On the way to Aqua, we pass Aire, a decadent Turkish spa.  My friend and I had been there earlier this year and relished the candle-lit space with soaring ceilings and sense of calm.

"I wonder if Aqua will be anything that like that," I wonder aloud. 

"Perhaps," my friend responds, with a sprinkle of doubt.

"Well if nothing else, I hope it's warm!"  The air is extra crisp on this early October morning.

As we approach Aqua's simple entrance, a set of pale blue doors with unassuming gold letters lets us know we've arrived. 

Thank goodness, it is warm.  And, to our surprise and delight, it does have the hushed peace of its neighboring spa.  We're greeted by the hostess who is remarkably pleasant for her pre-7am post.  She gently guides us through the habitual waivers and provides us with plush towels and cycling jellies – simple waterproof shoes for the workout.

Aquacycling is only four months old in the U.S. and we have no idea what to expect.  Anne, the enthusiastic instructor, is so full of good energy that her spirits and the cool water both invigorate us and put us at ease in this unfamiliar environment.  As we keep an even tempo with our legs spinning, she guides us through arm strokes, encouraging us to dip deep – both into the water and into ourselves.

The perfectly synchronized playlist keeps us engaged as we alternate between choreographed arm movements, short sprints and 4 different positions on the bike.  Impossible in land-based spinning, the 4th position sets you directly behind the seat to pedal, as though in a recumbent bicycle.

 With 45 minutes and 800 calories spent, we end the class feeling rejuvenated and comfortable.  The ease of moving in the water hasn't strained any muscles, though the subtle warmth that comes from a good water workout makes it clear that we've exerted effort.  Anne promises that we'll sleep like babies that night.

For those pursuing a workout that is challenging and new or therapeutic and approachable, aquacycling delivers both.  This gem of a gym in the heart of TriBeCa is a must for New Yorker and tourists alike.  The welcoming, pristine facilities add to the comfort of a place from which you are sure to leave refreshed.