We’ve seen the shape of things to come… And, it’s taut, toned and rippling with abs. Yes, Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards, in Manhattan, is a high-octane, ultra-luxurious stay from the cult gym brand, styled around their mantra of ‘high-performance’ living. It’s home to their largest fitness centre yet, with SoulCycle classes, a vast open-air pool with city views and supremely motivating personal trainers. Feel the burn, then rejuvenate with an IV nutrient drip and cryotherapy sesh in the spa, refuel on superfood salads and local meats and fish, then spend your best night’s sleep in an optimally dark, cool and quiet ‘sleep chamber’ (what lesser mortals might call a bedroom). Ready to commit? Your high-energy holiday awaits…
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Departing guests can store their luggage and use the Club showers.
Double rooms from £398.06 ($562), including tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $3.50 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include full access to the Equinox fitness club and spa, usually open to members only.
To help you gear up and wind down, AM and PM work-out rituals can be streamed on your TV. If you’re too pumped, the hotel has a dedicated sleep coach to help you hit those Zzzs. Locality is considered in rooms too, the Grown Alchemist bath products are made using grass foraged from the High Line.
Due to Covid-19 precautions, the spa is only open limited hours and the Vessel is currently closed to the public.
At the hotel
Fitness club; sundeck with poolside pods; juice bar and ice-cream stand; lounge; members-only communal workspace; boutique; free high-speed WiFi throughout. In rooms: 55-inch TV with Apple streaming services; Lutron digital-lighting controls; customisable RoomBar (with crispy Brussels sprouts, turmeric soda, quinoa bites, kombucha and other healthy treats); yoga mat, sweat bands and blocks; Nespresso machine; triple-headed shower, custom king-size beds with Coco-mat mattresses; soundproofing and black-out blinds; filtered water; local Grown Alchemist bath products.
Our favourite rooms
‘Cool, dark and quiet’ is the hotel’s in-room mantra. Hit that function on the light control and your ‘sleep chamber’ (in Equinox argot) will cool to 66°F, black-out blinds will shutter and all lights and tech will switch off. Each chamber is similarly styled with sultrily hued marble, textured cream accent-walls and glazed peek-a-boo bathrooms. Heavy-duty soundproofing ensures no noisy neighbours and all-natural Coco-mat mattresses and weighted duvets ensure sweet slumbers. Choose the Premium One-Bedroom Corner Suite with a view of the Vessel to muse over NYC’s newest public artwork in private, or a Junior Suite overlooking the Hudson for a cityscape and elbow room a New Yorker would kill for.
Stay in your lane in the club’s indoor saltwater pool: it’s a 25-footer reserved for laps, set beside two hot and cold plunge pools for a brisk refresh. Pleasure pool-ers can swim carefree in the 15,000sq ft outdoor heated pool, on a sundeck with views of the Hudson and Downtown. Refreshment comes in the form of pressed juices and scoops of Broken Coconut’s dairy-free yoghurt.
Gym first, then spa. This is Equinox’s largest fitness centre – a full-thrust 60,000sq ft club with candlelit SoulCycle sessions; studios for yoga, HIIT, barre, Pilates and more conditioning classes; and spaces for cardio and weight-training. Swing RMT Clubs about cathartically, balance on Bosu domes and spare the tough-but-fair personal trainers your excuses. Concierges can plan workouts and upcoming classes are displayed in reception. The 27,000sq ft spa is equally high-spec and has a turbo-charged approach to wellness, with cryotherapy chambers, infrared saunas and healing through quantum harmonics (AKA sound baths), plus chilled-out choices. If lymphatic drainage, deep dermal stimulation and vibrating massages aren’t your bag, kick back with an IV nutrient drip or hide and nap in a comfy pod on the view-blessed deck.
Activewear, of course. Cram your suitcase with Spandex. And, if your ensemble isn’t the best it can be, Equinox sells its high-performance wearables onsite.
The hotel is fully wheelchair accessible, with ramps, spacious elevators and adapted rooms – plus, there are hearing and visual aids throughout. Service animals are welcome, too.
Dogs under 10 kilos can stay. There’s no charge – and the hotel provides a bowl, blanket and treats – but owners must sign a waiver at check-in and cover the cost of any damages. See more pet-friendly hotels in New York.
The hotel is where you come to work on yourself, so little ones might be somewhat distracting – unless you’re using them as a strength-training aid.
Nothing beats the iconic nighttime views, so secure the most panoramic table on the terrace.
Luxe athleisure or something form-fitting to show off those hard-honed muscles.
Prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr worked with Equinox’s Health Advisory Board to conceive the hotel’s cuisine. Main restaurant Electric Lemon sits on the 24th floor, so New York looks its very best from the 8,000sq ft open-air dining terrace. The seasonal, market-driven menus are virtuous, but sad salads and chalky shakes are a no-no. Breakfasts use grains, eggs, avo, turkey sausage and such to fuel you up for the day; veggies sit front and centre in mains (badger-flame beets with stone fruits, carrot banh mi); protein is lean and local (Long Island striped sea bass, NY grass-fed-beef); and healthier substitutions (egg crêpes, sweet-potato buckwheat pancakes, spelt toast) show that discipline and decadence aren’t mutually exclusive.
After a hard day of pumping your quads, glutes, delts – and religiously attending ‘leg day’ – you’ve earnt a drink. So, shimmy into something glamorous and head to the equally coiffed bar area beside the restaurant to toast your efforts. Cocktails nod to wholesomeness with fresh fruits, veggies and herbs mixed in: try the Bucks Bunny with Armagnac, ginger and carrot, or the Blue Thai with vodka, galangal, basil and blueberries. Beer, champagne and wine edits are well-considered, too. Power down, bottoms up.
Breakfast is served from 6am to 11am, lunch from 11.30am to 3pm, dinner and drinks from 5pm till midnight.
Choose comfort food (roast chicken, gourmet burgers) or performance-boosters (collagen-enhanced tea, Moon Juice, beet yoghurt, mushroom lattes) for in-room sustenance. Or forego food for an IV drip chock full of vitamins.
The Equinox brand’s hotel home is the Hudson Yards development in Manhattan, a gathering of glamorous boutiques and restaurants – and the start of the High Line – between W 28th and the Lincoln Tunnel.
Newark Liberty Airport is the closest international hub, a half-hour drive from the hotel; JFK is just under an hour by car and LaGuardia around 40 minutes. Transfers can be booked through the hotel, who offer pretty much any vehicle you can think of: be chauffeured in a private town car, sprinter minibus, stretch limo… (Prices vary depending on your ride.)
You’re more likely to hop in a cab – or jog the whole way if you’re raring to go – but it’s easy to reach the hotel by train, too. The quickest way to reach the hotel from JFK is to take the AirTrain to Jamaica and ride from Hempstead to Penn Station – Equinox is a 15-minute walk from there. From Newark, take the AirTrain and the North Jersey Coast line; and from LaGuardia, ride the Q70 bus to the Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights subway stop, then hop on the 7 to Hudson Yards. For exploring the city, the 34th Street Hudson Yards subway stop is on the hotel’s doorstep.
With a zippy Subway system, iconic taxicabs to hail and a walkable grid of streets, there’s really no need to drive in NYC. And, if you do, be prepared for jammed traffic and short fuses. If you must, hire wheels from any of the city’s airports; the hotel has valet parking only ($79–95 a day, depending on the size of your vehicle). To find its private driveway, travel south on 11th Avenue, make a left and circle around to the east face of 33 Hudson Yards to find the hotel entrance.
Make an entrance with Blade helicopters (blade.flyblade.com), who’ll chopper you in from any of NYC’s three airports to the 30th Street helipad, from $195 a seat.
Worth getting out of bed for
Two words: work it. You don’t even have to go far from your bed, with AM and PM work-out sessions to stream from your TV. Decide your goal for the day (or leave it with your personal trainer) and how you’re going to achieve it. You have your pick of punishments in the 60,000ft, high-spec fitness centre: SoulCycle spin classes, yoga and Pilates, HIIT sessions, barre stretches, weight-training, dance, martial arts and more. The Tier X personal-training programme takes working out above and beyond, so bring reserves of morale. Wellness-seekers can hideout in the spa for massages, facials and a spell in the sauna or cryotherapy and cupping sessions.
New York’s myriad distractions certainly require the stamina of an Equinox regular – even just a spin around what’s on your doorstep. The Hudson Yards development is home to the Vessel, a public artwork with Escher-esque stairways; guests have exclusive morning access before it opens to the public and can partake in group runs to the top, too. The Shed is an arts centre showcasing diverse disciplines, and the Edge is a vertiginous sightseeing platform – the highest in the western hemisphere – with boundless views. High-end boutiques hawk jewellery, beauty products, clothing and more, and there are seasonal social events. The High Line – an immensely popular repurposed-railway walk – starts here, too. Beyond the Yards, there’s the bustling Pier 81 dining hub, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises launch from Pier 83 and you can browse the New York Museum of Contemporary Art on W 39th Street. Or follow Chelsea’s sprawling gallery trail to the south (David Zwirner, the Gagosian and Whitney are the big-hitters); you can refuel in gastro hub Chelsea Market. Wait, you haven’t worked out for a while – better make a pit stop at Chelsea Piers sports complex to try your hand at something new (parkour? Sand volleyball?). Then mosey on down along Bleecker Street to hit its famed blues bars and stop in at Blue Note in Greenwich Village for hot jazz and cool company. Then take the scenic route back over the High Line using the entrance on 14th Street.
If you want something a bit more sinful than the hotel’s offerings, Hudson Yards has a smorgasbord of eateries. Belcampo has a meaty menu of steaks and burgers, Bouchon Bakery has stuffed baguettes, pastries, cookies and viennoiseries; Estiatorio Milos has fresh catches and crudo; and Fuku and Kāwi are offshoots of Momofuku: the former serving screw-the-calories fried chicken, the latter finer dishes with a Korean flavour. Head south into Chelsea and the dining scene is your oyster – literally, at seafood bar Cull & Pistol who do a cracking lobster roll, too. Cookshop have earned praise for their ingredients’ provenance; Los Tacos 1 is a locally loved taqueria; Del Posto’s authentic Italian menus would make the motherland proud and Txikito’s Basque small plates are hard to share. But, well, this is New York – pretty much any earthly cuisine you desire will be within reach.
The Drug Store in Hudson Yards makes morally upstanding alcohol-free cocktails with natural ingredients. Or, chase your shopping spree with harder sippers at Neiman Marcus’ manicured Bar Stanley. Get to grips with Greek wines at Milos, which has more than 100 bottles, and Citarella Wines and Spirits, which has some fine vintages. Run the gamut of hip cocktail bars in Hell’s Kitchen with a crawl along 9th street: tiki tipples at the Polynesian, more island-themed fun at Reunion, take an old-school dive into Rudy’s and swerve onto 10th for a whiskey nightcap at On the Rocks. Or, hit the verdant rooftop at Gallow Green on W 27th, then plot a course south along 8th for chandelier-lit bourbon shots in American Whiskey, kitsch confines at Trailer Park Lounge, tropical throwback drinks at Jungle Bird, rum-mixers at Fishbone and a dose of mother’s ruin at Bathtub Gin. And, if those don’t wet your whistle, there are so many drinkeries to choose from a casually tossed paper parasol would land as a garnish.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this fighting-fit hotel in Manhattan, unpacked their activewear and completed a set of burpees, a full account of their feel-the-burn break will be with you. In the meantime, limber up for an invigorating jog through Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards on New York City…
Usually, we’d be telling you to kick back and activate sloth mode, indulge yourself to the brim, or get your cardio under the covers with your beloved. But we’ve done a bit too much of that recently, so we’re checking in to Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards, a gleaming temple to fitness and wellbeing built by the eponymous gym empire and including a 60,000sq ft work-out space, where hardbodies become even harder (and softbodies are suitably pummelled). It’s not to everyone’s tastes, but if you ‘rest and play as hard as you work’, want to ‘realise your infinite potential’ and have a resting pulse rate of 40bpm you’ll find like-minded fitness fiends here.
Like Equinox’s guests, the hotel is in peak condition: its phenomenal fitness club has studios for everything from SoulCycle to barre, plus relentless highly skilled personal trainers and a ‘supercharged’ spa where you can recover through cupping, Hypervolt massages and deep-tissue probing. Your Camp Equinox concierge can book fitness experiences around the clock, including vertical sprints up the Vessel sculpture in Hudson Yards. And the ‘high-performance living’ doesn’t stop when you take the sweat bands off: menus at Electric Lemon go hard on inventive veggie mains, lean local fish, grains and superfoods (even the cocktail list reads like a farmers’ market line-up); Sun Potion and Moon Juice supplements and golden lattes can be ordered to your room; and work-outs can be streamed on your TV. You’ll even sleep intensely here, with a specially crafted mattress and duvet. Calorie-counting, threshold-pushing and discipline-testing all get a luxurious sheen at Equinox – it’s a challenge, yes, but there are plentiful gains for the pain.