To think that this place was once a movie theater! Today, the stale popcorn, Milk Duds and giant Slurpies that formerly occupied 900 N. Michiganís basement have been replaced with a decidedly more body-conscious facility. Gone are the days of sticky aisles and natty red upholstery. This Gold Coast gym touts swanky decor reminiscent of a River North sushi restaurant, with ornate bamboo shoots in the spa and an elegant presentation of orchids in the womenís locker room, as well as a Fresh Choice Cafe.
The upscale aura extends to the crowd lifting weights and powering through Pilates sessions: Although all kinds can be seen tackling the treadmill, Gold Coast professionals make up the majority of the gymís clientele. The club even offers a supervised kidís club for mini moguls. But rest assured: If you land next to dad in yoga class, junior wonít be busting in anytime soon for a visit. Members must be at least 18 years old.
The Classes: Equinox boasts a wide range of classes, with the studios to prove it (including a yoga and spin space). Get scientific about getting in shape with the Ab Lab, a 30-minute session that will leave your midsection trembling in fear. Or make like Tom Hanks and Splash! your mornings away at the swim classes.
The Equipment: Everything you need to tuck, tone and get that I-Derm Deep Pore Cleansing and Firming Facial you keep putting off. Along with the standard exercise equipment (think treadmills and weights machines), Equinox features the above-mentioned studios, a power Pilates room, a junior Olympic-size pool, and a full spa thatís open to members and non-members. Members, of course, enjoy a discount on spa services.
The Extras: When you sign up, the New Member Benefits Package includes a one-hour physical assessment, a personal training session and a two-hour power Pilates session (thatís a $520 value!). As if that's not enough, rumor has it that a certain trainer gets ladiesí hearts pumping with more than just his ever-popular Cardio-Groove class.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg