Olympia Vietnam, Hanoi
3 Tăng Bạt Hổ, Phạm Đình Hổ, Hai Bà Trưng
Opening Hours: 5:30 – 20:30 daily.
Cost: 60k for gym only, 90k to include the 50m pool.
Olympia Vietnam is located around 1.5km south of Ho Hoan Kiem Lake. I took a Grab bike from the old quarter which cost around 22k dong / US1 each way. Go through the main gate pictured and head left, past a security guy. Keep going until you turn right into the building and you’ll see entry to the swimming pool (for 30k) ahead. Just before that, next to the stairs, you’ll see reception. I asked to use the gym and was told it’s 60k. Go up a couple of flights of stairs to find the two main gym areas.
Olympia Vietnam reminds me of my old sports centre back home as a child. It’s a huge sports complex, but looks somewhat rundown in terms of the decor, and certainly has the feel of a public sports centre, as opposed to a private members’ gym.
The gym is huge and split into three large rooms of similar size. The first contains cardio + resistance machines, the second room opposite contains free weights, and you’ll find a third room upstairs that’s focussed on functional training. There is plenty of overlap though, with a lot of cardio and resistance machines upstairs too. Whilst not top of the range, the equipment was all in good condition.
Best of all, there is aircon and it works! Yep, all three rooms were a very comfortable temperature – very rare in Vietnam and practically unheard of for this price!
I initially struggled to find a toilet here – men will find theirs at the back of the weights room, whilst the women’s changing rooms are behind the studio on the floor above.
Take your own water and a towel.
You’ll find a whole room dedicated purely to free weights, with dumbbells up to 32kg and several adjustable barbells. There’s a Smith machine, squat rack and inclined leg press machine at the back of the room. You’ll see at least five bench press racks here and two hip extension benches. There are also a couple of inclined abs benches and few other machines around.
Additionally, there’s a large range of resistance equipment in both the room opposite (where most of the cardio equipment is), and also upstairs in the functional training room. It’s in good condition and there’s excellent variety. You’ll find cable crossovers, pull up bars and lat pulldowns in both of these rooms, as opposed to the weights room. Additionally, there’s an assisted pull ups machine in the room opposite the weights room. Happy days!
You’ll see a large number of cardio machines in very reasonable condition in this well-equipped gym. You’ll find them in what I’m calling the main cardio room (opposite the weights room) and upstairs in the functional training room. In the cardio room, these include a lot of treadmills, several crosstrainers, two upright bikes and 1 recumbent bike.
Upstairs you’ll see further treadmills, three more crosstrainers and a lateral trainer, along with three more upright bikes.
Olympia Gym has a large and well equipped functional training area on the top floor. This attractive area has an astroturf strip along the length of the gym, as well as a dedicated floor space area. You’ll find an excellent range of gym toys here including a BOSU, abs roller, 8 and 10kg kettlebells, a skipping rope, Swiss balls, stepboards and a good number of quality mats. There’s also a full range of lightweight dumbbells in this area.
In the main gym downstairs, you’ll also find battleropes, a boxing bag, further mats, 12 and 16kg kettlebells and several medicine balls. Spoilt, aren’t we?!
There are also abs benches, torso rotation equipment and and vibration machines on this floor.
This gym is superb value for money, considering the range and (reasonable) quality of equipment. Whilst the dreary decor leaves something to be desired and it lacks much atmosphere, I’m really nitpicking here. The excellent airconditioning is a huge benefit in the summer months and very rare to find, except in elite highly expensive gyms. Although the location is a couple of kilometres away from most accommodation (in the old quarter), it’s worth the trek. If you don’t want to fork out for a Grab then buses around Hanoi are normally around 7-10k per ride. I found Olympia Vietnam was excellent value for money and would return!
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