Working next door to Alice
The journey to Virgin Active’s new Classic Club, Alice Lane, began in 2003 with Virgin Active’s first Classic Club, Melrose Arch, which redefined what a health club could, and should, offer an increasingly discerning market.
The journey continues to establish the world’s leading collection of health clubs, where like-minded individuals can identify and achieve their personal health goals. They are also able to access a dedicated team of fitness and nutrition experts through inspiring and personally designed wellness programmes. The big idea is for executives to unwind in a club designed to deliver the ultimate Virgin Active Classic experience.
Virgin Active Alice Lane is due to open in August 2013 but such is the excitement around this exclusive Club that Virgin Group founder Richard Branson visited the building site to see how this extraordinary project was progressing on Wednesday 27 February. It will be the 108th health club to be opened by Virgin Active South Africa (VASA) and like the other two Classic club offerings, is designed for a discerning market.
“It represents an R150 million rand investment by Virgin Active South Africa,” says Managing Director Ross Faragher-Thomas. “This is a considerable commitment to what we believe is a project that will set a new standard in health clubs in South Africa.”
Virgin Active Alice Lane occupies a prime location in Sandton - the financial and premier business hub of Gauteng where companies such as Discovery Health, Nedbank, Investec and RMB have established their head offices and adjacent Sandton City offers a premier retail experience. Faragher-Thomas says, “With Alice Lane we have literally brought the health club to the target market.
Ten years after opening Virgin Active Melrose Arch, we have a different SA landscape. Well-travelled, cyber-smart, health-club members have moved from simply working out to wanting – and expecting – their health club to offer much more.
Virgin Active Alice Lane is in the epicentre of this discerning market and we are creating a club which aims to exceed their expectations rather than meet them. And a capped membership will ensure exclusivity.”
While Virgin Active clubs are considered ‘third spaces’ after work and home, Virgin Active Alice Lane is being described as a ‘fourth dimension’ in wellness, where members will be able to escape, network, relax, cocoon, unwind, as well as hone their bodies. Members’ needs will be met on a physical level through personal training and dietary preferences in a club that centres on heartfelt service.
The integral focus is on the life of mobile executives, which means the club is designed to offer a work space away from work, with networking and conference areas and breakaway rooms. For those executives who subscribe to the concept of ‘blue sky thinking’ in their companies, Virgin Active has taken a literal step up and designed a lift that takes members to a rooftop training area.
Here they will be elevated physically and psychologically and will be able to enjoy a ‘high fliers’ view of the Sandton skyline. It will also provide a safe outdoor space to train – a rare commodity in Gauteng. Innovative interior designers were commissioned to create mood and ambiance with everything from lighting to the colour scheme.
Materials used for walls and floors dampen sound without compromising on high aesthethic standards.
Aligned closely to the club’s service offering, is convenience. Joining Alice means tailored routines and bespoke programmes from a shoe-shine service to an in-club dietician who will create personal eating plans for members.
August is the launch date when business dynamos and discerning executives will all be wishing they worked next door to Alice! Membership enquiries can be made on www.virginactive.co.za/alicelane