A passionate sauna goer, Annabelle Mallia shares her hot (and steamy) tips to forget about the cold.
Spas and saunas: Hot and steamy tips to relax and forget about the cold.
Germans have one of the strongest spa traditions in Europe, and who can blame them? After all, there’s nothing quite as pleasant as submerging into warm water when it’s cold outside. Many natural springs scattered around the Brandenburg region have therapeutic properties, and towns like Bad Freienwalde and Bad Saarow have made thermal treatments their main attraction. When it comes to strictly leisure-focused day spas, however, Berlin offers many modern-designed oases of relaxation, typically equipped with a variety of saunas, thermal pools, and beauty treatments aplenty. Here is a list of our favorite ones:
The centerpiece of this spa is the darkened dome with its warm saltwater pool. Float on your back as colors and lights intermingle with underwater classical music, electronic melodies, and whale songs. There are also four saunas, including a steam bath, a Hilmalaya salt sauna, and a Finnish-style sauna room that offers scented infusions ( Aufguss, see box on next page) every hour, featuring salt peeling and honey or fruit-scented aromas. With an outdoor hot tub and massage treatments, relaxation is guaranteed.
Möckernstr. 10. liquidrom-berlin.de
Whilst the rest of the Soho House is exclusive to members only, the spa is open to visitors. Featuring a sauna, steam room, and Turkish bath, it is designed in
the style of a British club, with paneled walls from old cowsheds, wooden herb boxes, and soft sofas for manicures and pedicures also providing a comfortable living room feel. This is a place to eat, drink, shop, and indulge in social grooming with friends.
Torstr. 1. www.sohohouseberlin.de
A piece of Bali in the middle of the hustle and bustle of urban Berlin. This Tiergarten newcomer has been called Berlin’s sauna village, with 11 different sauna rooms including a Russian “banja” garden sauna, a panorama sauna with views over the whole complex, and an organic lounge sauna. Numerous pools, massage and therapeutic treatments such as reiki and algae body packs, and an overall Balinese décor are all designed to bring mind, body, and spirit together in harmony.
Seydlitzstr. 6. www.vabali.de
FLOAT BERLIN – DAS SCHWEBEBAD
There’s nothing quite like the Dead Sea, the only place on Earth where your body can experience close to weightlessness as it floats above the water surface due to the high concentration of salt. To recreate the feeling, Float Berlin invites you to submerge in a little pool filled with highly concentrated salt water. For a bit of romance, couples can also float together by candlelight, and achieve complete relaxation with one of the many beauty treatments on offer.
Dunckerstr. 12. www.float-berlin.de
If you are still squeamish about the enforced nudity in the German mixed saunas, then a Turkish-style hamam, which is for ladies only, might be more your style. A project of the Chocolate Factory Women’s Center, it provides a welcoming place for all cultures to collectively relax and communicate – either in the Turkish bath, infrared sauna, or in one of their many chill out rooms. Mariannenstr. 6. www.hamamberlin.de
The bar at Liquidrom. Above: the Liquidrom floating pool.