Fresh towels, flat-screen TVs, free lockers and enough clean, functioning equipment to keep waits at a minimum–that may be all most of us need (or get) from our fitness clubs. But some facilities take it up a notch, or several, offering guests everything from innovative workout “toys” to spa treatments to goodies like fresh-squeezed juices–and even cocktails! Read on for a glimpse into some of the most unique fitness clubs from coast to coast.
Club Zum, Seattle, Wash.
How many gyms can boast of an indoor sand pit–not to mention two Olympic weightlifting platforms, climbing ropes and a Kinesis studio? Suffice to say you have no excuse for a boring workout at this swanky fitness club that carries a vast array of state-of-the-art equipment. And prepare to be pampered: The changing rooms beckon with Aveda products and marble countertops.
Pura Vida, Denver, Colo.
It’s a fitness center, it’s a spa–it’s the best of both worlds. At Pura Vida, a team of trainers, estheticians, massage therapists and nutritionists work in tandem to promote members’ total body-and-mind wellness. Non-members who visit the spa side of this luxurious fitness club, SPAVital, get a free day-pass to the state-of-the-art club where they can enjoy yoga, Pilates, cardio ballet and more.
Monkey Bar Gym, Madison, Wis.
The cute name alone might be enough to woo patrons, but this club—headquartered in Madison, now with 13 other locations smattered across the globe—doesn’t monkey around when it comes to a unique approach to fitness. You’ll find no mirrors or machines; instead, the approach focuses on six key movements—rolling, jumping, crawling, climbing, rolling and reacting—incorporated with yoga and plant-based nutrition.
The Green Microgym, Portland, Ore.
Here’s an idea whose time has come: When you work out on the special ellipticals and bikes at this neighborhood fitness club, the energy you expend generates electricity that helps power the facility. And another sweet, hi-tech perk: Ellipticals equipped with iPads!
Sportsclub, Greenville and Simpsonville, S.C.
With more than 17,000 members, this is no small wellness enterprise—but it’s far from big-box generic. Rather, staggeringly comprehensive wellness and service is de riguer at the three Sportsclub locations. One features a day spa open to the public; others offer juice bars, chiropractic and sports medicine care, women’s only areas, and a youth fitness facility where kids can play sports, do arts and crafts, and attend day camp. Sportsclub offers some celebrity cred, too: Three “Biggest Loser” contestants are former members.
Cobra Club, Brooklyn, N.Y.
There’s workout time, and there’s cocktail hour. And never the twain shall meet, you say? Not so–at least not at the Cobra Club, where yoga classes share space with a café featuring mixed drinks with names like “Teenagers from Mars” and “Last Caress.” On Sundays, belly up for Hangover class, which includes a complimentary après-practice Mimosa or Bloody Mary. Om-my-aching-head!