Last week I was invited along to the Leisure Club in Bexleyheath’s Marriott Hotel to have a look around their facilities in particular their new gym equipment. Now as most of you know I am not able to use these sorts of machines due to my illness however, I managed to coax my husband to come along for the afternoon to possibly try some of it out.
If you are anything like myself, you probably would think that the facilities in the hotel’s leisure club are strictly for the hotel guests, or for those booked onto a spa day retreat. However, this could not be further from the truth and in fact this particular leisure club already has over 600 local members. It has a small swimming pool ( the type you would totally expect in a hotel) that has a decent sized raised jacuzzi at the far end and has comfortable lounge seating along each side. Just off to the side there is both a steam room and a sauna and separate showers so once you are changed and in this area all these facilities are together. This area is set out as you would imagine a day spa to be and there are often clients in there in their robes enjoying a spa afternoon.
Just before you reach the leisure club reception desk itself is a separate gym room with all the equipment your regular gym would provide, again it is the size you would expect from a hotel facility ( so not huge) but is extremely well equipped and set out in a manner that allows them to make the most of the room.
As you can see they have all the regular up to date machines including, running machines, cross trainers, cycle machines and a rowing machine.
They also have specific weights equipment in one area and then a separate small weights area to suit all styles of training.
They also have TV screens up on the front wall to help occupy your mind with either music or programmes to help take your mind of what you are doing! When I used to run regularly before my illness I always loved to pop my earphones in and listen to some fast, loud music to help me keep running to a suitable rhythm and pace but I do know some people prefer something visual as they work out.
Now I visited the facility on an early midweek afternoon and the hotel was kind enough to allow my husband and I to enjoy the club for a few hours. At the time we were there, I have to be honest there were only a few ‘regulars’ in the pools area and the gym itself was empty. This is obviously music to ‘off peak’ patrons ears and this is definitely a bonus in my eyes that if you were able to use the facilities at these times it would indeed be a very relaxing time, or if you love having a gym to yourself that is definitely the time to go. We all know however that most people will be at work during the day and therefore would be visiting at the ‘full peak’ times after 4pm into the evening and on weekends during the day. I can imagine the club being quite different at these times and there may also be the possibility of waiting for gym equipment to become free, or say the pool/ jazuzzi being quite full- but obviously I can only speak from my experience on that particular day.
One thing I did really pick up on was the ‘non exclusiveness’ ( and I truly mean that in a very good way) we felt while we were there. The staff were very friendly and I noticed the manager would talk to all the members as she went about her business. The ‘regulars’ also seemed quite friendly and openly chatted to my husband and I while we were there- they did not ignore or exclude us because we were new faces. This is something that I am afraid DOES NOT happen in all leisure style clubs, and I have experienced an awkwardness in another well known club so much that I never went back, so I can say wholeheartedly that this was one of the main things I liked about the Marriott’s Leisure club. Another bonus is that the hotel offers free parking for patrons so when you do visit the leisure club you just need to register your car registration and your parking will be free.
Memberships at this particular club start at £44 a month, which is a rolling contract and can be cancelled at any time ( with 30 days notice) with the only additional payment I noticed was a £35 joining fee. This Marriott membership also allows for some additional benefits such as 20% off food and beverages at the hotel and 10% of any Health and Beauty treatments at that hotel amongst other things.
I personally found that using the 2 heat rooms on the day seemed to help my muscular pain levels especially in my neck, that in itself allowed me to get some extra sleep that evening. So because it’s a rolling contract I can cancel any time I have joined this week to allow me to explore using very gentle exercise such as a short swim followed by the use of the steam room and sauna to help with my levels of muscular pain. I will be looking at using it maybe twice a week to see if there is any difference and if that the heat rooms used as a therapy will help manage my illness overall.
For more info on the tarriffs and memberships please visit their website