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Old Jun 7, 15, 9:34 am #1
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nudeity inGerman Hotel spas!!!

While Germany is not one of my regular destinations, I was recently on a business trip to Frankfurt for a few days where I was staying at the Frankfurt Hilton. The health club is apparently operated by fitness first and the Hilton charge for it, however as a diamond member I was told that I had free access as one of my benerfits, so after a stressful day went down for some chill out time. I have to say it is one of the best hotel health clubs that I have used, the gym is amazing. Had a great workout, the pool looked busy so decided to go into the wellness area which is COED though was mainly young German males using the facility after work. Having gone to the locker room to change from my gym kit to my swimmers headed through and went into the steam room, where I was confronted by 2 young males who were completely naked and stared atme, making me feel quite uncomfortable. 2 minutes later they left but obviously went and told an attendant I was wearing swimshorts. A young man who worked for the health club then came along and told me that the area was strictly nude. I asked if he was serious. While Im a fit young athletic male and not shy about showing my body off I thought this was frankly ridiculous particularly since it was a mixed area. I was also upset the other users found it necessary to get a member of staff rather than just explaining the rules and requesting me to take my swimmers off.
The member of staff said it was for hygiene reasons which I found even more ridiculous. He then basically stood there and watched me remove my swimwear, as I proceeded to throw my towel round my waiste, he told me to take the towel off and enter the steam room completely naked as I must be fully exposed. The german men were also just jumping into the Jacuzzi stark naked. I gave this one a miss!!! When I went for a sauna, I had even more drama. The sauna was quite full about 7 naked men and 2 young naked woman! This would never be acceptable in the UK, Youd get yourself arrested. I then got told off for not placing my feet on a towel. You have to take off your towel and have it covering both benches while you sauna. After only about 15 mins in the spa, I left feeling more stressed than when I arrived. If a hotel spa is going to have such crazy rules they should inleast explain them to hotel guests in advance rather than causing them embarrassment on arrival. Is this exclusive to the Frankfurt Hilton or do these crazy rules apply at all German hotel spas? Any German travellers came across this?

Last edited by JDiver; Jun 18, 15 at 12:23 am Reason: Preserve original post title
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Old Jun 7, 15, 1:44 pm #2
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As they say, when in Rome....

Sit back and enjoy the view.
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Old Jun 7, 15, 1:51 pm #3
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Why should they care if you choose to wear swim trunks?
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Old Jun 11, 15, 12:45 pm #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingboy200 View Post
Having gone to the locker room to change from my gym kit to my swimmers headed through and went into the steam room, where I was confronted by 2 young males who were completely naked and stared atme, making me feel quite uncomfortable...

...I was also upset the other users found it necessary to get a member of staff rather than just explaining the rules and requesting me to take my swimmers off.
Your post is quite informative, but I think you may be off about being upset that they asked a staff member to explain the rules to you. That was the correct move for them.

Consider the alternative.

Two nude dudes that made you uncomfortable by staring at you (your words) and may or may not speak your language and have no authority at the spa proceed to request in basic english and hand gestures that you take your trunks off because it's "the rules."

Response 1: You ask if nude dudes are serious (as you did when informed by the staff member) and then proceed to inform a staff member that a couple of hooligans are trying to trick you into getting naked.

Response 2: You ask if nude dudes are serious (as you did when informed by the staff member.) They say "Ja." You believe them and sheepishly comply like the Coco photo shoot scene in Fame.

These 2 scenarios still likely end up with you being upset.


I agree that the hotel or spa should explain this to guests. Easy way to minimize confusion and avoid drama.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 2:46 pm #5
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Thanks Roger,
I hear what your saying. I travel widely all over the world and have never come across this before in a coed international hotel club, hence the surprise
Hence Im asking was this a local rule for the fitness first health club adjacent to the Frankfurt Hilton or is this the general thing in Germany?
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Old Jun 13, 15, 3:12 pm #6
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As travellers, we're often, er, exposed to different cultures. It's a good idea to be prepared to deal with those differences.

In Japan, Lady JDiver needed to use the WC. I pointed out the men and women entrances and laughingly said "I'll see you in there". I did. Japanese people in that situation just carry on without acknowledging the other gender's presence.

In Bali, we saw naked people bathing in rice field irrigation canals. The social coping mechanism is to act as if a naked person taking their ablutions are in essence invisible.

Back to Japan, there are still numbers of places that will ban people with significant tattooing from pools, spas or ofuro, because tattoos were mainly sported by made members of the yakuza (organized crime gangs that make mafia look like rank amateurs). And one would never, ever enter a soaking tub whilst soaped up!

I've visited and spent time in 98 of 196 independent nations, seven decades of traveling - still learning and loving it. Jawohl!
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Old Jun 13, 15, 3:30 pm #7
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I think there are some cultural differences that manifest themselves in German attitudes toward nudity in certain situations. One sees many naked Germans on southern European beaches that tolerate it; often these are older and/or obese bodies.

I still remember my surprise when swimming in an elegant hotel pool in Germany to see some middle-aged guy get out of the pool and proceed to remove his swimming costume (speedos IIRC) totally and stand there naked as the vacuum extractor machine (that thing that's used to get swimwear almost dry) did its cycle. He acted as if it were the most natural thing in the world to parade around naked after his swim and no one else seemed to notice.
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Old Jun 13, 15, 3:48 pm #8
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It's much the same in parts of the Scandinavian/Nordic region. Apparently being naked in the sauna is considered more hygienic than being in the sauna with a swimsuit or even just a towel sometimes.
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Old Jun 15, 15, 11:04 am #9
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I've not used the pools/saunas in Germany, just the regular health clubs (ie, treadmills). I'm still trying to figure out how naked bottoms are supposed to by more hygienic than a towel or swimsuit.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 16, 15, 10:17 am #10

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This is common behavior in many places. Some have both gender nude bathing, some have male only & and female only bathing

I've been to hotels in Japan where the baths are same gender nude bathing, soaking, sauna. Same thing in China and Korea.

In Germany the famous Baden Baden spas have same gender days and mixed gender days. All totally nude.

And, for those of us who have been around a while there were decades when swimming at the YMCA or taking swimming lessons at a college meant you were swimming naked. Right here in the U.S,

See e.g. http://vocativ.com/culture/fun/f...swimmers-nude/

Note: you will see a couple photos of naked butts in the link above.
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Old Jun 23, 15, 5:01 pm #11
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The residual soap in clothing gets in the pool. I think that's the justification. It is certainly true with our hot tub at home.

That German pool sounds awesome
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Old Jun 26, 15, 8:05 pm #12
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The residual soap in clothing gets in the pool. I think that's the justification. It is certainly true with our hot tub at home.

That German pool sounds awesome
Soap has never touched my bathing suit. It is rinsed in cold water, well, after each wearing.
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Old Jun 27, 15, 10:23 pm #13
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Austria is also naked co-ed saunas.

As for Japan, I believe you are supposed to make a big show of cleansing yourself before going into a spa.

I've noticed in Europe (outside Germany/Austria) that you'll know who the Germans are in saunas as they're the ones wrapped in towels and you just know they're buck underneath.

Still on the subject of Germans, there's lots where I am and my wife (ethnic Austrian) was commenting that if you saw most of the older people buck naked in the hot springs, it is a sight that once seen simply cannot be unseen.
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Old Jun 27, 15, 10:24 pm #14
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I've not used the pools/saunas in Germany, just the regular health clubs (ie, treadmills). I'm still trying to figure out how naked bottoms are supposed to by more hygienic than a towel or swimsuit. .
Good thing you used the name "health club" instead of gymnasium.....
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Old Jun 27, 15, 11:28 pm #15

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I've seen gyms in the UK say that swimming trunks + towel are required for hygiene reasons. Suspect it's just much easier to say that than say "complicated social expectations". Nobody wants to be unhygienic!
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