The Klay Club, a smart new designer gym in the Montorgueil area. Perhaps the smartest in Paris?

Paris has a few designer gyms, although the trend has taken a while to catch on here compared to – say – England or the ‘States. Although the city is finally catching up, space is hard to come by, which makes the new Klay Cub even more surprising. Five floors, 2.000m², lots of natural light and great design: if I actually did any sport, this is where I would go!

Check out our our guided tour and photos if you want to know more…

photos : JasonW

In what used to be a book warehouse on rue Saint Sauveur, nestled in the pedestrian Montorgueil area is the new sports club, Le Klay. There probably isn’t another club like it in Paris, and as we are curious about all things new in the city, we ivited ourselves in to explore.

As soon as you arrive in the courtyard, the ambience is rather more relaxed than your average sports club. A large terrace is dressed by the ground floor restaurant, called Drôle d’Endroit Pour Un Rencontre (roughly, Strange Place To Bump Into Someone) which is open to all, and open all day for breakfast, then lunch, tea (or perhaps one of their delicious-sounding protein-filled milkshakes), dinner and even drinks late into the night…

The entrance doesn’t resemble that of a sports club at all. More like a designer hotel in fact! The Hôtel Design Sorbonne perhaps? 😉

Having explored all of the ground floor (large, with a couple of computers for surfing the web) it was time to start our tour proper with the basement which is where you’ll find the changing areas, Turkish bath, showers and the swimming pool with its dim lighting. We very nearly dived in! All through the club, original features have been kept – such as the vaulted cellar or the wooden staircases – and mixed with designer elements…

Walking up two flights to the first floor, we arrive at the room that serves for group lessons (one was going on, so I couldn’t take a photo). To each side of this room are spaces for other machines, such as a rare Pilates machine, or another for stretching exercises, and each room has its own iPod dock (great idead!). The machines are all brand new, sometimes installed here before any other club, and even adapted specially for the Klay in some cases.

Natural light is omnipresent on each floor, and from the group room you can see up to the training room upstairs.

Time to go up…

On one side (we are now on the 2nd floor) is a room for boxing, very fashionable at the moment, with a mirror making the line of dumbbells seemingly stretch far into the distance.

Then there’s the main room, perhaps the most impressive of the whole club, with a high glass ceiling and a mezzanine level on three sides. Here there are all the machines you could need for building muscle and getting your heart rate up to eliminate flab, but with something a little extra: each machine has its own DVD player so you can catch up on a TV series or even watch a film while doing your kilometres…

There are also games to play onscreen, docks for iPods, slots for USB key… Looks like you won’t be getting bored.

And here’s the view that the DJ will have. Yep, there will soon be a DJ in the evenings to get you pumping like nowhere else!

As you may have gathered, the Klay is a different kind of club. We were impressed by the way they have kept the building’s original structure – dating from the time of Eiffel, made sure that renovation was environmentally-friendly, kept natural light for each floor (apart from the swimming pool!), equipped themselves with the latest machines and taken real care with the designer deco.

Rates are very similar to other upmarket gyms, even those that are less smart. If you want to sign up, it’ll cost you 1,489€ for a year, or 2,800€ if you sign up as a couple. Or perhaps the one-month try-out at 280€ will convince you?

The Klay is at 4 bis rue Saint Sauveur (here). The club is open weekdays from 7am – 11.30pm and weekends from 8am – 8pm. The bar-restaurant, open to all, serves non-stop from 8.30am until late.

The official site: www.klay.fr