Fitness and Spa
- Dec. 26 2013 00:00
Fit, Healthy and Pampered
Gone are the days when Muscovites stopped to stare at the lone expat jogger, and sports stores sold nothing but nylon tracksuits and lumpy soccer balls.
Moscow may not be a health and fitness heaven — those nine months of cold weather get in the way — but today there are sports, fitness and wellness options for every taste and pocketbook. And if you need some help, Moscow is a terrific place for private or group lessons. There is no excuse to get out of shape.
And there is no excuse not to look and feel your best. The ancient Russian ritual of the bathhouse has been joined by the modern spa. Just about every neighborhood has a spa or two — as part of a beauty salon, a hotel, or a dedicated center — where specialists can knead out the kinks and undo the damage of Moscow's fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle.
During the Soviet era, Moscow had plenty of sports clubs, gyms, pools and playing fields, but it was not until Planet Fitness opened the first fitness club in St. Petersburg in 1990 and Gold's Gym opened its first club in Moscow in 1996 that the modern fitness center movement really got underway.
For serious fitness enthusiasts or lovers of comfort, Moscow has a plethora of premium-class centers, both chains and individual clubs. The best of the best offer top-of-the-line equipment, highly qualified and experienced trainers and class leaders, and facilities that range from merely posh to the truly extravagant. All have a variety of classes, spas, cafes and saunas; most have pools. Many are open 24/7. The only drawback? You need deep pockets. Memberships in premium class centers average about 60,000 rubles a year, and mid-range clubs cost about 30,000 rubles.
World Class gyms have 18 full gyms and five "lite" centers in Moscow, plus one club — at Romanov Pereulok — so exclusive that you must be recommended by a current member to join. A more down to earth, they also have a ladies-only club at Profsoyuznaya Ulitsa that aims to please with classes and equipment designed with women in mind.
+7 495 788 00 00
Gold's Gym may only have two facilities in the city — Dinamo Club and Lefort Club — but they pride themselves on being truly serious about fitness. The Lefort facility does not have a pool, but it does have a tennis court.
+7 495 931 96 16; +7 495 662 46 53
X-Fit Fitness Clubs
X-Fit Fitness Clubs began by establishing the first private tennis club in Moscow in 1991. Now it is a popular top-line chain with 12 locations in Moscow and another eight clubs in other regions. Three clubs have pools with seawater — a good way to dispel Moscow's winter blues.
+7 495 544 03 62
The Orange Fitness Center
The Orange Fitness Center chain has only two clubs in the city, but both have pools and a full range of classes and wellness services.
+7 495 668 09 65; +7 495 642 79 97
Hard Candy Fitness
Among Moscow's best stand-alone clubs is Hard Candy Fitness, opened with great fanfare by Madonna herself in 2012. The club has a stylish decor, pool, full range of classes, spa and cafe.
+7 495 933 71 00
At the other end of the decor spectrum is the Onegin Club, which is located in the Onegin apartment complex. Here you can find a pool, well-stocked equipment rooms, a range of classes, and a spa — as well as squash courts and fencing.
+7 495 221 41 22
For sun-lovers, there is Sky Club, the only fitness club in the city with a roof-top, outdoor pool.
+7 495 788 83 38
There are also slightly less expensive fitness clubs that still maintain a high standard of service with modern, well-equipped facilities. One chain is Planet Fitness, which has 11 clubs throughout the city, many with good-sized pools and saunas, and steam rooms in the dressing areas.
Zebra Fitness Clubs
Zebra Fitness Clubs now have 29 locations all around the city, each with different amenities and services but all with the chain's trademark zebra decor.
Almost all Russian women — and, increasingly, Russian men — fit regular massages, facials and other pampering rituals into their weekly routine. The most convenient place is their local fitness club or hair salon, which offer anything from the basics — manicure, pedicure, facial and sports massages — to the most elaborate European and Asian massages, products and services.
If you are in a rush, you can get a quick but qualified manicure, pedicure or foot massage at one of the Me Manicure Express or Pedicure Express shops at Moscow's malls. A full listing of their locations can be found at www.manicure-express.ru.
Almost 80 spa procedures, Thai and Balinese massages can be had at 7Krasok, a chain that has more than a dozen locations around the city in categories of Economy, Standard, Premium and Luxury. Some facilities are open 24 hours. All the procedures are done with imported herbs and oils in comfortable, Asian-style premises by trained masseuses from Thailand and Bali. 7Krasok has been recognized by the Embassy of Thailand in Russia for popularizing traditional Thai massages.
Sono Day Spa
A good day spa in the city center is the Sono Day Spa, which offers everything from a simple haircut to laser therapy, along with European and Asian massages, facials and other spa procedures in their hair spa, body spa and licensed medical clinic. Here the emphasis is on the top qualifications of the staff, comfort and a friendly atmosphere.
www.sonodayspa.ru +7 499 248 00 28
To the west of the city center is First Spa, an award-winning day spa that offers a full range of spa, beauty and relaxation procedures in an elegant setting.
www.firstspa.ru +7 499 148 99 22
If money is no object, indulge in a day at the ESPA spa in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at 3 Tverskaya Ulitsa. After a procedure in an elegant minimalist setting, you can use the indoor heated pool or unwind in the crystal steam room, sauna or relaxation room — either unisex or women only.
www.ritzcarlton.com +7 495 225 88 88
Barvikha Hotel Spa
If you have a car and driver, you might head out of the city to the Barvikha Hotel Spa where you can be treated with Henri Chenot products and procedures in an elegantly designed space. The Health Bar offers refreshments to complement your procedures and health needs.
www.barvikhahotel.com +7 495 225 83 84