa is a huge fan (she even convinced pal Anderson Cooper to join her and now he’s hooked) and Brooke Shields, Katie Holmes, and Jake Gyllenhaal (who was spotted at the Soul Cycle in Union Square just a couple of weeks ago) are also avid spinners.
WHERE TO STAY: W New York - Union Square
Just a few blocks from one of the city's Soul Cycle studios, the W Hotel's 270-room Union Square property greatly resembles other Ws in New York: Comfortable beds, modern rooms, an excellent gym, and plenty of business travelers in the butterfly-decorated, techno-soundtracked lobby. But this one's downtown unlike the others, near the bar-filled East Village and media-mecca Flatiron District. But street noise penetrates the walls, even on the 11th floor. If you’re looking to save a few bucks on accommodations (because all of your moolah will be going towards spinning), the Union Square Inn is a budget option – but you get what you pay for.
High Line Park
Built on a former elevated railroad track, the High Line Park was instantly popular after its opening in 2009 – and now that this summer marked the opening of the second section, the one-mile long park is a nice spot for jogging (plus, if you need a rest, you can relax on one of the lounge chairs that slide along the tracks). As you walk, jog, or run along, you can enjoy views of the river and you may even spot a celeb; this summer, Beyonce showed off her baby bump at the park and a couple of months ago, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr brought son Flynn on a walk there. It's no surprise that the High Line is a celeb hotspot, as many celebs – including Kevin Bacon, Edward Norton, Amanda Peet, Glenn Close, Hilary Clinton, and Martha Stewart – made significant donations towards the renewal project.
WHERE TO STAY: The Standard New York
Hovering above the High Line on concrete pillars, this one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel offers 337 light-flooded, ultra-mod rooms with panoramic views of the city; one restaurant, several popular bars and excellent service. It might just be the hippest hotel in New York City. Plenty of celebs have been spotted here as well; Chelsea Handler, Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, and Kanye West have all partied at the Standard.