Frequently Asked Questions
What is Banya?
Banya is the Russian cousin of the Finnish sauna and Turkish hammam and is somewhere to come with friends or family to relax and unwind. Typically, your visit will consist of three stages;
- you spend time warming up and detoxing in the steam room (banya) to relax the muscles
- you take your treatments
- you relax in the restaurant eating and drinking and relaxing with friends.
This is my first time. What should I do?
Don’t be intimidated. Take a look at the content and videos on this page to get an idea of what to expect or speak to our staff who are always on hand to answer questions. Our therapists can advise on the best treatments for a particular customer and our restaurant team can recommend food and drink to complement the experience.
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes, we recommend that you book in advance either by phone or through the website. You can book for one person or for a group. If you have any questions, give us a ring.
How does it work?
You can book a session to just use the banya (we call this “Na Razvedku”) or you can book a package which consists of the session together with 1, 2 or 3 treatments. If you book Na Razvedku, your session lasts 2 hours. If you book a package, you will need longer, so your session lasts 3 hours.
Included in the session price is a towel, bath sheet, flip flops, a table in the lounge and full use of the facilities.
Can I request a specific table?
Where possible we will accommodate requests, but at busy times tables are allocated based on the size of your group.
How do I reschedule my booking? what is your cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy is 48 hours. If you are rescheduling a booking that is more than 48 hours in the future, give us a call. If your booking is in the next 48 hours, you can always transfer your booking to a friend. In any event give us a call on 0203 9062060 and we will try and help.
What if I am running late?
Give us a ring and where possible we will extend your session. This may not always be possible at busy times but we will do our best.
What do I need to bring with me?
On mixed days you need to bring swimwear (although you can also buy this when you arrive). Everything else is provided. You can bring your own flip flops, banya hat and toiletries like shampoo if you choose, but there is no need.
Can children come banya?
Yes, we allow children of 10 years and older to use the banya and offer children’s treatments. We ask that parents keep a close eye on them throughout.
Is there parking nearby?
You can usually park on Beeston Place (near to the Goring Hotel) or Grosvenor Gardens itself. Parking is free after 18.30, after 14.30 on Saturdays and all day Sunday.
Can I use banya if I am pregnant?
We recommend you consult a doctor before using the banya.
How hot is it in the banya?
The temperature in the steam room is around 70 degrees with humidity of around [ ]. This is hotter than a hammam but cooler than in a typical sauna. The combination of heat and humidity produces a deep, relaxing penetrative heat.
What treatments do you offer?
You can read about our treatments here. We offer parenie, massage, scrubs, body wraps and soap massage.
What products do you use in your treatments?
Scrubs are performed with natural honey, sea salt or coffee; wraps with blue clay or seaweed; Soap massage with olive oil or tar soap. All the products we use in our treatments are natural and organic. See here for further details.
What is parenie?
Parenie is the traditional treatment that accompanies a banya and is best described as an exhilarating leaf and steam massage using bundles of birch, oak and eucalyptus leaves (known as veniks) that have been soaked in hot water to release their natural aromas and vitamins.
I didn’t book a treatment in advance. Can i book one on the day?
If we can fit you in, we will, but it is better to book in advance to be sure you will get the treatments you want.
What sort of food and drink do you serve?
You can see our menu here. The menu consists of classic Russian dishes that complement the banya well. Ask the staff for a recommendation if you don’t know what to choose.
You can order food and drink at any time during your visit, although it is not usually a good idea to eat a large meal before using the banya.
Can I drink in the banya?
We do not recommend you drink before you use the banya and we reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who is intoxicated. However, many people will have a drink after they have visited the banya and we serve excellent German beer, Russian vodka and French champagne.
We also serve non-alcoholic beer and make out own non-alcoholic home made drinks which are perfect after the banya.
Is the banya available for parties or events?
Yes, please give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.