The Enduring Success of One of Lausanne’s First Health Clubs

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March 17, 2022

In the age of low-cost gyms and mass-market fitness, arriving in the lobby of Holmes Place health club is almost perplexing. Behind the reception desk, an impeccably polished man in a business suit welcomes us (in English!) with the finesse and attentiveness of a five-star hotel; to the right of the lobby, Carole the owner of Green-up, one of our favorite lunch spots in Lausanne, is preparing fresh juices and salads so delicious that you hardly realize they’re healthy for you. Is this a gym or are we on vacation?

It’s our first visit, so the man at reception places perfectly laundered and folded towels in our hands and ushers us to the locker room where he insists we should find everything we need – from shampoo and hairdryers to private shower facilities and a wellness center. If we’re interested, we even have the option of renting a locker each month, so we can leave our personal items at the gym. Oh, and in case we thought we could blame our meager fitness routine on children and full-time jobs, the gym is open seven days out of seven and from 6:45am during the week.

We’ve only been here for 3 minutes, but we’re realizing already that Holmes Place is striving to remove any and all barriers to building health into our routine. Excuses be damned.

What you find at Holmes Place Lausanne

Up to this point, much of our experience of gyms in Lausanne has been in boutique businesses that focus on doing a handful of things really well. Holmes Place, by contrast, has the space, the resources, and the ambition of doing everything really well. The 70+ classes a week on the group class schedule, offer everything from yoga and pilates to TRX, boxing, and Zumba (just to name a few); the floor is full of friendly but determined personal trainers guiding clients through customized workout routines, but the thing that grabs our attention the most are the beautiful new Technogym machines.

Besides the obvious technology advancements like a virtual trainer and predefined workouts to suit every personal preference, the machines also allow you to log into applications like Netflix and YouTube. You can actually keep up with your latest series binge while getting your heart rate up – again, excuses are harder and harder to come by. And for all the data and analytics buffs out there, you can connect the machine to your tracking application to register your workouts directly. This is a far cry from the standard treadmills of yesterday.

The variety of options is striking. Holmes Place is perfect to break a workout rut and push yourself to try something new. And if you need support figuring out where to focus your energy, they have personal trainers that wander the floor and are available to answer questions or challenge you, no additional cost or appointment needed.

Group classes at Holmes Place Lausanne

We decided to give TRX a try. At the start of the class, Adrien, our trainer, explained that TRX was designed by the US Marines so they could workout with nothing more than a strap and somewhere to hang it.

He’s good-humored and slightly intense, which is exactly what we needed to motivate us. Throughout the class, he moved from person to person correcting form, encouraging us to push though the final ten, and even offering customized advice for our body and fitness level. “I can see that you’re double jointed,” he noticed with slight concern. “Make sure you’re not over extending your wrists in the push up position.” It was a lightbulb moment – for years I’d wondered why my wrists could be sore for days after group classes.

The Bottom Line

We debriefed over salads and juice at Green Up and reflect on what makes the appeal of Holmes Place so enduring despite fierce competition from lower-cost options popping up on every corner. On the high-end of the market, Lausanne has also seen some exciting and welcomed innovation in its fitness offer. But even as small studios developed niche communities around specific types of workouts and health philosophies, Holmes Place has held its own, continuing to be Lausanne’s premium, all-inclusive gym.

The truth is that no particular place is perfect for everyone at every stage of their fitness journey, but for anyone who is looking for unrivaled service, a complete offer from equipment to classes to wellness facilities, and a decidedly international and English-friendly environment, Holmes Place is the place to be.

Discover Holmes Place

A premium fitness club with everything you could possibly need, right in the heart of Lausanne. What's not to love?
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