The weekend before last, I headed to Bath for a girls weekend with my mum and sister in tow, (Pete was at the Grand Prix in Silverstone.) We have been meaning to plan a weekend away for some time now but combining three busy ladies’ schedules had proven to be something of a nightmare and finally when the weekend in question arrived the weather was, well, biblical.
No ark forthcoming, fortunately I had already planned that we should visit the Bath Thermae Spa and after a bit of shopping and sight seeing we headed there towards 4pm. I had first come across the Thermae Spa years ago when I saw on TV that it was being built – a high tech answer to the ancient thermal springs that it uses as its water supply. I seem to remember it going massively over budget and being plagued with set backs but was always captivated by the idea of the naturally heated water and the relaxing surroundings, so I was pretty excited to be visiting. It seemed like a great idea to just float around and put the world to rights.
When you arrive at the spa, the payment area also serves as a quick orientation – we were told about the three main areas and how to move about them, along with the rather high tech changing areas and lockers. You are given a wrist band that then locks your locker for you and programs the band to be able to open it later and I was a bit nervous that I would ever find the right one, but it was actually quite painless. Along with our payment for use of the Spa (we chose the 2 hours package) we hired a towel for an extra £3 as we didn’t want to hike it around the shops prior to our visit, but you can take your own. The Thermae Spa was very busy (completely different to how it looks int here pictures,) and I’m not sure if this was a combination of it being Saturday or the fact that it was raining, but we still managed fine.
After negotiating the lockers we headed in the main and my favourite bath, the Minerva Bath. Also the largest, it has large modern pillars supporting the roof and is surrounded by a combination of sandstone and glass, feeling quite modern and airy. There is the main area, with showers at the sides, then a bubbling jacuzzi-like area and my absolute favourite, the ‘lazy river’ where you are propelled around the jacuzzi effortlessly with nothing to do but relax in the warm water.
We spent probably 45 minutes there going around the ‘lazy river’ countless times and just revelling in the relaxation. Eventually we climbed the three flights of stairs to the open air roof spa, looking out over the rooftops of Bath. It’s a real pity we didn’t have better weather, as it was pretty memorable experience, even without sun and fortunately the weather spared us any rain for the 5 minutes or so we spent up there. Even though it was cold and a bit gusty, the bath was super warm and my sister and mum (not known for their hardiness outdoors) still really enjoyed it.
Lastly, we headed down a floor to the steam rooms – 4 glass pods full of steam, lit by coloured lights and each with their own aromatherapy blend. We thought two of them were floral, with a definite eucalyptus pod and another one we couldn’t quite put our fingers on. The steam was super hot and we could only sit in each for a few minutes, moving through the huge central rainfall shower in-between to cool off, but rather than being overpowering as they could have been, the scents were a welcome addition adding another dimension to the experience.
All in all after changing (we didn’t shower as we went straight back to our hotel, although there are shower facilities and hairdryers with mirrors if you need to be somewhere afterwards,) we were there for about 2 hours and left feeling extremely relaxed and recharged. It was the perfect place to go for a reasonably priced spa experience and I thought a great option for a hen do or girls weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an ‘exclusive’ spa experience, but that is reflected in the price and if you’re in a group, I don’t think it really matters. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of couples in there – I’d love to go with Pete and think it would be a great place to go as a couple for some R&R, but there was frankly far too much, ahem, ‘couple time’ going on – my mum even commented that it felt like being in the midst of a Sandals holiday at times!
Have you been to the Thermae Spa?
- We paid £26.00 for 2 hours in the Spa, although we actually received 2.5hours – I suppose to allow for changing etc.
- You can’t book in advance unless there are 8+ of you.
- There are actual space treatments available and they can be booked in advance.
- There is also the Cross Bath – a private, much smaller bath that can be booked for events and smaller groups up to 12 people.
- For lots of useful info and up to date prices/opening times please see www.thermaebathspa.com