It was a hot humid day where even the air was still... The city was packed but I thought I go to the Oasis pool. It has an indoor and outdoor pool with a roof terrace. The whole place could use some grout and new tiles. However it was blissful to cool off on a hot day sightseeing in the city centre.
The place is not that big but it's popular with the swimmers and sunworshippers. There are loads of lifeguards on duty which is reassuring. There is also a terraced cafe by the outside pool.
A word of warning for the guys. It's rather homoerotic experience for some because I was aware I was being watched in a slightly creepy way in the showers. He must have been a chubby chaser! Fortunately they are completely open so nothing goes on.....
When selecting a new gym, do you look for those details that really make a place special? Stagnant, foul pools of water that remain as such for months? Mats sticky with the sweat of the masses? Showers with a single, unadjustable temperature?
Do you hate air conditioning? And wouldn't you prefer to do an aerobics/dance class in complete silence because the stereo has been broken for 4 months, in both studios?
It's hilarious that this place is called "Oasis". That's a joke, right? But seriously, folks. This place is pretty bad. The cardio is room alright, albeit windowless and there are only 3 ellipticals. The staff is very friendly.
Oasis is part of the Better franchise. Better than nothing? That's debatable.
Oh, and the photos of the pool make it look amazing. It's not.
A word I haven't used often since I was something like 6... But it's the best way to describe the pool here.
Indoor pool was closed for lessons so outdoor pool it was, which was a nice idea on the alleged hottest day of the year. But that's where the good news stops (must say the changing rooms where pretty clean but 5 showers, seriously??)
Back to the pool : too small, too crowded, lane by speed but no one seems to be sticking to them. But most importantly, the water was DISGUSTINGLY GROSS : you literally couldn't see a yard ahead of you, no kidding. I kept my mouth sealed shut to try not swallow an old rotten plaster or any other UFO (unidentified floating object).
Really needed a swim so gave it all I could bear but had to get out after like 15-20mn I felt so grimy.
NEVER EVER AGAIN.
Oh, and you pay £4.85 for this great experience + 20p for the lockers (yes, indeed they still have those old lockers that actually swallow your 20p, so don't forget anything).
Okay, as part of my new resolve to write more Yelp reviews, I'm finally going to tell you about my extensive experience with the Oasis.
Positives: it's walking distance for me, about ten minutes walk from our flat in Covent Garden near the Strand. It has two pools, although since my last experience in the outdoor pool, I will only swim in the indoor pool (more later). It has large spaces and plenty of lockers. There are lots of hair dryers in the outer portion of the women's changing area. There are plenty of floats and pullbuoys to use for varied swim routines. I manage to get myself a good one-hour swim workout when I go.
I'm struggling here, to find many positives....
Negatives: The place is filthy. Truly, madly, deeply, filthy. Dirt is everywhere; old, ground-in, never-been-cleaned-off dirt is tracked on the stairs, trailed along the walls, discolouring the tiles, and coating the sides of both pools. You can write your name in the gunk on the sides of the pools at the water line, I kid you not!
Lights are burned out, to the point that several spots in the women's change room are in almost total darkness, as are the stairs leading down to their basement location. Showers are either freezing or scalding and the toilets are dark and unpleasant.
There are always lots of other people swimming in one's lanes, no matter which one you choose, and although the lanes are signed slow, medium and fast, there isn't a lot of encouragement from the lifeguards to enforce that. But that's not such a big deal.
Dust on the intake grills in the ceiling ventilators must be an inch thick. Ceiling boards are broken or missing. Tiles are missing and broken. But actually none of that matters so much if the pool is clean and well-kept.
However! (Warning, those with weak stomachs might want to stop reading now) the pools themselves are the worst part of the whole place.
The water is full of black dirty flakes, flaking paint or soot or who knows what. The outside pool has additional mystery bits that might be plant material, leaves and bark and what not from trees or whatever has come floating down from the sky.
But the truly worst thing is that both pools are full of human dirt -- globs of floating mucus people have coughed up, sticking plasters that have come off of cuts, and the worst for me, clumps of floating hair everywhere.
The last time I swam in the outdoor pool there were so many of these human hair jellyfish floating leisurely by underneath and around me that I started to gag as I swam and couldn't stop, had to get out as fast as possible because I was retching so hard I couldn't breathe. The water smelled of roofing tar that day, too, and was full of black bits washing back and forth in bushels all over the bottom. This is the downside of wearing swim goggles -- you see everything!
It used to be that the Oasis was a good deal, but they've raised their prices to just under £5 per swim and worse, from my perspective as an older swimmer, they've discontinued allowing over-60s to swim for free. Now we can only have the Freedom Card swim from 9-noon on weekdays. Any other time and we pay the full price, no discount or anything.
I am naturally a bit disgruntled about that, but I would understand if they used the extra income to clean the place or buy some lightbulbs!! But no chance, apparently. I really feel they should be paying ME to swim there in the state the place is in.
So why do I go? Need exercise. Can't run anymore due to joint issues. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And this place is truly desperate!
A couple of my friends and I go to Oasis for the brilliant Boxfit classes with the fantastic instructor Chris. I cannot recommend this highly enough, mainly because he is awesome!
Unfortunately this is where the great reviewing ends because the Centre is terrible due to the below!
*Their booking system is completely ridiculous, whether you book online - and if
you need to cancel (for whatever reason) they take your money and don't refund it
- or on the phone, which good luck as they take forever to answer if at all.
*The changing rooms are grim, really grim. To the extent where the majority of users do not use the showers. This sounds gross and believe me you feel it but I would rather that than catch something due to how completely unhygenic they appear.
*Speaking of showers and changing rooms, my male friends have been eyed up
- and not in a good way! - in there.
*The staff on Reception seem to flit between incompetent and rude to sometimes
*The locker situation - these are of the ancient variety where you pop in your 20p
and they keep it, if you're lucky it works and you get to turn your key and pin it onto
your clothes. Unfortunately usually said locker just nicks it and you have to try
your luck with another locker. My advice - take a stash of 20p's with you.
*Oversubscribed and very popular classes are not run at decent times and
sometimes you can't even get booked into classes.
Not impressive for a central London centre, even if it is handy and in a fantastic location.
Must try harder.
When I first moved down to London and long before I discovered the lido in London Fields, I thought it would be a great idea to go for an outdoor swim with some friends. After much searching about we discovered the Oasis Sports Centre, smack bang in the middle of the West End. "An outdoor pool in the middle of London- how lovely" we thought. We were wrong. My flatmate came back with an eye infection and I came back with a sore throat.
I didn't go expecting luxury, but it was pretty disgusting. There are plasters in the pool and the water has a shimmer from the amount of sun tan lotion and after sun that has been applied to the swimmer's burnt bodies. It is full of screaming kids bombing into the pool and conjures up images from the Beano.
The oasis sports centre is located and funded by the borough of camden and so prices are less than other private run organizations The centre itself is located close to covent garden and the facilities available are top notch.
There is an indoor and outdoor (heated all year) swimming pool, group exercise classes, women only sessions, sauna, gym, squash, a cafe and barand even a meeting room.
Whether in the mood for a heavy workout or a light and relaxing swin followed by a nice cup of herbal tea, the oasis sports centre caters for all.
If you live in Camden or are a frequent visitor to the centre, check it out, I am positive that you will not be disappointed!
I used to be very fond of the Oasis, as it's lovely to be able to go for a swim outside, in a heated pool, in the centre of London, adjacent to Tottenham Court Road - pretty bracing deep winter and really relaxing in the summer.
Unfortunately our relationship ended - partly because the Oasis can get really, really busy (which is fair enough- it's good value being a gym co-operative) but partly cos it really needs some TLC. I absolutely understand it's not-for-profit but the changing rooms generally were somewhere between 'acceptable' and 'skanky' and gym equipment was constantly out of order.
I also used to get all-too-frequent swimmers ear when going there regularly. Maybe it's not connected, but the cleanliness of the outside pool-- hmmmm.
All in all, I enjoyed it when I did go there, but wouldn't really choose to go back unless I worked very close by.
Oasis sports club is a great sports center, there are plenty of classes to attend without having to be a member and there is tennis courts, a gym,studio(has a capoiera class every tue evening which is brilliant) 2 pools(one being an outside heated pool) and a small vendor serving light snacks and drinks.
Never to busy but just right make oasis a great place for a whole range of activities within central London, all reasonably priced make it affordable to do a few activities in an evening.
Though Oasis is certainly not a state-of-the-art, high-end gym, it's definitely a good value for the money! As a student, my 22 pounds per month gives me access to an indoor and an outdoor pool, weights, cardio equipment and a slew of classes (including yoga, pilates, kickboxing, etc.). If you're looking for something inexpensive that does the job, this is the place! If you're looking for a high-end gym with trendy classes (e.g. trampoline-based exercise and pole dancing classes), you're probably better off looking elsewhere.
One of my favourite things to do when I worked in Holborn was to come here in the evening to use the outdoor pool. One of the few public pools in central London, it's amazing how much you'll put up with for a bit of a gimmick: the pool is pretty small, it's full of people who can't really swim, in fact, it's full of people non-stop, and the changing rooms are pretty underwhelming and as far as I can tell not equipped with hairdryers, not good if you want to do anything after your swim. But, the joy of swimming outside in central London is pretty strong and it's also quite cheap.
This is where I learned to swim as a six year old with orange floats on my arms. Very little has changed since - they redecorated the entrance hall a few years ago, and switched the men's and women's changing rooms fifteen years ago, which resulted in my wandering in between outraged naked men while innocently looking for my mother one fine day.
The Oasis has an outdoor pool, making it by far the best place for swimming in the centre of London. In the summer it is packed - it has a roof for sunbathing, a cafe with a small outdoor area by the pool, and a paddling bit for smaller children. In the winter it is heaven - the pool is heated (usually 28-29 degrees Celsius) and on cold days steam rises from the water so your goggles steam up and you can forget you are in central London.
There are some downsides: the pools are divided into slow, medium and fast lanes, which is excellent for people swimming for exercise, but hard on those who want to take it easy, float about and chat. The changing rooms are not as comfortable as they could be, the toilet floors not gleamingly clean, and the showers always seem to be either too hot or stone cold.
But the outdoor pool is lovely, surrounded by a council estate and an office block, with the odd palm tree for ambience.
The Oasis also has lots of sports and classes and a gym, and is affordable, especially if you have a Camden Leisure Card.
This is a really nice gym and the really good thing is you can pay as you go or get a cheep membership from £39 a month, which you can cancel at anytime. They have a two-floor gym, which has everything you could ever want, and they also do classes. They also have an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. I personally love the outdoor pool in the winter as it is heated and is really nice to swim in.
A disgusting place ! I was swimming there with my team for some time and its the worst pool (of many) I have seen in London. Unacceptable hygenic situation (carpets...., fungus....., body hair all over,....showers...) - just stay away if you can !!
The best thing about the Oasis is the outdoor swimming pool that is heater all year round - many people walking past the outside of what looks like an unassuming office block, would have no idea of the delight it holds behind the door. Swim through the winter in a heated pool with steam coming off it, swim in the rain, swim in the summer and have a bbq afterwards which they often hold on the weekends through the summer. It's not expensive (under £4 last time I went) and the only thing that lets it down are the changing rooms - often not as clean as you'd like and usually very cold but still worth it in my view, for the amazing pool and the fact you're swimming outside in the middle of Covent Garden.
A pay-as-you-go open-air 27m swimming pool in London's west-end is pretty special.
In terms of location, this is pretty much as central as you can get for popping to the gym after work, it's location is ideal.
This leisure centre isn't huge, but isn't a bad size considering it's smacked inbetween covent garden and holborn. The gym itself is over two floors but is small, and a little hot down there.
What this leisure centre can really boast is the two swimming pools, and this is the main reason I like to visit it.
What most people probably don't realise is that there is an outdoor pool behind this leisure centre, which is a brilliant way to catch some rays in the summer during your lunch hour if you're as lucky enough as me to work really nearby.
Although both indoor and outdoor pools are heated and open all year round, I haven't braved the outdoor one in the winter just yet.
The changing rooms are what really really let this place down. They are outdated and often at times, dirty. There is a huge lack of staff in this place, both at reception and cleaners in the changing rooms. A little bit of funding in this place would go a long way as it really has so many good features about it, it is a shame that they have let the standards slip.
I've had to revise my original review as a monumental change has taken place at the Oasis. The previously dilapidated changing rooms have been replaced with the best possible materials (marble wash basins, attractive showerheads,and a swimwear drier)..I feel that no expense has been spared in this renovation, which was may've been funded by the revenue generated by the lockers which withold 20p coins.
The design and layout has been carefully considered as opposed to the cramped conditions at the nearby Marshall st. pool. Thankfully,certain aspects remain unchanged : the homo-erotic frisson which tends to occur in the changing rooms, and the outdoor pool where you can savour the 60's concrete architecture as you swim up and down. The staff are exceptionally friendly, and the cleaning tends to be much more thorough than at comparable pools. Again, i wonder if this extra trimming has been funded by the witheld 20p from the lockers-a feature unique to this outstanding swimming pool.
The men's changng room was rather short on the hygiene front, I try to make minimal bodily contact with the walls and floors (which always seem to be wet)for the sake of my health. Its outdated and often at times, dirty.
Gym equipment is constantly out of order, walls of the gym were recently painted when open to the public, the smell of the paint made us feel unwell and leave early.
Some of the gym users think they own the gym, and are not very friendly.
Possibly the only outdoor pool in central London which is a bit of a secret to most, there might be one other rooftop pool but this one's big enough for everyone and outdoors!
Not bad at all. But for any capoiera enthusiasts, get there early or the class may be full!
I go there to swim so can't say what other facilities are like there. There are 2 pools ( I think 27 metres), one outside, one inside. There's a fast, medium and slow lane although at times one of the lanes will be reserved for classes, or invaded by idiots. But you'll get a reasonably good chance at doing a few lengths.
One time, 15 teenagers visibly disrupted people doing lengths in the slow lane, including me and in fact it put me off so I just left. Lifeguards are pretty useless at enforcing the pool rules.
There are occasionally some dodgy things floating on the water surface.
The one-off payment to swim is £4.75 except it ISN'T! The lockers need a NON-REFUNDABLE 20p coin to work. Short of turning up in my swimming shorts and no belongings, I fail to see how anyone is supposed to use the facilities without locking their belongings away. So the REAL cost of a one-off swim is actually £4.95.
Now, the changing rooms. Oh dear, oh dear. The hygiene there is on a par with public toilets in a train station. The stench of piss in the toilet will sting your nose, I guarantee. The floor in the changing area will make you want to tip-toe around the puddles of mud that form there. It's the kind of place where you will sit on a bench with your feet up in the air to put on your trunks and trousers, because you'll know you want to disinfect any piece of clothing that comes into contact with the sulfurous soup that forms below your feet.
With each locker costing 20p to use, they could very well afford to employ a full-time cleaner to sit in the changing room with a bucket and mop all day long. There really is no justification for letting these facilities get so filthy.
But hey: how often do you get to swim in central London?
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