Planning on doing a Bath spa weekend? That’s an excellent idea! I visited this unique, UNESCO world heritage city with its baths and left in awe. I already raved about Bath and Thermae Bath Spa to my Finnish readers and now it’s time to give some lovin’ to a wider audience because this city deserves it.

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I want to thank Visit Bath for kindly giving me a museum card and some tips for visiting this marvellous city.

 

Pultney Bridge

Pultney Bridge

 

The History of the Spa Town

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Bath’s reputation as a spa town dates back to ancient Roman times. There are hot, mineral springs under the city and the water has been used to form warm pools. These have been believed to have healing and purifying qualities, which meant that bathing wasn’t just to clean yourself. People went there to seek cures for illnesses. The pools were used by all classes of society, from the rich to the poor.

The old spa is called Roman Baths and today it serves as a museum. Awesome place. In the old days, the Roman gods were worshipped here and offerings were made to please the gods.

When to Go: a Bath Spa Weekend or During the Week

old buildings

Thermae Bath Spa main entrance

Yes, I know. Often it’s just impossible to go on a (spa) city break because of work and other commitments. However, do be aware that weekends are much busier than during the week. In the same vein, the hotel prices go up at the weekend. If possible, go during the week or at least try to get Friday off.

There are interesting things to see in Bath all year round but summer, nevertheless, is the high season. My trip was midweek, around Christmas and there weren’t big crowds. However, we all know the mighty joys of the English weather so better pack your umbrella too.

Where to Stay in Bath

 Roman Baths

Roman Baths

There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Bath given its reputation as a spa mecca. Many 4 and 5* establishments have profiled themselves as spa and wellness oases and it would be difficult to choose from all the stylish options. Some have a spa/wellness center in themselves, others not. From my point of you, Thermae Bath Spa would be my main attraction so, in that sense, the hotel necessarily doesn’t need to have one.

If I could choose, I’d probably stay at Lucknam Park, the Royal Crescent or the Ayrlington. Blimey! Too many!

You might also enjoy: Coppa Club Igloos – Coppa London reviewed

 

Thermae Bath Spa

Anyone visiting Bath, Thermea Bath Spa is a must-do. I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

Au naturel heading for the bath

Au naturel heading for the bath and looking so excited, LOL

 

The changing rooms at Thermae Bath Spa

The fairly spacious changing rooms

It is advisable to go to the Thermae Spa as soon as it opens if you want to avoid the rush. I was there at 9:15 in the morning and there were no queues. When I first went to Minerva Bath, I got it just for myself for the first 10 minutes. Closer to mid-day, there were already more people in the spa complex.

If a bit less grandiose spa experience would be to your liking, there is the Cross Bath; small but cozy pool area across the street in a different building. Here you can enjoy a slightly more modest spa experience for half price; £ 18/20 (1.5h).

small pool

Cross Bath. Photographer Edmund Sumner for Thermae Spa

 

With or Without Treatments?

You can just turn up without any spa packages, but if you pre-order your treatment, your entrance is guaranteed. In my opinion, spa packages were moderately priced, so I would strongly encourage you to book either a massage, a beauty treatment or a meal package. The prices were from £ 50.

On weekdays, the entry fee is 36£  and on weekends 40£ (for 2 hours). Admission includes a towel, flip flops, and bathrobe. In addition, shampoos and hair dryers are on site. If you eat or drink something at the restaurant, they will add extra time to the regular 2 hours.

Roman steam room

Roman Steam Room. Pic credits go to Thermae Spa

 

Georgian steam room

Georgian steam room. Pic credits go to Thermae Spa

 

Thermae Spa Bath Floor by Floor

The spa operates in an old 4-story house. Elevators or stairs can be used between floors.

kattouima-allas

Rooftop pool by Matt Cardy for Thermae Spa

The Pools

The crown of the entire spa is the rooftop open-air pool where you can admire the sights of the city while chilling in the warm mineral water. At sunset, this place is probably super romantic as the pool lights light up for some extra va-va-voom.

On the lower floor, you will find the larger Minerva Bath with treatment rooms next to it. In Minerva Bath, you can enjoy the currents and let them drift you around the pool, try a bubble bath or just swim.

inside spa with neon blue lights

Minerva Bath by Philip Edwards for Thermae Spa

Wellness Suite

The Wellness Suite consists of various saunas and showers. There are Roman, Turkish and infrared saunas, but to the detriment of the Finns, the traditional sauna was missing. Well, I didn’t really miss it this time because the supply was so diverse. The world-famous and quirky Sompasauna waits for me in Helsinki anyway. There is also an ice room where you get ice cubes but to me, this wasn’t that appealing. The scents also play a role here and many of the rooms had pleasant, mild and relaxing aromas in the air.

Black Celestial Relaxation Room with stars

Celestial Relaxation Room. Pic by Thermae Bath Spa

I’ll save the best for the last: Celestial Relaxation Room. I mean, WOW! The room wants to honor the memory of a local astronomer and indeed it is like a small journey into another dimension: Black walls and the sky are covered with tiny “stars”. The room has heated, black metal shine loungers you lay on. You gaze the big screen in front of you while listening to ambient. I was really impressed with this one. Needless to say, I didn’t want to leave.

Springs Cafe Restaurant

a light cafe

Springs Restaurant. Photographer Philip Edwards for Thermae Spa

At the Springs Cafe, you will find all sorts of healthy options but equally, wine and champagne! The emphasis is on lighter and smaller portions, yet it’s not just salad and juices. For example, the selection of cakes and desserts is quite decent. Payment will be made with the bracelet and you will settle the bill on your way out of Thermae Spa.

Thermae Spa rooftop pool

Thermae Bath Spa. Photographer Philip Edwards for Thermae Bath Spa

 

What to See in Bath

inside Georgian room

No.1 Royal Crescent

 

Bath has so much to see. The good thing is that the city is fairly compact so no need for public transport in most cases. My own favourite was the Roman Baths that I already mentioned at the beginning. It’s super popular for a good reason so buy your ticket online or combine it with a sightseeing tour to skip the lines, especially if it’s a weekend/high season. I also enjoyed No.1 Royal Crescent which displays 10 Georgian rooms in a large townhouse, next to the Royal Crescent. Next time I’d like to visit the Jane Austen Centre.

 

Prefer maximising your time on the spot? Choose an organised tour, trip or an activity to make things easy for you. Below are some popular suggestions:

 

canal view with river boats

Canal view

 

Do also stroll around Bath to see its canals, the architectonical masterpieces the Royal Crescent and the Circus. I would also go see Bath Abbey and certainly not least, the iconic Pultney Bridge the city is famous for. Oh, and art lovers should not forget Victoria Art Gallery and the Holburne Museum.

Ok, by now you probably know that a Bath spa weekend would be magical! I certainly can’t wait to go back. Have you got a hotel booked yet? Check the availability, rates, and reviews here.

Need some more UK and wellness inspiration? I have a few articles that you might like:

 

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