I realised that I get many people who are interested in understanding more about German sauna. I wrote a brief guide to it about a year ago and till today it’s one of the many posts that gets a lot of attention. If you haven’t read it, do check it out if you want to survive your first German sauna.
Today, I’m going to write a review of the Japanese themed sauna at Rebstockbad, Frankfurt. Anything Japanese would attract our attention. We’re afterall crazily in love with the East, especially Japan. Oh, if you’re hoping that staff are dressed up as Geishas, dream on. It’s merely the names of the sauna rooms, perhaps a little red paint on the window frames and a few bamboo plants that pass Rebstockbad off as “Japanese” for those who are unfamiliar with Japan. As I type away on the laptop I’m thinking “Geez, you’re harsh!”. But seriously, I was looking forward to sakura scented rooms!
It costs 10 Euros on weekdays and 12 Euros on weekends for a 2 hour sauna. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, an area is reserved exclusively for women (great tip for those are understandably uncomfortable being naked in front of unknown men).
This is probably my favourite room – steam bath. It heats up to 45°C and I guarantee that NO ONE will be wrapped in their towels like those three people in the photo above. Before you cringe and scream “NO WAY!”, I can assure you that the room will be all steamed up (and a little dark apart from those dragons illuminating it slightly) and no one can see any intricate parts of you. Most have their eyes closed anyway. Remember to use the hose on there to water down there area you want to be sitting on first. It’s a hygiene routine as you won’t want to be sitting on another person’s excreted toxins! Once you’re done, give the area another good spray of water – it’s only polite.
Do you know that there are plenty of health benefits of steam rooms? I love that my pores are opened, allowing me to cleanse my skin deeper. Thanks to the many inconsiderate smokers who light their cigarettes and puff harmful substances in my face, I’m always seeking way to purify my skin. No scientific evidence here, but I reckon Frankfurt’s air is more polluted than in Oxford. I had better skin in Oxford! Saunas also help relieve muscle tension which is really helpful for migraine sufferers. It apparently also helps improve blood circulation, which is something I need to work on ever since I was told by a reflexologist in China last year that my circulation is really poor.
One of the attractions at Rebstockbad is its outdoor pool in the sauna area. For some, it’s a great way to cool the body immediately after a hot sauna by diving into it. Usually there’s a “waterfall” feature too. The impact is quite strong but I did see people standing in the pool near it for a back massage. Oh, no swim suits by the way.
You do get a good mix of young and old people at Rebstockbad. As it’s not massive, be prepared for it to be fairly crowded on a good day. You find many couples here but not to worry, they’re all civilised and know not to show public display of affection at the sauna.
There is also a deck where you can tan yourself on. Unfortunately I can’t find photos of it online and I’m unwilling to take photos of the place when I’m there. I don’t want to get into trouble in case someone suspects me for being cheeky.
There is also an outdoor jacuzzi next to the pool (but you can’t see it in the photo). Needless to say, the outdoor one is more popular than the one inside. As much as I love jacuzzis, I really hate myself for getting into one the moment strangers join me. It’s not the same as steaming myself in a spacious room where there’s mutual respect not to get too close to each other. I know people don’t mean anything bad (or perverty) when they join me in a jacuzzi. But the “closeness” (even though there’s no skin contact) isn’t something I’ve got used to. Strangely, the thought of standing up (exposing every single part) in front of everyone within close proximity isn’t ideal either. For those of you who have been in similar situations, what do you do? (Not asking those who have NEVER experienced this!) Let me tell you my solution – I simply take a longer soak.