5 of the best spas in Bath
PUBLISHED: 12:09 15 August 2016
We check out some of the best spa experiences on offer in and around Bath
A five star experience
I heard about The Gainsborough when I first started working for Somerset Life more than three years ago. I watched and waited in anticipation when historical find after historical find pushed the opening back. During that time even taxi drivers would say to me when I visited Bath ‘have you heard about the Gainsborough’? It was quickly gaining itself a reputation for being one of the best hotels in the country and it wasn’t even open yet.
So imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to stay there overnight recently.
Expectations were high and I grabbed one of my girly friends and headed over to Bath for an evening of pampering of relaxation.
From the moment we pullled up outside the hotel the attention to detail was everything I expected and we truly felt like we were the only guests staying the night. As we were moved smoothly through the check-in process I had a good look at some of the historical finds mentioned earlier, that are on display in the entrance lobby.
We headed up to our room and were delighted to find not only strawberries, but truffles, bars of chocoloate and a chilled bottle of Champagne waiting for us. Not only that, we had a complementary mini bar and snacks in which to divulge and this was all before we had chance to check out our surroundings.
High ceilings, long draped curtains, two big double beds and fresh flowers, these were just a few of the delights.
We donned slippers and gowns and mnade our way down to the spa with foosteps of excitement and further expectation.
On arrival, we were greeted with an experience that I have never ever heard of before, let alone experienced. A qualified aromatherpist took us through a collection of essentqail oils and created us our own little bag of wonder that we could carry round the spa with us. Everyone who books a spa session and treatment is taken trough this welcome, which also includes a detoxing potion that you are invited to try - it tasted a bit like rough cider to me.
Felling even more special we were taken by our lovely guide through to the main spa, given a little basket of goodies including flipflops and water and taken through the journey in front of us.
At the Bath House guests are invited to visit a circuit of natural thermal pools, saunas, a steam room and an ice alcove during their experience, stopping off for hot chocolate or iced water en route.
My friend enjoyed her journey while I slipped away for the ginger renewal experience.
Talk about doing what it says on the tin and more. To begin, minerals are combined with ginger’s healing properties in an invigorating full body exfoliation, followed by a pampering back, neck and shoulder massage with organic ginger oil and warm healing stones. Next,I enjoyed a luxurious foot and pressure point scalp massage in what can only be described as a total head-to-toe service.
Overall, this spa hotel hotel is without doubt one of the best spa hotels I have ever visted and it only got better with dinner at the Johann Lafer restaurant in the evening. The renowned Michelin starred, Austrian chef has lent his name to it in his first restaurant venture outside of Germany.
A six-course tasting menu included delights like wild mushroom risotto with garlic puree, poached quail’s egg and samphire, whith the al dente rice mixing beautifully with the delicate flavour of the egg and the strong punch of wild garlic. The sauteed scallop with king prawn, yuzu puree and wild asparagus was a lovely delicate course with a little bit of spice and contrast between the softeness of the seafood and crunch of the vegetable. Each course was unveiled from a under a big silver dome, adding an air of mystery and intrigue, making the whole dinner a fantastic experience.
The Gainsborough offers a five star service with relaxation and revitalisation the underarching feel behind much of what you will experience.
A rare opportunity
Bath Thermae Spa is offering a rather rare experience as one of its signature treatments.
Watsu is performed in a pool in the original Georgina part of the building, reserved only for people undertaking this mixture of shiatsu, acupressure and hydrotherapy.
In the natural thermal waters of the historic Hot Bath, a specially trained therapist gently supports, stretches and guides your body through a series of flowing movements.
It’s a slightly bizarre feeling to start with - I’d liken it to how you feel when you relax back into the water when you’re in the bath. But you soon forget where you are and lie back into the trust of the therapist and end up feeling totally relaxed -I even had a brief sleep believe it or not.
The therapists are trained by someone who comews over from Canada, which shows how rare the treatment is in this country.
I believe the nearest other place that offers it is in Scotland.
Once the treatment is over you’re not really up to doing much but sitting back and relaxing - queue the lovely menu in the restaurant.I had a lovely mushroom and garlic rigatoni in a creamy sherry sauce, which was packed full of flavour and my companion had twice cooked pork belly, which was beautifully cooked, not too fatty and surrounded by lots of delicious vegetables, which had been roasted in a blue cheese sauce.
I can saely say I slept well after my visit - and like a baby too!
A historic hotel in Bath has recently revamped its leisure facilities.
Bath’s iconic The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa has unveiled brand new state-of-the-art facilities following extensive renovation work.
In addition to the existing relaxation pool, The Bath House will also invite guests to enjoy a vitality pool with massage jets positioned to aid relaxation and release tension in the back and calves and a new Himalayan salt-infused sauna.
The new blossom steam inhalation room will also provide the perfect place to unwind, with soothing steam and fresh aromas of eucalyptus and menthol.
A Bath first
Lush Spa in Bath launched a treatment earlier this year that is named after the hostoric city and is to be rolled out nationwide.
Tales of Bath invites you to embark on an enchanting journey and promises rest,revival and contentment.
This 75 minute treatment consists of three parts beginning with a seated head and shoulder massage to help step down from your worries as you listen to the story unfold. Next, a private, mineralising bath inspired by the city’s famous healing waters aids relaxation and eases muscles, before finally, a deep full body side-lying massage (snuggled up to a big cloud-like pillow) to target tension.
Each part of the treatment is beautifully choreographed to a unique and bespoke soundtrack composed around the city of Bath by Richard Evans with local musicians. Soak in a symphony of springs with warm, flowing music and celtic lore inspired by the underground tunnels below Bath.
Get ready for the sun
Homewood Park near Bath has launcheed its Get Ready for Summer – scrub, rub and facial. This is a lovely treatment for people getting ready for their holidays and wanting to prep their skin for a gorgeous tan.
An exotic exfoliation ritual, designed to invigorate and revitalise the body,is followed by light body brushing, then warm oil is dripped luxuriously all over your body. Finally an Elemis salt glow is applied and a luxurious body lotion is added.