Interview with Pleasuredrome brand manager: Chris Amos
Time Out London Interview with Chris Amos - Pleasuredrome brand manager.
How long has Pleasuredrome been open, and how long have you been part of the team?
Pleasuredrome is now in our 23rd year of welcoming men from all around the world to London. I have been a part of the team since 2014.
I understand that you guys had a renovation/expansion (THIS YEAR IS HAPPENING) - can you tell me about what that involved?
The spa is continually refurbishing, this year will see an expansion into the arch next door making the spa 50% bigger. This will enable us to open an additional twenty-two deluxe pods with TV, power points to recharge mobiles and controllable lighting. We are very excited about creating Britain’s first steam maze, sure to please the guys! Plus a brand new stone spa pool with unique water features will be added.
Would you say that there has been an increase in business in the past few years - or a decrease, or has it stayed about the same?
There has been a significant increase in recent years for a few good reasons. As gay venues have closed down in recent years, punters look for new places to go. Even with the popularity of dating apps, some men prefer to meet in person and have real world experiences. Being located in Waterloo, Pleasuredrome is easily accessible to a wide area including outside of London too. It is not uncommon to find men in the spa who come to London specifically to visit us.
What's your busiest time of the week?
Our Google business listing shows busiest times. After work from 5pm to 8pm on week days, then on weekends Pleasuredrome is busy into the night. However being 24/7 and always open, some guys prefer to come when less busy to enjoy the facilities and the bar is open 24/7 too.
What kind of clientele do you guys get? Has the type of guy who comes changed at all over the years?
If you want to see a broad variety of gay men then visit Pleasuredrome. We have bisexual men, young guys, older guys, all nationalities. The type of guy has not changed but what is noticeable is young men are coming in more often. They seem more at ease in visiting after coming of age than gay men did 10 years ago.
I know that you're open 365 days a year — do you get guys coming on xmas day?
Even Christmas Day is full of guys. There are lots of visitors to London who come by plus London is home to plenty of gay men whose families live elsewhere.
Apps like Grindr/Scruff are everywhere now — do you think that some guys are getting sick of them and going back to saunas instead?
Some guys certainly are using apps less. Also many guys just want to get out of the house. I think there is a resurgence in gay men going out to London's gay bars and venues again. At Pleasuredrome we have complimentary phone recharging lockers, plus wifi throughout. Some guys are still using their phones even when they visit. Pleasuredrome is good safe place to meet up too.
What do you think is the reason behind the enduring appeal of gay saunas?
Men only bathhouses, spas and saunas have been around for hundreds of years. Pleasuredrome's enduring appeal is because we invest heavily in the facilities, the steam rooms, saunas, spa pool, cinema, relaxation rooms, massage suites and bar. This a unique environment to step away from the worries of the world, take some time out, get your clothes off, wrap a towel around your waist and relax. This experience is not something that will ever lose its appeal.
What's in store for Pleasuredrome in 2019?
Recently we introduced our customer loyalty app Pleasuredrome Rewards, so guests can unlock rewards the more often they come. We offer promotions on the sun bed, massages and drinks in our 24/7 bar. You can join via our website www.pleasuredrome.com Later in the year we very excited with the upcoming expansion into the arch next door.