Small Business Saturday Blog

Coming in from the cold in central London

Tuesday, November 07, 2023 at 06:30

The Bath House – Banya London is a unique establishment that offers guests a traditional banya experience consisting of steam baths, restorative and invigorating treatments, and Eastern European food and drink.
The banya is the Slavic cousin of the Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam, and other steam baths. Hotter than the hammam, but cooler and more humid than the sauna, the temperature in the steam room ranges from 60-75°C, with a humidity of 60-70%.
In the past century, many banyas arrived in England with the mass immigration of Jews. For them, the banya was part of religious ritual, and they would visit before going to the synagogue. Many of these banyas were destroyed, and only now is this culture being revived.
The Bath House’s mission is to introduce the local community to the banya culture. Director Robert Procopé told us, “Our mission as a business is to educate a wider audience about the numerous benefits of the banya and to promote banya culture in general. These benefits include physical and mental health, general wellness and self-care, healthy habits and new ways of socialising. We are delighted to be part of American Express’ Shop Small campaign and be featured on the Shop Small map, which will help us share the story of the banya with as many people as possible.”
The Bath House – Banya London was established in 2019 by Robert, a Brit, and Alexander Lazarev, who was born in Ukraine, and who are both great lovers of the banya. The business withstood the challenges of repeated closures during the pandemic and is now the top ranked spa in London on TripAdvisor.
Located opposite Buckingham Palace in Victoria in the heart of London, it blends the traditions of the traditional Slavic banya with the best of the contemporary spa, and is inspired by the grand urban bath houses of tsarist Moscow and St Petersburg. Guests enjoy the deep penetrative heat of the sauna, the ice cold plunge pools, delicious homemade Eastern European food, and authentic treatments like parenie, organic honey and coffee scrubs, and seaweed wraps.
The business is located in a former bank: the main parilka (banya) is situated where the money vault used to be. Robert told us, “With our central London location and international outlook, we have a lot of international clients. American Express is one of the most recognisable brands in the world, so it is reassuring for our guests when they visit us.”
The Bath House is an active supporter of a range of different charities and initiatives. It plays an active role in the local community, supports Ukrainian refugees, and contributes to Sauna Aid, a charity set up to bring the warmth and healing power of the sauna to people in Ukraine. It tries to maintain sustainability by minimizing the use of all resources, recycling, and reusing materials with very little plastic or non-recyclable components. All treatment ingredients are organic.
So far, The Bath House has performed more than 30,000 parenie rituals (traditional steam and leaf massage) since opening and plans to expand further both in London and beyond.
Visit The Bath House – Banya London at 1 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0BD, or online here. Click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


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