Rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa by Matt Cardy
There can be few better ways to spend a pale, slightly chilly Tuesday than bobbing about in a 34%c temperature thermal pool looking over the rooftops and spires of Bath with an unrivalled bird’s eye view of the Abbey.
Add in a girlfriend, a loved one (tons of couples having a two hour mini moon on this random midweek lunchtime), a mother or a sister and you have the makings of a perfect retreat. The Thermae Bath Spa
, a 21st
century version of the renowned hot spring baths of 2000 years ago, has been deservedly popular since it opened as a shrine to wellbeing and relaxation back in 2006.
But now it has upped its game with a brand new Wellness Suite featuring state of the art steam rooms, an infrared sauna, an ice chamber and a celestial chillout zone with heated beds, a galaxy inspired film and a soothing trance-y Ibiza soundtrack.
The Wellness Suite is a great addition. The sauna, heated by a vast central infrared cylinder is very different from the traditional water on hot coals experience which I’ve always found an endurance test more than anything else. Here your body gradually gets used to the heat which penetrates far deeper into your muscles than the usual kind. The deliciously scented Roman and Georgian inspired steam rooms of differing temperatures can be interspersed with hot or cold jet powered showers or that Ice Chamber (think scrubbing yourself down with ice granules and actually enjoying it).
After a good 40 minutes here you’re ready to float about with your woggle tucked beneath your arms in the rooftop pool with those jawdropping views above the city.
The Thermae Spa pools use mineral rich water taken directly from Bath’s famous hot springs, cooled to the optimum bathing temperature of 34% and when you’ve finished your bathing experience you feel, like the Romans, like the Georgians, that taking the waters has been undoubtedly good for you. There are various treatments available the more usual hot stones massages, facials and salt scrubs as well as the Watsu, a floating shiatsu and acupressure massage in the thermal waters of the historic Hot Bath (converted from the original building).
Weekends tend to be crowded and this is an experience which needs to be savoured. We’d recommend a sneaky midweek morning off with a well chosen companion who is happy to float about idly chatting and switch into silence when the deepest relaxation takes a hold.