On this visit to the Olympic city, we had three key ingredients – The Shining, James Bond and a little bit of Carry on Screaming. Split between a hotel, a beach resort and a hospital, this property had it all, albeit really rather strange! However, I was here as a hotel guest thankfully and some kind of training, so I went exploring.
Owned by the government, this beautiful property is located directly on the Black Sea and 5 minutes from the centre of town. Having the same latitude as the South of France, this area is far cry from the Russia one has in mind – palm trees, warm nights and stunning sunsets. Apparently used exclusively by Russian VIPs and government workers, this extraordinary building offers a relaxing retreat to those lucky enough to be allowed… or admitted.
So, having completely got lost, I found myself on the first floor of the hospital surrounded by white coats and strange looks. Luckily my clothing and water bottle came to my aid as I was then directed through a door, up some stairs, into the pool room and to the safety of the gym above.
Having taken literally 15 minutes to get around the corner, I was then greeted by some curious stares from those deep in their training. As wide as I am tall, these gents weren’t prepared to share their room with a strange British guy who really didn’t need to know their secrets, so before the inevitable dart to the neck, I made a quick scan of the room and a hasty retreat.
The Pool & Indoor Court
As mentioned, the indoor pool was perfectly nice and definitely well looked after. With a jacuzzi in the corner and one member of staff there, it was certainly clean and good enough.
As I walked towards the nice indoor court with the idea of a body weight and shuttle run session, I soon realised I was being watched yet again. Thankfully, this time by a member of the maintenance staff who somehow understood my predicament. She pointed beyond and said, “Equipment outside”…so off I went.
The ‘Equipment Outside’ Gym
And there you have it – one rusty old pull-up dip station from the Soviet days and a broken chair! Slightly sparse on the ‘equipment’ front but very much ‘outside’!
Strangely, combining this huge area overlooking the water with some imagination and desperation, the Sochi training session was definitely ticked off for the day!
The ‘indoor’ gym itself was actually ok. Small, raw and effective by the looks of things. However, I wasn’t prepared to risk a photograph so you will have to believe me on this one! The outside gym was obviously a misunderstanding but could offer a fantastic area if they ever wanted to. Both the inside and outside pools were clean and well managed, and the indoor court was of a similar high standard. So, on this occasion, I will be offering a general score for the facility, but primarily a little insight into a rather unusual fitness adventure!