As any world-traveler will tell you, the jet-set lifestyle can take its toll on your health. Hopping continents by private jet, living suite-to-awe-inspiring-suite, though not without innumerable perks, can leave travelers with, at best, inconsistent workout options. Thankfully La Palestra, the Pat Manocchia-conceived integrative medical and fitness center, with its new 9,000-square-foot location inside NYC’s premier luxury hotel, The Plaza, has created a wellness headquarters equipped to spoil, challenge, and reward even the most experienced travelling workout junkies.
It all begins with La Palestra’s signature program that utilizes comprehensive medical analysis to tailor exercise prescriptions as unique as the individual they aid. Internists, orthopedists, nutritionists, and both physical and behavioral therapists all buzz about the Frank Gehry and Davies Tang & Towes-designed space, catering to each member’s specific wellness needs. Pilates, yoga, group classes, event training, nutritional counsel, physical therapy and comprehensive fitness testing are among the activities that that fill the converted two-story theater, offering health and wellness in a variety of different forms. In order to properly complement La Palestra’s unrivaled selection of programs, Manocchia and his staff have hand-picked some of most technologically advanced exercise equipment available, as well as a few classics that are sure to be familiar to all gym-goers. The first floor features state-of-the-art cardio equipment from brands including Woodway, Cybex, Star Trac, and Precor, as well as Cybex strength training machines, and hydro-therapy facilities. The second floor offers an array of training equipment including Pilates Reformers and Cadillacs, Kettlebells, cardiovascular equipment, customized Olympic weightlifting platforms, and three 28-foot climbing ropes that reach down into the gym’s lower-level . If you can’t find what you are looking for, chances are you aren’t looking hard enough.
In order to meet the lofty aesthetic standards of a hotel like The Plaza, however, La Palestra reached beyond the sterile, wall-of-TV design abused by so many super-gyms, crafting a space as unique as the workouts that occupy it. “I believe in Pat’s mission and wanted to help him create a space that supported his work,” says Gehry. “We knew we wanted a space that was exciting, modern and uplifting. We worked until we got that.” A 60-foot exposed-brick wall running the length of the lower-level and a large column slathered with old subway tiles give the space an authentic NYC atmosphere while an array of different floor materials, from douglas fir to grey slate, cater to each space’s specific function. Hervé Descottes, whose company, L’Observatoire International, has illuminated the Richelleu Wing of The Louvre Museum in Paris, as well New York’s very own High Line park and Lincoln Center, fills La Palestra’s curved ceiling recesses with warm light, providing the interior with the invigorating impression of natural sunlight.
Occupying the bottom two levels of The Plaza, which sits perched at the serene southeast tip of Central Park, La Palestra is sure to provide luxury travelers with a tailored wellness experience that will draw their jets, yachts, and towncars back to New York City time and time again. Nobody said a workout has to be fun, but La Palestra believes it can be perfect.