There are some people who regularly go to the spa. Whether it is for a spa weekend, a day of relaxation, or simply to treat themselves to one of the many treatments available, for some people spas are an important part of their life. I’d never really understood what the fuss was about. Spending a full day not really doing anything – surely I’d get bored?! Yet there was something about them that made me curious and want to understand the appeal. When James treated me to a trip to the Thermae Bath Spa for Christmas I was very excited, and part of that was because I’d finally get to see what all the fuss was about…
The Thermae Bath Spa is Britain’s original natural thermal spa. The waters in the city of Bath are a constant thread throughout the city’s history and have been enjoyed by people through the ages. The thermal waters contain over 42 different minerals which are meant to have healing properties; one of the reasons that spas have been so popular throughout history. The water in the baths at Thermae are approximately 33.5 degrees celsius and feel beautifully warm, particularly in contrast to the cold winter air.
James and I each received a “Thermae Treat”, which included: a 3 hour spa session; a towel, robe and slippers; and a back massage and facial or a back massage and head and foot massage. The time allocated for the treatment is in addition to the spa time, and you are allocated extra time for showering and drying your hair. Unfortunately the steam rooms were closed for refurbishment during our visit, however as a result of this we were each given a two hour spa voucher to return any time up until November which means we will be able to make use of the facilities at another point in the year.
The highlight of the entire experience for me was the open-air rooftop pool – although you definitely feel the cold when you get out! There are beautiful views over Bath and the surrounding hills which add to the relaxing experience. I’d advise doing what we did, and opt for a time that will allow you to see the rooftop pool in the day time and at night. Unfortunately it was a cloudy night so we couldn’t see any stars, but the pool glowed a lovely blue colour and you could see Bath Abbey lit up in the distance.
The spa treatments themselves were enjoyable, but I’m not sure I’d rush back. I actually found the back massage incredibly painful rather than relaxing, but I did feel better afterwards so it must have done some good… The facial was nice, and as I had never had one before I was intrigued what it would be like. I didn’t see any noticeable difference to my skin afterwards, but I did enjoy it. After the treatments have taken place you are given a treatment card, where your therapist will mark out what they used on you and what they suggest you purchase from the shop. I have to admit I didn’t take much notice of this as I wasn’t planning to purchase anything. The prices weren’t too extravagant, but it is still significantly more than I pay on skincare at the moment.
Following the treatments and before returning to the rooftop pool we headed to the largest thermal bath, the Minerva Bath. The Minerva Bath was beautifully designed with several large columns, and included space around the edge where you could sit and read or just enjoy the warm air. The Minerva bath included a whirlpool and “lazy river” but whilst it was lovely, for us it couldn’t compete with the open-air experience.
Curiosity satisfied, I can now understand the appeal of spas. I still don’t think I’d go out of my way to have a spa weekend, but if one was offered to me I wouldn’t say no! I left feeling calmer, more relaxed and happy because I had enjoyed the experience. I will look forward to returning for our complimentary two hour session once the Wellness Suite has opened! By the way I apologise for the lack of my own photos in this post, particularly as the spa was very photogenic, however Thermae operate a no phones and cameras policy (which I believe help added to the relaxing experience!).
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