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Amanda Al-Masri to head up Equinox’s spa division

by Jane Kitchen | 20 Jan 2017

Spa industry veteran Amanda Al-Masri has been named vice president of spa services for Equinox, an operator of upscale health clubs with ambitious plans to enter the hotel space.

Al-Masri was previously global director of spa operations and development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which was acquired last year by Marriott International, and has also held executive positions with Resense Spas.

"Equinox is in the business of changing lives, and their passion for boldly delivering wellness and regeneration to their members has always spoken to me on a personal and professional level," said Al-Masri. "I'm thrilled to be joining the company during this exciting growth period, and look forward to continuing the innovative work for which Equinox is so well known."

Equinox operates 82 upscale, full-service health clubs in the US, as well as in London and Toronto, and will open its first hotel in New York City’s Hudson Yards in 2018, with plans to develop up to 74 more. The Equinox hotels will be focused around movement, nutrition and regeneration in an appeal to regular travellers who want to keep fit.

“Movement is something we do very well; we’re renowned for it, and it will be a key focus for our hotels,” vice president Aaron Richter told Spa Opportunities sister publication CLAD in an exclusive interview. “You’ll have access to amazing Equinox health clubs, you’ll be able to tie into local community events, to have a trainer if you want; and you’ll have access to exercise classes. We’re going to take away all the barriers to fitness that come with travel.

"With regards to the regeneration side of things, our hotels will feature a very significant spa," Richter continued. "I can’t disclose the size yet, but it will be pretty impressive. It will provide traditional spa offerings but will also offer very specific treatments for sports recovery and jet lag."

For the Hudson Yards project – which will have a 60,000sq ft (5,600sq m) gym open to guests and Equinox members, as well as several swimming pools and a major spa – the brand is working with designer Yabu Pushelberg. The design concept is rooted in the modern industrial aesthetic used in their clubs – with structural and mechanical systems left exposed – and is described by Richter as “masterful, provocative and inviting.”

Richter said that Equinox’s understanding of the health club market ­means it’s offering “something fundamentally different” to its hotel competitors, who aim their fitness component at “someone who’s on the road and feels guilty about not working out, rather than someone who’s truly into fitness and is trying to continue their lifestyle.” Healthy food will be offered and tailored to the workout and travel regime of the guest, and disrupters such as light pollution and noise will be removed to maximise the quality of people’s sleep.

In addition to the New York hotel, Equinox is looking to develop hotels in Los Angeles, San Francisco and “fitness oriented” cities like Austin, Denver and Seattle. Outside of the US, the company is also in early discussions to open a branch in London.

In 2006, parent company Equinox Holdings was bought by real estate firm Related Companies, which is overseeing the wider Hudson Yards development.

Equinox  hotel  spa  fitness  movement  Amanda Al-Masri 
Spa industry veteran Amanda Al-Masri has been named vice president of spa services for Equinox, an operator of upscale health clubs with ambitious plans to enter the hotel space. Al-Masri was previously global director of spa operations and development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which was acquired last year by Marriott International, and has also held executive positions with Resense Spas. "Equinox is in the business of changing lives, and
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Al-Masri was previously global director of spa operations and development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts
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Company profile: Curry Spa Consulting
Curry Spa Consulting has been providing clients in the high-end and luxury hospitality sector with spa design, programming, guidance and oversight since 2011.
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