After we decided to move to Kunshan one of the first things I wondered was whether or not there would be a quality fitness center to join. Once we got to China we began looking but did not actually join until after being here for a few months (things get a little difficult when you do not get paid until seven or eight weeks after you arrive). Anyways, we started searching and ending up finding four different options (We have heard of a few others but are not exactly sure where they are.):
#1. Butterfly Bay (the apartments near the bus station and McDonld’s), A few of the teachers we work with live in this complex and told us about their fitness center.
*cheap, about 1000/person/year
*has fitness classes, weight room, cardio area, indoor & outdoor pool, & basketball court
*closer to our house
*dirty (I swear I saw mold on the walls of the fitness studio) & a little bit run down
*when we visited it had just rained and a lot of the floor was flooded
*pools are oddly shaped, not ideal for lap swimming
#2: King Sport (directly being Tesco)
*clean, large facility
*has fitness classes, weight room, cardio area
*25 meter pool
*super close to our apartment (just over a mile away)
*expensive, I do not remember the exact amount but I do know that it was more expensive for one of us than both of us at Terra Wellness.
**If this place would have been cheaper, we would have joined without hesitation. It is so close to our house and had all of the amenities we wanted.**
#3: The Swissotel
*low membership, basically like your own personal gym
*fantastic locker rooms (private showers, wooden tubs, sauna, and large lockers)
*pool, weights, & cardio area
*expensive, even more than King Sport…way more expensive!
*the pool is a bit smaller than most exercise pools, it would be frustrating if you were attempting to train for a tri or another swimming race.
*no fitness classes
#4: Terra Wellness
*good price (not as cheap as Butterfly Bay but this gym is set to the same standard of any gym I would join at home), 2600 rmb/2 people/6 months and it would have been cheaper if we would have join for 12 months.
*beautiful cardio studio, more machines than any of the other fitness centers (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, & stair climbers)
*a large variety of high quality weight machines & a decent free weight area
*a yoga room + multifunctional fitness room + a spinning classroom
*tennis/basketball court on the roof
*a large variety of fitness classes (yoga, spinning, Pilates, dancing, stability ball, etc…)
*a bit farther away from home than ideal (about 15 minutes each way)
*no pool (However, since the fitness center is located within the Kunshan Sports Center, there is an olympic size pool directly below Terra Wellness. For a single swim it is about 30 rmb & if you purchase a larger number of swim sessions there is a good discount)
*more members than most of the other places, so at certain times it can get extremely busy (right before & after popular classes and later in the evening after people are off work)
And our final choice was…………. Terra Wellness Fitness Center
We ended up joining Terra Wellness in the middle of December with a 6 month membership.
**the price was right, all the right equipment and classes, same quality of any gym at home.**
We were very pleased with our decision, we did get a little bummed when we saw how nice the Swissotel’s locker rooms & pool were but got over it as soon as we saw their price. During the past six months we have taken advantage of most of the classes and equipment the gym has to offer. I especially enjoyed the yoga classes and using the multifunction room when there are not any classes. We also tried spinning and have played tennis out on the roof. We would definitely suggest joining this gym to anyone who is moving to Kunshan.
Here are some pictures of the fitness center:
June 2012 Fitness Schedule: