Gym: The Verandah Club at the Hilton Anatole
Parking: There is free parking on Wycliff Avenue, which is just beyond the entrance to the hotel. You can get an access code from the front desk.
Hours: 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Price: Monthly memberships start at $92 for individuals and $125 for a couple (corporate rates are available). You do have to pay a joining fee. There are no long-term contracts.
Who Goes There: The 1,000 members at the Verandah Club are made up of business and leisure guests who are staying at the Hilton Anatole Hotel and the private club members, who are business professionals from downtown, hospital professionals from the Medical District, and people from the Design District, Uptown, North Dallas, and North Oak Cliff. Average members are ages 35-50.
Rush Hour: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Best Views: The quarter-mile cushioned track through the sculpture garden, outside the club. Not only will you see beautiful sculptures, but you’ll also get a glimpse of the outdoor pool and tennis courts.
Group Classes: From Aqua Fit and Barre to Cardio Dance and Stretchtoned (a flowing session that combines stretch with basic yoga), the club offers multiple classes nearly every day of the month.
Unique Items: The sculpture garden with 11 wonderful pieces will keep your mind busy thinking about art rather than how many miles you have left. Check out anatoleart.com to learn more about the pieces around you.
The Lowdown: Go for the locker rooms, and stay for the art. Located at the Hilton Anatole, the Verandah Club is a “large club with a relatively small membership.” Built in 1984, it started with an older membership group but has gotten a bit younger over the years (some families have joined now). The Verandah Club has all the amenities you could want — racquetball, basketball, and tennis courts, a 25-meter indoor lap pool, precor strength training room, Kinesis studio, a spinning room, and a spa — plus really nice locker rooms complete with a beverage station, a beautiful area to primp after a workout (with great products), and sauna. If you’re just not feeling up for the workout, take a walk around the sculpture garden, and view pieces such as the White Marble Happy Buddha (Vietnam, 2005) and the propeller from the RMS Lusitania (Scotland, 1906). Very few gyms can offer that view.
Beware: The club can be a little tricky to find. Call ahead to get directions about how exactly to get there. Otherwise, you may spend half your workout walking through the Hilton Anatole, which really isn’t a bad walk, with gorgeous art pieces to view.