The best gyms for visitors to New York City

See recent posts by Al Kavadlo

Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex

Hotels in this story

When visiting The Big Apple, there is no reason to let your fitness regimen slide. If you don’t feel like working out in your hotel room, you can get a guest pass at one of the city’s many gyms, most of which offer a variety of fun activities ranging from racquet ball to ice hockey or rock climbing.
The Big Chains

Crunch and New York Health and Racquet Club (NYHRC) are two of the most popular gyms in the city that allow guests to visit unaccompanied by a member, and they both have many locations. Some of the facilities are nicer than others, and some of the staff might seem more qualified than others, but generally these gyms are considered at the higher end of the spectrum. In addition to free weights, strength training machines and a variety of cardio equipment, these clubs all have amenities like towel service, toiletries and, in some cases, laundry services. As New York is the city that never sleeps, they tend to open their doors early in the morning and remain open late into the evening. New York Sports Club and Bally’s offer similar facilities, though the clubs are generally not as well maintained; they tend to have fewer amenities and older equipment.

A guest pass to Crunch costs $35 for the day, while a day pass to NYHRC will set you back $50. However, if you’re staying at the Kimberly Hotel, you can get a free guest pass to NYHRC. Their flagship location on 23rd street is a beautiful facility with a lot to offer. (Note that not all NYHRC locations have racquet sports. Make sure that you check with the club you plan to visit if you are interested in squash or racquetball.)

The Mega Complexes

With over a million square feet of fitness options, Chelsea piers boasts the city’s largest sports complex. They have everything from weights to rock climbing to ice hockey (even in the summer). While fees vary depending on what you choose to do there, if you’re staying at NYC’s landmark Hotel Chelsea, it’s worth checking out. There are many different activities there and they offer something for everyone — including kids!

Private Gyms
NYC has many private gyms where serious-minded fitness enthusiasts can have a personalized workout with a trainer or participate in semi-private group classes. Gyms like Nimble Fitness in Union Square, have quietly become the top training facilities in the city. If you’re staying at the nearby W Hotel, you can come take my unpretentious yoga class at Nimble Fitness on Sunday mornings!

With all the options that the city has to offer, a trip to NYC shouldn’t get in the way of anyone’s fitness regimen.

– Al Kavadlo, Personal Trainer and Fitness Blogger at

[Photo Credit: Flickr/dandeluca]

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