At this point, the word “wellness” has transcended its beginnings as a niche, pseudo-scientific movement to become an all-consuming lifestyle complete with its own $4.3 trillion industry. The things we used to dismissively label as “new age-y” — yoga, meditation, organic food — are now kind of just the way things are, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Yes, even in New York.
But it’s not all snake oil and moonstones. Take The Well, a new Flatiron-based, 18,000-square-foot membership club that caters to the health- and wellness-loving New Yorker.
Noting the gap between legit wellness services and their typically lackluster atmospheres, CEO and cofounder Rebecca Parekh (former COO for Deepak Chopra and Deutsche Bank Executive) wanted to build a destination spa on the East Coast that could rival the likes of what you’ll find in Arizona and Northern California. And if you’ve ever walked into someone’s West Village apartment for a float-tank session or had to trek to a dank second-floor haunt in Bushwick for acupuncture, you’ll agree that we needed it.
Upon opening last month, The Well had 400 (well-off) members ready to pay $375 a month ($210 if you’re under 32) plus a $500 initiation fee for one-on-one health reviews, access to their sprawling facilities and the “be a better you” lecture series. Those facilities include three floors of everything from personal training to sports therapy to reiki energy healing, plus support groups on everything from sex to anxiety to connecting with one’s community.
While it might sound woo-woo from the outside looking in, the space feels serene to even the most cynical New Yorker. And there’s no pressure to play a singing bowl or invest in white linen uniforms. The Well is engineered to address issues that we all deal with, from chronic headaches to sleeplessness, and offers services that you’d otherwise be paying an arm and a leg for piecemeal, from facials and massages to meditation and reflexology.
To boot, there’s a full private gym, spa, relaxation center, restaurant and juice bar. Their aim is to create a space and change the way we look at holistic health and wellness. And despite the mantras and chakras that one might be averse to, they nailed it.