The Best Kept Fitness Secret in Downtown San Diego


In the middle of Downtown San Diego, is a hidden gem called AquaVie Fitness and Wellness. It is by far the best-kept secret in San Diego and now I get to share it with you all.

AquaVie Fitness & Wellness

AquaVie is an upscale fitness center tucked away in Downtown San Diego off of Broadway located next to the US Grant and in front of the Westgate Hotel. It is a 4 story 40,000 sqft building filled with everything you can imagine, and I mean everything, to help you achieve your fitness and health goals. Let’s start with the lobby.

From the moment you walk in you are greeted by a friendly staff who is ready to answer all your questions, show you around, and provide you with a locker. Yes, a complimentary lock is available with every visit. Then, you are given an elevator pass for full access to the roof which was my favorite spot. Past the lobby, you will find stairs that lead to the next two floors and behind them two different workout room with free weights and workout machines.

The entire center is decorated in calming blue hues with a waterfall that runs from the 4th floor to the bottom. The sound alone instantly relaxes you. The music throughout the facility is a soft melody that sets you right into meditation and the air is filled with aromatherapy that isn’t too strong but just enough to melt away your stress. You feel relaxed just walking through the doors. I did at least. The entire facility is decored in clean lines with a modern feel. Someone definitely put a lot of effort into making it feel like you are in an upscale resort.

Second Floor

On the second floor are the women and men’s locker rooms. I could have spent the whole day here, to be honest. The music was so relaxing and it smelled like lemongrass (which is my favorite aroma). There are smaller lockers right when you walk in and larger ones in three separate rooms. You will never have to worry about not having a locker. Each room has a full-length mirror with a tv in it if you just want to sit and breath for a moment after an intense workout or just scroll through your phone.

Then there is the BEST part of the locker room, the steam room, and sauna! Before I get into that, you walk past the private restrooms, sink, and another area to get ready with amazing lighting to do your hair and makeup. They have blowdryers hair spray, hair cream, lotion, and mouthwash. If you plan on working out before work or a night out everything you need is here for you.

But let’s get to my favorite part, the steam room and sauna. Each room is big enough to fit a few people at a time but I had them all to myself and it was glorious. After yoga and my mimosa, I wanted to sweat it out and did I.

I have never been in a steam room before, but I can say I am now obsessed. I have never felt so refreshed in my life. My skin feels amazing and breathing in the steam helped me feel cleansed. I highly suggest going in with just a towel on because you will sweat like crazy.

From the steam room, I went to the sauna. It was the cleanest sauna I have ever been in with so much space. I laid down for a bit and just let my body warm up. After the last few weeks of cold weather, the heat felt great.

What I loved about both rooms was the serenity you felt. I really needed some alone time and space to just breath. If you live a crazy life like I do you really need some quiet time and some space. AquaVie will be your refuge.

Other areas of the locker room are the showers. They have 1 handicap accessible and 5 other showers. Inside they have a detachable showerhead, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and shaving lotion. They all smell amazing and make you feel like you are pampering yourself. I can’t stop smelling my hair. Also not, they are spotless. I do not know if they have a full-time cleaning staff but the locker rooms were pristine.

On the same floor as the locker room is the SPA, yes a full spa. Not only does AquaVie have the state of the art fitness equipment, but they also have a Spa. It is just as tranquil as the rest of the center with space for pedicures, manicures, waxing, massages, and body wraps. The services are a bit on the pricey side but well worth it. If you’re a member they offer discounts. You can even buy a spa membership, but I’ll explain that later.

Third Floor


Then there is the 3rd floor where every piece of gym equipment you can think of lives. I was so excited to see rowers, they are my ultimate favorite piece of equipment and yes I did take them for a spin. Everywhere you turn are views of downtown. I do want to note there are a bunch of treadmills. This is a must for me because they always seem to never have enough at other gyms, but here there are rows of them on each side. There are several studies on this floor as well for a variety of fitness classes they offer. (See Schedule here Fitness Schedule

Fourth Floor or as I like to call it, Heaven

So this was my favorite part of the whole gym. Once the elevator doors open you find yourself in a resort. Infused water, an abundance of towels, shaded loungers, poolside food and drink service, serene landscape, a living wall, a pool, and jacuzzi. But that is only the resort part, the fitness part was even better. Surrounding it all was a 1/10th of a mile two-lane track, designated outdoor spin room, outdoor yoga, and a massive strength training space equipped with TRX bands, medicine balls, kettlebells, and anything else you need. I was in awe of it all. Kudos to the designers, they really thought of everything.

Honest Review

So now that I have explained the facility, let me tell you my honest opinion. I love this place and wish I lived downtown just so I could go every day. The membership is a bit on the higher side as opposed to other gyms, but you get a lot more bang for your buck here.  They offer day passes as well if you are not ready to commit and a one time FREE 3-day pass if you are a San Diego resident.

My health is very important to me and I look at a gym membership as a long term investment. If the place motivates me to work out and I can look forward to going, then I will spend the money.

The only negative thing I have to say about the place is the lack of parking; however, they do offer discounts or free parking depending on membership. Horton Plaza is across the street, so you can park there, on the street, or pay for parking at one of the dozen parking lots. If you live or work closeby then parking will not be a problem as you can walk to the gym or catch a ride.

Other than that, this place really was perfect! It was exactly what I needed and I cannot wait to go back for another visit.


Fitness Club & Pool Hours: Monday – Friday 5Am-10PM; Saturday – Sunday 7AM-7PM

Spa Hours: Monday – Friday 9AM-7PM; Saturday – Sunday 9AM-5PM


You have to pay a one-time enrollment fee of $199, then monthly membership fees. I will be honest, I think the price is well worth it! If you are looking for a place that is much more than just a gym, AquaVie is it. Call (619) 5573663 or go to Membership for pricing details and discount. If you are a San Diego resident you qualify for a FREE 3 Day pass. 

Full Disclosure: While I was invited to AquaVie, I was given complete freedom to tour and review the space. My opinions are completely my own. I was not paid in any way by AquaVie or companies representing them.

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