Alistair W / TripAdvisor

    
Alistair W / TripAdvisor
Alistair W / TripAdvisor

Banya No. 1 is situated at the back of Old Street and can only be described as a hidden gem. I booked an off-peak session, which was pleasantly busy. I found the heat in the banya just right – more humid than a sauna, but dryer than a steamroom. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much! It took a while to get used to swimwear being optional on men only days. I booked a salt and honey scrub (great value at £20) and I’ve never felt so clean. My top tip would be to visit with a friend as this spa is particularly sociable and the food and drink menu is an integral part of the three hour session. Visitors get their own table for the duration of the session and can order refreshments using the service bell. Banya No. 1 is a unique experience and so authentic that I left wondering whether I’d actually spent my afternoon in Moscow. I will certainly return and try the more traditional (and advertourous) treatments which are featured on the spa’s website.

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