Fireside Visit at Woodside

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It's a snowy day here in Kansas City, but that didn't stop me from making a visit this morning to Woodside Health & Tennis Club in Westwood, KS (a suburb of Kansas City). Ten years ago, I lived near the facility, but when I drove by, I always thought of it as a country club with tennis courts. Boy was I wrong!

Christopher Bell, general manager, was kind enough to take more than an hour out of his day to show me around. The facility is a bit unusual in that it is housed in two buildings that are across the street from each other. The north building has been renovated into what reminded me of a zen-like ski lodge. Lots of windows, natural wood and stone with a gorgeous stone fireplace in the restaurant/cafe area near the front desk. Maybe it was the snow outside, but as we sat near the fireplace at the end of the visit, I felt like I should have been carrying skis and drinking a hot chocolate.

The north building not only houses the restaurant, but it also includes a cardio area that used to be a Pilates room, a weight area, a spa, a chiropractic service, locker rooms with lounges and flat-screen TVs, a small indoor pool, a sauna, a steam room and three outdoor pools plus several outdoor tennis courts.

The south building is still being renovated. It houses the spin room, some group fitness rooms, a Pilates area, a walking track and cardio/weight areas, a child care area plus some indoor and outdoor tennis courts.

With the higher-end look of the facility has also come a move into the wellness area (hence, the spa and chiropractic business). They hired a wellness director and offer lectures every month or so on healthy living topics.

My visit was definitely a treat and worth the time. Now, if only I still lived a few blocks away. I'd be tempted to switch my membership--and for more reasons than just being able to sip hot chocolate by that fireplace. - Pam

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