There comes a time at the start of every new year, post end-of-year holiday excesses, when you realize that the smashed raspberry’s in your Mojito from Le Baron don’t actually count as a fruit, and the little potbelly you have acquired is now the perfect size to comfortably hold your glass upon, but may be stopping you from putting your best face forward in 2012.
For any resolution to get in shape to be conceivable, it has to be backed with motivation, and what better motivation than a place to get in shape that has it all.
Parisians have never been known to be particularly fit on a whole- and, until recently, the lonesome street jogger was met with disdainful stares by passersby. But suddenly,we’ve seen many new health-conscious, organic and fresh food restaurants opening up as well as a growing interest in gyms and health clubs from those whose only prior experience with working up a sweat was trying to push ahead in the queue at an open bar.
Cause we want you to look and feel your best in 2012, Ten Days has compiled the best spots in Paris for you to get in shape, without cramping your style.
THE KEN CLUB
The most historic of Paris’s health clubs (open since 1985), the Ken Club is also the most exclusive with a limit of only 1000 members (you’ll never have to wait for a treadmill again) and numerous perks that make the place a lot more than just a gym. As you walk into the nondescript modern building behind which the club is hidden, It definitely has a “seizième” feel, in its’ design and clientele. The Ken is the perfect place, if you happen to be a girl who wants to do aerobics in her brand new Isabel Marant high-heeled sneakers and Stella McCartney for Adidas workout gear or, if you enjoy watching Russian models stretching-out.Â The Ken Club has a taste for luxury, which is apparent through their attention to detail, making you feel more like at a spa on vacation then a Tuesday night with work the next day. A bathrobe is waiting for you in your locker upon arrival, little toiletries are available in case you forgot your comb or body lotion, and piles of clean towels are never far. The steam rooms are no doubt the best in Paris and showers are on a par with a five star hotel.Â The Ken has a real country club feel, its like walking into a portal on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt and finding yourself in Miami. The pool is beautiful and big enough to to do laps in, with another small pool with massaging jets to relax. There is also a bar area, a restaurant with garden terrasse for members only and their guests, and a lounge area with WiFi that has a very beach nightclub design. All of this luxury and relaxing may not be best if you’re actually interested in getting in shape, but the Ken club is no doubt a peaceful haven that will transport you away from city chaos and make you feel pampered and cozy.
For one person the yearly membership fee is 2700 euros + 1000 euro entrance fee. For Couples: Yearly membership is 5400 euros + 1500 euro entrance fee.
100 Avenue Prés Kennedy 75016 Paris
01 46 47 41 41
With two convenient locations at Opéra and Beaubourg (as well as one in Geneva) L’Usine is probably the most well known of Paris’s more upscale gym options. Both clubs have the same design fundamentals : grey, stone and dimmed lights and a very masculine modern bachelor feel to them. This is definitely a far cry from what you’re used to in a gym : neon lights, neon tights, blasting dance music… But, if you are already sleepy, the calming lighting and color-scheme may make you fall asleep on your yoga mat rather than pump you up for a workout. With a totally charming staff and tea and coffee at your disposal (Care for a burning hot coffee while you do your sit-ups? ) the place is impeccably clean and although small, the dressing-rooms have all the essentials, even dispensers of Skeen products. In terms of activities, there is a focus around Yoga and Pilates to go along with the zen atmosphere, with a variety of classes, the most impressive being “Levitation Yoga”, a brand new technique introduced this year by American Yoga instructor, Robert Reuter, in which you perform traditional yoga postures suspended from a silk cloth swing, alleviating any pressure of the body’s weight, increasing blood flow to your brain, improving your balance, and most of giving you the amazing feeling of flying weightless through the air.Â The clients are neither fitness show-offs nor weight training freaks, the ambiance is quite polite and mind-your-own-business-y. Unfortunately, the Cardio equipment is in desperate need of an update, and you are only allowed one towel per visit, but the Usine is still a sure bet if you are looking for a quality gym in Paris.
Usine Beaubourg, day rate : 100€ Individual yearly membership : 1700 € / Duo : 1600 € X 2, Semester : 1090 €, Trimestre : 790 €
16 rue Quincampoix, Paris 4e, Tel : 01 44 61 41 41
The Klay is Paris’s newest health club, opened just two years ago by the two sons of the founders of the Ken Club, adapting it for a younger, more sport oriented population, and to the style of the neighborhood, which in the heart of the Sentier/ Montorgueil area, and in this short time they have done a great job creating a strong brand image. The Klay is hidden in the small rue Saint-Sauveur, behind a courtyard and spread throughout the three floors of a former 19th century factory space. Walking in, you’ll first notice the club has its own restaurant, the DEPUR, that serves modern french food with some healthy touches like smoothies and post-workout food, which is amazing to have right on hand after the gym. The DEPUR also happens to have some of the loveliest garden patio seating in Paris, and it’s also open to non-members, so be sure to stop by if your in the area, even if your not looking to work out.
The gym itself is spotless, the design is young and hip (influences apparently included the movies “Fame” and “Rocky”, but we don’t think this does the Klay justice) exposed brick walls, a glass elevator, graffiti art by Nasty, big distressed leather couches. The Klay also holds art shows on a regular basis. Having opened so recently, it doesn’t yet show any of the wear, tear and stink that you get used to seeing in a gym. The two main selling points are without a doubt the boxing room and the pool. Not only does the Klay have a boxing room with punching bags, gloves and protections you can borrow, as well as a wide variety of different boxing style classes with coaches are actually athletes (each coach has their own business card with their full-length portrait available at the welcome desk). It sure gives you some extra motivation to have your teacher be fit, energetic, and ready to show you what to do in the right way, rather than out of shape, sitting in the corner yelling out orders. The cardio equipment is the best Technogym has to offer, and the cardio space benefits from the natural light streaming in from the skylight.Â As for the pool, in the stone basement level of the club resembling a grotto- it is quite tiny, not really long enough to do laps in without feeling like a goldfish, but the dimmed lighting and jet massages make it an amazingly relaxing end to your workout. The dressing rooms, showers, steam room and saunas are impeccable, and all of the prude Anglo-Saxons will appreciate their strict policy against people lingering in the nude in the dressing rooms. Towels are also unlimited.Â In terms of ambiance, it is friendly, but not too much. The clients here are busy professionals on a tight schedule who come to work-out, and not hang out in leotards and headbands chatting with friends. Despite this, both the Klay and their parent club, the Ken make a concerted effort to promote friendliness, holding monthly get-togethers with Dj’s and champagne (champagne while working out, ok, why not…) to which members can bring a non-member friend.
Membership is 1650 euros a year, or 150 a month. Couples pay 3100 euros, or 140 per month, and one month memberships are available for 350 euros.
4 Bis Rue St SauveurÂ 75002 Paris
01 40 26 00 00
Other notable spots include â€¦.
L‘Echappée, the unexpected, relatively new spa that has been a godsend for inhabitants of the Haut-Marais and Oberkampf area, sick of having to go to all the way to the Triangle d’Or to find a clean Hammam, also happens to offer a variety of low-impact workout classes. If you haven’t yet discovered the miracle of Pilates machines, here is a good place to start. L’Echappée also offers N.I.A- a sort of mix between various martial arts and modern dance (what will they come up with next…) , as well as Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga. Passes start at 145 euros for 5 classes, including access to their impressive Hammam and pool area.
If your looking for something more authentic and old-school sporty try out theSquashMontmartrehidden behind the hill at Lamark Caulaincourt. If you’re afraid of balls flying at your face at supersonic speed, at least go there to check out the very British lounge / bar for drinks and a game of pool. They also boast an adorable garden.
If you’re looking to go further down the preppy road, be sure to sign up for The Lagardère Paris Racing club, whose heritage and location make it the most aristocratic country club. After taking over the historic spot of the Racing Club de France in the middle of the Bois de Boulogne Park, Lagardere Paris Racing also has a second location in the 7th arrondissment. It’s also the most truly sporty of our selection, the Paris Racing is a spot where amateur and professional athletes find themselves on the same playing field. Look forward to living in a cardboard box in order to pay for the very expensive membership (who needs an apartment when you have a pool and golf course!).
If you’re willing to adventure a bit further away from Paris, stop by the Paris Country Club, in Rueil Malmaison, a true country club with golf, tennis and a pool that’s open all night. The huge grounds are great if you are a fan of the outdoors. Members also have access to partner country clubs all around the world (Beverly Hills!!)
Lets not forget that sometimes Paris’s most fabulous hotel palaces often have hidden gems in the shape of crystal blue pools and individual coaching sessions. The most well known would of course be the beautiful roman inspired pool at the RitzHotel, where all the celebrities do their laps. Until recently the Ritz’s pool was the longest in Paris, but this summer, with the re-opening of the entirely refurbished and now hip RoyalMonceauHotel, the Philippe Starck designed SpaMyBlendbyClarins boasts a 28 meter long pool, with mirrored walls, and white everything, very Starck indeed. Besides the pool, the Royal Monceau also has a large fitness room, and individual Pilates coaching. (500 € entrance fee + 4 500 € per year).
64 Rue de la Folie-Méricourt, 75011 Paris
01 58 30 12 50
14 Rue Achille MartinetÂ 75018 Paris
01 42 55 38 30
Lagardère Paris Racing / Racing Club de France
1 Chemin de la Croix CatelanÂ 75016 Paris
01 45 27 55 85
Paris Country Club
121 Rue du Lieutenant-Colonel de Montbrison
01 47 77 64 00
Club Med Waou – Grands Boulevards
5 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris
01 53 34 96 60
Ritz Hotel Fitness
15 Place Vendôme 75001 Paris
01 43 16 30 30
Spa My Blend by Clarins at Hotel Royal Monceau
37 Avenue Hoche 75008 Paris
01 42 99 88 00