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'It’s not fitness. It’s life.' Lycra meets luxury at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

“It’s not fitness. It’s life.” Start spouting lines like this down your local leisure centre and brace for an eye-roll. But to a fast-growing social sect, the mantra, as it suggests, is absolutely a phrase to live by.

It’s also the strapline of high-end fitness brand Equinox that, since opening its first Fitness Club in New York in 1991, has amassed a century of outlets across North America and London.


Famed for its “high-performance living”, Equinox fuses the active with the alchemic, but perhaps its boldest innovation yet came last summer with the opening of its debut hotel property – Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards.


The 212-room temple to toning is part of the west Manhattan neighbourhood, which much like Equinox guests is also all about remodelling – through $25 billion worth of skyscraper steel; this area represents pumping iron of both varieties.


While some city breakers may quibble over dedicating precious suitcase space to their trainers for a less-than-likely gym visit, the crown jewel here is of course the Fitness Club; in fact it’s Equinox’s largest-ever premises at 60,000 square feet – almost the size of a UK professional football pitch – and is a destination in itself.


Offering every element of personal training and group classes you could think of there’s also the brand’s most exclusive E by Equinox “gym within a gym” sanctum, with membership worth a cool $500 a month plus a $1,500 initiation fee.


Having completed my first London marathon in 2019 and (at the time of my stay) ramping up training for this year’s event, I was eager to experience a slice of the Equinox lifestyle.


Despite feeling a tad bleary eyed from a 6am call and encroaching jet lag from the day before’s arrival, I soon felt enthused by the benevolent Duracell Bunny-air of my allotted trainer, Jenna.


If I thought I was approaching a big fitness task, Jenna’s was a step beyond; her latest triathlon, organised by the US Marines.

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