This has to be one of the coolest hotels I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – hip, buzzing and extremely polished in all areas. With a members and residents only policy, together with a no mobile phone use in public areas (finally), this 14 room boutique hotel offers something unique…and the gym isn’t bad either!
Located conveniently on Battery Street in the financial district, just four blocks from the famous Ferry Building, this hotel has been operating since 2012 with obvious success. It’s the creation of husband and wife team, Michael and Xochi Birch, of social network Bebo fame, who obviously have an incredible eye for detail in this area too.
The super efficient staff and incredible interior styling attract only those who can afford the $2,400 membership fee, and in one of the coolest cities in the world, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of those hoping for that elusive invite.
Via the glass elevator and located two levels down, everywhere you look en route has been touched to inspire the senses. From water features to artwork, they have combined the original architecture in every corner to create something quite special.
As I entered, I was greeted by one of the team, and in my case, it happened to be Caitlin Zimbrick, the gym and spa director. After a welcoming chat and a guided tour, I was on my way.
The Zen Zone
The gym is split into a few areas with a spacious bodyweight, stretching and floor-work room to start off with. Positioned adjacent to the reception and spa, it naturally enjoys a quieter vibe. With 3 Cybex bikes and a Studio bike on offer to warm up on, the room also has all the equipment for a great core blasting workout. Balls, sit up bench, hyperextension, hanging leg raises and of course the San Fran born TRX. A good place to start for some dynamic stretching and general mobility exercises, and a perfect area for a quieter finish to a session too.
The Workout Room
After the few steps across the fish pond over to the main room, the rectangular space was filled with hotel branded equipment from the American company, Cybex. Definitely, a nice simple touch for a commercial gym and we need to see more of this going on, please!
With a huge skylight from the terrace above, floor to ceiling windows and some soft uplighting, they have certainly captured the light perfectly in what would be undoubtedly an oppressive space otherwise. And although the view from the gym is really another brick-walled building, the water feature (with fish!) and lush green plants have all been included to distract the eye as you wander between sets. There is also ample equipment and all nicely spaced out too, which helps overcome the fact of the low ceiling. So first impressions were good!
- Treadmills (6)
- Arc Trainers (5)
- Concept II Rower (1)
- Studio Bike (2)
- Upright Bikes (3)
Combining this room with the Zen Room, there is definitely enough cardio equipment, but maybe a couple too many. However, all in perfectly good order, clean and far enough apart not to be showered by another sweaty member.
- Leg Extension,
- Seated Leg Curl
- Seated Bench Press
- Fly/Rear Deltoids
- Seated Shoulder Press
- Assisted Chin/Dip
- Dual Cable Station
With all these on offer, there are plenty of areas to focus on without getting in the way of one another. So, a good selection to work all large muscle groups nicely.
For a room of this size, they really have provided well with a very good selection of everything, to be honest, and in a clean state thankfully. Maybe they could do with another bench at the ready, but on this quiet occasion that wasn’t necessary. The large mirrors allow for a nice individual space to exercise in without that silent standoff between you and the next person – always a bonus!
- Dumbbells (Max 100 lbs)
- Squat Rack
- Olympic Bars (3)
- Body Solid Weight plates.
- Two Benches,
- Medicine Balls
- Foam Rollers
On offer are five Personal Trainers (male and female), three Massage Therapists (male and female) and one Register Dietitian/Nutritionist from Stanford University should anyone need help. That’s certainly a great selection of qualified individuals for a hotel, but then again, this isn’t just an ordinary hotel after all.
Personal Training sessions are available at an undisclosed fee keeping the exclusivity vibe going nicely.
Adjustments & Improvements
To be fair, there isn’t much one could improve on for a room of this size. There may be one or two cardio machines too many, but apart from an additional bench, space is being maximised to full potential.
The drinking fountain automatically removes the need for wasteful plastic, towels were there at the ready, but they really do need to upgrade the old iPhone chargers dangling from the cardio machines…especially this close to Silicon Valley!
The Important Six
- Equipment Selection 9/10
- Layout 10/10
- Cleanliness 10/10
- Staff 10/10
- Towels/Drinks 10/10
- Inspiring Environment 8/10
Although my visits to the gym were during the day, and therefore extremely quiet, this exclusive club does cater well for a broad range of users, whether they be young, old, cardio or weight based exerciser. And with a considered layout, attention to detail and various rooms on offer, one will be able to enjoy a good workout I’m sure even at the busiest of times.