The iconic Hotel del Coronado is no stranger to the spotlight. But, within recent months, mythical creatures have surfaced at the iconic hotel’s aquatic pools, drawing more attention than ever to the Del. Mermaids, that’s right, mermaids (and mermen), have been spotted at the Del. Adorned in brilliantly colored metallic fins, sporting bikinis, braids, and pool noodles, these creatures are captivating crowds and encouraging the community to have fun in a fin.
Since July 2016, the Hotel del has offered Mermaid Fitness classes which are a combination of Pilates and water aerobics.
“It is very core-centric, and will tone your entire body,” says Veronica Rohan, the Del’s resident Mermaid and Fitness Instructor. “You can make it as challenging or easy as you would like. This class is for all levels of fitness.”
As a girl who has always wanted to live out her Little Mermaid fantasy, I decided to take the class to see what all the hype was about.
I arrived at the Del’s fitness center at 7:45 AM on Friday morning. The class is only offered on Friday and Saturday mornings and has been booked solid for most of the summer. According to Rohan, most classes have had twenty or so mermaids in them, but mine had less than 10.
Around 8:00 AM each student was issued a colorful tail, pool noodle, and freshly laundered towel, and asked to sit on the edge of the pool. Rohan showed us how to secure our feet in the fin and encouraged us to slide into the water.
We began the class by learning how to swim like mermaids. It’s much harder than it looks in cartoons and movies. Between feeling like I was floundering, from the large amounts of water my classmates’ fins were splashing in my face, to trying to make sure my technique was proper, this class immediately proved to be harder than I imagined. Once all of the mermaids swam a few laps around the pool, we were asked to stand in a line with our fins flat on the ground and our pool noodles extended out at arms length.
“Students have told me the class is more challenging than anticipated, but they loved the fun of the fin,” says Rohan. “It is a distraction from the intensity of a normal workout.”
Current hits were blasting from the radio in the background and our instructor was full of energy and personality. Everything needed to make a unique, fun-filled class was at our fingertips. However, Rohan had to remind us several times to smile, because “mermaids don’t have serious faces.” I, as well as the other students, were so focused on trying to complete the exercises and using proper technique, that we kept forgetting to have fun in our fins.
We did a series of arm exercises before jumping out of the pool and completing an abdominal workout. The ab workout was intense, simply because of the weight of the tail. The fin was soaking wet, which added a level of difficulty to the exercise that I didn’t expect.
We repeated each sequence, swimming, arm exercises, and abdominal exercises, three times before we could “free swim”. During the free swim portion of the class we were allowed to really embrace our inner mermaid and swap our lungs for gills. While many mermaids used this opportunity to take photos, which they most likely later put on social media completely putting to shame their friends’ basic pool photos, I wanted to see what my shiny scales were made of. I swam around the pool with the lyrics to Under The Sea playing in my head. I felt like I was born to be a mermaid.
Once I floated back to reality, I of course had to snap a few photos. After all, I want to be able to show my daughter how her momma transformed into a beautiful mermaid at the Hotel del Coronado.
Mermaid fitness is truly for everyone! It has even picked up national media attention. In fact, Cosmopolitan invited Hotel del Coronado’s Mermaid Fitness Instructor to NYC to film with their editorial team.
The class is scheduled to end in November and begin again in the spring. For more information about Mermaid Fitness, contact the Hotel del Coronado.