First-Ever Equinox Hotel Is Now Open In NYC

by Chris Dong

Imagine a world where urbanites whip out their Chase Sapphire Reserves left and right to pay upwards of $300-400 per month for a gym membership. That world is Equinox, a brand of high-end gyms with 95 locations in the US, Canada, and London. And they’re expanding — to hotels. The first Equinox Hotel opening is in the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan, and will be welcoming its first guests starting today, July 15, 2019. 

The Equinox Brand

We’re talking luxury gyms. Cool off with a chilled eucalyptus towel. Refresh with Kiehl’s branded shower products. Some locations can even press your suit, massage your sore body, and babysit your kids. Oh, you’re there to work out? Yes, they have that too.

While the value of a $400 gym membership can be debated another time, Equinox has without a doubt created an incredibly strong brand as the company that first created the concept of a luxury gym.

They’ve done a bunch of unique partnerships like with Delta to combat the effects of jetlag. And now, they’re attempting to redefine the hotel space with Equinox Hotels.

Equinox Hotel Opening Date (Now Open)

The first Equinox Hotel is now open in the far-west side development that is Hudson Yards in New York. Hudson Yards is a new (and controversial) urban development project that is being managed by the parent company of Equinox. Equinox is calling their hotel “the center of the new cultural crucible of New York City.” Whatever that means.

Their Equinox Hotel concept is to create a luxurious experience that combines fitness, well-being, and rest. Sounds a bit like a more trendy Westin hotel, no?

equinox hotel opening

Equinox’s rooftop pool open to hotel guests and gym members

The new hotel spans floors 24 to 38 of a 92-story building — below that will be Equinox’s corporate headquarters and the floors above the hotel will house condominiums.

There are 212 rooms and suites that will have a minibar with 70 (!) healthy food options, magnesium-based sleep supplements, face masks, a brain-fog-fighting elixir, condoms and massage oil.

equinox hotel opening equinox hotel opening

Then, there’s the special black out shades and silent air conditioning system. Guests can also meet with certified behavioral sleep coaches.

Of course, you can work out too. There is a 60,000-square-foot Equinox gym (non-hotel guest Equinox members can use it too) with a lap pool and two plunge pools. Don’t forget about the 15,000-square-foot- sun deck and rooftop pool.

Guests will also be able to participate in Vessel Run, a cardio class with Equinox running to the top of the Vessel, the large public artwork made up of staircases at the center of Hudson Yards (the one that looks like a giant chicken shawarma). There’s a spa and an on-site nurse to administer IV drips on demand to help guests who have worked out too hard (or are just hungover).

Other Equinox Hotels are on tap for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston.

Equinox Hotel Pricing

Sleep counselors don’t come cheap apparently. Equinox is expecting to command prices in excess of $500 per night. And that’s just an introductory promotional rate, expect regular pricing to be around the $700 mark.

A deluxe room (the cheapest option) for a random date in August was over $550 a night including taxes and fees.

Equinox’s Incredibly Slick (Slightly Obnoxious) Marketing

Companies love to market to millennials. Often, it doesn’t work. Like Air France’s attempt at a millennial-branded airline, Joon, which is now dead.

Equinox has been successful though. Their brand slogan is “Equinox made me do it.” What they’re trying to tell you is that by being an Equinox gym member, it will embolden you to excel in life. In their campaign video, they also say it will embolden you to become a criminal…

Equinox’s branding is slick. They’ve created a certain lifestyle and cult following, and any lifestyle brand knows it should transition to other areas of your life.

Then, There’s The Equinox Hotel Brand Video…

I get it, the fusion of wellness and travel is hot these days. Hotels are increasingly catering to healthy lifestyle habits.

So it makes total sense to me why Equinox would extend its brand to hotels. Equinox has also unveiled its first brand video for Equinox Hotel and boy, is it interesting…

In the video, Equinox breaks down this new hotel into three aspects: move, nourish, and dream. Seems simple enough. But this is Equinox after all. There won’t be any narrative in the video, and there most definitely will be sex appeal.

Here are some screenshots of the video to whet your appetite:

Equinox Hotel brand video: “Nourish”

Equinox Move

Equinox Hotel brand video: “Move”

Equinox Rest

Equinox Hotel brand video: “Dream”

Throughout the video, a woman played by Naomi Campbell embodies the three elements of Equinox Hotels. This includes her sensually eating fruit (nourish), boxing with the camera (move), and cocooning into a ball of blankets while wearing heels (dream).

The entire video honestly should’ve come with a seizure warning since the visual stimuli is excessive.

Related: Naomi’s Campbell’s Crazy Flight Routine 

The Upshot

Equinox’s line of hotels has so far given us a ton of style, and not that much substance. I have to admit their gyms are really nice, and the experience is markedly better than most other gyms (you pay for it, clearly). However, hotels are a whole other world — there are a ton of luxury, lifestyle focused hotels so it’s harder to differentiate the hard product.

With the first Equinox Hotel opening now, I’m sure they will be popular. Even if their marketing is slightly cringey, people will still buy into the emotional appeal and Equinox’s strong brand recognition.

We’ll see if they’ll truly live up to the tagline — “Equinox Hotels. For those who want it all.”

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Geoffrey March 14, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Very artsy video. Reminds me of the Fyre Festival Promo…

Chris Dong March 14, 2019 - 12:37 pm
Hal March 14, 2019 - 12:52 pm

I guess it’s targeted towards millennials if you take a very broad age range of millennials. The people at the 2 equinox locations I go to are typically 30-50. I don’t think the hotel will be in an affordable range for millennials. I would presume the fitness component will be better than a Westin, but without a major hotel chain behind it they’re going to be struggling to compete with other boutiques.

Chris Dong March 14, 2019 - 9:37 pm

Doubtful there will be any points or miles redemptions…

jack March 14, 2019 - 3:22 pm

Equinox will be battling it out with Nike for the worst ad campaigns.

Luke Vader March 14, 2019 - 5:46 pm

I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but am an older country-mouse type of consumer who prefers to pay $20/month for gym membership (in northern Virginia). $300 a month?!? Yikes, that’s like a monthly car payment.

Chris Dong March 14, 2019 - 9:37 pm

Well, it starts around the $150 mark here in NYC but can go upwards of $300 or more for certain memberships.

askmrlee March 14, 2019 - 6:11 pm

Is the author a Millennial? I ask because there’s no mention of the former partnership that Equinox had the American Express Platinum and had discounted memberships, waived initiation fees, etc. One could argue that the Amex Platinum was not a Millennial segmented card during the time of that partnership.

Chris Dong March 14, 2019 - 9:36 pm

I’m indeed a millennial (but usually don’t feel like one) — I wasn’t aware of that former AMEX Platinum benefit, wish it was still around!

Mike Jones March 15, 2019 - 1:01 am

Equinox is owned by The Related Companies which is building the Hudson Yards. They already own the brand so I guess why not make a Equinox hotel. No other logic then that.


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