I love the phenomenon of a "spa"!
I feel at my best when I'm in the water, and the most perfect experience I had was in the "hot springs" near San Francisco: warm water coming out of the depth of Earth, at the edge of the Ocean, and the hot and cold waters mixing in the caves and on the rocks, accessible only during the hours of low tide...
But, in the absence of that, a "spa" is the closest approximation: a combination of heat and water, dry sauna and steam-room; thermal pools; water-massage jets and jakuzzies... then cooling down in the cold air, cold pool or snow, and then starting with the same process all over again...
It has health benefits, for sure, but the more important effects are on my mood and my emotions: I get all relaxed - but alert; melted - but energized; open and friendly, seeing good and positive sides of life, and in general very pleased with the world.
For 12 years I have been exploring spas in Amsterdam, and this is my selection. Luckily, there are still many "new" ones, that I am looking forward to discover!
(I will not list sport schools & hotels that have a sauna or a spa... there are many. Here is the portal about sauna's, also outside of the "city", with photos & reviews (in Dutch):
, Eerste Schinkelstraat 14-16, 1075 TX, Amsterdam ,
In the first, honorable place is the ultimate hippie sauna, part of the whole counter-culture squat: Sauna Fenomeen
! Run down but with lot of character, small and creatively decorated, alternative in the best sense: organic teas & food, exotic smells and New-Age atmosphere... with a small courtyard outside.
But, they have been threatening / threatened to close for years now -- if they are still open , it is for a few more weeks only, and a last chance to see!
, Halmaheirastraat 28, Amsterdam 020 7749180
This is my last "find", a charming, small place in the Oost (East): Wellness 1926
. Very modestly equipped, yet complete with everything you need, and extras: cosy second floor for relaxing, in the living-room atmosphere, comfy & friendly. The outside yard looks out to the church next door ;-)
da Costakade 200. Amsterdam 020-6125946.
Special kind of "spa" is a local "bath-house": Sauna Da Costa
. Very unpretentious, small, very basic, for the quick and almost spartan experience. I like the down-to-earth approach, no frills. I haven't been there for almost 10 years, thou, so maybe my memories are not so accurate any more.
, Dorpsstraat 104 - 1182 JH Amstelveen, 020 - 643 80 88
The "classiest" of modest spas (although the interior is a bit cheesy, like in certain movies form the 80's ;-) ) - slightly bigger and with few things attached: restaurant, hair-dresses & beautician.. but still accessible and not intimidating:
, in Amstelveen. Outstanding features: a swimming pool! - not very large, but other smaller spa's don't have it; and the best
infra-red cabin I have tried so far! It is really curing sore muscles & bone aches ;-)
, 115 Herengracht, 020 623 8215
is very central, and very pretty! It has a unique Art-Deco interior, and is very well maintained. It's a place for a special-occasion sauna visits :-)
, Koenenkade 8 (Amsterdam Forest) , 020 301 07 10.
The newest, biggest, greatest of spas in Amsterdam: Zuiver
, in Amsterdamsebos. It has 20 different saunas/pools/baths, inside and outside swimming pool & jakuzzi, restaurant, all kinds of extras (scrubbing salt being my favorite ;-) ... The price is appropriate to all of that, too. But, it is worth it! Plan to stay the whole day, bring friends, and enjoy it together!
I haven't ben to the other few places that I just found the links in the Internet -- if anyone has a recommendation (or not) abut them, please let me know:
In conclusion: spa experience is one of the most enjoyable things I like in this world. I am lucky to live in the city where they know how to appreciate a good sauna or a spa (which mostly means: naturistic).
- www.saunadekeizer.nl, Keizersgracht 124, Amsterdam 020 622 7504
- Ups - gay sauna, only for men: www.thermos.nl
- Sento (in Marnixbad), www.sento.nl, Marnixplein 1, 020 330 1444