Ditching the word ‘gym’ in favour of things like ‘boutique fitness experience’, London has seen a wave of luxury exercise studios pop up over the last few years. Exercise needn’t take place in a bright, soulless room – instead you could be pampering yourself in designer toiletries and working out to live DJs. Take part in epic spin classes, life-affirming yoga sessions and revolutionise the way you sweat. Here is our guide to the best luxury gyms in London…
What: The Social One
Why: High-end gyms tend to be restrictive – yes the services are great but you find yourself locked into lengthly, expensive contracts. 1REBEL somewhat revolutionised the London exercise scene when it opened back in 2015 offering all the luxury of a boutique studio (fridges packed with cold towels, Aromatherapy Associates toiletries and GHDs) whilst referring to itself and the ‘anti-gym’ – hence the name. Forget what you know about classes and book in for one of their signature RIDE, RESHAPE or RUMBLE sessions. You’ll feel like you’ve been at a secret underground rave by the time you’re sat back at your desk with perfectly straightened hair.
Where: Broadgate and St Mary Axe
What: Train Like a Champion
Why: Think boxing and you probably (definitely) think Anthony Joshua. The man of the moment is also (one of the people) behind BXR, Marylebone’s newest and swankiest gyms. With a focus on boxing, AJ played a key role in the development of BXR, bringing with it the best coaches and medical teams in the business so that we can all train like the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Saying that, membership doesn’t come cheap, but you do get state of the art equipment and a membership committee that includes Mark Ronson and Victoria’s Secret model, Sara Sampaio.
Where: 24 Paddington Street, Marylebone, W1U 5QX
What: Pay as You Go Convenience
Why: Another_Space does luxury in an affordable way. Simply buy your credits online and drop in to one of their yoga, HIIT or cycle classes whenever you want. The studios are high tech (think electric screens covering the windows of the studios of privacy), the operation is slick (you’ll be given a numbered mat to practice at) and you can end with a juice from the upstairs juice bar and a shower with Cowshed products.
Where: 4-10 Tower Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9NP
What: The Celebrity Favourite
Why: Barry’s Bootcamp London follows the success of its Stateside predecessor. David Beckham’s a fan, Ellie Goulding’s a fan and Kim Kardashian’s a fan. In fact, it has heaps of celebrity fans. The red-lit room features a row of high tech treadmills alongside a row of individual steps and each day focuses on a different muscle group to encourage commitment, with classes kicking off at about 5am. Each class promises to burn 1,000 calories through alternating anaerobic exercise and cardio, and to get you through you have some of the city’s top instructors and a high intensity soundtrack motivating you every step of the way.
Where: Queensway, King's Cross and Shoreditch
What: Signature Classes
Why: Over in Kensington lies Core Collective. A favourite amongst the likes of Millie Mackintosh and Abbey Clancy, signature classes include Accelerate (spin), Resistance (TRX) and Velocity (HIIT). Classes are small, pay-as-you-go and the studios are seriously smart – think polished concrete floors, exposed pipes and moody lighting. Head to the changing rooms after your class and you’ll find Bamford products, waterfall showers and a bowl full of hair bands. Prolong your CC experience and nourish yourself post-workout at Core Kitchen.
Where: 45 Phillimore Walk, Kensington, W8 7RZ
What: Bespoke Fitness and Nutrition
Why: Visit Lomax in Chelsea and you’ll be immersed into The Lomax Way. Tackling the struggles of lack of equipment you tend to find in conventional gyms, here everything you need is within reaching distance in your own personal ‘pod’. Your cubicle contains a spin bike, squat rack, benches, TRX straps and medicine balls so you can tailor your workout exactly to your needs, get started with a personal trainer or join a signature Blast class. Lomax is strictly no-membership and you can head to Grill Market Lomax for your protein shake or grilled chicken salad after class. Want more? The wellbeing clinic offers everything from physiotherapy to acupuncture.
Where: 293 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW10 9PZ
What: State of the Art Health Clubs
Why: Third Space are a small collection of individually-designed central London health clubs that help members unwind as much as they motivate. Sprint tracks, aromatic juniper log glass saunas and hot yoga studios are just some of the features you’ll find across Tower Bridge, Soho, Marylebone and Canary Wharf. The class timetable boasts things like Ultra Shock Circuits, Speed Fields, Rig Fit and Afterburner but if you’re after relaxation then you’ll want to head to the state of the art spas.
Where: Tower Bridge, Soho, Marylebone and Canary Wharf
What: Sports Alchemy
Why: Founded by Cambridge graduates who also happen to be husband and wife, ETHOS isn’t just about exercise – they talk about it as alchemy. Which is why each one of their 40+ team is an expert in their field from yoga gurus and professional dancers to military officers, who all work together to create the ultimate yoga fitness hybrid experience. At their studio in Old Spitalfields Market you’ll find the Supernatural Café Bar where you can refuel on the terrace after class. They also have a FitLab where you can book in for health assessments and genetic analysis and soon you’ll be able to have your adrenal glands tested, your bacteria analysed and a whole host of other screenings and tests so that you can learn exactly what makes you, you and how to make the best version of yourself.
Where: 8 Horner Square, Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW
What: Clean and Lean
Why: Run by James Duigan, an advocate of the clean and lean approach to life, Bodyism is a holistic health club which works as much to make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated as it does to give you a great exercises classes. The light expels vitamin D and the air is pure and oxygenated, so as they say just stepping into the club will benefit you. You’ll also be able to feast on the likes of acai bowls, toasted banana bread and red velvet beetroot lattes.
Where: 222 – 224 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RH
What: Members' Gym
Why: One of the reasons we exercise is to de-stress, but quite frankly gyms can be stressful, so if you’re looking for a little more privacy then you should look at members’ gym, 3 Jubilee Place. Owned by Stephen Price and designed by Kelly Hoppen, the gym features private changing facilities, pre and post nutrition, a full laundry service and, when it comes to gym facilities, an altitude chamber to enhance your workouts.
Where: 3 Jubilee Place, Chelsea, SW3 3TD
Why: Train, Eat, Recover, Repeat – that’s the motto that Transition Zone live by. This Parsons Green studio is all about shaking up your exercise classes, because long drawn out classes are a thing of the past – now it’s all about working every major muscle group in HIT classes. They also know that it’s as much about recovering and refuelling as it is actually training. Which is why they have their Recovery Café where you can eat superfood snacks, smoothies and juices in that optimal 30 minutes after training. If you’re pressed for time then let the team know what you want before your class and it’ll be ready for you to pick up after your class. They also have a Recovery Zone where you can book in for massages ranging from deep tissues massages to anti-cellulite therapy. Because if you’ve ever deserved a massage it’s after training.
Where: 17 Heathman's Road, Parsons Green, SW6 4TJ
What: Boutique Fitness
Why: When Niki Rein moved from LA to London she found that the barre classes that she loved at home hadn’t made it across the pond, so in 2011 she set up Barrecorre, the first specialist barre studio in London. You’ll now find them across the UK and we’re lucky enough to have seven here in London. Set in immaculate studios (definitely no sweaty gym smells here or missing weights), the barre classes are for all levels and abilities and are set to upbeat music so you can focus on the music and forget the burn in your muscles. Studios are equipped with free towels, toiletries and barre kit so you can look the part too.
Where: First Floor Atlantic Court, 77 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 4NX
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