Seattle >Banya 5
Only sauna in town that is hot enough!. It is the only sauna in Seattle that we have found that is actually hot enough. All the others are set to a wimpy 130 degrees F. This is a walk in the desert in AZ, not a sauna. Banya 5 cranks it up to 180 - 200 just like they do in real saunas in Europe.
Rude owners/staff who don't seem to care. Dirty, crowded facilities. Clearly due for remodeling.
Unbearable smell of chlorine in pools. Saunas were literally barely warm at 10 AM.
I would not recommend it to anyone.
This person was obviously at a different facility than Banya 5. The place is impeccably clean, there is a limit on the number of people who are able to enjoy the facilities at one time. The sauna ranges from 220-240 degrees, which is as hot as any sauna ought to be. The pools are salt chlorinated and rigorously tended to by an outstanding team of attentive staff. I have been a regular for 5 years and the place just seems to get better and better.
This place makes you feel uncomfortable. This place is really elitist and snotty. It is a bad place to go for new people. It is full of regulars who have an extreme hightened sense of superiority and entitlement and go out of their way to make you feel like an outsider. My wife and I went there for our anniversary and were having a good time. It was getting crowded which it often is and so we had to wait a while to use some tubs. We were also waiting for the sauna to get hot enough to use the oak branches to beat eachother with (a Russian tradition that feels pretty good). After 45 minutes they finally brough out the branches and so we asked how to use them. A staff told us to ask a regular who looked at us and said his friend was waiting and she would go first so we should wait. I said we were waiting too and went into the sauna. This guy actually followed me into the sauna and started lecturing us on how I shouldn't talk back to him because he was a regular and we didn't know the "culture" here. My wife went out to smoot things over but he left. When we told the staff at checkout she told us he was a VIP which apparently meant something there. I'll never go back to a place that allows it's VIP to treat other customers so rudely.
Best way to put the kibosh on seasonal depression. As relaxing as a massage or pedicure might be (not that those aren't great too) there's something to be said for having a spa experience that isn't over until you want it to be over. Between the hot rooms, the pools (cold, tepid salt, and jacuzzi) and the delicious teas I could make a whole day out of it. The borscht manhattan next door at Venik is a tasty apres treat. But, be warned, one's tolerance may be considerably lower after spending several hours in temperatures well above 100 degrees.
Its a REAL spa!!.
Banya 5 is truly a real spa! I've spent a lot of time traveling throughout Eastern Europe and have spent a lot of time in some of the many bath houses throuhgout the region and to me, the Banya brought back that feeling. It definately had a European essence with the Dry Sauna and the Steam... After being in seattle for almost 2 years now, I'm so happy to have found the Banya. I can have my escape from the fast paced city life of Seattle, and chill out at the Banya! The people there are great, and very helpful. The Banya is extremely well maintained! The staff definately takes cleanliness to heart. It is so welcoming to everyone who comes in and provides the atmosphere for great conversation! I Love the banya... I highly recommend this place to anyone interested in something different, fun, and relaxing. So.. go relax and socialize! Or just go to chill out....
Oh! and they opened up a bar next door, called the Venik Lounge. Great food and GREAT vodka!
A very disappointing experience.
I had a very disappointing experience at Banya 5. I had brought a friend there for a birthday soak/sauna and massage, but the service and ambiance was so disappointing we ended up leaving after 15 minutes and canceling the massages. When I arrived I had to wait several minutes to even be acknowledged and the attitude of the staff, when I did interact with them, was, at best, uninterested. The bath/sauna area was eerily empty on a Friday evening, and the area was surprisingly small. I was expecting something like the Olympus women's spa, but it was not even half the size. When we entered the hot tub, the jets were not on and when we turned them on, the tub filled with a foamy lather, not unlike shaving cream. I thought this was peculiar, but was willing to hear an explanation (maybe salt content?) and asked the woman testing the pH of the tubs. She did not know why it was foaming and acted as if she could not be bothered to find out, though eventually she did say she would check with the front desk. At this point I became concerned that our $100 dollar massages would be equally unpleasant and my friend agreed that we should leave and cancel the massages.
We informed the front desk of this and they told me they did not know if we could cancel--they had to speak to the manager, and he was at dinner. We were insistent that we could not wait for him to return and they called him, one of the staff explaining to me that she was new and that this (addressing the concerns of upset guests, I guess) was not her job. Fortunately the manager told her to let us leave and we were not held hostage until he returned.
A spa should be the ultimate in pampering and customer service, and here we were treated as inconveniences, not welcome guests. I would avoid going here if you want a spa experience and would instead go to the Olympus Spa for sauna, scrubs, and soaks (though sadly this is not coed) or to many of the other wonderful day spas, such as Ummelina, for a massage.
Based on age-old folk methods, this Russian-style bathhouse brings Eastern European healing to downtown..
Bathers visiting this unique relaxation spa are encouraged to spend as much time as they can stand in the 200-degree dry sauna, take a plunge in the 55-degree cold pool, and repeat the process as many times as they wish. In between, they can break up the monotony with side trips to a Turkish steam room, warm salt water pool and standard hot tub. Massages, salt scrubs and mud wraps are also available.
Massage is the BEST. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't dreaming, so I waited until I had seen Nadov (one of the massage therapists) for the second time before writing my review. I have now had two 90 minute massage sessions with Nadov, and he is BY FAR the greatest therapist I have seen in a long time. It has been a couple of years since I've seen someone who has met my expectations in this regard, and I'm so glad that I read the reviews on him on this website. I came with the expectation that it would be mediocre (hey, that's what happens when you get enough of those "mediocre" massages!), but it was nothing of the sort. He was very specific about what areas were concerning me (both times I have had super tense muscles and strains in certain areas of my body), and was very thorough. I cannot stand the feeling of having left a massage therapist's office and realizing that you just wasted your money to have someone "professionally" rub lotion on your back. I can't recommend this guy enough! You have to experience it to believe it! As for the rest of the Banya, I have yet to experience the baths..but I will update later :)
Not only are the tubs and steam rooms incredibly relaxing..but the message was to die for!.
I've had many massages in my life and the best one by far is from Nadov at Banya5. He is incredible!! I've gone to him three times now and all I can think about is when can I book my next one!. If you want the ultimate relaxing experience-hang out in the tubs and steam rooms for atleast an hour and then head upstairs for the best message ever with Nadov (can't remember his last name). You will not be dissapointed. The experiences stays with you for days. Your body just feels so....relaxed. Don't forget to make sure you ask for Nadov.
Go for the massage....
I savored the massage, but I didn't like the Banya. The massage was deliciously smooth while the overchlorinated and crowded Banya pools left me feeling as frazzled as a rough driving commute.
I was happy to hear you can book massage without using the Banya. Go see Nadov; he manages to find every tight and sore spot on a body to leave you feeling wonderful.
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