Chris Norton, the CEO of Equinox Hotels, is no stranger to the world of luxury. He made the jump to the fitness company Equinox Holdings Inc. in 2016 when it started its hotel line, leaving his post as COO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Now, with the tagline, “For those who want it all,” his company’s hotels feature bespoke design and proprietary sleep systems intended to make every room a temple of rejuvenation.
Here Norton, purveyor of opulence, shares his tips and tools for getting the most out of every day.
What’s your on switch?
I rise early, have a banana and a double espresso, and then exercise for a good hour, often with a trainer.
What products are you currently in love with?
- The iPad, because it replaces a laptop or computer. I do everything with it.
- A convertible Porsche 911. It’s total lunacy to have a car in New York City, but so much fun to zoom down through the Meatpacking District to the West Village really early on a Sunday morning to have a quiet salmon and eggs breakfast at Buvette.
- A plant on my terrace that smells fantastic. Right now, it’s a huge bush of Rosemary. I pluck a piece everyday, grind it between my fingers, and smell it. It’s heaven. Aromatherapy in its most basic form. This is happiness.
Where do you go to relax and recharge?
I go to the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. No shoes, no news. Totally relaxing.
What product do you still use because nobody’s ever improved on it?
My piano. The piano has been around for centuries, and there’s still nothing like it.
What’s your favorite thing to eat when . . .
You’re in the middle of work and need a quick burst of energy?
When you need a quick takeout lunch?
Sushi by Sugarfish
When you have plenty of time to go out and eat?
A great pasta dish at Carbone.
What tool can you not live without?
My Bang & Olufsen stereo system. Listening to music every day is a form of meditation.
What’s a song you listen to . . .
When you’re waking up?
Anything Bach or Handel. It gets me focused.
When you’re driving?
Pat Metheny Group’s “Offramp.” Incredibly complex.
When you’re working out?
’90s hip-hop. Love the raw energy.
When you’re hard at work on a big project?
No music . . . I need quiet to focus intently.
To get psyched for a big presentation?
I don’t get psyched; I get very quiet and calm. No music.
To mellow out at the end of the day?
Jazz. Miles Davis. Bill Evans or Chet Baker vocals. Or sometimes alternative R&B.
What’s your necessary vice?
Dark chocolate or marzipan with a double espresso.
What are five books on your nightstand?
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m impressed by his knowledge and intelligence.
- Becoming, by Michelle Obama. I like her candor.
- Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon, by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Science or fiction? Very stimulating.
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael Alan Singer. So Inspirational.
- Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, by Danny Meyer. This is a reread for me—I love his view of hospitality as a core competency.
What’s a product you recently splurged on?
An awesome bottle of Sassicaia. I can’t wait to share it with the right person while cooking a simple plate of spaghetti.
What do you do with the time when you have . . .
A free five minutes?
A free hour?
Sleep! It’s so important, we built a hotel around it.
A whole free day?
Stay home with my family and chill.
What’s your off switch?
I improvise jazz on my piano.