Equinox Gets Into the Hospitality Game

At the first hotel from Equinox, the luxury fitness brand, you might expect to find encouragement to exercise in every room.

You’d be wrong. Equinox wants you to sleep.

“A lot of hotels are trying to go into wellness-fitness, but we’re the only fitness company going into hotels at this scale,” Christopher Norton, chief executive of Equinox Hotels, said. “They’re putting treadmills in rooms, pull-up bars in bathrooms, but we believe that fitness happens in the club and the room is for regeneration.”

The hotel, in the Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s Far West Side opens July 15. Hudson Yards’ developer, the Related Companies, owns Equinox and other fitness brands, including SoulCycle and Pure Yoga.

The company’s tenure in hospitality has been brief — it only announced that it would start offering retreats, day trips and longer journeys to places including Morocco, the Hudson Valley, Italy and Costa Rica 9 months ago. But talk of a hotel began in 2007 when the company’s leadership noticed that club members were booking hotels based on their proximity to an Equinox location when they were traveling.

“We saw a growing trend of people who wanted to maintain their routine while traveling and it was difficult,” said Harvey Spevak, executive chairman and managing partner for Equinox. “They wanted to be in a place where they had immediate access to an Equinox club.”

After surveying members and learning that “an overwhelming 95 percent” said that they would stay in a hotel owned by the brand, Mr. Spevak got to work on figuring out how to bring the hotel to life. Mr. Norton left his job as the chief operating officer of the Four Seasons hotel brand to finesse the details and experience at the Equinox hotel. He previously ran the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and the Four Seasons Bali at Sayan.

The new hotel spans floors 24 to 38 of a 92-story building designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The floors above the hotel will house condominiums and the floors below will be home to Equinox’s corporate headquarters. There are 212 rooms and suites that like the company’s clubs come with luxury amenities, including a minibar called a roombar with some 70 healthy food options, magnesium-based sleep supplements, face masks, a brain-fog-fighting elixir, condoms and massage oil. There is a proprietary shade system that blacks out all natural light and there are special air conditioning units designed to be silent. Guests can also meet with certified behavioral sleep coaches.

You can, of course, work out at the hotel: There is a 60,000-square-foot fitness club with a saltwater lap pool and two plunge pools. Guests will also be able to participate in Vessel Run, a cardio class with Equinox instructors that involves walking and running to the top of the Vessel, the large public artwork made up of interlocking staircases at the center of Hudson Yards. Next to the club is a 25,000-square-foot spa with access to cryotherapy chambers and an infrared sauna. There will be a nurse to administer restorative IV drips on demand to help guests who have overindulged rehydrate and re-energize in the spa or in their rooms.

Broken Coconut, a bar inside the club, will offer both healthy and alcoholic drinks. The club will provide Kiehl’s products as it has in other locations. The club, Equinox’s 100th location, is open to both hotel guests and Equinox Hudson Yards members.

There’s also a 15,000-square-foot sun deck. Rooms start at $700 a night and go up to about $8,000.

The hotel could be part of a growing trend rather than a one-off brand entering the hospitality space. The furniture store West Elm is opening its first hotel next year and competing furniture brand RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is opening RH Guesthouse in New York later this year. In June, Taco Bell announced that it was opening a pop-up hotel in Palm Springs, Calif., for four nights starting on Aug. 8, taking over an existing hotel and transforming it into a “taco-inspired destination,” according to the company’s website.

Equinox Hotels have been confirmed for cities including Los Angeles; Santa Clara, Calif.; Seattle, Chicago and Houston.

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