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  • Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

    Just wanted to let you know that my wife and I have found paradise and will be applying for Dutch nationality immediately!!

    Well, perhaps not, but considering how close the UK is to Holland in terms of relative distance and how far apart our cultures are in terms of relaxing and experiencing sauna's and spa's, part of me seriously wishes I had been born in the land of the windmills.

    The Dutch accept nudity like they accept most things - with a healthy dose of liberalism and realism. We are all humans: some have some bits, others have other bits - so what? end of story. It's just no big deal, to everyone, in Holland it seems.

    We know its no big deal to naturists/nudists but to the general population its shocking/horrifying/mind numbingly embarassing/ enter your own adjective. Not in Holland, and I guess they are the only nation on earth, along with the Germans and possible Austrians who have this wonderful attitude.

    We recently spent a day at Sauna Van Egmond in Haarlem and it is as wonderful as other posters have said on this forum and descriptions of it can be found elsewhere. Truly a unique place and absolutely worth a visit. Its open until 11.30 at night and it great.

    Elysium just outside Rotterdam is a different kind of sauna and is, I was reliably told by one lady, the best of its kind in Holland. It's basically a far bigger version of Sauna van Egmond but also very different, as its more modern and set within extensive gardens. It has numerous saunas, steam rooms, a hammam, jacuzzis, pools inside and out, areas to relax in the sun, etc. and is completely co-ed and nude.

    The difference between this place and a nude resort seems to be that the Dutch cover up with a towel or robe between visits to each facility - not that they are embarrassed or want to quickly don clothing, but because that is just the done thing. But when they reach another sauna or pool or whatever, off comes the robe/towel and in they go. Everyone eating/drinking at the outside cafe areas wore something but 10 yards away naked people would be climbing in and out of a hot tub.

    We went on a Sunday and it was packed by 12pm. Many of the people there were young couples in their 20's - 40's I'd say who it seems come to enjoy the facilities with their partner. Everybody just accepts in Holland that when you visit the spa/sauna its in the nude and the separation between sex and being nude is very definite and just accepted. It's obviously something that has evolved in their culture over the years and its to be applauded.

    In the UK if you want to go naked then you can (special beaches, swims, clubs etc.), but then you are somewhat labelled a naturist/nudist etc. or at least a bit 'different' for wanting to try such things. Some people would call you weird and odd! In Holland this is just not the case - there are no special 'naked' sauna's as all sauna's are like this and the population are all so totally cool with it. Wonderful!

    I would urge anyone in Rotterdam or nearby to try this place. Spend at least half a day there and just enjoy the ambiance and the facilities. There is probably nowhere like it outside Holland (or Germany, where these places exist also) and I am the sadder for it.

    From where we live near Heathrow airport its a 5.5 hr drive to get there, door to door, using the channel tunnel and its a very easy route. OK the drive is a bit of a schlep but if you go for a couple of days or 3, its nothing and you will not regret it. Its open all year round unlike the beaches of South of France and the perfect place to take the missus for a relaxing weekend away.

    The link, all in English, is;

    http://www.elysium.nl/site_uk/

    Enjoy!!

  • #2
    Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

    i will read your whole post later, but just wanted to say as an american who lived in germany for a while (military) germany and holland are my favorite countries!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

      Elysium is fabulous, it is so big and there is so much space that it is difficult to beat as a pleasant place to relax for a few hours.

      It is true that people wear robes in the restaurants and many, though by no means all, will put something on to wander around - to add to what you said one thing that stands out in my memory is a large room with a tv screen showing typical Saturday night tv (if you are there on a Saturday). It's wooden - like a sauna - but not that warm, it would be easy to leave something on but everyone sits around in the buff, beautifull !

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

        I have been to a few spas in Holland including Sauna Van Egmond and Sauna Thermen Ridderode. These are fantastic spas. Elyssium is one spa I want to visit before too long.

        I agree, the sauna culture in both Holland and Germany is beautiful. Nude compulsory and mixed. None of this mixed="please wear swimwear at all times" nonsence that we get in England. Good balance of sexes, and no one has a problem with being nude in front of strangers. And these fantasic art gallery like sauna complexes. Beautiful, just beautiful. A million light years away from the crappy sauna culture in England.

        Not surprisingly, I'd also say Holland and Germany are my favourite countries. I love the sauna culture in these countries so much that I'd like to emigrate over there. Though it's not easy..........

        In the meantime untill or IF I am able to emigrate, I have to make do with a few short trips a year over there, and making good use of those fantastic spas whilst I'm there.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

          I live in Amsterdam, and agree that Elysium is great.

          Saunas are pretty popular in The Netherlands. Somehow Sauna van Egmond gets good reviews from travellers, but I think that is because they have a limited frame of reference. Van Egmond is nothing compared to the more modern and bigger saunas. A couple of good ones:

          - Elysium, as mentioned;
          - Veluwse Bron, about an hour east of Amsterdam, is even bigger than Elysium and has many great saunas.
          - Zwaluwhoeve, is comparable to Elysium, but a little more modern (in design);
          - Sauna Bussloo is also pretty good.

          Very close to Amsterdam and a good alternative, especially when the weather is nice (so you can use the big lawn to relax, and the outdoor pool) is Sauna Weesp.

          Just google these, to get a better idea of Dutch sauna culture.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

            jjchev

            Thanks for the recommendations but how easy is it to get to these other saunas ?

            One of the good things about von Egmond is that it is in Haarlem, so it is possible to visit the town - only a few minutes from Amsterdam - and afterwards strip off and have a sauna too. Popping down to Rotterdam is more of a journey but can be combined with a visit to, say Delft, and make a pleasant end to the day.

            Flevonatuur, for example, is good, not as a sauna but as a place where it is possible to spend the whole day naked, but impossible to get to without a car. For most visitorsng to Holland getting there by public transport is, I guess, important.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

              Xen,

              You are right that many of the spas are a little off the beaten track. But still it's not impossible to reach them by public transport. Renting a car would be easier though.

              On this website: www.9292ov.nl you can plan your trip by public transport from any address in The Netherlands to any address in The Netherlands.

              Sauna Weesp is the easiest from Amsterdam. Take the train to Weesp (15 min from Amsterdam Central) from you can take bus 122 (direction Vreeland) for 7 minutes.
              One could also bike there. From the center of Amsterdam it is about 45 minutes.
              http://www.spawellness-weesp.nl/

              Sauna Bussloo has a bus that takes you there from Klarenbeek station. It's an hourly service that drops you off at the entrance of the spa complex. It's a pretty limited service (not on sundays, last services run around 7pm). But you could also take a taxi if you miss your last bus. To Klarenbeek station takes 1h15 from Amsterdam Central.
              http://www.thermenbussloo.nl/

              Zwaluwhoeve has a bus stop right in front of the entrance. Take a train to Harderwijk (about 1h from Amsterdam Central) change to a bus to Hierden at the station (for instance bus 111, 112, 302 o3 673). The bus takes 14 minutes.
              http://www.zwaluwhoeve.nl/

              Velwuwse Bron is great, but not very easy to get to by public transport. Take a train to Apeldoorn (about 1h) and change to bus 90s or 658. Get off at Handelsbrug in Emst (about 25 min). It's still a 20 min walk from there. So maybe get a taxi from Apeldoorn or a ride with someone.
              http://www.veluwsebron.nl

              Elysium is also hard to reach. But possible. Take a train to The Hague Laan van NOI station (45 mins from Amsterdam Central). Take metro (RR) 4 toward Zoetermeer and get off at Zoetermeer Centrum West (13 mins). Then take a bus to Bleiswijk (e.g. number 173) and get off at Eeendendreef in Bleiswijk (20 mins).
              You can also travel to Rotterdam Central and take number 173 the other way.
              www.elysium.nl

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                If you are looking for other places around Amsterdam to get naked, I recommend this map:

                http://www.strandje.nl/naturistenmap/naturistenmap.php

                It does not include the saunas though. Just beaches, campsites and pools (specific hours only).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                  Is there asauna providing accomodation or a hotel with direct access to it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                    Zwaluwhoeve (www.zwaluwhoeve.nl) has a hotel adjacent to the sauna complex.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                      A new spa opened recently in Amsterdam: Spa Zuiver (www.spazuiver.nl).

                      It is a great spa, not as big as Elysium, but close. It features about 10 different kinds of Saunas (from Finnish and steam to caldarium or music sauna), a bunch of hot tubs, herbal baths, a swimming pool, relaxation areas, a (seperate) Hammam, a restaurant, a garden, etc.

                      There is also a hotel on the property.

                      It is located here. (the google imagery is outdated).

                      It can be reached by taking a bus (e.g. #170 or #172) from Amsterdam Central station (passes by Westermarkt, Museumplein, Old South), which takes about 20 minutes. It's also easy to reach by bike (20 mins from the center).







                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                        I've not been there. Sauna van Egmond is my favourite in the Netherlands.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                          Sauna van Egmond somehow gets good write-ups from tourists, but if you compare it to the other sauna's I've mentioned in this thread, Sauna van Egmond is very small and a bit old-fashioned. But if you like that kind of cozy atmosphere, it can be nice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                            Hello London Joe. I just finished reading your entire post here and I saw where you mentioned many of the people there on that Sunday were couples in their 20's - 40's. Out of curiosity, what is the attitude towards singles if you don't mind me asking? I am not planning to go there anytime soon, but who knows? I may get lucky one of these days!

                            Ken Palmer



                            Originally posted by London Joe View Post
                            Just wanted to let you know that my wife and I have found paradise and will be applying for Dutch nationality immediately!!

                            Well, perhaps not, but considering how close the UK is to Holland in terms of relative distance and how far apart our cultures are in terms of relaxing and experiencing sauna's and spa's, part of me seriously wishes I had been born in the land of the windmills.

                            The Dutch accept nudity like they accept most things - with a healthy dose of liberalism and realism. We are all humans: some have some bits, others have other bits - so what? end of story. It's just no big deal, to everyone, in Holland it seems.

                            We know its no big deal to naturists/nudists but to the general population its shocking/horrifying/mind numbingly embarassing/ enter your own adjective. Not in Holland, and I guess they are the only nation on earth, along with the Germans and possible Austrians who have this wonderful attitude.

                            We recently spent a day at Sauna Van Egmond in Haarlem and it is as wonderful as other posters have said on this forum and descriptions of it can be found elsewhere. Truly a unique place and absolutely worth a visit. Its open until 11.30 at night and it great.

                            Elysium just outside Rotterdam is a different kind of sauna and is, I was reliably told by one lady, the best of its kind in Holland. It's basically a far bigger version of Sauna van Egmond but also very different, as its more modern and set within extensive gardens. It has numerous saunas, steam rooms, a hammam, jacuzzis, pools inside and out, areas to relax in the sun, etc. and is completely co-ed and nude.

                            The difference between this place and a nude resort seems to be that the Dutch cover up with a towel or robe between visits to each facility - not that they are embarrassed or want to quickly don clothing, but because that is just the done thing. But when they reach another sauna or pool or whatever, off comes the robe/towel and in they go. Everyone eating/drinking at the outside cafe areas wore something but 10 yards away naked people would be climbing in and out of a hot tub.

                            We went on a Sunday and it was packed by 12pm. Many of the people there were young couples in their 20's - 40's I'd say who it seems come to enjoy the facilities with their partner. Everybody just accepts in Holland that when you visit the spa/sauna its in the nude and the separation between sex and being nude is very definite and just accepted. It's obviously something that has evolved in their culture over the years and its to be applauded.

                            In the UK if you want to go naked then you can (special beaches, swims, clubs etc.), but then you are somewhat labelled a naturist/nudist etc. or at least a bit 'different' for wanting to try such things. Some people would call you weird and odd! In Holland this is just not the case - there are no special 'naked' sauna's as all sauna's are like this and the population are all so totally cool with it. Wonderful!

                            I would urge anyone in Rotterdam or nearby to try this place. Spend at least half a day there and just enjoy the ambiance and the facilities. There is probably nowhere like it outside Holland (or Germany, where these places exist also) and I am the sadder for it.

                            From where we live near Heathrow airport its a 5.5 hr drive to get there, door to door, using the channel tunnel and its a very easy route. OK the drive is a bit of a schlep but if you go for a couple of days or 3, its nothing and you will not regret it. Its open all year round unlike the beaches of South of France and the perfect place to take the missus for a relaxing weekend away.

                            The link, all in English, is;

                            http://www.elysium.nl/site_uk/

                            Enjoy!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Elysium Spa in Holland - Truly Paradise!!

                              Hi Ken,

                              I can answer your question easily - no problem whatsoever. Recently I went over to Holland again as I have a friend from the UK that lives there - we went to the England v. Holland friendly match and then I spent a couple of days with him, his wife and son. They live in Leiden just south of Amsterdam (very nice place) and on the drive home I made sure I had time to call in to Elysium again for half a day or so, and I was alone.

                              You are in the vast minority being alone but its no issue at all, as long as you are not obviously there to gawk and follow women around which would be met with stern words or more, correctly in my view. I saw a couple of obviously single females but no males, although there were a few groups of 2-3 guys together and a fair few groups of ladies enjoying a spa day out together.

                              This sort of place just wouldn't work in the UK, America etc. as the cultural norms would not allow it. More's the pity as its just so natural in these spa's. Even at nude beaches in the UK (I know Studland and Fairlight Glen well) you can get obvious gawkers, meerkats, guys who parade up and down basically saying 'look at me everyone' which I find annoying, although its not that common at all and I still love the beaches. In these Dutch spa's you don't seem even to get any of that so I can only put it down to the maturity and culture of the Dutch people (ie. men, largely) They are to be applauded for that!

                              Joe

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