Since this forum is about discussing the benefits, history, and culture of hot air bathing, wouldn't it be apropos to tell the other members of the group about any outstanding (and preferably manly) places we have been to go with one's buddies to do so? It would seem so; and I would like to start off with a place I've been raving about to my (male, of course) friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and even strangers:
Chicago Sweatlodge - Old World Sauna
3500 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago IL
In keeping with the title of this blog, this place oozes manliness (in a good way!)
IMHO, this is a clean, very well run establishment; with a Russian dry bath and a Turkish wet bath- a cold plunge pool- massages, veniks, and detox scrubs are available- AND- a little cafe/bar and lounge to rest and hang out with your buds between sessions. TV screens nearly everywhere showing sports, sports programming, or manly classic reruns. (When I was there last, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Adam-12.) Clothing optional (but required in the cafe) but nearly every guy there was wearing the supplied wrap nearly all of the time. So, if you're in Chi-town on business or "mancation" take a few hours and get your sweat on here!
That sounds really great! I will have to check it out the next time I am in the area.
My only experience has been with the Chinese bath house last March. I hope to return to China (a different Chi than Chi-town) in July. It is a long way to go when your banya is so much closer.
That place sounds awesome!
I've only ever been to the american Jjimjilbangs here in the US. My favorite that I've been to is King Spa in Dallas. I got a scrub there and it was awesome. I don't know if I can go to a Korean spa again and not get one. Ha ha.
Spa World about an hour west of Washington DC. www.spaworldusa.com. Great place. Korean-run, immaculate facilities, several baths, steam/sauna, scrubs. Almost worth moving closer to it (I'm about an hour away). If you're ever in DC or near Dulles Airport, stop there. Thank me later.
Has anyone been to a baths in Budapest, I'm heading there in the middle of next month and am keen to try out some of the famous baths. i gather you can't be nude in any of them but in one they give you a little pinny to wear which is almost being nude. I'd love to hear if anyone has been.
Did you ever get to the baths in Budapest? It seems to me I commented on this before--maybe it was in the Buck Naked group.
I did, I'm just back, it was great fun. The most wonderful thing is that the building is six hundred years old.
I arrived and paid for the baths and for an hour long massage session. They give you an electronic tag and that allows you to access the baths. There are individual cubicles for changing but they are quite small and most guys seem to use them to store clothing rather than changing. The tag locks the cubicle.
As my massage slot was first off, they were heavily booked I went straight to the massage section dressed only in the little pinny the give you to cover your penis and testicles.
There was a big burly man doing the massage, wearing a towel, and I hopped up on the table and lay on my chest. The first half hour was spent on my legs shoulders and chest and then he asked me to turn over.
He then undid the pinny strings and gave me a thorough massage of the back, backs of my legs and spent a lot of time on my butt which was great.
It was a great massage if it left me a little sore for a while, I felt the better for it. If I had any reservations it would be that during the massage various of his buddies came in for a chat during the time I was there.
I then proceeded to the baths and spent an agreeable afternoon hopping between pools and in and out of the saunas and steam rooms, some of which were intolerably hot for me. I did not find anyone who spoke english there but the people were very friendly and smiled a lot.
I also went to an outdoor baths outside the city on Margaret Island, an island in the Danube, where there were lots of different pools and thousands of people enjoying themselves. There is a men only sunbathing area where everyone lies out sunbathing in the nude and there were a lot of english speaking people there. All in all a wonderful holiday and the city is worth seeing too!
Sounds like you had a great time. Good for you. I don't understand the need for the pinneys though--if it is all men, why not just be naked? Or was this a mixed bath? If so, then it has changed from when I read about it in the 1970's.
I did not make the rules and I reckon it is more decorative than concealing and the guys turned them around to sit on in the sauna and steam room. Also a few guys did not wear them at all. There was a sprinkling of guys in bathing togs too.
"Turned them around"--that's funny, but also quite practical. Doesn't surprise me. Isn't it great that we men can be so cavalier about nudity? I'm glad you had that experience, really glad. You will enjoy those memories for years.
Ah yes, Budapest baths are great. Which baths are you describing? Rudas? I was there in 2003 and enjoyed it a lot. It seemed to be very traditional, attended mostly by Hungarian guys at their daily routine. When I was there, it was men-only every day, but I heard that was changing. So now it alternates men-only days and women-only days?
Gellert baths were also very nice, though with a lot of tourists (of course, being in a hotel). The tourists seemed to wear swimsuits while the locals went with just the "modesty aprons" (which, as described before, are a funny formality, especially after the water turns them clingy and transparent...).
Seychenyi baths in the city park had nice big outdoor warm pools, which were especially scenic at night in cool air with all the steam. But they're also mixed so everyone wears swimsuits, so that loses some of the fun.
Anyway, I'd love to go back sometime, hopefully when it's gray and cold and bleak outside...
Yes it was Rudas, it now has a couple of womens days and the weekends are mixed. I was advised to go there because it was the most traditional and had the least tourists
My favorite banya is in St. Petersburg, Russia. I don't even remember the name of it, but it had a swimming pool in addition to the sauna and wet room. It was my initiation into the ancient male ritual of the banya and it was great. You can read more about it in "My First Time" post. That was 36 years ago and I would love to partake again, but banyas are as scarce as hen's teeth here in central Ohio.