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Hot, Steamy, Sweaty Bodies!
Reflections Leisure Club (Basingstoke)
Member Name: JammyJo
Reflections Leisure Club (Basingstoke)
Date: 24/01/02, updated on 24/01/02 (2067 review reads)
Advantages: good atmosphere, all inclusive, good fitness studio
Disadvantages: more expensive than public sports centre
I collapse to the floor, legs like jelly and with my heart pounding. My breath isn’t really helping matters as it refuses to co-operate and do the inhale and exhale thing it is supposed to be doing! All this just because I ran, er no, jogged from one end of the field to the other with a seven year old!! Of course, the seven year old after seeing the effect running had on me decides to show off and run all the way back … and still have plenty of energy to kick a ball around!! Things were not good! I was 26 years old, and had always thought of myself as fairly fit … I was wrong!!
The above is what drove me to looking at joining a gym or fitness club. I looked around Basingstoke’s Centre Gym, and the two Health Clubs in Basingstoke and after weighing them up decided to splash out, pretend I had money and join CentreCourt …(now Reflections Leisure Club) Was this a good move? Lets see …..
~ ~ WHERE IS REFLECTIONS LEISURE CLUB? (RLC)
RLC is conveniently only around the corner from where I live, so obviously this played a big part in my decision to join this one and not any of the others in Basingstoke. You will find RLC on the outskirts of Basingstoke, in Chineham. You will find the full address at the bottom of the opinion, along with the website address that gives full directions. However, I will add that it is very easy to find and is convenient as it is out of town, so you don’t have to sit in queues to get there.
~ ~ THE HAMPSHIRE CENTRECOURT
As RLC is situated within The Hampshire CentreCourt I shall give you a short overview of the Hotel side as well as the Leisure club side. CentreCourt is part of the Marston Hotel group. The website claims that it is set in “beautiful, quiet, unspoilt countryside” Hmmmm .. I wouldn’t go that far, but you can see a few trees from bedroom windows, along with houses and a school! As the n
ame of the hotel suggests, Tennis is a big part of CentreCourt. Many Tennis tournaments are held here, and I have been told some big names in Tennis are to be seen. I wouldn’t have a clue about that .. I might just be able to recognise a tennis racket if I saw one! CentreCourt holds a *** rating. There is a Garden Restaurant, boasting in their brochure “creatively presented food”, and also a Bar which will give you the usual bar snacks. The hotel is clean and friendly. The only time I have been in the bedrooms was on my wedding day, so to be honest didn’t take much notice ….. nooooooooo it’s not what you think! I got changed out of my wedding dress there, into my going away outfit, after drinking a tad too much champers … was concentrating too much on getting my shoes on the right feet to look at the room!! The rooms all have private bathrooms, satellite TV, radio, all that you would expect really, with some of them offering a balcony. The hotel gets a lot of business use, and is the venue for many conferences. I had my wedding reception here and was very impressed with both the service and the price. Rooms start at £80 pp and rise to £130 pp. Staying at the hotel gives you full access to the leisure club. Enough about the Hotel … back to RLC!
~ ~ CLUB FACILITIES
+ 5 Indoor Tennis Courts
+ 5 Outdoor Tennis Courts
+ Air-conditioned Fitness Studio with full range of Cardio Vascular(CV) and Resistance Equipment
+ Air-conditioned Aerobic Studio
+ Heated Indoor Pool and Spa bath
+ Sauna and Steam Room
+ Beauty Therapy room
+ Members Bar and Family Area
+ The Zone (room for 8-15 year olds with playstations)
~ ~ SOME OF THE FACILITIES IN MORE DETAIL
As I am not interested in Tennis my membership does not give me access to the Tennis Courts,
tournaments and professional coaching, so I can’t really give much information on it. Courts can be booked up to a week in advance for a maximum of two hour sessions. Full assessments are available. It is always very popular, and a good club atmosphere always seems present. Regular tournaments are held for all levels of tennis players, and each member can have lessons. That’s about all I can say about the Tennis Facilities.
+ Fitness Studio
This is where you will usually find me. Recently refurbished the Studio offers a wide range of equipment in a comfortable setting. As you walk in you will see all the CV machines including rowers, steppers, treadmills, bikes and a few other weird looking contraptions that I have yet to go on! There is a matted area dedicated to warming up and stretching. Past the CV machines you will find the resistance equipment and free weights. The gym is geared out for all levels, but they do not encourage big beefy blokes groaning and breathing hard doing heavy weight lifting. If you are of the above description then RLC is probably not for you and you should try the Centre Gym in town. There are screens on the wall in front of the CV machines that show several channels, with a few of them dedicated to sports channels. Music is played pretty much throughout the day. A variety of music is played, although the bulk is popular music. It isn’t deafening either which is good. Luckily enough though it is loud enough to hide my heavy breathing when I am on the treadmill! Upon joining the gym you are given a full fitness assessment (oh dear!) and your needs are discussed with you. After discussing your needs with a consultant you will have a fitness programme designed especially for you. There is always at least one qualified instructor in the fitness studio to assist with any queries you may have and to help you with any machines. You can splash out and treat yourself (or put yourself through to
rture!) and have a personal training session which starts at £25.00 per hour. I have never found the gym too busy, although it does get busy between 6pm – 7pm and also during some of the popular classes in the mornings. Still, there are always machines available even during busy times.
+ Aerobic Studio
This is a large studio with mirrors covering most of the walls. This is obviously where most of the Aerobic and other classes are held. Mats and steps are kept in here for use during classes. Fully air-conditioned this is a very comfortable studio for working out in.
+ Exercise Classes
Exercise classes are included at no extra charge ..(I should think so to with what the monthly fee is!!) There are many classes available for all fitness levels. These include …Body Pump, Body Combat, X Train, Step, Boxerfit, the list goes on ……. Needless to say, there is something for everyone. There are classes run every day throughout the day and evening. Several of the classes are very popular and are hard to get in to as numbers are limited. Classes can be booked up to seven days in advance. These are a great way to get challenged, get motivated and get new friends!
+ Heated Indoor Pool and Spa
Ok, I have to be honest here. The pool, well, the bath more like is tiny! If you are a serious swimmer then I would recommend you go to one of the other local pools. At 1.4 metres deep all around it isn’t a diving pool, but it is plenty deep enough for swimming. For splashing about in, for casual swimming, for older children it is ideal. The pool is kept clean, and doesn’t smell too strongly of chlorine. The water is kept at a pretty warm 32 degrees which makes it good for children to swim in, and also less of a shock factor when you get back in the water after relaxing in the spa!! I have yet to find the pool too busy to swim in lanes. However I don’t tend to sw
im at the weekends and I can imagine it does get quite rowdy in there with children. The pool is used for quite a few aqua classes throughout the week and swimming lessons in school holidays. During these times the pool is shut for others to use. There are also times for adult only swims. No unaccompanied children under fifteen in the pool ensures that it is kept a safe and pleasant pool (most of the time!)
The spa is situated in the pool area and holds up to 8 people. Lovely, warm and bubbly … what more can I say?
+ Sauna and Steam room
Lovely! This makes all the hard work in the gym worthwhile! I always treat myself to a sauna afterwards, even if it means cutting my workout short!! You will find the hot rooms through the changing rooms. They are uni-sexed so don’t embarrass yourself and take your towel off to reveal all!! Fairly reasonably sized they both hold up to 10 people, although I can imagine 10 hot sweaty people sitting closely together a rather uncomfortable experience! The rooms have never been busy when I go in. Good job because I am sure I look a funny sight sat in there reading a book! The steam room has recently been refurbished and is much more pleasant now. Menthol vapours coming out with the steam make it a very pleasurable experience, and great if you have a cold! My only rant about the steam room is there just doesn’t seem to be enough steam!! Quite a big draw back really! I like it to be so steamy that I can sit on the bench, legs up, and know that if there is anyone else in the room, they can’t see the rings of fat bunched up at the top of my legs!!
+ Beauty Therapy Room
I haven’t been in the room, neither have I tried any of the services available out. All the usual body wraps, massages, facials, waxing and the like are available here, all for an extra cost over and above your membership fee. Not my scene, but it seems quite popular.
As above, something I haven’t used at RLC, and again is an additional cost. (£7.00 per 8 minute session or £35.00 for a course of 6 sessions.)
+ Bar and Family Area
Well after a good workout what better way to finish it off could there be and have a well deserved pint and put back on the calories you may have lost!! Membership reductions apply to all drinks and food purchased, although not a good reason to join!!
The crèche is free to all members. It is open during school hours. All staff are fully qualified Nursery Nurses. Children have maximum hours they can attend the crèche during a week, roughly 2 hours a day. There are two rooms fully equipped with toys and baby equipment, brightly coloured and spacious these are very appealing to children. Children from the age of 6 weeks old and up to 5 years are welcome to attend crèche sessions. Parents must stay in RLC whilst their children are at the crèche. (Sorry .. no popping to the Tescos next door to do a kid free shop!!) I have used the crèche since joining and have never had a problem with it. I find the staff friendly, and warm and loving towards all children. Jamie loves going to the crèche, and often asks me to take him. This is great … but it does mean I have to go to the gym more often!!! The crèche is very popular especially during classes so booking up to a week in advance is advised. I tend to go in the afternoons and get in no problem with my two.
~ ~ MEMBERSHIP TYPES
There are several types of membership you can have at RFL. These are as follows –
Premier ….. Allowing you full use of all facilities at all times
Fitness ……Allowing you full use of all facilities at all times except Tennis
Tennis …….Allowing you use of all facilities except the Fitness Studio
Off Peak …..Based on Premier membership, use of al
l facilities during off-peak times (Mon – Fri 6.30am – 4.15pm and w/e 4.15pm-10.00pm)
Veterans ….Applies to people over the age of 60 and entitles them to 40% discount off swimming and 20% off any other membership category.
~ ~ MEMBERSHIP FEES
There is no clever or funny way to put these … so here are the facts!!
Type of membership Joining Fee (£) Monthly Fee(£)
Single 285 64
Couple 475 94
Single 285 45
Couple 474 67
Single 285 45
Couple 475 71
Single 155 34
Couple 265 48
Single 185 38
Couple 315 60
These prices are correct today, but obviously can increase at anytime, so if you are thinking of joining I suggest you check current prices.
~ ~ OTHER INFORMATION
Guests – each member is allowed to take a guest into the club with them. Guest prices are pretty steep though (up to £10) so in my opinion not really worth it just for a swim!! Each guest can only attend three times in a year and must have a quick fitness assessment before using the gym.
Car Park – there is a good size car park free to all members and guests at the Hotel.
Opening times – Mon – Sat 06.30 – 22.00 hrs
Sun – 08.00 – 22.00 hrs
Additional benefits – Use of other Marston Hotel Leisure Clubs
20% Discount on Leisure Breaks at Marston Hotels
~ ~ WHY DID I CHOOSE RLC?
I looked into three of the main gyms in Basingstoke. This one was the middle priced one, with the public gym (CentreGym) being cheaper by far. However, when I added up all expenditures including petrol, car parking and crèche fees the difference wasn’
;t that great. A big plus was obviously the fact that I live so close to RLC, and therefore petrol was kept to a minimum and I was more likely to go regularly because it didn’t require that much time, other than that spent working out or relaxing in the sauna afterwards! The fact that it is a private health club and I like to look like I have money didn’t come into it at all!! (Not much anyway!!)
~ ~ DID I MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE
Yes, I believe I did. The club has a lovely atmosphere, plenty going on, well trained and friendly staff, caters for my children well, and at the end of the day has helped me improve my fitness and kept my current wardrobe fitting fairly well! I do enjoy my time there and feel for the extra money I spend each month on it I get a lot of personal benefit and satisfaction. As my two children are included in our membership they are free to use the pool, the crèche, and any of the kids clubs that are organised throughout the year. All in all a great Health Club, which I would full recommend unless you on a tight budget, only intending on going once a week, into serious bodybuilding or a serious swimmer.
~ ~ ADDRESS AND CONTACTS
The Hampshire CentreCourt
Great Binfields Road
Tel: 01256 816664 (Hotel)
01256 330360 (Leisure Club)
Website address for Marstons (which includes information and pictures of RLC) www.marstonhotels.com
By the way, they often have short-term memberships and special offers on so why not give them a call and see what they can do for you?!
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