Getting to know Sailors Sauna

QX meets sauna owner Richard to talk shop, and why sauna’s are still so popular.

Saunas are a valued part of our culture as gay men. They’ve been there for us from the days of ancient Greece, through the early ‘70s, and are still a vital part of the scene to this day. We decided to sit down for a chat with the owner of one of London’s most popular saunas, Sailors Saunas, to ask why they’re still so popular with so many of us

Hey there, Richard! How’s this year been for you over at Sailors Sauna?

Well, this year we have done lots of work on the building and have seen an increase in customers, we are now looking forward to the coming week since we’re going 24hrs on the weekends very soon.

VERY exciting! Even with the world of apps and the Internet, saunas are still are still popular…why do you think that is?


People like to see what they’re getting as well as enjoying the company of like-minded people and the relaxation that only a sauna can offer. The problem with shopping online is you don’t know if it will ever arrive, the authenticity of it, the size of it or if the pictures are for display purposes only…

And returning those kinds of packages ain’t so easy… For those who have never been to Sailors before, how describe it in one sentence?

It’s the really just best place to cruise and relax.

Give us a bit of a background on Sailors. How did it all start?

Do you remember the Remington advert? “I liked it so much I bought the company.” Well, Sailors was my First Sauna and I loved it so much. The rest is history!

We’ve heard you do SUNDAY LUNCH! Tell us a bit about that.

It’s not only on Sunday that we offer a complimentary buffet. We also do a Friday Evening which is our East End chippy night, so you can grab a big battered sausage on your way home. (We are the only sauna that can guarantee you will get that sausage you came for…) On a Monday we have our Big-n-Cuddly day with the Ship’s Galley open all day. That’s Breakfast, Lunch and an Evening Meal.

Right, let’s get down to details. Fill us in on what kind of facilities you have!

Steam, Sauna, a Large Spa pool and private rooms with multi-channel televisions so you can pick what you want to watch at no extra charge. We have a sitting room where you can enjoy a chat and a snack with other customers, and not forgetting the Roof Garden where you don’t have to get dressed and go out of the club for a ciggy. Oh! And I almost forgot! We have a new room on the top floor for groups to enjoy.

How fab! Finally…what do you want people to get out of a trip over to Sailors?

To have had fun, relax and meet new friends.

What more could you need! Thanks for taking the time to chat Richard.

Sailors Sauna, 570-574 Commercial Road, London E14 7JD.
Open 11 am – 11pm, Sunday to Thursday. 11 am – 8 am (the next day) on Fridays and Saturdays. Entry £18.