It’s that time of year again. A time when we set ourselves the distant goal of getting healthier, being stronger and even becoming better looking than before. And, if we’ve gained the body of a swimwear model and the fitness levels of an Olympian by February, well, we’ve made it.
Luckily for us (and our leftover Christmas love handles), London is home to some of the most luxurious gyms in the country. We’re talking power yoga with panoramic views of the city and private health clubs where they’ll dry-clean your suit while you’re working out. So, although getting trim may hurt from time to time, at least it’ll hurt in comfortable, luxurious style.
Yogasphere, The Shard, Southwalk
Great for: Vinyasa with a view
Switch up your Saturday schedule with some slow flow yoga 1,000 ft. above ground. Yogasphere, at the Shard, offers 360° views of the city to soak up during their 60-minute Saturday morning sessions.
You don’t need to be a yogi-in-the-making to attend and, as a bonus, your yoga pass grants you access to the Shard’s viewing platform after the class.
By the way, every time you book a session, Yogasphere plant 10 new trees. How’s that for positive energy?
The Harbour Club, Chelsea
Great for: Training with the elite
If you’re looking for somewhere special to break a sweat in South West London, it doesn’t get more exclusive than the Chelsea Harbour Club. A favourite for the late Princess Diana, the plush Harbour Club has a spacious gym floor, three swimming pools and exercise classes lead by some of the UK’s top trainers.
With 13 tennis courts, the Harbour Club has been dubbed one of the best places for raquet coaching. And when you’re finished refining your swing, you can ease those tired legs in the award-winning Amida spa.
Core Collective, Holland Park
Great for: Fitness fashionistas
Core Collective is a new breed of gym that might just be the coolest fitness club in the capital. Its industrial-style interiors and for-sale wall art are more comparable to a boutique hotel than a place to get fit. Plus there are plenty of luxurious little touches, like embroidered bath towels and artisan spa products in the changing rooms.
The club takes a clean-cut, no-contract approach to the traditional gym membership. You simply pay as you go. You can take your pick from five high-intensity interval workouts; Velocity, Resistance, Accelerate, Power Yoga and Pilates. Classes are intimate and challenge your core. Finally, you can wave goodbye to endless hours on the treadmill.
Mandarin Oriental Fitness Centre, Hyde Park
Great for: Hiring a personal trainer
The Fitness Centre at the Mandarin Oriental is home to what the hotel calls “the most in-demand PT in the world”. Ruben Tabares is his name and he’s helped countless stars get in shape, including David Haye, Amir Khan and John Terry.
As well as access to a world-class PT, your membership at the Mandarin Oriental’s gym gets you into one of the finest spas in London, with discount on treatments too. It’s an R&R paradise, with a mineral water Vitality Pool, an amethyst crystal steam room and Buddha statuettes lining the walls. Rumour has it this is one of the best places in London to get a massage too.
Virgin Active’s Walbrook Club, Cannon Street
Great for: Tech-savvy training
The Virgin Active Walbrook Club is one of the first ‘connected gyms’ in the city. But what does this mean? Well, Smart Bands instead of membership cards and padlocks, interactive screens to track your calories, matrix-style mood lighting and plenty of other maverick touches.
This is a true haven for lovers of fitness tech so, as well as all the standard facilities, Walbrook has a high-altitude training room, an anti-gravity yoga studio and a salt steam cave.
The Third Space, Various
Great for: An everything-you-need exercise space
The Third Space’s central city locations make it easy for getting lean to become a permanent part of your lifestyle, with Soho and Marylebone to choose from.
The multi-level gym floors have all the cardio, strength and weight training equipment a fitness enthusiast could need. (That’s the ‘new’ you, by the way.) And a wealth of features you probably won’t find anywhere else in London, like hypoxic chambers, climbing walls, boxing rings, o-zone treated pools and even an indoor sprint track. There are over 130 classes to try, with everything from Brazilian Jiu Jitso, to spinning with a live DJ. Your membership also comes with its own concierge, who’ll happily suggest new things to try if your gym routine gets tedious. There’ll be two new super-luxury locations opening in Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf this year. So watch this space.
ESPA Life Corinthia, Charing Cross
Great for: Tailor-made training programmes
The gym at the Corinthia is the perfect place to beat the herds of gym-goers at the start of the year. Their expert trainers are on-hand to craft a fitness programme that caters to your every need, whether you’re planning a mountain hike, or just want to banish that Christmas bulge.
Your gym membership at the Corinthia also grants you access to all four floors of the seriously impressive Espa Life Spa, where you’re free to explore the Thermal Floor with vitality pool, mosaic steam room and amphitheatre sauna. Just what you need after your PT’s put you and your new gym shoes through your paces.
Great for: A half-health club, half-spa
If you’re looking to inject some flashiness into your fitness regime then look no further than KX in Knightsbridge. You’ll find some of Hollywood’s finest keeping trim inside, thanks to its deluxe decor, state-of-the-art gym floor and sublime spa. The changing rooms are stocked with robes, slippers and there’s even a laundry service in your locker. Then there’s the hot and cold plunge pools to help with your circulation, if you’re feeling brave.
This half-health club, half-spa will get you looking perfectly pruned, with personal trainers, nutritionists and beauticians all under one roof with one sole aim: To make you look good in 2016.
About Leanne Kelsall