Dark, quiet, cool―I’m a terrible sleeper and if these three conditions aren’t met, I’ll be tossing and turning all night. And I’m not the only one―sleep experts agree that a low temperature, lack of noise, and minimal light are crucial elements for getting a good night’s rest. These are also three things you don’t typically find in a hotel, especially in New York City. Doors slamming, cars honking, light pollution leaking in―I usually leave New York City feeling the opposite of rejuvenated―getting a good night’s rest in a city that never sleeps can feel like an impossible task…Until I spent a weekend at the Equinox Hotel. (Disclosure: the Equinox Hotel hosted my stay.)
Here’s what a night at the Equinox Hotel New York looks like: Exhausted from a long day out having fun, you open the door to your room late at night (or early in the morning after last call.) Kick off your shoes and slide into the crisp, cool linens on your all-natural mattress, and use the iPad next to the bed to draw the blackout shades, turn off all the lights, and set the room temperature to a delightfully cool 66 degrees.
In the morning, you wake when you want to (not when the sun rises) thanks to those solid blackout curtains and incredible soundproofing. Use the iPad to raise the shades and admire the daytime view while you order a healthy breakfast designed for high-performance. Sip your superfood latte and enjoy your chia seed and ridiculously fresh fruit bowl in bed. Turn on the television to stream a yoga class (enhanced by the in-room yoga mat, blocks, and stretching bands) followed by a guided meditation to set your mood for the day. Now you’re ready to take on another day in New York City.
The Sleep Chamber
If you were to design a bedroom that’s specifically optimized for sleep, it would look like the rooms at the Equinox Hotel. The king-size beds are handcrafted specially for Equinox, out of all-natural fibers that create a mattress that’s just firm enough to be supportive, while still feeling like a plush cloud. Partner gets in the way of your sleep? Not at the Equinox Hotel, where the mattress isolates motion and the beds are equipped with two marriage-saving, goose down tropical weight duvets so you’ll never fight over the covers again (this two-duvet system also helps regulate temperature and keeps you from overheating at night.)
At your bedside, you’ll find an iPad equipped with controls for everything in the room. Push the “quiet, dark, cool” button on the iPad, and the blackout window shades will silently roll down to block out the world until the morning. These custom-made shades successfully block out every sliver of light, but don’t worry if you need to get up in the middle of the night. Motion-activated lights underneath the bed provide a gentle glow to illuminate your way to the bathroom the second you step off the mattress. Slamming hallway doors and Manhattan drivers won’t awaken you from your slumber either, as the guest rooms are all acoustically isolated for a silent sleep.
A Healthy Stay
After a year of no travel, staying in a hotel can feel a bit unnerving, but guests at the Equinox Hotel don’t have to worry. While some hotels merely look clean, the Equinox Hotel is actually designed with guest’s health in mind. In response to COVID-19, the property (along with a team of medical and infectious disease experts) developed an enhanced health and safety protocol that remains in place today. Electrostatic sprayers are used to disinfect the property and clinical-grade filtered air is used throughout.
Sanitizer, face masks, and gloves are offered in the RoomBar, along with vitamins and supplements designed to boost your natural immunity. Even the complimentary in-room tea focuses on wellness, with herbal blends optimized to help with everything from jetlag to insomnia.
Guests can choose to limit interactions and maintain social distancing with Equinox Hotel’s app that allows for mobile check-in (complete with a downloadable room key), and a contactless check-out. Once you’re in your room, simply use the provided tablet to call for everything from room service to housekeeping. Room service is delivered social-distance style in a custom-designed box that keeps your food protected on the way to the room and can be left outside your door in an insulated tote on a cleverly designed wall hook.
The rooms come equipped with my favorite hotel amenity of all time: a yoga mat, stretch band, yoga blocks, and trigger point ball, so you can roll and stretch out your tired body after walking miles through the concrete jungle. Stream a yoga or stretch class on the t.v. and you’ll leave feeling better than when you checked in. The in-room programming also includes guided meditation that will help you set your mood for the day or unwind at night.
When you check into the Equinox Hotel, you immediately become a temporary Equinox health club member, which means you just have to take the elevator down a few floors to have free access to the spacious, well-equipped gym and hundreds of innovative Equinox classes. Not ready for an indoor workout yet? The Equinox has an outdoor SoulCycle studio set up just outside the door.
In the summer, return from a hot day of sightseeing and dip your tired body in the outdoor pool that overlooks the Vessel. The pool deck is perfectly positioned to watch the sunset over the Hudson River, which is best accompanied by a drink served up from the poolside bar, the Broken Coconut (don’t miss the watermelon margarita). Then head down to the Electric Lemon, the hotel’s hip restaurant, where you can enjoy a healthy, seasonally-inspired meal surrounded by views of the city.
When I say every detail is thoughtfully attended to at the Equinox Hotel, I mean it. There’s no greater tiny annoyance at a hotel than not having anywhere in the bathroom to hang your towels, but Equinox has plenty of perfectly positioned hooks―plus they take it one step further with a special loop on each towel that keeps it from slipping off and on to the floor. The shower (which has three different showerheads to suit any preference) is not only stocked with custom-made Grown Alchemist toiletries made from botanicals you’ll find in the nearby High Line Park―but includes a rejuvenating body wash for morning showers and a body wash with a calming scent for nighttime use.
At the spa, you’ll find innovative options that go well beyond the standard massages―like a session in the cryotherapy chamber, or a wave table designed to deliver 3 hours of sleep in 30 minutes.
Is the Equinox Hotel New York Worth It?
The Equinox Hotel New York’s sleep chambers live up to the hype. Having the ultimate sleeping conditions can make a huge difference in your trip―you’ll wake up feeling rejuvenated here and ready to enjoy your vacation rather than tired and ready to go home.
Now I just need to find a way to incorporate a “cool, dark, quiet” button for my bedroom at home…
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