More and more travelers need a break from business and tourism. We want to leave the hotel and zone out for a couple of hours. That’s what I did at the Steve Nash Fitness World in Burnaby, part of greater Vancouver, BC.
You can use your hotel’s fitness room if you like closets and bad air, but check out what I found at the Steve Nash Brentwood Club. For a start, between 9 a.m. and 12:30, and from 4 pm to 9:00, there’s valet parking at the front door. Talk about being treated like royalty.
Then there’s the kids room, with trained staff to play with your children while you work out. And a special room for women, with lots of the most modern equipment. Women sometimes just want their own space, away from prying eyes and with an atmosphere they like. The club gives them this. You can exercise in the club’s general space if you want – and plenty of women do – but you can also tackle modern equipment or free weights in a room uniquely designed for women.
What else? Oh yes. This review isn’t all positive. I like a balanced report and no restaurant, hotel, or facility is perfect. At the same time, I won’t overlook the good things in an effort to report the downside. So let’s continue. Yes, there’s background music, but it doesn’t hurt your ears. The sound was unobtrusive. The air was clean and neither too warm nor too cool. That’s sometimes a problem in the larger clubs; it’s hard to get the air just right. But not here. I also found the facility amazingly clean. Most upmarket clubs are careful, but Brentwood did a great job. I was impressed.
The club is immense. There are masses of modern step machines, climbers, treadmills and bikes, perched so you can watch TV or not as you choose. There’s also the usual side room filled with space age racers, and the dedicated aerobics room with sprung wood floor, giant inflated balls, steps, stretch mats, and so forth. I borrowed one of the giant balls to do an oblique workout on a pulley machine. Maybe I’m the only human being who thinks you stress the obliques more when you clasp a giant ball to your chest and hold the pulley around the ball.
My test for gyms includes whether you can always access a lat pulldown machine. The answer here was yes. But Brentwood only had one latest-generation abs machine, and I had to wait a few minutes to use it. They had another next-latest generation abs machine that is just as effective, but I like the super modern version. I did crunches meanwhile, and the club had a couple of stationary abs units that allowed me to crunch ever so slowly. The opposite of lat pulldowns is, of course, the overhead press. And I had no trouble accessing those machines. I also look for modern leg adduction and abduction machines, because some clubs ignore them. You’ll find them at Brentwood. There were free weights of all shapes and sizes.
The Brentwood club doesn’t have dedicated stretch space. You take a mat off a wall hook, place it on the floor near the personal training desk, and stretch as you like.
The ceiling is mega-high, and it’s covered with a flame retardant material. I know we shouldn’t think about things such as fires, but the obsessive-compulsive in me looks for safety features. I didn’t see paddles displayed for emergency CPR. Maybe the club has them; maybe not. I forgot to ask.
If you forget a hotel towel, the club sells large ones for $5.00, which I find convenient, because I always forget to bring a towel. On the other hand, you can’t buy soap or shampoo at the club, and the shower stalls are gigantic but (oddly) offer neither soap nor shampoo. I carry small bottles of hotel shampoo in my runners, that also serves for soap. The lockers are big (at least in the guys locker room), but you have to bring your own lock. I carry a cheap lock in the toe of my runners.
The drop-in fee is $20. If you stay at the Executive Hotel next door, the hotel will give you a day-pass to the club. And the staff at the club are incredibly friendly. Alex is the day manger and Sebastian handles the night shift. I’d phone ahead of time just to make sure nothing in this review has changed: -----. It’s located at 4199 Lougheed Hwy, in Vancouver, open 7 days a week.
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