Could we be more jealous of this woman? View the VIBE’s resident travel columnist Si Si Penaloza hits up a few Gansevoort Hotel properties around the world to investigate how the famed luxury chain became the gold standard for jet-setting hard bodies.
Back in the day, you were lucky if a hotel gym had a Precor system and a few stability balls lying around. Fast forward to 2015, and the resort gym is the new swim-up bar — prime time real estate for meeting up, flirting, and networking. Lifestyle impresario Michael Achenbaum, Gansevoort Hotel Group president, remains at the forefront of positioning fitness culture in a fresh, new context. He shows us that if you build and brand it properly, people will wake up at 7am to shake their moneymaker. With four properties and counting – Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, and Gansevoort Playa Imbert, Dominican Republic – the group sets the standard for catering to work hard, play hard jetsetters.
Last summer marked the 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC — the original downtown hotel that infamously transformed the Meatpacking District from gritty to glam when it opened its doors in 2004. Over the last decade, the Manhattan hotspot has endured as a last call default for nightlife aficionados, championed by Achenbaum and his influential network of friends in the entertainment industry.
Music and momentum play a key role in Gansevoort venues, motivating early birds to get up and get their Daft Punk on. As someone who loves the snooze button, it says a lot about the Gansevoort vibe that I was raring to go every day of my stay at both the Park Avenue and Turks and Caicos properties. Gansevoort’s partnership with Exhale Spa at each property is perhaps one of the most successful collaborations in the industry.
Gansevoort Park Avenue delights urban bliss-seekers on the hunt for a plum spot of spoiling. The partnership takes over nearly an entire floor at this stylish urban emporium of soaring atriums, deep violet chandeliers, and cozy fireplaces. Guests revive with Exhale’s classes and restore with a complete menu of spa therapies, a smart balance of ancient and cutting-edge spa practices alike. Classes focus on results-oriented training, leveraging techniques customized to fit time-crunched guests in order to cinch solid results in the minimum amount of time.
Gansevoort Hotels are known for offering everything under one roof, and the beachfront Exhale Spa at the Turks & Caicos location is pretty much everything that a fitness buff could wish for. Nothing gets adrenaline junkies going like Exhale’s trademark Core Fusion classes — innovative training methods get the blood pumping and the feet thumping. Along with a fully-equipped fitness center, the spa offers classes and treatments in its beachfront pavilion. Life at the resort revolves around a 7,000-square-foot infinity pool that seems to pour into the sea, fringed by distinctive “lounging islands” that appear to float on water. By day, you’ll find buxom babes of all ages sunning like Frenchies in a sunbeam here then, by night, these intimate spaces play host to otherworldly “floating” candlelight dinners.
The resort is located on the prime western stretch of Grace Bay Beach; the property has the most happening beachfront in Providenciales, the main island in the 40-island archipelago that collectively makes up Turks & Caicos. Providenciales airport, less than 15 minutes from the property, offers direct flights several times a week from Toronto and Montreal.
Once on the beach, it’s easy to get pumped for a sweat-inducing workout paired with tunes, sea breezes, and sunshine. Core Fusion Barre+Cardio has a loyal tribe of followers, as it combines the cardio benefits of interval training with the toning benefits of the barre technique. This fat-burning, muscle-sculpting combo class is shockingly fun. The fast paced two-part session consists of 30 minutes of sweaty sprints, with short recovery periods followed by muscle-defining barre-based sequences of movements that target your thighs, butt, and abs. It’s your one-stop-shop for a calorie-torching, body-tightening workout. When it’s time for the sweet release, sign up for a Provo Flow massage to complement the sweat equity.
Gansevoort Turks & Caicos rooms are designed for longer stays, giving you the opportunity to really kick your body into a higher gear. The 85 guestrooms feel more like Santa Monica beach apartments than part of a hotel. Thought-provoking custom photography adorns the entire property. All of the spacious suites have drool-worthy floor-to-ceiling ocean views, kitchenettes, and airy terraces. Wash away your workout under the oversized rain shower, or kick back into a deep soak spa tub that fills from the ceiling (talk about high drama bubbles). You’ll find Frette bedding, towels, and robes ready to soothe your soul. The one bedroom oceanfront suite clocks in at a fabulous 1,100 square feet of living and dining space with a separate bedroom area. The open floor plan also offers domestic luxuries like a washer/dryer, which is pretty key when you want to pack light but launder your Lululemons daily.
For dinner plans, the hotel’s thriving Stelle excels at seafood – whether it’s appetizers or main dishes. The red snapper cartoccio and superb tuna tartare are divine. The cutting-edge concept kitchen and specially-curated wine list make it one of the islands’ best food spots. This Turks and Caicos outpost is more refined than their crowded New York venues, a great place to revel in open air breezes over Spanish influenced cuisine.
IN A NUTSHELL
High design and smart service converge at each Gansevoort Hotel property. It’s all about an energetic social experience, seamlessly coupled with modern upscale perks. Every location’s success hinges on fusing a contemporary aesthetic into the classic archetype of the luxury hotel.
WHO YOU’LL MEET
A magnet for headline-grabbing A-List diners, Gansevoort draws the likes of Pharrell, Matt Damon, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds. You’ll also mingle with poolside-loving sophisticates, with a dash of Coachella types. Heidi Klum, Cameron Diaz, and Kate Hudson swear by Exhale Core Fusion.
IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING
Event planners that set up shop in the New York-based venues often pull rank and go unchecked, creating much drama in the public spaces. Something to keep in mind if booking on an overnight stay on a busy night.
Rock-hard buns could finally be within reach with an extended stay. This savvy ecosystem of services and amenities gives clientele little reason to venture outside. Why would you when the island’s infamously vibrant nightlife is right downstairs?
If you’re over 60 and watch more Downton Abbey than Empire, you may be a bit out of your comfort zone here.
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