Mittwoch, 9. Juli 2014

At Sultan Hamam

As Berlin has the biggest Turkish community outside Turkey, expect a lot of interesting hamam offers in the most unexpected places. However, it seems that some of the best are well hidden waiting to be discovered. Sultan Hamam was opened in 1999 and is situated in a building hosting various companies and offices on Bülowstraße, close to the U7 Yorkstrasse metro station. At the first sight, the entrance into the building doesn't look very inviting, but dare to go further on. 
The hamam was created in the space of the apartments, adapted to the various facilities of the steam bath, sauna and other wellness services offered. Upon arrival, the visitor is invited to rest and take his or her time. The decorations and design are minimal, simple. The space combines the relaxation features with the cleanliness/bathing and various modern wellness services. 
Although the steam bath and bath are the main purposes, additional services, some of them included in the price of the ticket are offered too: a little hairdressing parlour, peeling, massage, various cosmetic services. There are different promotional packages offered and the prices are affordable
The daily program is separated for genders. The men are allowed only on Mondays, from 12pm to 11pm. From Tuesday to Saturday, the hamam is the meeting place of the women. Family programs are available on Sundays, days when wearing the swimsuit is requested. 
The visitor is given upon arrival a brass shell ornated with Oriental motives, and an olive soap. With the shell, one will pour the water on the body. It is a slowly ancient ritual, that require time and patience, and might bring a lot of relaxation. Think about the time running as water and the patience you need to fill the little shell again and again.
The Finnish sauna could be a good additional service especially during the cold days of the long winter in Berlin. From autumn till late spring, the hamam is very busy, trying to bring a ray of light - although artificial light - into the dark life of the citizens of Berlin. During the summer, reservations 2-3 days in advance are possible, while for the winter/autumn, at least one week is advance is recommended. 

Comfy chairs are provided for those looking for relaxation after or in between various wellness services. Some of the chairs are placed outside, on a small balcony decorated in warm colours. After visiting each of the rooms and facilities, I might be tempted to come back in one of the days provided for women. Especially when you can offer so many additional services and facilities that can give a full feeling of relaxation and wellness. With affordable prices and many tempting packages, the Sultan Hamam can be a good opportunity for doing something special for yourself, at least once in a while.

Disclaimer: I was offered a complimentary tour of the Sultan Hamam but the opinions are, as always, my own

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