Would You Spend $700 to Stay at a Hotel Run by a Fitness Center? Equinox Is Betting Yes

May 30, 2019

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It’s not fitness — it’s hospitality.

Reservations are open at the world’s first Equinox Hotel, which will launch in New York City’s flashy new Hudson Yards neighborhood on July 15.

Equinox’s expansion into the travel space has been rapid. Last September, Equinox rolled out “day trips” from the brand’s hometown in New York City. A month later, the fitness brand comprising Equinox gyms, SoulCycle and PURE Yoga expanded its footprint in luxury travel by announcing multi-day, wellness-focused journeys.

Now, Equinox is signaling its permanent commitment to travel and hospitality by cutting the ribbon at its debut hotel on Manhattan’s far west side.

Courtesy of Equinox Hotels.
Courtesy of Equinox Hotels.

A veritable temple to health and wellness, the hotel is anchored by a 60,000-square-foot Equinox fitness center and E by Equinox — the brand’s even more exclusive club. During their stay, hotel guests get access to all the signature experiences and facilities. Think: A 25-yard saltwater pool, hot and cold plunge pools, a SoulCycle studio and fitness classes on the iconic Vessel. (I recently previewed the so-called Equinox Vessel Run and spent an hour sprinting up and down the public sculpture’s 2,500 steps, with speed drills and plyometrics thrown in just for fun.)

All 212 guest rooms and suites are dark and moody, designed to promote sleep and relaxation above all else. There are all-natural mattresses, and widow treatments that completely blackout and soundproof the space.

Other just-announced details include a restaurant and bar concept, Electric Lemon, from restaurateur Stephen Starr, the highlight of which is an 8,000-square-foot terrace overlooking Manhattan.

Standard city-view rooms start around $700 a night — a rate comparable to base rooms at such established luxury properties as The Peninsula New York and Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. For that price, you could also pay for three months of an Equinox All-Access membership, which, sadly and somewhat deceptively, does not include access to the hotel’s club.

Fortunately, Equinox Hotel is replete with grand opening offers. Book with a Virtuoso travel advisor, for example, and you’ll receive an upgrade at booking, early check-in and late checkout (by availability); daily continental breakfast for two; and a $100 hotel credit. Select Equinox Suite guests will also receive private helicopter airport transfers for stays of two nights or more. Until Dec. 31, Virtuoso guests can also add a $100 spa credit, a complimentary personal training session or two SoulCycle classes to their reservation.

Club members can also select one of these perks for stays booked directly through Equinox Hotels (a personal training session, a spa treatment or a SoulCycle class) by Dec. 31. Equinox members are also promised “best-of-the-best” rates and early check-in and late check-out. But as an Equinox member, my personal favorite benefit is complimentary daily gym clothes laundering.

Courtesy of Equinox Hotels.
Courtesy of Equinox Hotels.

At this time, Equinox Hotels does not offer any loyalty program beyond perks for existing club members, nor is it a member of the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program — so you’ll want to charge your stay to a card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which will earn you 3x or 2x, respectively. Another option? Equinox Hotel is currently listed on Hotels.com, so you can book with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card at Hotels.com to earn 10x miles on your stay (ends Jan. 31, 2020). (You can also take advantage of the Hotels.com Rewards program to earn one free night for every 10 paid nights, effectively boosting your return to 20% when you pay with the Venture card.)

And though the Equinox Hotel in New York City is still weeks away from its ribbon-cutting, the brand’s ambitious expansion plans are well underway. An Equinox Hotel in Seattle is supposed to follow later this year, with properties in Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago already in development.

All photos courtesy of Equinox Hotels.

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