A nice steamy sit followed by a jump in the Vltava. Sounds like a good way to spend a winter evening, right? Lázne na lodi (Spa on a Boat) is now open for your sweating pleasure.
“This is our second season and we doubled in size based on good feedback from last year,” said Tereza Hajná who is doing marketing and PR for the project. “It was a bit ‘punk’ last year, no electricity, but it’s more upscale this year.”
The sauna sits at one end of the (A)void Gallery near Výton in Prague 2. For those who’ve never seen it (A)void is an art gallery and bar sitting on an old barge. You can see the warmly lit box from the street. A simple wooden structure, it has a small reception area, little locker room, a single shower followed by a larger room filled with deck chairs. Even though they have electricity this year, they’ve kept the candles which add a nice flickering atmosphere.
Here you can sit post-sauna and relax with a view out over the sparkling river. Looking to the right you can see Prague Castle in the distance. Off this area is the actual sauna. It has three benches and can hold up to 20 people. Big windows here give you the same river view. Sit, sweat, have a chat with a friend and enjoy the view. You can even buy a beer.
There’s a door to the outdoors off the relax room. A tub of water sits there if you want to cool off quickly with a dip, or climb down the ladder to the dock moored to the boat. Here you can jump into the river.
“Last year there was no shower so everyone went into the river,” Hajná said. “There’s no reason to be afraid!” She adds they hope to build a second smaller sauna down on the dock sometime this season.
Lázne na lodi is designed by Vít Šimek and Štepán Cehor of the architect firm H3T. These guys have a true passion for saunas and this isn’t the first unique one they’ve designed. They built one in a museum for a cultural festival in Budapest, a barrel-shaped mobile one for two people that sits on a trailer and can be pulled by your car and even a collapsible one you can set-up whenever and where ever it is necessary to have a sauna.
“They really like the phenomenon of river spas in other European cities and would like a permanent floating one here,” Hajná said. “They are raising funds on HitHit in order to complete the vision.” She adds Lázne na lodi currently isn’t profitable because the architects wanted to keep the price low (a one hour session is 130 CZK) so everyone could try it out. HitHit is a Czech crowd-funding platform. At the beginning of December, the project had already raised 80% of its funding goal.
Hajná said people who attend are typically those who do a lot of sports, are there for health reasons or just spa fanatics. In general people go with groups of friends, five to six people, so reservations, which aren’t necessary, are recommended if you really want to sweat on a certain day. Lázne na lodi is open seven days a week from 18:00-23:00 and Hajná says the plan is to stay open till the end of April this year. Last year, the sauna was only open from February to April. You can purchase gift vouchers on their website so it’s a great and different gift idea.
“People who like to do something unique and with a story will enjoy it,” Hajná said. “It’s just to have fun, enjoy really nice views to the castle and river, a special moment.”