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Fodor's Moscow & St. Petersburg
Sandunovskiye Bani Review
This impeccably clean banya, known also simply as "Sanduny," is probably the city's most elegant bathhouse, with a lavish blue-and-gold-painted interior dating to the early 1800s. The entrance is marked by wrought-iron lamps and a circular marble staircase. The VIP section has a pool surrounded by marble columns and a lounge with leather booths. Note that the banya essentials of a towel and a sheet to sit on in the steam room cost extra; you can also bring your own. You can also purchase birch branches, which you may be able to convince a fellow bather to beat you with (or you can hire a trained masseuse there to do it). This is a classic Russian banya procedure that's supposedly good for the skin. There is a thorough list of rules and recommendations printed in English at the ticket booth. On-site facilities include a beauty parlor and, of course, more traditional massage.
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You guys were very helpful while planning, and during, our last trip (7 weeks to Turkey and Greece last spring), so I'd like your thoughts and suggestions while planning our next trip.
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