Thermae Bath Spa, opened in 2006 restored the ancient city of Bath to its former glory as Britain’s only thermal spa town. The new baths are housed in modern complex in the centre of the city, adjacent to the ancient roman baths and pump rooms. The new building is clean and refined, and blends beautifully with the surrounding historic buildings.
Inside the baths you will find two thermal pools (indoor and outdoor) at approximately 35.5C, cooled from the 45C at which it exits the ground. Somehow it didn’t feel as hot as it claimed when we visited, but it was pleasantly warm and coupled with the calm atmosphere you’re sure to have a very relaxing visit. Unusually, due to its confined city centre location, the spa is built vertically with pools on the ground floor and the rooftop, and steam rooms, changing rooms, treatment rooms and the cafe located on the floors in between.
The indoor pool features a pleasant bubble pool and a powerful massage jet for your head and shoulders, as well as a lazy river . The uplighters in the floor of the pool project a subtle, dappled light onto the curved ceiling of the pool that becomes even more atmospheric as they dim the main lights in the evening.
The outdoor pool is a real highlight though, located on the rooftop, with views over the top of the city to the surrounding hills. Its the perfect place to relax in the spas warm waters and enjoy the jacuzzi seats and the massage jet. If you visit in the evening then you can lie back and watch the sun go down over the city.
In addition to the main pools, there is a gorgeous steam room where you will find herbal scented steam chambers with hot stone benches to sit or lie on. The center of the room features a giant hot shower fed by the thermal spring. The powerful jets are quite harsh but give a good massage. For further relaxation there are foot baths in which to calm your tired feet.
For additional fees there are a range of over 50 treatments and massages available including Hot Stone therapies, Thermal treatments, featuring the Vichy Shower and Watsu, and ‘Kraxen’ Stove.
The cafe is nicely presented and serves a range of good quality snacks and light meals. The windows catch the evening sun and so its a great place to sit and relax if you’re there later in the day.
Thermae Bath Spa is surely a very good thermal spa with its beautiful architecture and stunning settings in the heart of the historic city, but falls short due to a lack of attention to detail. Overall a great experience that you won’t quickly forget.
Views from the rooftop pool really make the baths a special experience.
A lack of attention to detail spoils the visit with a catalogue of trivial irritations. By the time you have figured out how to open the door of your cubicle and found your way to the pools, it’s almost time to leave, but the clocks have no numbers on and by now your digital wrist band has probably fallen off. We could go on, but we’d be here all night.
Take the twilight package in spring or autumn. It’s not only the best value package at Thermae Bath Spa (includes dinner, robe+towel), but you can watch the sunset from the rooftop pool, and thanks to the reflection in the pools glass railings, you get a beautiful double sunset effect.
Rating:Setting: 5/5 Architecture: 4/5 Ambience: 4/5 Facilities: 4/5 Value: 2/5 TOTAL: 19/25 (3 stars)
Where to Stay
Luxury – The Residence *****
Midrange – Pratt’s Hotel ***
Budget – Forres House
For more information, visit: http://www.thermaebathspa.com/
Find out how we rate thermal baths.