I know this isn’t the Heath, it’s not even wild swimming, although the cold plunge pool is sometimes open to the elements. But this blog likes hot springs and water in general.

The Deco Sauna is only a few minutes from Amsterdam’s red light, or ‘historic’ district, but this is not a rude place. Yes, there are naked bodies in the Turkish Steam room, the sauna, the plunge pool and even on the mats of the mezzanine floor but otherwise it’s strictly bath robes and towels.

The art nouveau mahogany, brass and stained glass decor was transplanted from a Parisian department store and the atmosphere is almost silent and quite austere, if comfortable. When I first started coming here a decade ago people even smoked.

You can get a massage, but it’s therapeutic without euphemism.

I came out blinking in the winter sunlight reflecting off the Herengracht, totally relaxed.


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