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Authentic Sauna Blog

Hotel sauna: how to take one

Ever notice how many hotel saunas seem neglected and underutilized?  Well, whether you take a hotel sauna solo, or share the hotel sauna with a talkative shower curtain salesman, or end up sitting next to someone like this girl, try following this plan:

hotel-sauna1

1.  As soon as you check in: Go to the hotel sauna and turn it on full blast. Make note if there’s a shower in the area, or if this girl needs a drink.

2. Check into your room. Unpack, check email etc. After 20 minutes or so, grab the ice bucket or small plastic garbage can  from your room (leave the poly bag) and return to the hotel sauna.

3. Flush the hotel sauna. Generously douse with fresh water:

  • the bench area where you’ll be sitting.
  • the hotel sauna rocks with water (they should bark back, if not, the sauna is lame, call housekeeping if you’re especially irritated).
  • anywhere else you feel the urge.

Why?  underused hotel saunas can build up dust and stagnation, this ‘cleansing’ will get your hotel sauna fresh and ready to rock.

4. Crank the hotel sauna timer again and go work out for half an hour or go for a walk.

When you return to the hotel sauna a third time, it should be 150 degrees plus, clean and fresh, and recovered from the shower you gave it.

5. Take a first round: keep it dry. Try sitting in the hotel sauna 15 minutes or so, relaxing, and just chill out from your road trip.  No water on the rocks, but drink plenty of water.  When you feel the urge, douse some water on the rocks and try riding out that storm.  Don’t throw too much water on the sauna rocks, and don’t rush out of the hotel sauna from the blast of steam.  Take the lower bench if necessary.  Be gentle when tossing water on sauna rocks, not a bull in a china shop.  It’s better to toss some water on the rocks two times than it is throwing too much water on the rocks the first time.  Enjoy the Loyly (steam from water on the rocks).  Loyly is your friend.  When you’ve had enough:

6. Cold shower plunge. Hit the shower and have it as cold as you can stand it.  Don’t bother drying off, let the water steam up on your skin.  Find a cool place to sit, do NOT return to the hotel sauna immediately after showering.  Let your body cool.  I’ve been known to march through a hotel lobby, through the front doors and sit outside on a cold Wisconsin night.  Most hotel saunas have pools and most pools have a door to the outside.  This is an excellent place to chill out for a hotel sauna experience.  TIP: Here’s a good spot to stash an ice bucket with a couple of Wisconsin beers.

7. Return to the hotel sauna. Now you can toss water on the rocks, right away.  All that water you were drinking during your first round starts escaping through your pores, cleaning your skin naturally.  Ride this round out in similar fashion, shower again, and return to your outdoor chill area.

It’s like the instructions on a box of laundry detergent: sauna, rinse, chill, repeat.

8. Dry off after your final round (I always take at least 3 sauna rounds) and your ready to hit the town or your pillow back in the hotel room.

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5 Comments on This Post

  1. Excellent post! I hadn’t thought of the first cleansing. I’ll definitely throw that into the mix next time. I would add that it’s a good idea to use a water bottle to douse the rocks. Many hotels don’t want you to use water on the rocks (and lie about electrical shock or some nonsense). If they get suspicious you’re better off with a water bottle vs the garbage can from your room – unless you prove it by drinking out of it in front of the manager 😉

    ps- that woman definitely needs a beer…

  2. haha.. Yes, Clint, a water bottle is more surreptitious but it’s Americanly brazen to use a bigger hammer with an ice bucket or garbage can. Just like walking boldly through the lobby in a hotel issued towel, seeking fresh air. Whether this or drinking from a garbage can, the nice thing to remember about staying in a hotel is that: a) the staff changes in the morning and b) nobody knows you exist after you check out.

  3. I think this is the best advise I have ever read. I like the the three round gig routine, it almost makes me think I’ve been there before….Keep up the great articles and advice, loyal reader….Ras

  4. I hope to get a consortium of loyal sauna enthusiasts/traveling salesmen to catalog/critique hotel saunas, so we can have a nice list of hotel ”hot spots”… good sauna hotels. Thanks for the kind words! good sauna.

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