Social wellness clubs are now officially a Thing again. In late 2016, there was a wave of news coverage about the rise of private social clubs – and boutique fitness studios – morphing into membership-based wellness clubs. Now the idea has come roaring back with new clubs opening or coming soon on both coasts in the US and in London. We’re not sure that we want every element of our lives – work, working out, and playing out – all happening under the same roof. But we were intrigued by the idea, so we went in search of the latest news. Here’s the run-down on the latest wave of wellness-oriented private clubs.
Focus on social wellness at these innovative private clubs
The new year brings a new focus for many of us on fitness, health and wellness. The good news is there more ways than ever to focus on holistic wellness this year. For example, there’s a surge in private membership clubs that are laser-focused on creating communities of like-minded people who are all on a quest for balance, health and wellness.
Here are just a few of the new entrants that you might want to check out. They’re the leaders in the latest wave of wellness-oriented private clubs.
New York City
After four years spent hosting immersive wellness retreats around the world, Habitas, an experience-focused hospitality group, has just unveiled members-only clubs in New York City and Los Angeles. The Manhattan location is inside a 19th-century midtown firehouse. The LA studio is on Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney.
The annual $2,200 membership at both locations provides access to yoga, meditation, Reiki, and massage. Each location boasts a well-stocked kitchen, a recording studio, sleek common areas, and even surfboards (LA only). Plus strength-training equipment and space for personal trainers.
When it opens this year, The Well – a 13,000-square-foot, two-floor space in Union Square – will aim to be a place to unwind and recharge. Members will have access to one-on-one meetings with a dedicated health concierge; unlimited yoga and meditation classes; fitness classes; and use of chic communal spaces. A full-service restaurant and cafe will be open to the public.
The intelligentsia will be pleased to know that the new club has a scientific advisory board and a staff of 30 licensed practitioners. It also has backing from Deepak Chopra, Barry Sternlicht, and doctor-to-star athletes Keith Pyne. Memberships start at $375 per month, and the total membership size will be capped at 2,000.
Rise by We
Rise by We is a health club and “superspa” concept from co-working behemoth WeWork. Originally conceived as a way to utilize unused space in its co-working buildings, the appeal of the concept was strong enough that the company has its first permanent location, in Manhattan’s Financial District.
With the slogan “using social fitness to elevate mind, body and spirit,” the club offers classes for strength and cardio, as well as meditation and yoga. The SuperSpa “is inspired by the vibrant community of the Roman baths.” Unlimited access is $199 per month, or you can drop in on a class for $35. The Studio Lab offers customized training options.
The Assemblage pairs co-working spaces with mindfulness exercises and Ayurvedic food. Its daily wellness programming includes kundalini yoga, sound meditation, and breathwork. Members and guests can partake in private workshops on wellness and consciousness. In a unique twist, members can even book an apartment at The Assemblage John Street for a day, a month, or a year. They come fully stocked with daily housekeeping, laundry service, and free Wi-Fi.
Coming Soon to NYC
There’s more to come on this front in New York City, as hotels morph into luxury gyms, and vice versa. The “third space” that accommodates work and wellness will be even further developed in the next year or so. Six Senses, the five-star wellness hotel brand, is developing its own membership club, debuting in Manhattan in 2020. And upscale gym brand Equinox will open its first hotel in New York later this year.
Grace Belgravia was an early pioneer in combining co-working, medical and wellness practices under a single membership model. It’s billed as “a luxurious sanctuary for professionals, mothers, entrepreneurs and modern voyagers . . . and a great base for remote working, business meetings and hosting clients.” Sorry, dudes: it’s currently limited to women only.
Mortimer House has eight distinct areas, each addressing one of Maslow’s eight hierarchical needs, from “love” to “belonging.” The membership club is housed in a six-floor Art Deco building in the heart of Fitzrovia. It’s designed to provide “a new experience for those who wish to create, work and unwind in equal measure.” The space provides team offices, meeting rooms, event spaces, a living room, terrace, studio and gym. Members can dine at the ground floor restaurant Mortimer House Kitchen, which is also open to the public.
The self-proclaimed “Soho House of the fitness world” is Third Space, a private member’s club-cum-gym in London with five locations. The new Fenchurch Street club, Third Space City, is touted as one of the most luxurious and technologically-advanced fitness centers in London.
42 Acres Shoreditch
42 Acres is a wellness, co-working and event space in a beautiful converted Shoreditch church. Promising “a coworking community that invites you to embody your true nature at work, rest and play,” the membership levels range in price from £120 – £350 per month. The top level provides access to unlimited hotdesking, weekly wellness classes, and a monthly mentoring session.
The Sweat Crawl
Run by the fitness class review site Sweat Concierge, sweat crawls are pub crawls for gyms. They’re a social experience where people take three 30-minute classes, back to back, at different studios, almost always with their friends. The event fee is $75, and the format is a transplant from America: there have been sweat crawls in Boston, New York and Washington DC for hundreds of people (90% of them women).
The Assembly, San Francisco
Another co-working and wellness club in a former church (anybody any thoughts on that one?)is The Assembly in San Francisco’s Mission district. “We talk about the three elements: sweat, work, and play,” founder Molly Goodson said in an interview. The club’s membership is exclusively women and those who identify as female; the aim is to offer “a safe place to practice self-care, whether that means finding a solitary area to reflect, learning a new practice, or reaching out to build connections within the community.” Membership requires a a 12-month commitment, for $2,700 per year.
A combination yoga studio, organic café, and co-working space, Wanderlust Hollywood is a cool hang-out. Members can attend more than 100 classes a week. Plus there are weekly events, including live music workouts, guest lectures, and comedy shows. A highlight? The Mortified show, where people share the embarrassing diaries, lyrics and art they created as kids. The $115 monthly membership covers unlimited classes.
Electric Flight Crew
Started three years ago, the Electric Flight Crew is a group of young professionals and entrepreneurs interested in “collective fitness.” Members attend special weekly runs, sprint training and circuit-training workouts in locations around Greater LA. The workouts average 40 to 60 people, and are followed by socializing at a local restaurant. Members have to apply to join and pay a $40 monthly fee.
The Wonderer Charleston is “a modern oasis offering luxury social, work, and wellness-based amenities to its members who seek to lead a balanced life.” The 50,000-foot private social club in downtown Charleston, South Carolina features an event space, a Junior-Olympic sized pool, a restaurant and sports bar, fitness center, wellness bar, co-working spaces and more.
What do you think? Will you be joining one of these new clubs? Let us know. Whatever you decide, we hope you have a new year filled with health and wellness.
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