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Sweatbox Sauna

Ramillies House, 1-2 Ramillies Street, London, United Kingdom, W1F 7LN | map

Sweatbox Sauna
Sweatbox Sauna
Sweatbox Sauna
Sweatbox Sauna
Sweatbox Sauna
audience rating: Sweatbox Sauna, 3.2 out of 5 based on 190 ratings click to vote:
Rating: 3.2/5. From 190 votes.
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Reported CLOSED FOR RENOVATION until November 2018

This 24-hour gay sauna manages to squeeze many facilities into a small space. Sweatbox attracts locals, tourists and some of the hottest men who like to hang out after the bars in Soho have closed.

Features include a fully equipped gym, a 40-man steam room, 14-man jacuzzi, ‘steam maze’, dark rooms, private cabins, chill-out lounge, massage services.

Free HIV testing and Hep B vaccination available every Monday (5pm-9pm). 24-hour and 48-hour passes available.

metro : Oxford Street

weekday: 24 hours

weekend: 24 hours

venue: Sauna (桑拿) | features: cafe, internet access, steam room, massage, sauna, maze, jacuzzi / hot pool, relaxing cabins, dark room, gym | customers: gay

| website | +44 20 3214 6014 | email this to me | corrections | add an event
last updated: 31-Aug-2018

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY...

  

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Value

3.1

Facilities

3

Service

3

Cleanliness

2.5
based on 46 reviews
  1. Horrible Experience

    “A visit here proved an appalling way to treat a gay man at a gay venue. Particularly when the owner has stated in interview that he wants to help resolve the loneliness epidemic and create a safe haven. Rubbish!

    I have membership (so they have my details on record) but I had to endure the most horrendous personal search on entry to the locker room. In full view of everyone. It is degrading.

    The bouncer was obnoxious and rude. He barked at me twice to empty my pockets, as if I was deaf. His fingers and his nose were in absolutely every single small item from my bag, which was emptied across a small table. He immediately confiscated my empty water bottle as if it was his right. It is my property! Show some respect!

    I was also carrying medication, so Heaven knows what would have happened if he had found it. He insisted I put my eye-drops in, there and then. I explained that I didn't want to. He was then on his radio right away, to announce what had happened to the front desk. It was the coldest of dispatches, as if I was the lowest of the low.

    In this manner, I was brutally packed off: my personal belongings together with my wits in disarray. Just horrible. It was an upsetting ordeal. It was a personal assault. I felt nothing but traumatised.

    It would prove a distressing experience for anyone wishing to make a discreet visit to a spa.

    When I received my card, I asked at the desk if I really would be so stupid to bring in illegal substances with my details on file. The guy at the desk would only keep repeating "Everyone gets searched!" quite nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t a care, least of all for my welfare. Why should he, you may ask. It was obvious how distressed I was. How callous can you get. There was no trace of empathy. No understanding. No apology. Nothing. No awareness that is was a paying client, let alone a human being, to show concern for.

    I recall, a few months prior, when another staff member tried to push me out of his way as I was walking up the stairs. He looked dumbfounded when I wouldn't allow it. Do the staff here, let alone the disgracefully aggressive bouncer, have any customer service training? They have zero knowledge of compassionate communication.

    On the night in question, I went on to another spa instead. I was allowed entry no problem. I enjoyed a calm and relaxing evening, and made a new friend. Their bag check was quick and appropriate. I was treated with kindness, courtesy – and above all RESPECT. Their staff were warm and friendly, and knew how to treat their visitors.

    My rating here reflects that I got to use none of the facilities. The cleanliness rating is aligned with previous experience, in consensus with other reviewers.

    Maybe things will change with the refit. Can you refit people's attitudes though? Attitude, to me, on the gay scene, is not a good word.“

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     on 16-Aug-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  2. Can be hit and miss

    “I’ve been to Sweatbox a few times now, and as it goes, it’s not the worst sauna in the UK...but I do think the hype that comes with it is unjustified.

    I am aware that a few British gay porn producers made movies there, and used the name to boost a bit of advertising when Sweatbox first opened. Good for them! After all, let’s face it, only a small percentage of gay guys go to a sauna just for a jacuzzi and steam session alone.

    I would say I have been at least 6 times in the past year. The big advantages are the location to central London & Soho, and the fact that it has a fully equipped gym. I like a good workout, and it’s nice to get a post-workout testosterone boost, and a good ‘pump’ before having a session. Don’t expect David Lloyd facilities though, and the water fountain doesn’t always work, it could do with a cleanup and reorganisation, but it’s a useable and serviceable gym.

    Staff on the door are usually friendly, but sometimes busy, so you have to wait a towel you get is pretty rubbish. It gets wet very quickly, but the staff seem happy enough to change a wet towel for a dry one if you take it upstairs. Lockers are a bit too small. I know there’s a problem with 24 hour saunas being used as hotel rooms or impromptu homeless shelters, but if i’ve got a rucksack with a change of clothes for the gym, it is a very tight squeeze to get it all in.

    Next floor down is the ‘wellness’ area with a 10-man jacuzzi (but could easily fit more), benched dry room, corner hot dry room, steam room, showers and a sort of maze (not sure what the point of this room is. It’s got a corner area but is mostly just an empty dimly lit room).

    Showers are not great. Usually either dribbly or weak, with cold-to-lukewarm water. Only 6 shower heads, and if it’s busy, guys waiting to shower can clog up the area.

    Jacuzzi can sometimes be over-chlorinated. Not a good sign. Sometimes, I’ve felt ‘grit’ at the bottom of the jacuzzi, but the water is usually at the right temperature.

    I guess this is a bit subjective but the steam rooms are all way too hot, especially the small one in the corner. There can be sporadic outbreaks of sexual activity here, but without a better regulation of temperature or facilities for guys to stay hydrated, I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents. The wet steam room is of particular note. It’s got benches either side, and a dark area at the back. It’s almost always foggy and slippery, and woe betide you if you’re sitting in the wrong place as a gust of hot steam coming from underneath the benches will likely cause 3rd degree burns.

    Lowest floor is the ‘play’ area with a chill-out lounge. Facilities are again practical. There is what looks to be a hall of mirrors, an area with a few cubicles with slings and a large open cubicle area, a small maze area with lockable cubicles and a dark room. There used to be a small movie room showing porn, but this seems to have now been closed off. - Beware the uneven floor heights and steps. I’ve stubbed my toe several times around this area!

    As for activities, like with any sauna, it depends on the time of visit, and how busy it is. I think this place has a fairly decent mix on a good day. As for action, again it can vary. I’ve been here and had a few gropes from a few people, but got a bit bored and moved on, but I’ve been in some very raunchy spontaneous group sessions & orgies with some real fit horny guys! The trouble is that there is still no consistency or pattern. You could have a very boring Friday/Saturday night, or an amazing fun-packed Tuesday afternoon. You just don’t know what (or who) you’re going to get.

    Lounge area is ok, but usually unmanned. It also seems to be the only place where you can get condoms from if the mood strikes. TV usually shows tacky camp shows, American sit-coms & reality shows etc.

    Overall, the place is good. It’s not great, but it’s not as polarizingly bad as the reviews say. There seems to be an objection to being searched once inside. I’ve never had a problem with being searched anywhere, as I don’t have anything to hide. - never had a problem with staff being rude, ever!“

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

  3. Great time

    “Went on Thursday (31/05/18) was a great time really attractive guys throughout. Nice working jacuzzi at a decent heat, good bubbling. There is a standing steam room and one to sit down both at lovely temperatures. Sauna area was a bit small to be honest, but again good temperature. The cruising area was great plenty of rooms for private fun, glory hole area, sling area, random mirror room.

    Free condoms and lube at the bar area would rather they be throughout. For under 25’s you pay a £10 deposit but you get this back at the end on Monday and Thursday. All in all had a great time; would go again. No one was pushy or following me at all, anyone I didn’t really wanna get with I just said no thanks to and they were chill.“

     on 02-Jun-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  4. Need more dark spaces

    “I've been several times to this sauna, and being a good-looking mature guy (51) I've had very good times, good visits and boring ones. Certainly the place could be much better. Managers need to go on a field trip to Germany and check the quality of gay saunas there. Many people say that the place of full of attitude. I'd say not much more than anywhere else and you have to respect that not everyone will like you. A little bit of more dark spaces will help people to relax and just have fun. The current layout doesn't help. People keep going and paying, so changes are not going to happen any time soon.“

     on 02-May-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  5. Frisked

    “Unfriendly staff. After you paid ur entrance fee that provides u with nothing except two towels u walk down the stairs to be frisked by an unfriendly person in front of everyone in the dressing room. When u tell him that its quite uncommon to be frisked after you paid he basically tells u ur not complying. I've never felt so badly treated in a sauna as this one.“

     on 12-Apr-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

    • Yes witnessed that too

      “I saw that happen and its not acceptable to frisk ur customers after u have paid and inside. Im boycotting Sweatbox Sauna!“

       on 15-Apr-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  6. Needs a refurb

    “The place is dark, dirty, scruffy and needs a deep clean and refurb. Yup it's in central London? As always with saunas you pay your money....you take your choice.....but jeez at least make it a nice experience for gay guys...the ones with the decent attitudes anyway.“

     on 15-Mar-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  7. Fun on a good night

    “Like any sauna, it's all about who happens to be in on the night. Saturday night was fun, but Sunday's crowd wasn't so good. It's a good environment to play in (though the cabins are a little small), and I liked the nicely scented steam in the sauna. Great value if you can go for 2 nights.“

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     on 13-Feb-2018 | Reply Problem with this review?

  8. Not the best in London

    “This sauna is definitely not the best in London, it’s scruffy and dirty, the toilets are badly in need of refurbishment as is the whole establishment. Uneven floors, grotty cabins and facilities. I doubt it has been cleaned under the non slip mats since it opened. On arrival you get frisked by a grumpy mono syllabic security guard who felt it necessary to even open my wallet and check my credit cards. One inadequate tiny towel that is useless for drying off once having used the facilities. “

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

  9. Awesome Sauna

    “Went with a friend when we both finished work one night, intending to head there for a couple of hours. Queued to get into the locker room it was so busy, a real mix of different guys from bear types to young muscle twinks. Impressed with the range of facilities and level of cleanliness - not sure if we just got a good day but would certainly head back to London just for a trip here again. Haven't tried the gym and as a gym goer I don't think I'd like such basic facilities but it's worth a go I guess.“

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     on 29-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

  10. Not great

    “It is not the best gay sauna in London, the facility is because its location is in Soho, near to all shops, very central, the problem is inside, every time is going worst with old infrastructure, smell awful, that the staff make up with deodorant, lockers are old, showers area is horrible, it needs an upgrade, it is attractive due they have offer the 24 and 48 hours, sometimes the staff at the reception is rude, to be honest, there are better saunas in London than Sweatbox sauna. “

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     on 17-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

  11. My FAVE in London!

    “Sweatbox is my fave out of 4 saunas I visited in London, the busiest indeed! Although it has not the best facilities but the people coming are mostly young and sexy which most of the time my problem because they are not into me, LOL! Their 24 and 48 hours access is also very helpful. As a tourist, you can have fun, beer, dance, music and again more fun in one day (in SOHO).

    Security is tight, not a problem purely understandable. Friday evening while in the queue, they stopped 2 guys from entering for bringing something not allowed and the security staff found it in their wallet. They did not also allow me to enter on early hours of Saturday because I am drunk which is blessing in disguise because I passed out. Imagine if it happen to me inside the sauna and not in my hotel room.

    I would like to commend their Security Staff especially that black guy for his customer service that is beyond expectation.

    Ciao!“

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     on 04-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

  12. Sweatbox UP Ur GAME

    “I have been several times, I like the sauna and location is unbeatable in Central London. You can go on certain days and times where you can find a lot of people to play and fuck there.

    Remember this sauna is open all the time and you cannot expect the staff to work like ants cleaning every bit of cum there is. It is just impossible.

    Anyhow, the manager should be strict and maintain this sauna, kept to a great standard as we have visitors from all over the globe.

    If you come to London and you want to go to a Sauna I give you my advice:

    - Pleasuredome (END OF THE WEEK) (AFTER WORK TIMES)
    (clean, nice premises, pool, not very horny, just to relax)

    - Chariots Vauxhall (Friday or Saturday after 2am)
    (U can get very hot guys)

    - The Stable (Only on JAMIEHP PARTY)
    (On private party you can go for fun and relax it pays)

    - Sweatbox (Saturday or Monday busiest days)
    (saturday you can have fun with visitors and Monday busy with under 25s, U can do a lot)

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     on 02-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

  13. Intensive search

    “I went there for one time and I will never go again to this place in my life! The facilities are really dirty and there is water leaking from the roof at the basement where most of the people are located. Terrible! A smell permeates each and every corner to the point I could hardly breathe. The water leakage is next to the electrical cables at the ceiling (i.e. lights etc.)

    Also the staff are very rude and aggressive when u try to speak to them or ask for a query.

    The most terrible intensive security search (nor just a check) I have ever been into in my entire life. Much more detailed security check than in any airport in the world!!! Absolutely ridicules for a sauna. It is not the W.H. it is just a sauna!

    If you don´t want to be checked in every part of your body by staff and if you don´t want even your wallets being opened everywhere and looked- avoid going to this place please.

    They even check customers bags and confiscate water bottles.“

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     on 30-Nov-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

    • Why you were checked.

      “We cannot comment on your specific experience, but it is important to point out that many London saunas now carry out detailed security checks on all customers.

      A number of extreamly serious incidents have occurred where customers took drugs in a sauna. A particularly dangerous drug, GHB, is water-like liquid that could be smuggled into saunas in water bottles.

      Without taking extra security measures, these saunas run a very real risk of being closed by the authorities. We are not suggesting you would be involved in this sort of activity, but just clarifying why you were subjected to the checks.“

       on 01-Dec-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

  14. People make the place

    “I've been several times on trips to London, always during the day. In general there isn't much action going on - if anyone starts playing in the steam room, a crowd quickly gathers.

    In general the facilities are fine, could be better but usable. The staff aren't great, and seem to be suspicious of people in general. I have been lucky enough to have a couple of amazing encounters there, but other times have come away unsatisfied.“

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     on 28-Nov-2017 | Reply Problem with this review?

Reviews are the subjective opinion of a Travel Gay users, not of Travel Gay.

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