ANY TIME IS A GOOD TIME, Right?
As Pleasuredrome Spa Bar recently celebrated being open for 26 years, Gay London Life caught up with their marketing director Chris Amos for a chat.
GLL: Congratulations to Pleasuredrome celebrating its 26th anniversary. This is quite an achievement, what’s the secret to success?
Thank-you. Is hard to pinpoint exactly why. After all this time, Pleasuredrome has become a must-visit destination for gay travellers. And a regular safe place for locals to come for their relaxation. The gay owners of the venue take this responsibility seriously and put customer safety a number one priority. They pay great attention to making sure the facilities are clean and in good repair. Throughout the lockdown, they used the time closed to fully refurbished at a cost of over a million pounds focusing on cleanliness and hygiene. Our central London location in Waterloo plays a big part in the success too. Pleasuredrome has well-planned facilities under the railway arches…the walk-through showers, cinema room, steam rooms, saunas… guests wander around the labyrinth and discover these facilities. It’s easy to get lost. The clever layout creates a unique experience for our visitors, like when you are a kid going through a maze of mirrors…but more fun. Plus the high volume of guys means you are always likely to have new encounters.
GLL: Is it true that Pleasuredrome has a 24-hour licenced bar?
The venue never closes and the bar never shuts. There is no other gay venue in the UK that can boast this. We take the health and safety of guests very seriously. That we are legally able to sell alcohol 24/7 is a testament to this. Nowadays people work all sorts of shifts and hours. We are proud to host men whenever they want to come and visit. Since our refurbishment guests have been enjoying the bar area and socialising a lot more. The vibe is cool.
GLL: Recently Pleasuredrome’s publicity has moved away from the ripped hunks. How has the response been to this?
The reaction is great, we often receive messages thanking us for doing this. Working with the new models has been rewarding. We spend quite a bit of money putting together these shoots, everyone is paid. After the covid shutdown, we wanted to reopen with inclusive models that better represent Pleasuredrome guests. Over 10,000 guys visit every month, they come from all walks of life, nationalities, ages etc. Naturally, it made better sense to showcase this. For this year’s annual model search, there were over 300 applicants with 20 guys being selected for the shoot. The photographer Johan Cloete and I have organised fifteen shoots now. We are well rehearsed to shoot four to five guys in the morning or afternoon, plus film a few videos for our socials. The models always bond, and many become friends after. It is good to see marketing in the mainstream be more inclusive. I feel this makes us all more accepting of each other.
GLL: We love getting your weekly Pleasure Trove newsletter. How do readers sign up to receive this?
We started our weekly newsletters for our guests to help keep them entertained at home throughout the covid lockdowns. During the first few months, we even had recipes, at-home workouts, and musicals to watch. Part of the Pleasuredrome ethos is well-being. Spas provide great relief and comfort for men to be themselves. We want our guests to know we care about them. This was the first time in Pleasuredrome’s history we had closed our doors. It was a traumatic time for everyone. Thankfully we have about 5000 email addresses for guests, plus thousands on our social channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so were able to keep in touch with them. The reaction to the newsletter has been great, with many guys letting us know they really appreciated the weekly round-up. These days we cherry-pick the latest music, trailers, DJ mixes, and TV shows to watch – a little weekly digest of what’s hot on the gay pulse.
If any Gay London Life readers wish to subscribe they can do at www.pleasuredrome.com