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First sauna visit? Here’s a checklist so you know what’s what. Below, we also share our top tips for a relaxing day of sauna and wellness!
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These are the things you definitely need to bring:
· A large bath sheet that is big enough to lie on (your whole body should be able to fit on it). This protects the wooden sauna benches.
· One or two extra towels to dry yourself with.
· A bathrobe to wear when walking around or for when you have something to eat or drink in the restaurant.
· Spa slippers for safety and hygiene reasons. Forgot to bring your bathrobe, towel(s) or spa slippers? Don’t worry, you can hire any of these items at reception.
· Your identity card. We scan the ID card of every visitor.
These things will make your visit extra enjoyable:
· A book or magazine for a bit of reading.
· Clean underwear and comfortable clothes to change into after your wellness day.
· A body cream to moisturise your skin before putting on your clothes.
· If you don’t like the regular shower gel/shampoo in the public showers, bring your own from home.
· Sunny weather forecast? Remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses.
· A hairbrush so you can brush your hair before going home.
In the nude or in swimwear?
When you visit the sauna for the very first time, the idea of being naked in the public baths can be a bit daunting. Also, there are some people who have tried going naked, but feel it’s not for them. That’s why, at both Thermae Boetfort and Thermae Grimbergen, you will find a fully separated swimwear and nude area. That way, everyone gets to enjoy their sauna and wellness the way they like best.
Want to try it naked but need a little extra push? Remember that you won’t be totally naked all that much. You will often be wearing a bathrobe to go from one place to the next and in the sauna itself, nobody will bat an eyelid if they see you sitting there wearing a towel.
The perfect sauna session
The perfect sauna session starts off gently, builds up to the hottest sauna you can comfortably cope with, after which you work your way down again.
1. Shower: for hygiene reasons, you should always start your day of sauna with a shower. Don’t forget to dry yourself off properly afterwards because you sweat better with dry skin.
2. Warm up gradually. Start off with a sauna with a lower temperature.
3. Cool down properly. First, go outside and take a few deep breaths in and out. Next, have a cold shower and only then should you immerse yourself in the cold plunge pool. Again, don’t forget to dry yourself off properly afterwards.
4. In between two sauna sessions, make sure to take a little breather. Stretch out on a relaxation lounger and read a book or go in the warm footbath for a bit.
5. After this little break, carry on, each time choosing a hotter sauna. Once you have had your hottest sauna, gradually work your way down again so you finish on a mild sauna. You can also switch things up a little and instead of having another sauna, you could relax for while in the steam bath, Jacuzzi or a warm relaxation bath.
To lie down or to sit?
It’s up to you really, but you may not be aware that sitting in the sauna takes more energy than lying down. When you are sitting, your head is higher than your feet and because it’s hotter higher up in the cabin that means your head is in a hotter area compared to the rest of your body. Is this your first time in the sauna? In that case, we advise you to lie down and to only sit up for the last few minutes or so before leaving the sauna.
Another question we get asked a lot is: which bench should I sit on? It’s hottest on the top benches, and less so on the bottom bench. Is this your first Aufguss session? Better pick a spot on the bottom bench. That way, you can leave the cabin quickly and inconspicuously when it’s getting too hot for you.
Fancy a relaxing massage?
Or a facial or body treatment? No problem! If you know in advance that you would like to have a treatment, we advise you to book an appointment ahead of your visit. You can do so by calling us on +32 (0)2 270 81 96 for Thermae Grimbergen and +32 (0)2 759 81 96 for Thermae Boetfort) or by filling in our contact form. Decided to have a treatment while already at the centre? Check availability at reception.