Review: The Place Gym, Phnom Penh

The Place is widely believed to be the best gym in Phnom Penh (except for the few dissenters who favor the Sofitel), and it’s certainly the most expensive. They’re doing another rate hike on June 1st, so if you are thinking of joining, go now. I reluctantly joined last year and after six months of membership, offer you this unbiased review.

The Place Phnom Penh Pool

Laps or lounging, your choice.

The Place is huge–there’s an outdoor pool, a floor of mostly free weights and other weight equipment, another floor of mostly cardio, including at least twenty treadmills and half a dozen crosstrainers, plus a room of weight machines. On the top floor are studios for classes, which are included in the membership prices. Some of the current offerings are: spinning, yoga, pilates, body pump, zumba, stretching, Khmer dancing, and karate.

The Place Phnom Penh Weight Machines

Pumpin’ iron Phnom Penh

The Place is an undeniably nice fitness center–air-conditioning throughout, everything is super clean and all of the machines have been recently replaced with Technogym equipment, which is apparently very expensive and high tech. The cardio equipment all have television on them that also, to my great pleasure and dismay, have solitaire and other card games. This slows one’s pace down considerably, but can keep me on the machine for an hour.

Personal training fees are $20 for most of the trainers, and the friends I have who use the trainers are happy with the training.

The Place Phnom Penh Treadmills

Playing solitaire while running–not easy, but well worth it.

Lest it seem that I am completely happy with the Place, let me enumerate its lesser qualities. They’re clearly doing everything they can to make the place more expensive–immediately after adding the Technogym equipment they put up signs saying that if you wanted to learn how to use it, you should pay a $20 training fee. Much of the equipment is confusing, and the staff aren’t proactive in helping you figure out how to use it. Members don’t get to bring guests, ever. I tried to bring a friend who was willing to pay the exorbitant daily rate, and because we wanted to go for a class, leave for lunch and come back and use the weights, we were told he would have to pay for two day passes, for a total of $30. It’s a ridiculous policy and goes a long way towards alienating their members.

Despite going there five times a week, I feel no affection for the place, which is a shame. Nonetheless, I will continue to go there. If you’re looking for a high-end gym in Phnom Penh, this or the Sofitel are your best options, and The Place is the most central.

The Place Phnom Penh

The Place to be.

The new rates starting on June 1st are: 1 session, $15, 10 sessions (in one month) $130, 1 month $180, 3 months $380, 6 months $600, 1 year $880, 2 years $1,450. Around the big Cambodian holidays they usually have promotions that give about $100 off for a year-long membership, but the promotions seem to be getting smaller and smaller.

The Place

11 Pasteur St (Street 51), across from Wat Lanka, BKK1, Phnom Penh
T: 069 876 777
www.theplace-gym.com

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