Written by:
Linda Hosmer
Photographed by:
Rebekah Lemire

Tags: Move

Map It: 835 S Hill St.



If you’ve ever been to a sauna the following might’ve kept you from going back: the shady stranger sitting across from you at the gym (what are you staring at?), the suffocating heat (Is this death?) or the inability to do anything else (Ugh! I wish I could catch up on my shows!) Enter HotBox Infrared Sauna in DTLA — a new way to sauna that’ll help you sweat out all hesitation.

The idea came to founder Jessica Mortarotti after checking out a couple of saunas that left her feeling motivated to improve the current sauna culture, ”I think we could do this but better. ”

As soon as you walk in, you’re met with minimal design that feels elevated and super welcoming at the same time, plus it’s easy to get started. First things first pick your light. Huh? Yes you get the chance to choose the color of light that’ll fill your own private sauna box. Each light represents your mood goals: pink — calm, orange — confidence, blue — clarity. Next, you enter your own private room with a shower but not just any shower, this one has a Vitamin C filter for that extra glow. So you wash off all the day’s nasties and now you’re ready to step inside your own private Arizona at 106 degrees.


“You can lose up to 600 calories in a single session (40 minutes), your blood pressure will decrease, your heart rate increases which is where that calorie loss comes in. Your skin will clear and you’ll sleep better at night,” says HotBox partner Brian Cohen about the benefits you’ll pick up after a solid sweat. Wait did you say 600 calories? Sounds like our favorite exercise ever — sitting on our ass. Oh, and did we mention the entertainment system? You can pump up your favorite jams on Spotify, flip through Netflix or Hulu, use your phone (yes inside the sauna!) and just zone out while your body and the infrared pair up to do all the work while you sauna and chill.

hotbox5But what separates this sauna experience from your traditional hot heat Finnish style saunas? “This uses the infrared light to actually penetrate deeper into your body to give you a deeper sweat, a better sweat,” says Brian. It’s what you’ll hear them call healthy heat. It’s a warm hug that isn’t suffocating, so it keeps your body from pushing the panic button in your brain. Instead you’ll just get smacked with delicious cool air once you step out and that’s when you realize the relaxing trip your body just took. You feel awake and at ease, not groggy — so it’s a perfect lunch break vacation. A healthy experience where you can center yourself in the middle of this chaotic city is exactly what you need.