We’ve shared the latest trends in fitness, wellness, and studio-based workouts. Now, to dream a little dream, we’re assessing the best luxury gyms in the world. With all the fabulous at-home workout equipment on the market, is there actually a gym worth leaving home for? Sure, some high-end fitness studios are morphing into private members-only social clubs. But what about the rest? Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy gives us the run-down on the best luxury gym experiences money can buy.
gyms are definitely still a thing
The modern gym, as we recognize it now, was once thought of as a passing 80’s fad. But fitness studios have now grown into a 19 billion dollar industry.
From the outside, it seems rather laughable that we pay for the dubious privilege of running on a path to nowhere, or spinning our wheels while beautiful people yell at us. Not to mention all the other “opportunities” to simulate activities that resemble hard labor (yes, we’re looking at you, rowing machine classes).
But these are indeed one of the luxuries of being in the elite. We work hard and then apparently, want to work harder.
Our latest roundup of luxury gyms around the world make it easy to see why people have embraced this high-performance lifestyle. And we’re not embarrassed to admit that the world-class amenities like in-house laundry and fresh-pressed juices provide some comfort and immediate gratification as our ab muscles get chiseled out.
best luxury gyms in the world right now
1. An inspiring setting
We all know a great workout has the power to change your mood and can turn a bad day into a good one in just one hour. The hardest part sometimes is just getting in the door and prioritizing it above all the other “adulting” we have to do. These beautiful spaces elevate themselves from a gym into a sanctuary and inspire us to get moving…and stay moving.
Blanche is a six-level club housed in a historic Art Nouveau mansion in Pigalle. Top of the line equipment, studios for classes, steam room, dry sauna, and a 20-meter infinity pool are beautifully integrated into a ballroom-like setting.
For those with more modern and contemporary sensibilities, London’s Third Space in Soho has a boutique sophistication while still housing a 75 square meter climbing wall, 20-meter swimming pool and boxing ring, along with all the other requisite equipment in a world class gym.
Nature lovers will appreciate Houston’s new clubhouse, The Preserve. With a zen oasis vibe, it features an atrium, garden views and lush greenery throughout the naturally lit (by floor to ceiling windows) and refined space.
2. Results driven
No matter how bespoke the club quarters may be, ultimately, the workout needs to be effective. Enter these gyms with latest in customization and fitness technology to get you the most out of your time and effort.
Sitaras in New York City is still at the forefront of the industry in this regard. Partnering with South Korea’s Samsung Group, this state-of-the-art gym features a proprietary digital tracking room that creates a a custom regimen for its members (capped at 200) based on a comprehensive assessment of your muscle endurance, strength, flexibilty, cardio respiratory capabilities, muscle memory and body fat composition.
Pure Fitness, the elite Asian gym with locations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, has a dedicated Innovation Lab where members can play with all of the latest gadgetry to optimize their workouts. Don’t worry, these new pieces of equipment are all vetted and researched and members can vote to keep them on rotation at the gym.
For many of us, nothing beats one-on-one training. Madison Square Club in New York City, only offers personal training in their boutique facility. Their top-notch team has guided many a celebrity (Kerry Washington, Faith Hill and Liv Tyler, to name a few) and will custom tailor your entire workout from cardio to weights, but also stretching and nutrition counseling.
As we covered in our post about social wellness clubs last week, people are seeking a sense of community more than ever. The gym has historically been a space for people (ok, mostly men) to gather to attain their ideal bodies but has now evolved into its own sort of “church.”
Both institutions have specific rituals that people seek out to find comfort in a routine and also, to improve themselves. It’s no wonder that we might seek connections among the like-minded folk sweating next to us.
In addition to all the clubs listed in that post, we add this last most luxurious feature of all. Admission to London’s posh South Kensington Club, is granted through an interview where its owner, Luca Del Bono, is quoted as saying the main criterion is “being nice.”
Money can buy a lot of things – exclusive memberships to architecturally stunning gyms, access to instruments that scientifically measure your every move, motivating personal coaches…and apparently, nice members! Where can we sign?
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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.