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The Embassy Row Hotel_Splash Cycle Underwater

The Story of Splash Cycle

Sarah Gontijo, a former lawyer and political consultant, started her professional career working for high profile political campaigns in Brazil.  Gontijo left her small town, Sao Joao del Rei, Brazil, to continue her education in the States as a Political Management student at George Washington University.

As a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Gontijo has her hands in many successful business ventures, including her first company in 2010 called Hello Hello, the world’s first language learning application for the iPad.

Fast forward six years later. It was destiny, during a visit home, where Sarah met her next venture.

After missing her flight, Gontijo was forced to take a 7-hour bus ride back home with only one stop between each location. Fate connected childhood friend, Jonas Neves, with Sarah who happened to be at the same stop just five minutes before her bus was set to leave.

As the founder of Hidrocycle, the premier manufacture of water bikes, Neves gushed about the 18 aqua-bikes sitting in Miami after a failed launch in 2014, and encouraged Gontijo to restart the business.

Sarah came back to the States with just a concept and a dream. In just 15 days, Splash Cycle was conceived, classes were in motion, and it hasn’t slowed down since.

An April 2017 feature in the Washingtonian Magazine gained Gontijo 1000 emails in ten days, sold out summer classes, over 2000 website subscribers, and media attention from NBC, ABC and more. Classes attract customers from all walks of life, bringing a light to the fitness scene which is evident in the smiles before, during, and after the classes. 

“I truly believe the universe is using me as an instrument to promote good. From Hello Hello to Splash Cycle, this is something I love doing, and I think I’m being rewarded for that,” says Gontijo.

As an alternative to the usual high intensity work out, Gontijo uses this workout herself as a fun and exciting weight management tool.

The natural properties of the water massage the body and activate the lymphatic system getting rid of toxins and improving blood circulation. This helps tone and reduce cellulite. The water also supports body weight as a low-impact exercise protecting your joints, bones and muscles.

Sarah’s aquabikes are unique with eight levels of resistance as opposed to two to three, crafted with marine grade steel perfect for combating water damage, and light weight for easy mobility.

Gontijo says she’ll always have a soft spot for The Embassy Row Hotel as she continues to grow nationally. The hotel was the first to give Sarah the support she needed to create the first outdoor group aquacycling class in Washington, D.C.

Almost anyone will feel inspired to keep the faith and follow their heart after witnessing Sarah’s enthusiasm for life and passion for helping others.

Guests and locals can catch Sarah on The Rooftop during one of the Splash Cycle classes offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Find out more here. 


The Embassy Row Hotel_Sarah and Jonas Jonas and Sarah at the inaugural Splash Cycle class.
The Embassy Row Hotel_Splash Cycle Sunset Splash Cycle sunrise.

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