Three years ago my wife and I bought a vacation condo that included a sauna:
It's located in Glacier, WA, near the Mt. Baker ski area (currently the ski area with the best snow in Washington state). It was built in 1977 at Snowater Resort, and the sauna is part of 70's vibe the resort has. (We rent the condo to cover its expenses. If you're interested in renting, Mt. Baker Lodgings manages our rentals).
Two years ago, we bought a house in Seattle that happened to have a sauna:
No, we weren't looking for a house with a sauna (and I haven't seen another house with a sauna in Seattle), but the house we found and loved had one. So, now we have two saunas.
If you take a look at the above photo, you can see that the sauna's location is unusual. This is how the sauna is accessed:
The house was built over 100 hundred years ago, and the sauna was put in with a remodel about 25 years ago. The owner that did the remodel was an architectural engineer - and you can tell. He did a wonderful job with the remodel and it shows off his design skills well, especially the practical use of space.
At first, you may think the location of the sauna was an absolutely ingenious idea. You have this house with an unused attic space; why not put in a loft with a sauna?
Let me tell you, this was a bad idea. The post-sauna heat-induced relaxed and limber state has a tendency to disappear during the climb down, as you grip the ladder with sweaty hands, hoping you don't slip and end up sprawled in pain naked on the hard tile floor.
I have thought about how to convert the sauna into useful space. Back in my single days I owned a condo where I put in a loft; it was my office space, but it was also a great place to get away to relax and take a nap (and I really missed it after I moved). Alas, my great idea to repurpose the sauna just won't work. For privacy, the loft would need to be enclosed from the bathroom, and there's just nowhere to put in a ladder or stairs without an awkward setup that would ruin the efficient and aesthetic design of the remodel.
As the title of this post says, sometimes great ideas just don't work in real life. But you can still appreciate an idea even if it ends up being a failure.
I still think it's awesome we have a sauna in the attic, but it's just so impractical we don't use it (although kids think it's great for hide-and-seek).