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Chariots – Vauxhall

Rail Arches, 63-64 Albert Embankment, London, United Kingdom, SE1 5AW | map

Chariots – Vauxhall
audience rating: Chariots – Vauxhall, 3.1 out of 5 based on 113 ratings click to vote:
Rating: 3.1/5. From 113 votes.
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Popular gay sauna in the heart of Vauxhall gay village. Chariots is busy every night, especially at the weekends after the nearby bars and dance clubs close.

Facilities include 500 lockers, two 20-man steam rooms, two 30-man saunas, two dark rooms, and a maze with 50 private cabins. There’s an internet café with TV lounge.

Open until late on weekdays and nonstop on the weekends. Don’t be surprised if you have to queue from 4am on a Sunday morning when there is a big party in the Vauxhall area.

Impossible to miss on Albert Embankment with its large signs, just a few steps from EAGLE London  and FiRE club.

nearest station : Vauxhall

weekday: 12:00 - 08:00

weekend: 24 hours

venue: Sauna (桑拿) | features: cafe, internet access, steam room, sauna, maze, relaxing cabins, dark room | customers: gay

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last updated: 30-Jan-2019

+44 20724 75333
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY...

  

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Value

2.7

Facilities

3.1

Service

3

Cleanliness

3.1
based on 21 reviews
  1. Terrible security service and ignorant staff

    “Staff is not capable to deal with incidents, allow other conflicting gay visitors to take your private photos and refuse to intervene to delete them, no privacy and security support at all, they simply don't care, anyone can come and take your photos inside. Dry sauna is not very dry and sometimes broken and not working very well. Floor is dirty and cabins are not cleaned frequently.“

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     on 07-Dec-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  2. “Yes 500 lockers at changing room, but lately a lot of these 500 lockers have pretty much remained unoccupied for way too long, in other words even at weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) not as busy as Chariots Vauxhall used to be in the good old days when one would be hoping to still be able to get a locker by the time one arrives. It has continued to be a surprise that most of the customers that patronised the other closed four branches particularly customers from Shoreditch, and Streatham have not switched to coming to Chariots Vauxhall as the only one branch left. It is very disheartening. A further surprise is that one would expect at this period SWEATBOX is undergoing renovations that Chariots Vauxhall will once again become busy at least during the weekends. It is quite a pity, and it leaves one to wonder why,

    *is it because people would have to redress in order to go outside on the street for a cigarette?

    *Is it that the spot lights @ the jacuzzi are way too bright? because very bright almost blinding lights is not as soothing/calming/relaxing etc as one would expect in a gay cruising spa, as obtainable in other saunas including NZ sauna Amsterdam, etc!

    *is it that there is no singular shower-with-hose to facilitate douche? This brings to mind SUNCITY sauna Paris where there is even a particular designated area with the douching facility.

    *is it the pricy £20 entry fee?
    -because Pleasuredrome sauna Waterloo is £18 in fact £13 with QX advert, and equally £13 for under 25's with proof of age and they are open 24/7.
    -SWEATBOX sauna Soho just outside Oxford Street station is £17 entry for 24hr pass(means customers can go out and come back within the 24hr with no added fee), £19 for 48hr pass(customers can go out and come back within this 48hr with no added fee), £10 for under 25's plus their Mondays and Thursdays speciality for students and under 25's, and they are open 24/7
    -And The Locker Room sauna Kennington entire WEEKEND PASS is £20 as they are open 24 hours Friday - Sunday (closes midnight Sunday) and customers can go out and come back anytime they like throughout the weekend without an additional fee.

    *is it the internet? regards to Grindr and many other apps and websites. Similar to what online shopping is now doing to our high street stores as one has seen many close down!

    It is sad that so many saunas are closing, "Thermos Sauna Amsterdam ", etc. I do hope that as part of our gay lifestyle, we should help to preserve saunas throughout Europe, as they are a safe meeting area. And the operators to also help by coming up with ideas to entice customers!
    Nobody is happy to be in a sauna that is not busy.“

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     on 03-Dec-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  3. Large and fun

    “I went to Chariots for the first time on Monday afternoon. I was expecting few people and probably no fun at all. However, there was a good number of guys, all ages and shapes. I’m 52 and I keep thinking that it’s all in your attitude. I played with 4 different guys younger and older than me. I’ll go again for sure.“

     on 27-Nov-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  4. Very pleasant

    “After reading varying reviews I was concerned about how this place would turn out to be. I had read that you are searched and liquids confiscated. This did not happen to me or my friend. We arrived at 2 pm on a Friday afternoon and left at 6 pm. I expect any searching may be done later when people are more likely to be entering the place with alcohol disguised as water or may be trying to smuggle in drugs after leaving the bars and clubs in the area, so therefore I can understand such measures..for your own safety.

    People can and do die in saunas when mixing drugs and/or alcohol with hot steamy saunas. Facilities were very clean and drinks (water and cans) at £1 each were very reasonable. Do remember to take a £1 coin with you to slot into a locker..you get this back from the locker when you are ready to leave. £20 entry make seem steep for some, but London tends to be expensive everywhere (a capital city so not unexpected).

    Showers were lovely. Sauna box large. Porn cinema room pleasant. Lots of very clean spacious cabins to play in. The lounge area was large with comfortable leather settees to sit on.
    The staff were friendly and efficient. The place seems to be in very good condition.“

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     on 19-Nov-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  5. Picky Area

    “Area seems pretty cool, and I liked all the areas but no action. I did see some attractive dudes go here, so if you’re very fit and attractive you’ll have better luck. Not that expensive and maybe I just went on a down night. I would try it again but heard it’s busy around 3am on the weekends and I went earlier than that. Staff was nicer than the reviews said. It I see what they were talking about. They kind of make you feel weird for being there, security was nice and felt safe because of it.“

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     on 23-Oct-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  6. Awful place

    “Dirty smelly badly look after place. The staff doesn’t clean the place so the toilets cabins and the whole place is extreltmy dirty and smelly. I can’t belive I have paid £20 for entry to this awful place. Don’t go there.“

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     on 18-Oct-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  7. Worth a visit

    “Reading through the reviews gives a mixed picture. One person said that it is a waste of time if you are over 45. As a person nearly 60, I have to say that this is quite untrue. I rarely leave unsatisfied.

    Secondly, there are negative comments about the staff, but personally, I have never encountered outright rudeness. Some may be more friendly than others, but they are just doing a job; besides, who goes to a sauna to fraternise with the staff? The venue itself is probably the best laid out, and best-equipped sauna in London. Certainly, the 2 steam rooms and 2 saunas are sizeable but poorly used. There are rarely many people in these rooms. The number of private rooms in his venue is considerable, and they are spacious, certainly better than other Central London saunas. So the price of £20 probably only reflects the fact that the provision of facilities is better than most.“

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     on 24-Sep-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  8. Aimless wondering

    “Went to this sauna on Saturday night (10pm-2am). Paid £18 to get in as a student, which wasn't exactly a huge discount considering it's a pricey £20 as standard. Also, don't forget to bring £1 for lockers.

    It was fairly busy with around 40 guys there, but there wasn't much in terms of things going on. The two saunas and two steam-rooms were always completely empty, and everyone was just wondering around the maze in circles trying to find someone, but without many people going for any of it. The smell of poppers was nauseating, and none of the beds were clean.

    The jacuzzi was full of people chatting which was nice. And there were lots of action in the dark room - although this was one of the few places where anything seemed to happen. I thought the mirror rooms were pretty good, but again no one really used them. The lack of available lube and condoms in the areas wasn't great, as most of the time you had to walk all the way back to the lockers.

    I'm not sure if the crowd is picky, or shy, or it's just the setup is wrong, but it didn't seem like a buzzing place to be. Also, I totally agree with all the negative comments about the staff, as the doormen and security were just bizarre and completely unwelcoming. It's like they were laughing at the fact you were there.

    Positives: Darkroom, mirror rooms, fairly busy
    Negatives: Staff, cleanliness, too much wandering, bad smells, expensive

    Overall: Try it if you must, but I wouldn't recommend it, and won't be giving it a second chance.“

     on 19-Aug-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  9. Couldn’t care less attitudes.

    “This business is barely clinging on. Staff levels now cut down to a minimum. Cleaning is spasmodic at best, mattress smell due to lack of cleaning staff, lack of proper cleaning agents that do the job well. Brocken / ineffective hand sanitiser still in place. Some reception staff should be in different employment, not the front of house. Towels old, grey stained on occasions. What temperature are they washed at I wonder? The water temperature of the showers has now improved, thanks.“

     on 14-Aug-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  10. If you like beary guys, this is the sauna for you....

    “.....fortunately, I love beary guys!

    I think that this is now the last Chariot sauna in London, since Shoreditch and Waterloo got bought out, and Limehouse is now Sailors. It’s still a pretty decent sauna at the right times, but can be a massive disappointment at other times.

    Like all other saunas/cruise bars/venues, the clientele make the event. If it’s not busy or you don’t fancy the people there at the time even if it is busy, your judgement of the place will likely be a bit skewed based on whether you had a good time or not, but I am doing this review based mainly on the place itself. - I’ve been there on nights where I’ve had a lot of fun, and I’ve been there on nights where not a lot has happened. It would be unfair if I reviewed the place on a disappointing visit, especially as I’ve had some of the raunchiest experiences here.

    A big plus about this place over any other London sauna I’ve been to is the fact that it is (mostly) wheelchair friendly. It’s also one of the largest saunas in London, and it’s all on one floor.

    Staff are usually friendly, and yes, there is a security guy checking people, but what’s the problem if you’ve got nothing to hide? This is London. A lot of nightclubs and pubs do this, and if you’ve got a problem with personal space being invaded by strangers, why are you going into a gay sauna?

    You get two towels (proper towels, not thin cloth) and a decent size locker. There is a large lounge area, and a refreshment bar that is usually well-manned. Fairly decent prices considering the captive market!

    Showers are Ok-ish. There are a fair few of them, but water can be a bit Dribbly.

    2 dry sauna rooms, one hotter than the other. Both are bearable heat-wise, and the y’re quite large. Also 2 steam rooms. No difference in heat as far as I could tell, but still good to have...they just don’t seem to get used much.

    Nice big jacuzzi, well-lit and roomy. Water at a good temperature, but can be a bit chlorinated sometimes, and it can become a focal point for sexual activity, so if you are wanting just to use the jacuzzi for a soak, and it is busy, be mindful you may encounter the odd wandering hand or 3.

    The main play area is large, not too dingy, and enough light to actually see other guys. 2 porn cinema areas, although these seem to double as sleeping areas for overnight stayers. Lots of cubicles, and some are mirror room areas. There is also a large dark room area but there doesn’t seem to be an area for group gatherings

    Lounge area is the best in a London there are seats used as beds by overnight stayers, but it is very non-attitude.

    Only negatives....it is the most expensive sauna in London. It’s not as central as somesaunas, but it is in the heart of Vauxhall, so within reach of a lot of other bars and clubs.

    Oh, and imho, the guys that I’ve seen here seem to fit better into my personal preferences. Mostly older guys (30+), and on a Friday/Saturday night post-RVT, the clientele are beefy, beary, manly and bearded. If you prefer younger guys/twinks etc, the student night at Sweatbox May be more your thing.“

     on 10-Jul-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  11. No action - rude staff

    “Visited Chariots Vauxhall Saturday night. The guy in reception was very rude. There were about 15 guys in the sauna but no chance of action. Most guys walking round and round and searching Grindr on their 'phone. The facilities are old and dirty.“

     on 22-Mar-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  12. Not a nice place

    “Rude Staff.
    Read the reviews before and thinking just cannot be.“

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     on 18-Mar-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

    • Stay safe

      “Good security, big security guy he’s funny but stern trying to stop drugs & trouble but our community it’s hard work“

       on 01-Apr-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  13. Staff/Doormen need to be respectful

    “I think saunas in London and particularly this one have forgotten that they are running a business and need to attract in clientele. The treatment of the doormen/security guys is pretty disgusting and not acceptable by any means.

    I totally understand they're on a mission and trying their best not to let people walk in with drugs but you gotta find another way of controlling it. You don't just start confiscating people's belongings, even your cigarettes they will not let you bring in. Watch other Saunas in Europe how they conduct business, look at Saunas in Germany for example...“

     on 11-Mar-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  14. No chance of action

    “I went there on a Saturday evening in December from 20:00 – 22:00 and the place was empty. Staff are indifferent, it’s relatively clean, only one cinema worked and only one glory hole in the whole place. And if you’re over 45 forget it - you have absolutely no chance of having action there – even if you’re a complete hunk and hung like a horse, no chance.

    It was my second and last visit, if you want decent action within a few minutes of getting your kit off try the saunas in Brighton and Hove they're so much better.“

     on 14-Jan-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

    • Quiet

      “It’s busy on Fri & Sat nights after midnight you went to early lovely big security guy on the days & the staff at nights especially the receptionist from up north.“

       on 08-Feb-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  15. Appalling entry

    “This place needs a new security system. Frisked by a bouncer which I've never come across upon entering a sauna. Poppers and tobacco taken off us and was told I would have to buy unopened poppers inside. The entry staff were rude and didn't seem to want to answer our questions based on this we decided to ask to turn around and try, another which is a shame.“

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     on 11-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

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