When I moved to New York in September of 2004, Equinox was my first gym experience; it was my father who by the way never works out, who gave me the guest pass. As a former member of 24 Hour Fitness in California, I immediately fell in love with Equinox. I'm not sure how to put my love into words, but there is nothing better than a clean gym, with beautiful people. Itâ€™s pretty pricey, at $176 per month (plus $300+ initiation) for an all-access membership, but if you work for a corporation you can usually get a steep discount.
Located in the Flatiron district, this Equinox location reminds me of the loft I have always dreamed of...the top floor in particular. A very industrial, yet modern feel, this gym exudes cleanliness and you always see a cleaning person wandering around dusting some machine or mopping the floor. Embodying four floors, there are towels at your disposal and machines and weights galoreâ€”and they are super clean. Yes, I know I keep emphasizing this, but I am a clean freak.
Right when you step in the front door, you are greeted by at least two friendly staff members and sometimes when I'm working out, the delicious smells coming from Citi Chow, Equinox's cafÃ©, make me work out that much harder so I can hurry up to get the food when my workout is complete. They sell sandwiches, salads, shakes and healthy meal platters...my favorite meal includes the spinach, black bean and tofu salad with a turkey burger -- delish!
Each floor houses all the regular free weights, three stretching areas (huge one on the upper level, medium-sized area on the mezzanine and smaller one on the bottom floor) and numerous top-of-the-line weight machines and cardio equipment. There are four workout rooms including boxing and cycling studios, where you can find any class to fit your fancy, with world-renowned instructors and over 90 different classes to choose from. My three favorite classes are 30/60/90 with Kristi Molinaro, Inten-Sati with Patricia Moreno and Will Power & Grace with Christine D'Ercole. (Reviews coming.)
The women's locker room, found on the bottom floor, features a steam room, recently renovated showers with wood panel flooring, ample blow dryers and little baggies to pack away your sweaty gym clothes. Each shower is equipped with soap, shampoo, conditioner and shaving cream (razors can be found outside of the shower near the lotion, qui-tips and cotton balls). Although I don't particularly like the smell and feel of the shampoo, conditioner...or the soapâ€”I'm happy they exist because many gyms do not have these. Also, if you feel so inclined to spend the extra bucks, you can rent a monthly locker and each time you come to the gym, your clothes will be washed for you, ready to wear.
If you get bored of looking at the pretty people or of your workout, you can always check your email on two flat screen computers found next to the women's locker room. Equinox also has a spa, which offers the usual array of services, from facials to massages. I recommend taking a trip to this gym either for a class or just to work out on the machines.