Bath, a picturesque city about an hour west of London, is what is known affectionately as a spa town. The name sounds luxurious doesn’t it? It conjures up images of being pampered and having a good time.
The city of Bath dates back to Roman England, when it was named Aquae Sulis for the geothermal hot springs in the area. The Romans built a large temple and bath complex to both worship and make use of these precious mineral waters. Bath next hit its peak during the Georgian period when it was fashionable for those with health complaints to spend a season in the city to ‘take the waters.’
Today it is possible to visit what is left of the original Roman baths, however, a luxurious modern day spa, now celebrating its tenth birthday, is also making use of Britain’s only thermal waters. Thermae Bath Spa mixes a historic and contemporary spa experience offering access to two natural thermal baths (one inside, one rooftop) that draw water from the original thermal spring.
As well as the opportunity to float in thermal waters to your heart’s content, a visit to the spa gives one access to a unique steam room. Four steam pods fill a large square room, each brimming with a differently scented steam including sandalwood and lemon, and eucalyptus. After steaming yourself for 20 minutes you can rinse off in a cold shower to close up the pores and then pop into a different pod for another steam.
Thermae Bath Spa also contains over twenty treatment rooms. When we visited the spa we chose a Thermae Together package, which allowed us up to 6 hours access to the spa and it’s facilities, a treatment, and dinner in the spa’s restaurant. We had three treatment options to choose from: a facial, a massage, or a Watsu water treatment (a cross between massage and acupuncture while floating in water). After a very long flight from Australia, we chose a massage.
Our massage treatment was booked in the middle of our visit, before dinner. After enjoying each of the pools and the steam room for over 2 hours we presented ourselves at the treatment suite to fill out a short form to help individually tailor our massage. Although the massage was lovely and relaxing I couldn’t help but feel that it addressed none of the specific problem areas I had raised with the therapist and that it was just a generic treatment. When I compared notes with my partner on his experience, he also agreed.
We were given a fresh dry robe to wear to dinner, however, we still had the same sopping wet slippers, which by now were quite uncomfortable. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a nice meal with the added novelty of eating in a dressing gown. Although we still had some time after our dinner to continue to use the facilities we were finally dry and sufficiently relaxed and decided to call an end to our time at Thermae Bath Spa.
I have now visited this spa twice, once on my own when it first opened, and now again 9 years later with my partner and I would have no hesitation in going again, although, I would definitely opt for a different treatment than a massage. I felt the price we paid was reasonable for what we got (195 pounds) and the chance to enjoy the same thermal waters as the Romans was very special indeed.