The Vissai Group, Ninh Binh
848 Tran Hung Dao St., Tan Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh
Opening Hours: 6:00 – 20:00, 7 days a week
Cost: 50k per go, which includes both gym and the pool.
The Vissai Group Ninh Binh is a large hotel and conference centre set in the centre of town on the main road. It’s right next to the big Vinmart supermarket and clearly marked in huge letters at the top of a 12(?) storey building. I found it quite by chance on my way to Vinmart. Walk into the main entrance of the hotel and head to the lifts at the back of the building. Take the lift up to the 6th floor and you’ll see the gym straight in front of you. Prepare yourself – so far you might have been wowed by the stunning decor here. That will end the moment you see the gym.
The gym itself is small, run-down and looks completely out of place in this fancy hotel. If you’re looking solely for a gym, go elsewhere – there are far better gyms nearby for 50k. If you want take advantage of the pool though, then by all means come here. It’s large and in a beautiful setting.
When I went to check the place out at 8:30am, the pool was surprisingly busy. Less surprisingly, the gym wasn’t. Having checked the place out, I returned the next day to use it around lunchtime and the pool was deserted – a good time to use it!
Apart from the gym’s tatty equipment and dirty floor, there was no aircon, no fan, no music (and no people!), making for an uninspiring workout.
The changing rooms and showers were reasonably good though (just a curtain barrier, no door to showers). You’ll see lots of lockers around, although no keys – perhaps these are available from reception, I didn’t ask.
I had to look twice to find any free weights here! Although there is a reasonably sized rack, it was missing most of its weights. I found just three sets of dumbbells – 3kg, 9kg and 10kg. There was also a lone 8kg weight on the floor. Not sure where the rest got to! There are no generic benches for weight training, although benches do exist as parts of other equipment (eg bench press etc).
You’ll find a bench press station, hip extension and inclined abs bench.
Resistance equipment here includes an ab/adductor machine, leg curl, inclined leg press and shoulder press.
You’ll also find a squat rack with some extremely high pull-up bars attached. I couldn’t see anything to use to get up to them though! There’s a second set of pull up bars too, with cable crossovers. However these have been used to attach a boxing bag to, which obstructs you from using the bars. Not very helpful. I decided to make today a leg day…
I’m not sure I should mention the cardio equipment here as it is easily from the previous millennium and you might be able to take a decade or two off the turn of the millennium too. You’ll three treadmills. One seemed to be propped up on an incline, one had its entire front missing and the other looked, well, normal. Not sure if any of them worked and I didn’t brave trying. You’ll also see two equally ancient crosstrainers – there’s no display, just pedals and handles.
Er, no. The whole gym area is fully matted, but I’m not sure when they were last cleaned and I’d rather not think about it. There are no additional mats or gym toys around, sorry!
The Vissai Group Ninh Binh’s gym is by far the worst value for money gym I’ve found here, due to its size, run-down gym equipment and lack of free weights. There’s not even a fan for cooling. However, entry includes the pool which is far more worthy of your 50k. Not a contender for a gym in Ninh Binh but certainly worth a visit for the pool!
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