In Style + Design

Inside Sydney CBD’s Stunning New Fitness And Wellness Space

We know the December deal: the parties, the meals, the Christmas blowouts inevitably leading to extra kgs and a chronic case of ‘festive bloat’.

While it’s usually not until the New Year that we start to engage in any serious overhaul of our yuletide love handles and pudding-driven spare tyres, consider giving your body a fighting chance this year with a little pre-emptive gift.

Cue the arrival of SOMA Collection: the brand spanking new luxury gym in the heart of the Sydney CBD that’s giving Sydneysiders every reason to forestall their Christmas bulge and feel pretty darn satisfied with themselves as we charge forth into the fresh decade.

A customised, boutique approach

soma collection

Co-founders Simon Anderson and Franco Atashi have set the new standard in luxury fitness experiences with this state-of-the-art space in the iconic Chifley Tower.

A full-service boutique wellness, fitness and spa experience, SOMA rivals any other upscale gym in the city. Yet the thing that sets it apart is not merely its next-level facilities and equipment – it’s something far more old fashioned than that: attention to an individual’s need, and a tailored service that customises the ‘broader’ gym experience to every guest in every way possible.

“Quality and care is what defines us,” says Atashi. “Every body and mind is different, so creating a fitness program for the individual shouldn’t be the exception, it should be the rule.”

Anderson and Atashi cite the tendency for modern chain gyms to ”lose touch” with their client base, a trend that SOMA, and its boutique approach, was designed to remedy.

“We have carefully thought every customer touch point with our brand,” adds Anderson: “little things like the phone charging ports available while you wait for your studio class or the option to play whatever music you please while you indulge in the infrared sauna.”

With premium customer service and concierge service, SOMA’s in-house-developed app links the experience together, allowing members to books classes, and reserve their gear (mat, reformer bed, etc.) in advance.

In short: a spruce choice for the time-poor, as well as the tech hungry junkies lurking amongst us. 

SOMA’s four pillars

In essence, SOMA’s platform runs on the four S’s: Strength, Studio, Spa and Social.

The facility runs a combo of strength and conditioning training, including group circuit training and free-weights. Around 40 high intensity classes are offered per week, with customised movement analysis and postural correction.

Sixty intimate group classes, meanwhile – including Pilates, Mat and Reformer, Yin Yoga, Power Yoga, and ‘Broga’ (yoga for bros)  – are all on offer, as well as regular meditation, relaxation and mobility sessions.

When the hard lifting’s all said and done, clients can chill their bones in the in-house spa treatment facility: a series of luxe-treatment rooms with a range of specialised massages, facials and beauty therapies. Bespoke massage? Got it. Remedial, Swedish, relaxation, aromatherapy and pregnancy? All here. French-style lymphatic drainage massage to cleanse and detoxify? Tick.

And how about those infrared saunas? SOMA’s got two of these bad boys, which use light to create heat and are known to more acutely detoxify, rejuvenate skin, relieve pain and reduce stress.

A community feel

With more and more sweathogs seeking ‘community’ in their choice of facility these days, another huge bonus about SOMA is its commitment to the social end of the gym-going sphere.

As well as its concierge service and breakout areas, its exclusive events and innovative education calendar is testament to its social cultivation, if not the Friday afternoon ‘party pump’ sessions, with networking drinks afterwards.

soma collection

The facility interior itself is also so much more conducive to a human experience. Working with renowned Surry Hills interior design studio, Giant, SOMA’s luxurious, lounge-like atmosphere – a mix of warm and comfortable materials, dark timbers and leathers enmeshed with bronze and brass – is closer in aesthetic and ambiance to, say, a soft and glowing boutique, instead of a garish, modern, mass-market gym.

“It’s easy to be overwhelmed in a gym that is bright and over-lit, so we wanted to create a more intimate space, designed for social interaction” adds Franco.

On the face of it, this offering just might be enough to yank even the most entrenched lounge lizard from their post-December inertia. SOMA truly is ‘gymming’ the way it ought to be: sweat where it counts, with the rest left to a specialist team of dedicated staff.

Who said fitness had to be a chore after all?

(All images: SOMA Collection / supplied)

Published 16 December, 2019