Let’s get naked in Aqualand

04-aqualand-spassbad-koeln

Aqualand is essentially a swimming pool with water slides; but it’s also an imitation-jungle-paradise-beach-club that thinks it’s a healing-spa-sanctuary – at least that’s the only explanation I can find for the hundreds of crystals liberally scattered around the place.

You can either drift around in pools – which are saline not chlorinated – or throw yourself down water slides that differ in size and length and terrifyingness. There’s one that’s tiny and coffin-like and features a loop-the-loop and – because that’s not scary enough – a dead drop too. The whole place is generally loud, there are often queues for the slides, and it’s literally chocka-block full of children. Your kids will absolutely LOVE it.

You, on the other hand, might not. But that’s OK, because when the noise level gets too much, you can slip away into the sauna paradise upstairs. This is a quiet, calm oasis that smells divine thanks to all those lovely essential oils they use. You have to get your kit off, aquasaunaof course, which isn’t for everyone, but only in the actual saunas, the rest of the time you can wrap yourself modestly in a towel or bathrobe.

There are loads of saunas to choose from, both inside and out in the sauna garden, they feature varying temperatures and a number of different “aufguse” – special sauna treatments like honey and salt, or twirling twigs. They often come with some fruit or a fancy drink afterwards. It’s the first place where I’ve seen 100° saunas – which are surely only for the insane.

I really liked the Zen Sauna, which instead of being a dark little wooden hut, featured a wall of glass and a view of a zen garden. In order to get the most of your sauna experience you need a few hours of rest between each sweat, but if you have got kids in the pool area you can easily slip back and forth between the wellness area and the pools. The price for a family of 4 for four hours its around €60 (including sauna for adults) – which is quite a lot, but is worth every penny if you can slip out the door to peace and tranquillity between bouts of slippy-slidey-noisy mayhem.

 

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