Review: Pilates Place Rotterdam


After my early yoga class I always cycle down the Oostzeedijk to work. Very recently, a sign and new window caught my attention: Pilates Place Rotterdam.

I emailed the studio if I could come over and review the new studio for my website. That’s how I was introduced to two different types of Pilates and this beautiful new Pilates Place.

Spoiler alert: Positive verdict on the classes and the class of the Pilates Place Rotterdam Studio.

More information below.

PILATES I had NEVER done Pilates before. Didn’t know all that much about it, except that it is A LOT harder than it looks. The goal of Pilates is strengthening and stretching your muscles and you work on your core and improve your posture with different exercises. Another important part of  this system is the precision. It’s how you teach your mind to control all your muscles, bettering the body-mind connection, according to Joseph Pilates.

On face value Pilates may make you think of yoga. Let me tell you: YOU ARE WRONG. Above all Pilates is a fitness system; it ain’t yoga. It’s great too, but completely different (as I would soon find out.)

DSC_0015Helga makes a sport out of writing/drawing on her chalk board as cute as possible.

PILATES PLACE ROTTERDAM This studio opened in November, owned by Helga Stekelenburg who also owns Pilates Place Oud-Beijerland. Take a look at this gem.


This is what you see when you come in: Left is the counter where you can get water/tea/coffee and pay for your classes. The Pilates Room is behind the glass and to the right is a lounge area, the two dressing rooms and the toilets.

The studio is exactly the way I like to see wellness work-out places. It’s spacious, light, slightly industrial and a little area to sit and chat.




DSC_0009Captain Obvious Alert: The mats for Mat Class

MAT CLASS The first class I did was a Pilates Mat class on Friday morning from 07:00 to 07:50.* It was a class of only five (maximum is seven people) and Helga was our instructor that morning.

Helga speaks like a fitness instructor (which makes sense because she used to be one!) with a lot of enthusiasm. But her instructions are definitely Pilates: Specific, detailed and a lot of the time specifically tailored to one of the five people in class. She was making me move muscles I never ever actively engage, especially my abs.

It was a fun but intense 50 minute work-out, very focused on core training, strength and stretching.  I just went with her instructions — while occasionally thinking “holy shit what is happening.” Those 50 minutes of Pilates were very intense and effective.

DSC_0010The Reformers


REFORMER CLASS The Reformer is a special Pilates machine, with a pulley and spring mechanism that adds resistance to the exercises. It’s used a lot in personal training, but Pilates Place Rotterdam offers small group classes with Pilates Reformer exercises.

I took a class at 11:00 AM with just one other person there. I immediately liked our instructor Marti, who is a no nonsense but friendly professional. She was very patient with me (everything about the Reformer was confusing to me) while she kept coming at me and my totally weak abdominal muscles.

And I LOVE the Reformer. I don’t know why, but even though my muscles were in agony I found working on the Reformer very relaxing. I like the resistance of the machine, the whole body work-out, working hard while staying sort of in one place. Because of that, I’m definitely choosing the Reformer classes when I go back.

After the Mat Class, I only had a little bit of sore muscles that same day. A day after the Reformer class I have sore muscles all over, from my abs to my ass, from my shoulders to my calves. I love a good set of sore muscles though, so that’s okay.

Helga and me after my second Pilates class.  
  • Rates: Not on the website yet but you can take a FREE TRIAL CLASS to try it out. (I’ve glanced over them and it can’t be a surprise to you but…It ain’t cheap. Good things usually aren’t.**  Because the classes are small it’s practically like having a Pilates personal trainer. I’m going to take single classes when I can.
  • Dressing Room: Two. Both clean and big.
  • Shower: Just the one (per dressing room probably, but I only was in one) but it’s a nice one.
  • Lockers: No, sad face! It’s a relatively quiet studio for the time being though, but I can imagine it will be a good idea to have those one day.
  • Extras: Cosy sitting area with free tea, water and coffee with magazines. People just sit and stand around there, talking to Helga and each other.

It was really cool to try this new form of exercise, especially in such a beautiful studio. I’m interested in combining my yoga with some Pilates here and there when I can. And with such a gorgeous studio 5 minutes from work, why not do that at Pilates Place Rotterdam.

So, see you soon Pilates Place!

*I love early morning work-outs. I love getting it done early, being able to go to work or have a regular day and no matter what you screw up during the day, at least you worked out.

**”The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive” – Oscar Wilde. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. You’re lucky they have these early classes in Rotterdam, I’m a bit jealous 😉 in Nijmegen I haven’t found those yet, earliest bikram classes are at 9 which basically eats up your whole morning. Then again, I mostly do walking and the forest is always there 🙂 also, it’s extra nice during sunrise what with the birds and everything. Hahaha ok during writing this comment I found out what I’ll be doing later this week when I want some early-morning moving my body (can’t really call it exercise…)

    1. Walking -especially in nature- is very nice! They might start doing earlier classes eventually, I think few studios start out immediately with those!

  2. I love Pilates! It’s the only thing I’ve continued doing regularly for such a long time, 4 years since this month. 🙂

  3. YAAAY voor pilates! Ik vind het echt zo leuk om te doen, maar wel heel erg pittig. (Maar da’s niet erg, dat vind ik juist het leuke er aan.)

    En wauw, wat ziet het er ontzettend mooi en sjiek uit. Gaaf. Dat reformer-ding ziet er bizar uit, maar het heeft me wel nieuwsgierig gemaakt. Kijken of dat hier in de buurt ook ergens wordt aangeboden.

  4. Never go to Pilates Place Rotterdam ! The communication way from them is incredibly rude, they have so many “rules” which you had no chance to know until you fall. Helga the owner considers herself a “queen” , she simply shuts the communication channel by saying “this is our rule”, and “Everybody knows “when you ask where you can read the rules…Childish and rude!
    Rules for example : you can cancel your lesson 24 hours b4 and reuse credit within 4 weeks, sounds good …But when your subscription due is, the 4 weeks rule is not valid anymore, so you lose all credits. And of course nobody tells you until you are in the class and she told you you are not allowed to attend lesson.