The Printing House Fitness + Squash Club, a former printing factory, is located on the corner of Hudson and Leroy in the West Village. Known mostly to those who live in the neighborhood, Printing House is a hidden gem. At $88 a month plus a $50 initiation fee, this gym is a steal. After my long addiction to Equinox, I decided to switch gyms and Iâ€™m truly happy with my decision. I still believe Equinox is the best, but I enjoy the many features offered at Printing House.
Located on the 1st, 9th and 10th floors of the building, this boutique gymâ€™s top floors feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Hudson River, the Village and beyondâ€”it's amazing...and it isn't crowded. Most machines have TVs, but forget having a TV; you can just look out the windows! Boasting all the usual suspects in terms of equipment, I was drawn to this gym for the rooftop pool, the views and the rooftop workout classes. Because there are two very separate floors, Printing House almost feels like two gyms; the bottom floor is where you find the squash courts, cycling studio, Pilates machines, free weights and regular class studio. One oddity is that the treadmills and a couple elliptical machines are pretty close to the reception desk and I donâ€™t think there are any upstairs (correct me if Iâ€™m wrong!). I have yet to try the squash courts, but it looks like a great workout and top notch courts.
The pool is my favorite part; not only is it quiet, but you have an extensive view of the city from your lounge chair. They actually have a set time for children to swim, so after noon on the weekend, it's just the adults. The only hassle is securing yourself one of the 20 lounge chairsâ€”you have to get there early or be prepared with your hawk eye for those leaving the pool area. You learn quickly. And for all of you BlackBerry and iPhone addicts, you aren't allowed to talkâ€”I was actually told to get off my phone, but texting is allowed...secretly. The pool is small, although, if you like to swim laps, a current can be switched on, which makes for quite the interesting swim. The one drawback about the pool is that it's only accessible during the summer, but I don't know of any other gyms in NYC with rooftop pools, unless you have a membership to SoHo House. (I will touch on this pool in the future.)
The locker rooms on both the 1st and 9th floors are pretty normal, with nothing spectacular to report. They do have two large Jacuzzis to relax in after you workout, but I have yet to try these outâ€”they seemed a bit scary, but I probably will check out the steam room and sauna. There are blow dryers, lotion, shampoo, conditioner and body wash, but nothing compared to Equinoxâ€”I mostly miss the Que Tips.
On the way out of the gym, there is an actual button on the 9th floor that can be pressed to call the elevator before you are standing in front of it. This may be due to the slow elevators, but it's a pretty neat little feature. Being the sucker that I am for open-air workouts, I can't wait for the rooftop classes to begin so I can get my yoga on while taking in an amazing view of NYC. Other classes I want to try are BodyPump and Fluidity, a class that combines movements from ballet, yoga and Pilates. If you want a pass, just ask!