As part of our series looking at the gay sauna scene in Paris, Absolu Living absolutely had to visit Sun City: located in the Marais, it’s Europe’s biggest gay sauna.
A whole world of well-being in the middle of the Marais
The complex, which occupies some 4 000 square metres (43 000 square feet) over three floors, is open seven days a week. It includes a huge eastern-style hammam, a sauna, two jacuzzis, a pool, backrooms, video rooms (with adult movies and others) and a gym. But the most unique feature is the Indian-themed décor, of which there’s sometimes just a little too much: there can be so many kitsch Indian figurines that the whole place ends up looking a little naff in Sun City really is huge and we often got lost, especially on the maze-like second floor which combines the sauna itself and the backrooms.
Speaking of the sauna, we think it’s too small and feels cramped compared to the other facilities.
Pool is a big plus
Sun City’s big advantage is the presence of a pool, which can provide a relaxing break from having fun elsewhere. Not many saunas in Paris have a pool, so it’s a shame that it’s so cold that not many guys actually use it!
Victim of its own success?
The welcome on offer from the staff is somewhat variable, and depends on who is on duty at reception or behind the bar. In fact, the huge size of the place and the crowds can sometimes feel cold and impersonal, a bit like you’re in a factory rather than a sauna. That’s especially true with some customers who know exactly what they’re there for and don’t spend much time trying to get to know anybody else, although that’s more the case at the weekend than during the week. On the subject of people being socialable, we noticed several customers asleep in the deckchairs by the pool, waiting for the 6 am closing time …
Lastly, the hygeine could be improved in some places. Depending on the time of day, the hygeine quality can quickly drop off, and we sometimes got the impression that some of the decoration was chosen to hide the dirt! We definitely recommend you visit earlier on in the evening rather than towards closing time! That said, the problems we spotted mostly concern the cruising areas and not the pool or jacuzzi space.
There are also two different parties at the sauna. The ‘Sexy Arabs’ event takes place on the first and third Wednesday of every month, and includes free massages, henna tatoos and mint tea. The other party is ‘Bear’s Day’, every second Saturday, which is for hairy guys!
Sun City might be one of Paris’ biggest saunas, but it’s also one of the most expensive. it costs 19.50 € during the week and 20 € at the weekend. However, it’s one of the cheapest places to go if you’re young as it’s just 12 € all week long for anybody under 26 . That means the customer base is pretty young, and there is a very diverse mix of guys, with lots of black and Arab visitors.
Overall, Sun City is a great bet for youngsters finding their feet in gay Paris or anybody who needs a little bit of space! The pool is defintely a big advantage, as is the hammam. Finally, we can only recommend you try to visit on a Wednesday or a Thursday evening so you can avoid some of the hygeine problems that crop up when things get busier.
For more information:
Facebook Page – Website : www.suncity-paris.fr/
Address : 62 Boulevard de Sébastopol – 75003 Paris
Tel : 01 42 74 31 41 – Metro station line 4 “Etienne Marcel” or line 11 “Rambuteau”