The urban health club has been a Detroit institution for over 100 years.

One of the city's best kept secrets is reaching a new generation thanks to TikTok. Based on the traditional Jewish steam baths of Eastern Europe, have you heard of The Schvitz?

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People have been schvitz'n for centuries but I only recently learned about Michigan's historic health club. A friend in the know first told me about it several years ago and on my latest trip to Detroit I finally stopped in to experience it myself!

The Schvitz Detroit
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About The Schvitz

Located in an unassuming neighbor in Detroit, The Schvitz first opened in 1930 as The Oakland Bath House. According to Detroit's WXYZ the building was originally a Jewish community center before being converted into a health club.

As the years went on the building fell into disrepair and debauchery, and became a swingers club in the '70s before closing for a time. The Schvitz was all but forgotten when new owner Paddy Lynch took the place over.

The Schvitz Detroit
Lauren G/TSM
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Today, it's one of Michigan's trendiest spas on TikTok!

How Do You 'Schvitz'?

You wouldn't look twice at The Schvitz if you passed it on the street but if you know, you know.

After being buzzed into the building you are greeted with the classic old-world charm you'd expect: stained glass, ornate light fixtures, dark woods, and dim lighting. The only thing missing is a thick hovering cloudy of smoke-- which I'm sure was omnipresent back in the old days!

The Schvitz Detroit
Lauren G/TSM
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There are specific men-only and women-only hours, as well as co-ed hours where bathing suits are required. Other than that everything is pretty much fair game including the amount of clothing you wear! This is no place to be modest.

Guests are able to rent necessities like robes and flip-flips or bring their own. B.Y.O. alcohol is allowed and the patio area is smoke-friendly---no matter which combustible you choose to inhale. As their website explains,

this old-world oasis still offers the very best in ancient heat therapies and holistic healing. Great food and camaraderie will complete your restorative stay.

And that's exactly what I experienced first hand! Whether it's your first time or you're a regular at The Schvitz you'll find everyone from staff to fellow guests to be the most welcoming and inclusive group.

The Schvitz Detroit
Lauren G/TSM
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Local, woman-owned businesses are often on-site to offer additional services like facials, traditional Russian platza massages, tarot readings, and local food vendors are even on-site. For all my rock and crystal girlies, this place is for you!

I could have spent all day at The Schvitz alternating between the wet sauna (Banya) and the cold plunge pool. If you need a secret oasis to decompress I highly recommend checking out this little gem. Find pricing and services here.

 

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