Oakland Hills Tennis Club

Editors' Notes: 
  • Note: there are two clubs with similar names:  Oakland Hills Tennis Club on Redwood Road (this one) and Hills Swim & Tennis Club on Manzanita Drive (click here )

Parent Reviews

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For a private swim club, the only one we have belonged to is Oakland Hills Tennis Club, and I do not recommend it.

We had a fitness membership there for 15+ years. Our experience with the family who own and operate it was that they were unpleasant to deal with.  They wanted to stick a lot of capital improvement costs to the membership.

Our daughter was the main swimmer in our household. She quit going there because she felt that she got a lot of nasty attitude from the other swimmers who were more skilled than she is.

RE: Tennis Club Advice ()

I only have experience with the Oakland Hills Tennis Club and I would strongly encourage you to avoid them at all costs.  The negative reviews are well-deserved.  The family that owns and operates the club are rude, unprofessional, disrespectful and whiny.  We had multiple issues with billing errors over the 9 years that we were members and had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with Michelle, who is just unbelievably rude, but their handling of the covid shutdown was the final straw for us.  The owner was sending out misinformation from Facebook (the Covid breath test, which doesn't exist) and constantly whining and complaining about the operating restrictions as if they were the only people being affected by them.   They showed little to no consideration of the hardships that people are facing in the community.  It was appalling!  As members, we never liked the owners but loved the facility, but just couldn't justify supporting their business anymore.  We've heard great things about the Claremont if that is in your budget.  

RE: Tennis lessons (summer) ()

Our daughter has done several weeks of tennis camp this summer at the Oakland Hills Tennis Club. They offer the camp to members and non-members. I am not a tennis player myself so I cannot speak to the quality of the instruction, but she has enjoyed herself and learned a lot. I think they will have more camps in August.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

June 2011

I am considering joining Oakland Hills Tennis Club on Redwood Road. I am looking for a place to work out (with childcare) and for the summer swim season. Does anyone like the club? The location is great for me. The price is a little high but compared to The Claremont and The Hills it is more affordable. Any thoughts? kk

I have belonged to the Oakland Hills Tennis Club for about 7-8 years. There are definitely pros and cons to the place. It is owned by a family and there isn't a board or a corporate culture to keep things run a certain way -- the owner is cranky and customer service is NOT high on the list of priorities. The family and some employees seem quite resentful about having to provide any service. On the other hand, there's a nice view, the grounds are kept very nicely (though the shower rooms are not cleaned enough for my taste) and the pool is often empty. On super hot days the place is a zoo and they unapologetically run out of towels. Most days, however, it is pretty quiet and a very fun place to bring little kids. The work out room has lots of times during the day when it's pretty empty, too. I haven't taken too many classes, but they're fine. It's a good neighborhood place -- I've seen lots of people I know there over the years and my kids often see school mates there to play with in the pool. If you're not too sensitive about good service and don't mind some ridiculous and surly behavior from time to time, it can be a great place. ambivalently happy

My family had a membership there for 4 years starting when my kids were 7 and 4, and left 2 years ago to join Montclair Swim Club for a variety of reasons:

1. The pool at OHTS is small - on warm days, or at popular times it can be hard to have room to play in the pool.

2. During the summer the swim team takes two lanes in the pool in the afternoon making for very choppy water and decreasing the available room by about half; add to that swim lessons and you have virtually no room for recreational swimming.

3. Daycare was available inconsistently when I was a member (that may have changed).

4. The equipment room was often crowded so I spent a fair amount of time waiting for what I wanted.

The contrast with MSC is huge - you definitely don't get the same kind of esthetic in the gym portion of the club, but the pool is fantastic for multi- swim ability families and it is never too crowded to enjoy.

Good luck! happy with my new club

June 2009

I'm looking for feedback on swim lessons with Ann Cavalli at the Oakland Hills Tennis Club. I've heard she's great with young children and am considering private lessons for my very tentative six year old who has never put her face in the water. I'd love to hear your experiences, good and bad. Thanks!

Ann is truly wonderful. My daughter was very nervous about learning how to swim and the first few lessons consisted of ''put one ear in the water, now put the other ear in the water, now try your chin.'' As a parent, I was frustrated and thought this would never work but by the end of the two weeks session, she was a swimmer! She's now on swim team and loves the water! Ann knows and really understands all kinds of kids -- she's seen it all over the years and most kids end up loving the water after her classes.

March 2009

Re: Gym & Pool Membership near Montclair

We have been members at the Oakland Hills Tennis Club on Redwood Road for almost two years now. My young daughter and I enjoy the outdoor pools (one is a baby pool for non-swimming children and it's heated to 90 degrees or so). They even offer swim lessons. My husband enjoys the gym. There is a separate type of membership if you also want to take advantage of the tennis courts. Childcare is provided for a nominal fee during certain hours. There is also a nice little snack bar. There are various events throughout the year as well. If you want just a pool, Mills College offers swim lessons and public swim opportunities as well. It's a nice pool and it doesn't cost much to enjoy. OHTC Member

Feb 2007

We have a 1 and 3 yr old and are considering the Oakland Hills Tennis Club. We are looking for feedback, good or bad, before plunking down the money. How is the baby sitting service, the atmosphere, the fitness classes (kids gym, pilates, yoga...), does it get insanely busy during the summer, etc... There are a few prior posts, but they are several years old.. Thank you! dan

Hi, we joined last year, primarily to have a safe, convenient place to enjoy a pool in the summertime. The club is not perfect but we are enjoying it nonetheless. It does get busy in the summer, but not any busier than other swimming hot spots (Temescal, Strawberry Canyon, etc). There is a separate, smaller and very warm wading pool for pre-swimmers which is just fantastic. And we love the poolside cafe where you can take the kids for a post-swim early dinner

The rest of the year things are quite mellow around there. It is definitely family-friendly. The fitness facilities and classes are fine but nothing like what you would get at Club One. The trade-off is a a very safe, intimate environment with a family-run feeling. Tennis seems to be a program that they take seriously and where they have the most expertise. We don't have a tennis membership, but the program seems very active. The childcare is small but cozy, and very affordable. There is also a lounge area with a great view, where you can even sit and read the paper and reclaim your sanity for half an hour, or you can go take a steam and a shower, while your child plays happily in the daycare!

I don't think you will find a hardcore fitness fanatic culture there -- it's a very moderate, easy-going type of crowd. Despite a few minor quirks, we are enjoying it quite a bit and can't wait for summer to roll back around so we can hit the kiddie pool again. Montclair Mommy

I'll be interested to see what others have to say about OHTC. My family has belonged for about 4 years, and here's my experience. First, the positive things: it is very family oriented and people are friendly. There's a fun gymnastics class for little kids with a great teacher. The pool can be pretty crowded on very hot days in the summer, but I've been there many, many times when there was almost no one there at all. If you go before swim team practices in the afternoon, it's usually not crowded at all. The swim classes are very good. The work out room and weight rooms are usually not too crowded. The snack bar, which is open from May through October, is pretty good, pretty reasonable, has some healthy food and makes life easy in the summer for snacks and so on. I've eaten dinner there many a night, either at the snack bar or bringing our own picnic. The kids love that. It's a very nice place for kids in general. The club is clean and the landscaping very nicely kept.

The tennis aspects are good -- lots of friendly people, good pros, and pretty easy to get a court.

Now for the negative: the place is run by a family and customer service is not the first priority at all. Complaints generally fall on deaf ears. It is not a great place to join if you are an adult who wants to lap swim, especially in the summer. The locker rooms are very small and in the summer the family locker room is overly crowded and very hot. When something goes wrong -- like the pool heater breaking -- they are often quite slow to fix it. They run out of towels in the summer sometimes, and there is a sort of ''too bad'' attitude. Things are a bit disorganized at times and its hard to get accurate information. In general, the most frustrating aspect is the ''who cares'' attitude they exude if you have a problem, suggestion or complaint. The swim team takes up a lot of the pool every afternoon for 2 hours in the summer and it cuts into the area for others to swim. They close too early on Friday nights.

In general we've been happy with the place, but it isn't by any stretch a ''posh'' place or one where you will be catered to. If you want a friendly place to bring your kids swimming and you aren't a super athlete, it's just fine. Anonymous swimmer

We have a 3 yr old and have belonged to the OHTC for awhile. I work out there quite a bit but haven't done any of the classes. It does get very crowded in the summer but there are great families who belong there and we really enjoy going up there. The childcare is worth it for $1 an hour and you are able to get a good workout in and leave your child in good hands. longtime member

June 2005

I have reviewed the posts and have not seen anything recent about Oakland Hills Tennis Club (off Redwood). Care to provide me with any personal knowledge you have about the club? Is it a good value; how are the swim lessons; what's the diversity factor? Thanks in advance! Potential new member

We have been OHTC members for the last 5 years and enjoy the casualness of the club. It is a friendly place with a decent pool and facilities. It is not super fancy, which was one thing that we liked about the club. But it is clean and updated fairly often. They recently redid the deck area around the pool!

I would say that it is a decent value, despite the fact that its one-time price recently doubled. Unfortunately, you do not get the one-time fee back like at other clubs. We chose this club over, say The Hills, because it had the full-service pool with snack bar (very key when you have kids), a full workout facility with babysitting (also key with kids), and a full- service tennis club for my husband. Besides the very expensive Claremont, I haven't seen that particular combination done elsewhere. It simply had all the things we were looking for. I believe the monthly fee is about the same as The Hills, but am not sure.

As for the swim lessons, I have not been able to take advantage of them the last 2 years. But I've heard great things from my friends who use them each year. Swim teacher/coach Ann Cavalli is supposed to be great with the kids.

The best way to decide is to visit OHTC and see if it feels right for you and your family. If you will use most or all of the services they provide, then it will probably be the right choice for you. We love it. Good luck, and hope to see you by the pool! nr

We have been members of the OHTC for years and really like it. The swim teacher, Ann, is wonderful (and I even took from her when I was a kid and was a member with my family early on). There is a lot of diversity there and on the weekends when the weather is nice it is all families with kids of all ages. OUr daughter loves the baby pool and the big pool, although it does get really crowded at times. The other members we meet up there are all friendly. Also - if you like to work out or play tennis the facilities are nice and there is child care for $1 an hour!!! WP

We used to be members of the Oakland Hills Tennis Club and had many bad experiences there.

The pool is small and oddly shaped, and when the swim teams practice, half of it is blocked off, leaving very little space for others. And it gets very crowded during the weekends. Swim lessons are crowded too. My son did not like them.

Some members were allowed to regularly bring in guests and not pay the additional fee which, by the way, is $10.00 per person. So if you have an only child, or want your kids to bring friends, it will add up quickly. They also charge extra for the water aerobics class. Once I needed to ask for some umbrellas on the pool deck to be opened to provide shade and the employee grumbled a lot about having to do it. In another instance I was forced to show a separate ID from my husband when we walked in with our son as a family. The person behind the desk clearly recognized me, as we had been members for quite some time at that point.

On three separate occasions while working out in the fitness room, an employee began spraying an aerosol cleaner on the equipment and walls and the room filled with fumes. As I was doing cardio at the time, I really felt as if my health was being jeopardized. I had to complain to management several times before they retrained their staff on cleaning procedures. Most of the classes are taught on the most basic beginner level. Both the Pilates and Yoga are aimed at the unfit. My husband went to the back care class, and it started with overhead presses with free weights. One of the personal trainers does not utilize basic industry standards, such as spine alignment and joint stabilization during lifts. As a certified personal trainer and fitness author, I was appalled at both of these situations.

The good side to the club is that it has a nice kiddie pool, (which also gets crowded on weekends) and the club has great views. If you are into tennis, they have a lot of levels of play, from social to competitive.

But, be warned, it can get really windy and cold up there when the fog is coming in. former member

Re: Swim Lessons for 6-y-o in Oakland (Apr 2004)
Oakland Hills Tennis Club offers swim lessons for kids, and you don't have to be a member to enroll. My son is taking them now and seems to be enjoying it...and I really like the clean, well-maintained facilities. The swim coordinator is Ann Cavalli, 531-3300. Sarah in Oakland

Re: Seeking Oakland (or somewhat close) Swim Club (July 2003)
We are members to the Oakland Hills tennis club. Great outdoor pool and kiddy pool, nice gym facility. It costs $1500 initiation fee than 143 per month for the whole family ( alot cheaper than the claremont!) Located at the top of redwood at skyline in Oakland. (If you want tennis membership it is 185 per month. )If you join, refer us, we'd get a free month! Ann

Re: Seeking Oakland (or somewhat close) Swim Club (July 2003)
The Oakland Hills Athletic Club has so-so classes, and a so-so weight room and a medium size pool that goes from 3 to 6(?) feet in depth. Plus a small baby wading pool that is about 12 inches deep. Lots and lots of kid and family action here, but the swim teams use up a large portion of the big pool every weekday afternoon, and on hot days it can get really, really crowded.

Re: Seeking Oakland (or somewhat close) Swim Club (July 2003)
You must look into the Oakland Hills Tennis Club. Both the pool and the workout facilities have just been remodeled. It is unpretentious, well equipped, and has very nice members. It is also very reasonable compared to clubs with similar ammenities. Laurie

Re: Looking for a Swim Club (May 2003)
We are members of the Oakland Hills tennis club and it's a good fit for our needs. There are swimming lessons for the kids, the babysitting is $1/hour and generally available without a rez, the workout facilities are fine, with a variety of aerobic and other classes. They have a snack bar in the summer and kids' tennis lessons that my boy likes. It doesn't feel snooty, it's clean, well-run, and there's a good age range of families. It never seems packed to me, the way the Claremont does, there always seems to be room on the machines and at the pool. Lisa

Re: Looking for a Swim Club (May 2003)
We joined the Oakland Hills Tennis and Swim Club a few years ago and really like it. I don't know if you have been there lately, but over the past 18 mos. they have put a great deal of work into the club: redesigning and landscaping the entire pool area (there is a toddler pool) - its beautiful; redesigning the fitness/locker rooms and buying all new machines; adding to their schedule of aerobics, kick-boxing, etc.

Their babysitting room is wonderful - very light and bright with an outside area that includes a play structure. The current babysitters have been there for quite awhile (turnover before was more frequent). The sitters are friendly and caring and the cost is only $2/hr. per child. Childcare is available every day of the week.

The club offers lots of activities for children: swim lessons, gymnastics, visits from Santa at Christmas etc. The holdiay parties for adults usually offer childcare as well. They also have massage therapists!

I think that for the price (compared to the Claremont and even The Hills) it can't be beat. Feel free to call me if you have any additional questions! Laurie

Re: Looking to Join a Swim Club near Montclair (Nov 2002)
We like the Oakland Hills Tennis club, on Redwood Rd near skyline. They are in the process of revamping the pools right now, so it will be super for spring lessons. There's a big pool, a small kiddy pool and a hottub, I believe. They have the whole gamut of swim lessons in the spring, lots of tennis courts, good workout rooms and changing areas, plus cheap babysitting in the ams and pms. Also aerobic, yoga, pilates & stretch classes. There are lots of community activities, eg wine tasting parties, tennis round robin things, swim team, etc. Lisa