Chicago >Fitness > The River East Club by Bally Total Fitness
355 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.891808 -87.618798
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
AVOID IF POSSIBLE – PROS
* some friendly people work there
* large variety of equipment
* some parts of it are clean
* Generally crowded
* Frequently dirty locker room floors
* Uncooperative management style
* For example: the club closes at 10, the pool closes at 9:30, but no signage and the manager asked me not to swim at 9:20
Gone from exceptional to horrible – This place when I joined was one of the best gyms I have ever been to in my life, now I dread working out there. The place used to be meticulously maintain, not anymore. Several months ago it was purchased by Bally?s and that was the beginning of the end. They also negotiated some deal with Northwestern University where the students get a membership for free. This is now a student rec center. They amenities are going downhill and now I get to listen to some girl yap about how drunk she got last night while roaming around the gym, thanks for sharing
great facility, but getting overcrowded after work. . . – this place wasn't half as crowded when i joined 2 years ago. now it's overrun by northwestern students. i unfortunately can only work out after work in the early evening (the busiest time), and the students take up all the machines. it's unfair given i'm charged a monthly amount that's close to what they pay for an entire year. can't the students go in between their classes during the day?!?! the locker rooms/showers/bathrooms used to be cleaner here too. the place seems to have switched management since i've been there. the machines are better, but ive noticed they have gotten cheaper w/ a few amenities in the ladies' locker room (don't seem to restock personal care/vanity items as quickly either). i do love the high ceilings, sleek design, and the overall feel though. but the club used to be spotless and immaculate. and roomy. now it's just sufficiently clean, crowded after work,-- not good enough for what i pay. unlike some of the other comments here, i never had problem w/ the service. staff has always been very friendly. not snobbish at all.
Serious training in a luxurious enviroment – Awesome training, nutritional support. Truly a premium and upscale health club. Beautiful infinity edge pool. Day care & validated parking is a huge plus for me. I love the locker rooms heated floors, products, & towels.
State of the Art Facility – You get what you pay for and at Holmes Place it is nothing but nice, new and clean everything. I love the classes and the beautiful locker room and Spa Mondial. Holmes Place makes me feel beautiful! Very spa like.
Horrible horrible experience with Holmes Place – Admittedly, I am a subsidized NU member. Still, I was astonished by how rude and unhelpful the "customer care" people treated a new member.
I was in the gym for the first time. Because the studios are not marked as what they are referred to in the group class schedule. I asked help from the front desk guy and asked whether he or his coworkers would kindly show me, a new member, around. He told me that he would not and I should go and figure it out for myself. Later, I asked whether it is their cooperate policy that they do not show members the facilities. He told me that they do not. That was the most horrendous customer service I have ever received. When i looked up their website in an effort to find out an email address or phone number to which I could deliver my complaint -- yes, you've guessed it--- there is none available.
If you have to pay full membership fee, DO NOT JOIN!!
If you are a NU student or staff, join and take advantage of the facility, but do not expect much from anyone who works there.
they pull you in and then you pay for it – terrible management nice enough facility. The management is at best full of used car salesmen type people - very nice and pushy when trying to sell you a membership and nonresponsive after you join. I got referred by a member and I myself referred someone who referred someone else when we all first joined. None of us have gotten the referral credit they promised us. When we all complained individually, we were told that the referral was not on the paperwork the gym staff filled out and that too much time had passed for them to even look into the matter (we waited 4-6 months to complain because we thought there was some stipulation about having to stay members to get the credit). We all mentioned each other's name and was promised one month off for the referrals verbally. The spa also did not have record of the credit we were offered when we joined. Make sure everything is in writing!
My credit card bill says Bally's - which explains a lot. Bally's is always being sued for their tactics of luring customers in with seemingly great deals then charging them outrageous fees. The free personal training session you get when you join is variable in quality depending on trainer. A few of my friends ended up listening to 30min of sales pitch about buying a personal session package. Classes are packed now because Northwestern decided to subsidize membership for students so full paying customers get screwed. Why should someone paying 100+dollars a month get squeezed out of class by someone paying 20 dollars a month? The trainers and class instructors are unhappy because of management. the head manager is not the friendliest guy. He walks around the gym and trainers look at him with fear and disgust. Try the Lakeshore atheletic club - there are multiple locations, and personal TVs for each cardio machine. As for me, I'm stuck in my contract. DON'T JOIN!!
very nice facility, but lacking in other ways – Holmes Place looks very sleek and attractive, the locker rooms are full of extra amenities and all of the equipment is very new. I really enjoyed their lunchtime yoga classes, which are a nice peaceful break in the day, and with the abundant windows there are great views from all of the cardio machines. However, I had a problem with their personal training policies. First of all, it's not possible to hire a personal trainer for a single session, you have to buy a monthly package of sessions for several hundred dollars. Secondly, only 2 trainers are qualified to work with you on all of the equipment in the gym (and they're always booked up). The rest of the trainers on staff are only qualified to work with you on some of the equipment, excluding things like resistance bands and the exercise ball. Finally, I was surprised that the gym does not have a staff member assigned to the job of going over a client's interests and goals in order to match them up with a personal trainer. I'm used to this being part of the new member bit, but the front desk clerks were really surprised when I asked who I could talk to for this purpose. In addition to the personal training problems, I didn't like that there is no focus here on popular activities like triathlon training and marathon training, and there are no masters/swim training classes. Overall Holmes Place is good for a lunch-break work out on your own, a yoga class, or maybe to work with a trainer on a weekly or more frequent basis to achieve health goals. But it is not a particularly good gym for aspiring triathletes or people wishing to achieve other athletic goals, since there is no support for these pursuits.
High-styling European import for exercise, relaxation and dining. – The Scene
Comparisons to the East Bank Club may apply in terms of price (high) and people (high-class), but Holmes Place is smaller and lacks the gossipy bustle of the older club. This River East location--part of a hotel, commercial and residential complex--marks the first in North America for the European chain. Strikingly bright colors and lofty ceilings create an ultramodern feel. Locker rooms are decked out in smoked glass, marble, fresh flowers and cherry wood.
The sleekest machines grace the floors of the cardio and weight-training rooms, and group classes include high-intensity workouts like body conditioning, kickboxing and Spinning. A smaller, inviting holistic workout room houses classes in yoga, tai chi and Pilates. Relax stressed muscles in the sauna, steam room and whirlpool; or go for a full-body overhaul at the Spa Mondial, where services from mud baths to manicures are offered.
Best Facility In Chicago – As of 2006, this is the best facility in Chicago. I've been a member at Lifetime Fitness and Lakeshore Athletic Club. Holmes Place is better than those quality clubs. The best aspects are cleanliness, modernity of facilites, quality of pool, spa, steam room, and lack of overcrowding. I noticed a few posts about management staff from the UK not being friendly: having traveled to Britain, I must say the British have a different idea of professional customer service. They are not as enamoured with the American, happy-clappy version of customer service. I have found the British staff to be courteous, professional, and efficient; but do not expect them to engage in repartee about your children, personal life, etc :-)
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