imageIf you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know that I am not averse to a gay sauna trip (or five) when I travel. But because I’ve been based in Mexico for the last year and a half where there is not such a huge sauna culture, I’ve been going through a dry phase of sauna visits. And so on my trip to Barcelona Pride as one of the #mygaypride blogging team, I was keen to get some sauna time in the diary. I was pretty overwhelmed by the choice as there are around six saunas to choose from in the city, but Eloi from Rainbow Barcelona (hella awesome gay tour company in Barcelona) reliably informed me that Sauna Casanova was the place to go. And who could give me better advice than a gay local person?

First of all, the location is perfect. It’s slap bang in the centre of Eixample (or Geixample), the gay district of Barcelona. Before I purposely visited Sauna Casanova, I noticed it on the streets a few times just by walking around this neighbourhood.

I had read online that the staff at Casanova were not especially friendly, but I didn’t find this to be the case. The guy on reception wasn’t the smiliest or most exuberant person in the world, but he certainly wasn’t rude. I was given my teeny tiny towel, two packets of lube, two condoms, a locker key, and flip flops. Pretty standard stuff. Also, know your shoe size in European sizes, because I had no idea of mine. The guy at reception spoke English too so don’t worry if you have broken Spanish.

I made my way upstairs and was confronted by a maze of dark corridors and rooms with guys hanging around and making that lingering eye contact that they make. It’s kind of an intense way to begin a sauna trip so I quickly absconded further to another floor that had a porn room,   a cafe, and a small jacuzzi. I sat in the porn room, and one thing I really didn’t like was that somebody came in and smoked. Not his fault, but still gross. Why would smoking be allowed in a sauna environment? That doesn’t make sense to me.

But my favourite spot was definitely the bottom floor (tee hee, I said bottom), which has a much larger jacuzzi, a bar that looks out on to the jacuzzi space, and a sauna too. The size of the jacuzzi means that you could easily fit twenty people inside. It was warm but not boiling hot, had a powerful jet system, and there was lots of play inside. I really liked that the bar is attached to the sauna area insead of a separate room, so that people could buy a drink, sit on one of the lounge chairs, and be a voyeur if they didnt want to actually go in the tub.

A good point and a bad point is that the guys were pretty much all stacked, and like, scoring 12 points in the guapo stakes. I am the skinniest of skinny men. It’s no problem for me, but if I’m in a sauna environment without much diversity in the bodies of the guys, that is kind of intimidating. Also I’m not really into muscled guys, and more often than not, they are not into me either. I am thirty years old, and pretty much everyone there was my age or older. If you want a stacked Daddy, then this place is perfect for you. If you are into cute twinks, then you might want to look elsewhere.

The whole pace was really clean and just nicely designed. Since saunas are inherently sleazy because of what happens inside of them, they can have a look of sleaze about them too. But not this place. The jacuzzi could have easily been a jacuzzi in a regular day spa.

I visited Sauna Casanova at 4am and left at 5am. Different parts of the world have different popular times for sauna visits, so its good to know when the sauna is gonna be a-poppin’ and when it’s gonna be a floppin’. But this was a good time to go, as The Gays tend to visit saunas after a jaunt to the club in Barcelona. In Asia, it is just the opposite, and you are best going in the afternoon. And actually, there were more people when I left the sauna than when I arrived, so the early hours seem like a good time.

Entry was €16.50, which is the most expensive it gets. Visit on a Tuesday or Thursday and you’ll pay €14.50.

Sauna Casanova: C. de Casanova 57

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