I’ve been a big fan of bathhouses ever since I did my big overseas trip in my 20s, so I am thrilled that Brisbane is finally getting wise to how great they are. The Bathhouse Albion is the latest bathhouse to hit the Brisbane scene, and it may just be its most luxurious yet. 

When I first was contacted to come and try out the space, you better believe I jumped at the chance—that RSVP button didn’t know what hit it. This place looked otherworldly in promo photos and I couldn’t wait to experience it. I know, SUCH a tough job I have, but someone has to do it.

A woman sits with her legs stretched out on a wooden sauna ledge, and behind a glass panel there is a fireplace to her left.
There is a FIREPLACE in the sauna.

Because I am a journalist I was allowed to take my phone in to take photos and make content, but when it opens The Bathhouse will be a phone-free zone. And honestly, if I didn’t have to cover the story I’d have loved the opportunity to switch off and truly relax because this is a place where you need to stop and take it all in. 

Our experience at The Bathhouse Albion

Brisbane’s newest bougie bathhouse is located in an industrial area in Albion, and the second you enter the building you feel a whole world away. 

When we arrive, we sign a brief waver before being guided through the soft flowy curtains to the facilities. We’re given a tour of the venue, with explanations of the processes as well as recommendations on how to best experience all the bathhouse has to offer. 

We head first to the change room (which has stunning looking showers, top hair and bodycare products and even a Dyson hairdryer). Once ready, we head out into a room called the Tea Lounge, where we pick up our towels and can choose a herbal tea to begin the de-stressing. 

Once we cross the threshold into The Bathhouse, it feels like we’ve entered a sacred underground temple. Floor to ceiling Travertine stone and some serious mood lighting transport me instantly to one of the Euro bathhouses I had loved so much in my travels. 

A pair of feet crossed at the ankles float in a pool, facing a fireplace.

In front of us are three pools, a 6-degree ice bath, 12-degree cold plunge pool and a 38-degree heated vitality pool. At the end of these pools, carved out of the stone, there’s a double-sided fireplace that peeks through into one of the saunas. Yep, a FIREPLACE sauna… divine. 

In addition, there are also infrared saunas for LED skincare goodness, a tiered steam room and a Finnish sauna. 

At first I don’t think I am going to even attempt the cold plunge or ice bath—after all, it is a chilly winter night. Then my friend had to be all brave and do it so it felt like I had to woman up and get it done.

My only experience in a cold plunge before had me lasting only 30 seconds in an 11-degree pool, so I was determined to last longer than that. I decide to go for the 12-degree pool because I am a big baby and 6 degrees sounds positively frosty. I dip a toe in and wonder what I have got myself into. My friend tells me the trick is not to linger and just to GET IN. So I cross my arms for extra warmth and just walk in. I manage to get up to my shoulders and I start watching the clock. Five seconds feels like five minutes when you can’t feel your toes. 

A brunette woman with a messy bun stands in a pool with water up to her chest with a surprised look on her face.
The cold plunge is cold. DAMN cold. But it’s SO good for me.

After a few quick trial runs (and a whole lot of doubting myself) I manage to last three consecutive minutes in the 12-degree pool and even 30 seconds in the 6-degree pool! “Why on earth would you put yourself through this icy torture?” I hear you ask. Because getting into the heated pool afterwards feels SO DAMN GOOD. It’s a bubbly feeling as the sensation comes back to your extremities—like luxuriating in a glass of champagne. 

The sauna with the fireplace looking out into the pool is pure class, and the flames are hypnotic. I’ve never tried an infrared sauna before but I do today because it looks FANCY. I use and love my home LED mask so I look forward to it helping out my body too. 

A brunette woman in a black bathing suit is in an infrared sauna and there is a red light tint over her whole body.
Infrared sauna goodness. I look good in red.

We pop into the steam room and the rush of steam billowing out the door in the low light looks positively magical. It’s far too hot for me on the top tier but the bottom tiled step is ideal. About two minutes later I remember I have a full face of makeup on just as I feel the trickle of what I am pretty sure is mascara rolling down my cheek. I must look like a banshee but I am too blissed out to care. 

The 90-minute session goes way too fast and I am already planning my return visit with my fellow spa and bathhouse loving friends. 

The Bathhouse Albion has spared no expense in having a venue with the finest finishes and details designed for the ultimate wellness experience. It really does feel like you’re somewhere out of place and time, designed specifically to wash away all the stress you’ve worked up through the week. I leave the Bathhouse feeling so relaxed I just KNOW I will have a great night’s sleep. Even the chilly night air can’t touch me because I am warm to my bones, my circulation firing on all cylinders thanks to the alternating hot/cold sensations. 

The Bathhouse Albion is a truly special place that offers both physical relaxation and mental rejuvenation, making it a worthwhile experience for anyone looking to escape the stresses of daily life and indulge in self-care.

The Bathhouse Albion, 64 Nariel St, Albion QLD. p. 1300 994 616

Elizabeth Best

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