TLDR If you need a day off in Amsterdam go to the Zuiver Spa. It’s the most relaxing place I have been in the entire world.
I had arrived in Amsterdam from Berlin completely spent. I had made the common mistakes of European Travel. Trying to see too much in a day and not drinking enough water. Museums are dry places as the moisture can ruin exhibits. So spending all day in a museum is kinda like a desert.
Not wanting to leave the bed my first day in Amsterdam I knew I had to recoup or the rest of my Amsterdam stay would be at risk or even worse the dreaded “European Vacation Cold”
I dragged myself downstairs for breakfast and then asked the front desk about a sauna / hot tub. Nothing existed on site. But they told me about this place called the Zuiver Spa.
I did some checking on the Internet and got a deal online for buffet lunch, drink of my choice and access to all facilities for the entire day.
I arrived and was asked if I had ever been to a spa before replying no they said the pool and the saunas are fully nude and I was giving a bath robe, two towels and a plastic bag to keep the towels in. When I heard the word nude I really didn’t care, I just wanted to feel relaxed at the end of the day. For those a little shy you can visit on swimsuit day which are on Tuesdays.
I was also giving a water proof rfid bracelet that identified me and my selected package. I would use it for everything inside and then pay for any extra’s at the end of my stay. This way you need to carry no cash, no credit, nothing to impeded you relation.
I walked up stairs and had my first real surprise of the day all change rooms were unisex. You also used your bracelet to open and close a locker. Which was both confusing at first ( some instructions were only in dutch ) and completely smart all at the same time.
I went looking for the showers and nope they are down stairs in the main hall and yup unisex as well.
When in Rome… or Amsterdam as the case may be.
Since this was a nude spa no phones or devices were allowed at all. If you wanted to read, bring and old fashioned book, they also had magazines and newspapers available, but all are in dutch. I didn’t see to many people wearing watches as there was two large clocks available.
In this ever connected world all of these “rules” really forced you to disconnect from everything and RELAX.
It only took me about 5 minutes to get use to the nudity and really it was only in the pools / tubs and sauna’s that you were out of your robe. I also saw very little fondling / kissing or hand holding between couples. In short time came to respect the fact that this place was only all about relaxation and wellness if you wanted other things go elsewhere.
During my eight hour stay I tried a variety of pools, sauna’s they were all different temperatures and some played music while others were silent. Some were wet and others were dry.
I also tried a traditional Dutch sauna called a Löyly, also known as aufguss. Which involves water hot rocks and a saunameesters who waves around a large towel on a stick and really gets the air moving around. He also had this giant snowballs that had soothing menthol and eucalyptus that he would throw on to the hot rocks.
It was the godsend I was looking for. After the session they had orange slices and juice provided to replace the fluids you had lost. Their was also a cool mist that was sprayed over everyone.
For those brave enough their was also a cold waterfall you could cool off with.
I ended the most relaxing day of my entire life with a couple leisurely laps of their long swimming pool, a rinse under their “tropical rainforest shower” and then a small veggie plate for dinner in the up stairs lounge.
After changing I walked down stairs handed over my loyal rfid companion and was asked how did you enjoy your stay. I replied:
“It was the most relaxing day I have ever had in my entire life and were stupid for not having this in Canada”
Price for this day long indulgent experience? € 40 Euros. I couldn’t believe it. I thought this would have cost double. I am glad it didn’t, the way the Europeans take care of both their body and minds is something we could all learn from.
I went to bed completely relaxed and woke up the next morning completely rejuvenated ready to see Amsterdam!
They also have a hotel attached where a visit to the spa is included with you stay, many dutch couples make a weekend out of it.
Since returning to Canada I’ve heard about the Scandinave Spa in Whistler which is a similar experience abet a swimsuit is required for our North American sensibilities. I actually can’t wait to try it out.
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