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“A little cramped”
Review of Sauna Deco

Sauna Deco
Ranked #2 of 102 Spas & Wellness in Amsterdam
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Modesty has no place at this highly respectable sauna, where you get down to the altogether in mixed company. Sauna Deco is a small spa in a unique place and with a unique interior. A place for people that know how to appreciate a sauna bath. Don't expect swimming pools or a jacuzzi but know it has everything for a couple of hours of relaxing.
Reviewed 12 July 2009

Sauna Deco is OK and the decore is nice, but it's not special enough. The showers are a bit close quarters and the wet sauna is back by the entrance. The outside area is a bit small too.

Also, there is a funny smell in the dressing room.

You always feel good coming out of a sauna and I did here too, but I was hoping for more.

3  Thank RichieJNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 14 June 2009

Sauna Deco is a superb small spa in central Amsterdam. Highly recommended. I went there back in September 2008 and again in January 2009.

I arrived at Sauna Deco quite early in the day. 12:28pm to be precise. Not long after the 12pm opening time. Somewhat earlier than I was actually planning to, as I was planning on doing a bit of sight-seeing, etc first and turn up at Sauna Deco around 5pm-ish. Anyway, I ventured in. I couldn't see any sort of reception desk to pay my entry fee. I saw a few people in the lounge straight ahead, and the changing room to my left. I then saw the receptionist greet me. I then saw the very small reception/kitchen area to my right. I said that I would like to use the sauna and steam. To which she said that will be 19 Euro 50. She asked if I had been before, to which I said no. She then explained that swimear is not permitted, and explained the changing room is on the left and where the saunas and steam room is. To get to the steam room you have to actually go past the reception area and back towards the entry door. But keep to your left, where you'll then enter a small communal shower area(2 shower posts) and hooks to put your bathrobes and towels. Go through the next door to enter the steam room. More on that later.

Anyway, I went into the changing room to get undressed. It's a unisex changing room, which is quite common for Dutch spas. However, at the time I was there getting undressed I had the whole room to myself. I located the locker number I was given, and put my belongings in there. You do not get given a wristband with key though, so you have to give your key back in to the receptionist as well as give your name. I actually brought a 1.5 litre bottle of Sprite with me to enjoy during my visit. However upon giving the key back in to the receptionist, I was advised that you are not allowed to bring your own drinks into the spa. "Ah what a bugger!" I quietly thought to myself. So put my drink back in my locker. There's nothing to stop you really though from going back to your locker to drink your own drinks, however as you have to ask the receptionist for your key back this would be a bit tedious to do often. I myself went back to my locker around 3pm-ish to enjoy a good swig or two of my Sprite. After this I had to buy a couple of Coke cans later in the evening. I'm afraid I can't remember how much these were. Either 1 Euro or 1 Euro 50 I think. Whilst we're on the subject of food and drink, they do offer other drinks(but not alcoholic drinks) and food including sandwiches, soups, salads, and toast. But don't know the prices of these as I only ordered a couple of Cokes.

After putting my Sprite back in my locker then and giving the key in, I entered the door just to the left which is the famous communal shower room. I LOVED these showers. You can adjust the temperature to your liking, so it's just right. And the showers are powerful, lovely! There were eight shower posts. On my first use of these showers I had the room to myself. But later on throughout the day during my various use of these showers to cool off, I was often not alone. Other people were in there enjoying a shower.

From the shower room, heading out the door on the opposite side of the room you'll then come to a corridor. Taking the first door on your right, you'll then come to the first sauna cabin. This is the main sauna which is the busiest, capable of accommodating maybe about 24 people max. But on my visits there, there was never more than 10 people in there at a time.

Back out of the main sauna into the corridor then. Walk right down to the far end of the corridor there is a smaller communal shower area here. Two shower posts are here. I personally prefer the main communal shower room as it has more charm and character! Just before this smaller communal shower area and to your right is the small pool. I didn't go in there myself as I can't swim. Also just adjacent to the pool is some footbaths for you to bath your feet in!

Going back into the corridor again, walking back down towards the sauna you'll see some very grand looking doors on your left. Go through these doors and you'll come to the lounge area. Plenty of chairs and sofas here for you to relax on, and maybe treat yourself to a nice meal or at least a drink. I didn't have a meal here myself or indeed any lighter snacks, but you're looking at resturant type prices, i.e 10 Euros or more for a meal or 4 Euros for a sandwich for example. Just to the back of this lounge area is a massage couch if you want to treat yourself to a massage. The massage couch is partitioned off by a privacy curtain when a massage is taking place. I've never had a massage at Sauna Deco or indeed any of the spas I've visited, so can't comment what they're like exactly. Maybe one day I'll try. But I did see that the massages were popular, as there was usually one person having a massage each time I passed through the lounge.

Back to my guided tour then. And in the lounge area you will not be able to miss the very grand looking staircase. Go up here and you'll come to the main resting area. There are about ten slim mattresses with cushions here for you to lie down and relax - maybe do a bit of reading, or even have a nap. I actually spent quite some time here during my stay, I made a few visits up here, each of which I spent having a quick nap. Its' very relaxing. And the 1920's French piano music that can be heard throughout the lounge and main resting area is very relaxing and charming. You really do feel like you're transported back to the 1920's. Not that I remember the 1920's, I was born in the 1970's! But I love the authentic atmosphere from from years gone by. It's lovely!

OK back downsairs to the main lounge. And we'll visit the steam bath now. You will remember my directions to the steam back from earlier in this review. As mentioned, there's a couple of necessary shower posts just outside. The steam bath can hold maybe around 14 people max. Though when I was in there, there was usually anything from two to five other people present.

Contining my tour. Head back to the lounge, and this time take a right through the corridor. Just to the left you'll see a patio garden with upright chairs and tables. Go here to relax and get a bit of fresh air! Smoking is allowed in this area, which may or may not be to your preference.

Back to the corridor, and just along a bit further and to your left is another resting area. There are several bed like couches here with thin matresses and a head rest. I didn't actually use this resting area myself, as I was quite happy with the main resting area up the grand staircase.

Just to the right in the corridor, there is the entrance to the sun bed area downstairs. I didn't go down there myself as I wasn't interested in getting a tan, so can't comment what it's like. Though there is an extra charge to use a sun bed. You'll need to get a token from reception.

Allmost finished my tour of this place for you now! Walking just a bit further down the corridor and to your right, there is a single toilet/bathroom. It's very clean in there. At the far end of the corridor, there are two infra-red sauna cabins together in one unit. Each cabin seperated by a divider. Each cabin can hold two people, though if you're in there by yourself I very much doubt you'd find anyone joining you in your cabin as it will be a bit too cosy! Likewise if you're by yourself and there is allready one person in either cabin, then I wouldn't recommend going in either! Wait till one finishes. On the outisde of each cabin are controls to start the infra-red and how minutes you want the infra-red. It's not recommended to go any longer than 15 minutes per round. I'm not sure what the temperature was in there. But it wasn't that hot, certainly not as hot as your typical sauna. Maybe around 55-60C is my guesstimate.

JUst to the left of this infra-red sauna unit is another massage couch. Partitioned off by a privacy curtain. To right of this sauna is a single communal shower post. Which is just adjacent to another sauna. Seating capacity in here is maybe around 14 people max. This wasn't as busy as the main sauna. Of my visits here I was either by myself, or there was uo to five other present. Temperature in this sauna also not as hot as the main sauna. Maybe around 75C.

That does conclude my detailed guided tour of Sauna Deco! I'll now close the review by mentioning as is usual in my reviews, about the male/female ratio, how busy it was, etc. At the time I arrived - 12:30pm on a Saturday it wasn't very busy. There was probably only around eight visitors present including myself. Two of which were two English women - one in their early 20's, the other in their early 40's, so they may have been mother and daughter. There was another young woman by herself. Plus a few guys in their 40's to 50's on their own. About half hour or so had I been in there, it did start getting steadily more busier. A couple more English girls together, a couple of Dutch girls together, a group of four Dutch girls..... there was a definite female majority here! There were a number of males though, a couple of American guys in their 40's, and an American guy on his own for example. Rather interestingly, during the time I was in there I didn't actually spot any couples together which is most unusual! By about 4:30pm it seemed to be at it's busiest. There was probably around fifty people here by that time. By the time I left at 8:40pm there was probably around twenty people. I'd say the male/female majority was around 65F/35M. A very noticable female majority. But guys and girls should be quite comfortable with that ratio. Age ranges present - well guys were aged from early 20's to early 60's, whilst girls were aged from 18 to around mid 40's. Dominating age range overall was 20's and 30's. Didn't see any "towel wearers" in the saunas or steam bath, everyone went nude. Though apart from making the short walk from the sauna to the neaby showers(or vice versa), most people tended to walk around the complex with their towels wrapped around them or wearing their bath robes. Everyone was there because they enjoyed taking saunas. No dodgy or pervy behaviour going on whatsoever. Brilliant!

Sauna Deco is a really nice little place. I love the 1920's Parision decor and atmosphere of the place. Great balance of sexes. Gets my recommendation. If you're in Amsterdam do try and check this place out for yourself! You'll be glad you did!

I just so wish they had spas like this in England. They're rubbish by comparison to the ones in Germany and Holland, what with these "please wear swimwear at all times" rules. You shouldn't have to wear swimwear in a sauna!!

Anyway, Sauna Deco is a top place. Go visit there yourself the next time you're in Amsterdam!

28  Thank Sauna_Meister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 June 2009

I am a sauna freak and whereever I go, a sauna experience is high on the agenda. Sauna Deco is as good as they get in my view - I have visited the place on several occasions. The location is great in my favourite Amsterdam street of Herengracht. Inside Deco has all the fascilities making up a worthwhile visit to a sauna. The dry saunas are particular great, the steam room is a bit smallish and lacks the intensity of a proper thick, aggressive steam a little. I love the cold water pools. The infrared saunas are cool too. Thye layout of the place is very practical and the interior of the relaxation areas is stunning. I have always found the place very clean in all areas. All up a great place to hang out for that awesome sauna experience, which I love so much.

Thank bikemikeone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 January 2009

Have been going here for years every time I'm in amsterdam - both on my own and with my partner - and it's just lovely! Some reviews have compared it unfavourably to Sauna van Egmond, but that's not really fair. Van Egmond is basically just much, much bigger and therefore has more facilities. BUT, van Egmond is pretty much in the middle of nowhere if you're in Amsterdam! (Train to Haarlem, 15 EURO taxi ride to the Sauna). Sauna Deco by comparison is slap bang in the centre of the city, and all the more homely for being smaller if you ask me.

Finally, to one of the previous reviewers who has suggested that there are places like Sauna Deco in the UK - mentioning Silverleigh in Kent - that's kind of missing the point. Silverleigh is a naturist spa/hotel. As such it advertises itself as a facility for someone who has defined themselves as a 'naturist', and is happy/wants to spend a lot of their time naked (i.e. not just when bathing but, for instance, when at the bar).

Sauna Deco on the other hand, is just for members of the general public who don't want to wear swimming costumes while getting excessively hot! - People at Sauna Deco are covered up for the most part when not in the sauna/hot room etc. In other words, in the UK, we only allow naked bathing for people who pre-define themselves as 'naturists', which allows the rest of society to equate being naked with some kind of 'lifestyle choice' that is restricted to a small group of people, who are somehow 'different' to the mainstream. - As opposed to something that should simply be a routine (nay even banal), but very pleasurable aspect of everyday life. But that's just us and our screwed up attitudes to nudity! Anyway, rant over - if you're a Brit, just go to Sauna Deco and you'll see what I mean!

6  Thank Tricky_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 15 December 2008

We have just returned from a great weekend in Amsterdam, before our trip I came across the website for Sauna Deco and as it was only ten minutes from our Hotel I decided it would be a nice place to visit. When I mentioned it to my wife I thought that she would be against the idea, especially as she would have to sauna in the nude - apparently these are the only rules! I was very surprised however that after a little persuasion she agreed to go.

We attended Sauna Deco on a Friday evening, on entering we were given keys to our lockers which was in a mixed changing room . There were three or four men in various states of underess - some completely nude. My wife seemed nervous at having to undress in front of these men but I assured her that everything would be fine and nobody was really watching so there she was undressing - jumper, jeans and then knickers and bra off.

With towels wrapped around we ventured in to the main building which was fabulous and as mentioned in other reviews it is a fantastic Art Deco building hence the name Sauna Deco. We decided to try the sauna first of all and as we entered we found three males completely in the nude, we sat down and my wife looking a bit nervous dropped her towel - she later told me that she felt quite uncomfortable as one guy in particular stared at her nether regions for the whole time we were in there.

Anyway moving on then to the steam room, this actually is a very small room which looks bigger on the website than it actually is. It is customary to enter the steam roon completely naked and leave all towels outside. Again my wife seemed a bit nervous at this but agreed to hang her towel up and enter in the nude. The room was full, mainly of males but there was one other female and every one seemed quite relaxed in their nude state.

All in all I found the experience to very liberating ,and I think that after my wife overcame her modesty she became quite at ease walking around naked in front of other men - at the end she even ended up showering with myself and a couple of other men in the shower room.

The experiemce is a must if you go to Amsterdam and for 19 euros it is money well sppent!

12  Thank adam213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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