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“Bracing and invigorating!”
Review of Banya No. 1

Banya No. 1
Ranked #5 of 331 Spas & Wellness in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Bracing and invigorating!”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

I found this by Googling for a day spa in London and having not tried a Russian one before, and with Banya having good reviews and offering modest charges compared to many hotel spas, I gave it a go and booked for me and a friend. We went on a weekday for a 3-hour session in which we de-toxed in the steam room, took a cold plunge bath and had a combination of honey/coffee body scrubs, mud facials and the traditional Russian Venik - being pummeled with a bound bunch of aromatic, hot leafy twigs and then having buckets of cold water poured over. It sounds like a masochist's delight, but it was highly enjoyable and in winter would be even lovelier to warm up on a cold day. We also had a light lunch in the cafe of simple Russian/Ukranian fare which was incredibly tasty (potatoes with dill, cheese with thyme and garlic bread sticks, followed by tea with gorgeous honey). It hasn't been opened long, so the facilities are as shiny-new as you'd expect and the few staff are very hands-on (pardon the pun).

Any negatives? Not really. It's quite hard to find, being rather further from Angel tube than we suspected, and hanging about between treatments might be less comfortable on a busy day, as there isn't the equivalent of the koi carp lounge at the Sanctuary, for example, to loll about in, and I have a limit to the amount of steaming I can stand in one session, but these are minor and personal quibbles, and I would highly recommend for a healthy, enjoyable and reasonably-priced treat.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank ACR888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
113 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“A Unique Experience (and very good)”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

I went with a friend, neither of us had experienced a Russian Banya before. Though we have both used saunas, we found this quite a different sort of experience. It is not quite so hot and steamy as a sauna, but there is more humidity. The wood-panelled space is fragrant with herbs and makes for a very restful experience. The freezing cold plunge pool is not quite as painful an experience as you might expect and is, in fact, invigorating. If you suffer from tired or 'heavy' legs, I can recommend. I was not brave enough to be doused with water from two large wooden buckets above my head, though my friend went for it! We both had the coffee, honey and salt body scrubs and it was quite a sensory trip. The combined scents of all the ingredients is practically edible and my skin felt soft and clean afterwards with a fabulous glow. My friend had the 'Vernik' (Birch branches) massage and said it was very refreshing. We relaxed in the lovely 'chill out' space in between bouts in the sauna, and enjoyed some tasty Russian snacks and drinks. The staff were helpful and friendly, and very knowledgable. It was quite a shock to emerge from this lovely peaceful space back into the busy reality of the city. I would heartily recommend - a great experience.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank MiriamWakefield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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