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A New York Members Club for the Health Obsessed Expands to Geneva

The Swiss location is set to open in 2026 in a newly renovated hotel and will offer stand-alone memberships for those living and working in the city.
A person getting a massage
While the Well was a pioneer in socially driven wellness space when it opened in 2019, competition is growing. (Shutterstock)

Health-focused members club The Well has set sights on Geneva for its first location in Europe.

It’s part of an expansion drive for a company in a fast-growing sector. The wellness industry was worth $5.6 trillion in 2022, according to a report from the Global Wellness Institute, up from $4.93 trillion in 2019.

The location in Geneva is set to open in 2026 in a newly renovated hotel and will offer stand-alone memberships for those living and working in the Swiss city. It will span roughly 20,000 square feet overlooking Lake Geneva, with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a landscaped terrace. Prices have not been finalised.

“Geneva is our first stop in Europe, but we’re very quickly going to be in London and some other major European markets,” says co-founder Kane Sarhan, speaking exclusively with Bloomberg about the announcement.

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The brand started in New York in 2019 with a 13,000-square-foot, light-filled space that offers members and non-members such services as $85 vitamin B12 drips and $560 lifting facials. Monthly fees start at $355 and entail unlimited movement classes including yoga and strength training; complimentary cold plunges and infrared saunas; and dedicated spaces in which to socialise and work.

Each member is paired with a health coach who can work one-on-one to address such issues as nutrition, sleep and ways to handle stress and anxiety. The Well approach combines Western and Eastern medicine, with experts in sports medicine, ayurveda and acupuncture.

In 2020, the company pivoted from being a purely membership driven-model, adding real estate and hospitality partnerships as pandemic restrictions shut its flagship Manhattan space for more than a year.

“The pandemic really woke a lot of people up to how foundational health is. So while the whole world contracted, we were able to expand,” Sarhan says. Formerly the head of brand for Starwood Capital Group’s 1 Hotels, he says developer contacts from the real estate world started inquiring about partnerships in the branded residences sector.

“We just started getting calls from former colleagues, saying that people want wellness but don’t know how to execute it,” he says. Those discussions resulted in partnerships for branded residences such as one with Miami-based real estate developer Terra.

Beth McGroarty, director of research at the Global Wellness Institute, agrees that the pandemic turned a lot of people into homebodies, so more attention is being given to creating communities and homes with health spaces.

“The fastest-growing market in wellness is homes and communities designed around wellness, so the Well is slotting into this huge trend,” she says. “Wellness used to be all about travel, where you’d go somewhere for a week and then fall off the wagon the second you’d get home,” says McGroarty. “Now, with these clubs, you can have resort-style programming in your home city.”

Rebecca Parekh, the Well’s chief executive officer, and who previously headed cross-product sales at Deutsche Bank, says Geneva makes sense as an initial European destination: It’s an international business city in a nation with many health and wellness practitioners to staff the facility.

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Fflur Roberts, global head of luxury goods at Euromonitor, says a lot of wealth is concentrated in Geneva, where the world’s richest fly in and out for work and pleasure. “By default, the Swiss generally also care deeply about health and well-being and, as a destination, it’s steeped in wellness,” Roberts says.

Sarhan says the Geneva location will include strong physical therapy programmes. “One of the things we learned when doing our research about Geneva is that February onward is called boot season, because everyone skis and gets injured,” he says. “So everyone’s walking around with broken leg boots. We’re doing research on new modalities like hyperbaric chambers and oxygen chambers so we can help people recover from injury.”

That focus is different from the one in New York, where most clients’ primary concern is coping with stress, says Parekh. “Our community in New York is pretty well versed in wellness,” she says. “But it’s the challenge of getting there. People societally are navigating immense amounts of pressure and they don’t know where to start — and that’s where our health coaches play a vital role.”

While the Well was a pioneer in socially driven wellness space when it opened in 2019, competition is growing.

“There are a lot of clubs opening, and many are positioned at higher-end consumers,” says McGroarty. “If you look at New York, there are so many wellness companies and clubs now, it’s astounding.”

Six blocks from The Well in New York stands Remedy Place, which offers its members hyperbaric oxygen chambers, vitamin drips and functional medicine consultations. Continuum is set to open soon in Greenwich Village; it says it will use artificial intelligence to better its members’ health, along with float tanks, acupuncture, Himalayan salt saunas and massage. Aman New York has a $200,000 membership component alongside its 25,000-square-foot spa, with a fully functional medical practice that has Ivy League-trained doctors on staff.

The Well, says McGroarty, is primarily a wellness social club with space for people to socialise, work on health goals and meet others amid what she calls a “loneliness epidemic” that followed the surge in working from home.

We are likely to see more such clubs opening in major financial capitals driven by an ageing population and health anxieties, says Roberts from Euromonitor.

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“The age of most of the high-net-worth individuals in the world are the late 40s, 50s and upwards,” Roberts explains. “As they age, they’re realising they need to take their health more seriously.” She says the wellness trend — with its plush spas and membership clubs — is very attractive to this class of consumer. “On the back of the pandemic, health has become our biggest asset.”

Co-founder Sarhan says The Well is focused on expansion both in the US and Europe. The company has 12 locations in the pipeline, adding up to a million square feet under development. Well Bay Harbor Islands in Miami is set to open next year as its first wellness club with branded residences and office space. Home prices start at $1.3 million, and more than half have been sold.

Two additional locations are planned for Miami. A second wellness club in Brickell has a 2026 planned opening date, and branded residences in Coconut Grove are set for 2027. The Well sees South Florida, with so many new residents, as a hot market.

The Well has also partnered with hotels and is currently working with boutique hotel favourites Auberge Resorts Collection to add wellness spaces to resorts in Costa Rica, Los Cabos in Mexico and the Mayflower Inn in Connecticut.

CEO Parekh says the company’s five years — and a global pandemic months after its doors opened — have shown people the importance of preventative health and wellness, sustaining the Well’s growth.

“I think a lot of people are rolling their eyes at wellness at times,” she says. “But it’s a very real need.”

By Sarah Rappaport

Further Reading

How ‘Anti-Spas’ Sell Wellness to Men

Remedy Place, a luxury social wellness club, has completely rebranded the spa experience with an eye on the male demographic. This year, the company has an ambitious plan to expand starting with its third and largest 7,400-square-foot club in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood this spring and an upcoming product line that brings self-care into the home.

The BoF Podcast: Inside the Business of Wellness

In the latest episode of Inside Fashion, co-founders of mindbodygreen Jason and Colleen Wachob discuss cutting-edge trends in health and wellbeing, how they intersect with fashion and bringing wellness into the workplace.

Why Beauty Brands Want a Bigger Piece of the $1.5 Trillion Wellness Pie

The State of Fashion: Beauty finds that brands have a growing opportunity to tap into emerging wellness subcategories — from sleep to sexual intimacy to ingestible beauty — by upgrading existing products or expanding portfolios, provided they do so with credibility and authenticity.

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