Equinox Doubles Down on Plans to Conquer the Travel Market
A month after announcing its fitness-focused day trips, Equinox — which operates SoulCycle, PURE Yoga and the namesake Equinox gym network — has doubled down on its foray into the luxury travel market.
Last week, Equinox said it would begin offering “bespoke travel experiences” in tandem with the company’s launch of Equinox Hotels, slated for the spring of 2019. At the helm of the brand's multi-day itineraries is Leah Howe, formerly of Van Wyck & Van Wyck and Butterfield & Robinson.
In a statement, Harvey Spevak, the executive chairman and managing partner of Equinox, said the shift toward travel "is a natural — and almost inevitable — extension" for the company.
“We are in the business of transformation,” Howe, now senior director of retreats and member experiences at Equinox, told TPG in an email. “Travel is transformation of the mind and spirit. And active travel is transformation of the mind, body and spirit.”
With the wellness travel market ballooning, it's no surprise that Equinox is quickly asserting itself as a leader in the space. According to the 2018 Portrait of American Travelers survey, the segment accounts for 10% of all American travelers, and spending, about $27.1 billion last year, is on the rise. Globally, these numbers are even more impressive. The 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor reported that travelers worldwide took 830 million wellness trips in 2017.
Though details are still scarce at this time, the first confirmed Equinox luxury tour will be a "summit-chasing adventure" in Morocco in April 2019, according to Equinox.
And more than a dozen trips are expected to take place next year, with the US, Canada, Italy, France, Finland, Scotland, Spain, Chile, Iceland, Brazil, Croatia and Ethiopia all being tentatively considered as destinations.
“Spectacular landscapes and topographies,” Howe said, make a location especially inspiring for fitness-focused travelers — as are “places with a [history] of high-performance activities, where champions have grown their craft.”
In an email distributed to Equinox members, the "domestic and international multi-day journeys" were described as "experiences developed and led by ... top trainers and Group Fitness instructors."
“Our trips will be crafted for people who want superlative experiences: the most exciting bike ride, the most challenging hike … or the most silent mountaintop meditation.”
Exercise will certainly be a focus of many Equinox tours, but intense physical fitness is not a requirement. There will also be experiences devoted to “regeneration.”(Personally, you can sign me up for the latter.)
Though luxury tours from Equinox will be open to everyone, Howe confirmed there will be a financial “incentive” for Equinox club members. Rates will vary depending on the destination and duration of the trip, but Howe said these trips are a "luxury offering and will be priced accordingly."
Undoubtedly, these trips will not be cheap for anyone, members included. The brand's single-day trips cost members $425 — a $50 discount from the non-member cost of $475.
“This is an exciting time,” Howe said. “…we look forward to bringing travelers closer to this world.”
Until Equinox bespoke travel experiences and the eponymous hotel brand launch this spring, New York-based travelers can get a taste of Equinox travel by signing up for the brand's day trips. The October lineup includes precision running at Mohonk Preserve (Saturday, Oct. 13) and cycling along the Hemlock Reservoir, Long Island Sound and Saugatuck River (Sunday, Oct. 21).