Search

Travel: Standing the test of time - Bath’s Thermae Spa

11:16 13 July 2015

The Minerva Bath at Thermae Btah Spa

The Minerva Bath at Thermae Btah Spa

Dave Saunders Photography

Hampered by building delays, soaring costs and rows over peeling paint, Bath’s Thermae Spa was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Thermae Bath Spa

Two hour spa session and towel, robe and slippers

£32 Mon-Fri

£35 Sat & Sun

Thermae Treat

Three hour spa session back massage and facial or head and foot massage

£72

Valid Monday-Friday

Twilight For Two

Three hour spa session from 4pm, dinner and drinks

£85

Valid Sunday to Friday

View full list of treatments at thermaebathspa.com

It is estimated that the final cost of the spa was £45million - £30milliom over budget. But nine years on this is undoubtedly one of if not the top attraction to this beautiful city, pulling in more than 250,000 visitors a year and contributing £15million to the local economy.

The building itself is described as a “fusion of glass, stone, light and water” and certainly stands out amongst the Georgian buildings with its giant glass exterior.

The spa houses two natural thermal baths where visitors can bathe in the hot spring waters which come from beneath the city which were first discovered in 863BC by Prince Bladud who was allegedly cured from skin disease after soaking in the waters.

After a good four hour soak, you can be left in no doubt that the healing properties of the water are true. Any sign of dry skin and tired, stressed muscles were completely banished.

Where to eat and stay

The Queensberry Hotel

Price: from £115 for club double room

thequeensberry.co.uk

Olive Tree Restaurant - seasonal top notch restaurant. Highly recommend

Starters from £9.50

Mains from £19

olivetreebath.co.uk

Abbey Hotel

abbeyhotelbath.co.uk

Allium Restaurant - classic and fusion dishes

abbeyhotelbath.co.uk/allium

Tagine Zhor - authentic Morroccan cuisine

taginezhor.co.uk

Of course the healing properties of natural spring water are well documented. Nobody seems to know exactly why these warm mineral rich waters are so soothing but hundreds of years of use has confirmed its beneficial effects and it’s great to see the hoards of visitors coming to Bath for the same reasons they did hundreds of years ago.

The roof top pool offers the best view of the city and surrounding hills while the Minerva Bath in the basement lets you gently float around the grand columns on the whirlpool and “lazy river” cycles.

The spa also houses four infused steam rooms and a “waterfall shower” in the centre as well as offering a full menu of spa treatment. Perhaps the most unique of these is the Watsu - a water based therapy that combines the comfort of warm water with the benefits of shiatsu massage.

In the private thermal pool housed in the Hot Bath, a therapist slowly stretches your body as you float in the water.

The Olive Tree restaurant at The Queensberry Hotel, BathThe Olive Tree restaurant at The Queensberry Hotel, Bath

There’s also the Cross Bath, an open-air private pool located on a sacred 2,000-year-old Roman cistern just across the road, which is ideal for booking out for private parties.

Having overcome relentless obstacles from the inset, Thermae has well and truly justified its time and cost. Striking the right balance of old and new and promoting health and well-being over beauty and vanity. Long may it continue.

Where to stay

It’s hard to believe the Queensberry Hotel has just three-stars, with it’s luxury Queen size beds, high ceilings and lavish white bathrooms complete with fluffy white dressing gowns.

Every room has been designed with meticulous attention to detail and epitomises what a boutique hotel should be, from the opulent ceilings to the enveloping beds, corner sofas and quirky cushions.

The hotel was commissioned and owned by the 8th Marquess of Queensberry in 1771 and is spread across four Georgian townhouses located just north of the centre and a five minute walk from the shops.

The star feature of this hotel is it’s restaurant. Nestled in the basement of the hotel, the Olive Tree is fine dining at its very best.

Head chef Chris Cleghorn has trained under Michelin star chefs and it shows. The menu is perfectly balanced - the starters complimenting the mains and vice versa.

The crab lasagne - a perfect cylinder shaped with layers of thin green pasta and rich crab meat surrounded by a rich lobster bisque - was particularly memorable.

Main dishes start from around £20, which considering what other luxury hotels in Bath charge is very reasonable and worth every penny.

The halibut, perfectly moist and beautifully presented with asparagus and a Noilly Prat sauce. Other mains on the Spring menu include pan fried stone bass, lamb loin and belly and duck breast with braised chicory.

The service, as you would expect, is top notch too.

Latest Islington Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Ken Loach in Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach

Last week there was an article in The Guardian about how Labour candidates in the last elections were like “middle class Ryanair passengers,” trying to suppress their metropolitan squeamishness while canvassing in traditional Labour areas.

Yesterday, 11:52
A file image of police. Scotland Yard are investigating a £20,000 theft from an elderly pair in Crouch End (Picture: PA)

Two burglars posed as gas board workers to steal £20,000 in cash from an elderly brother and sister in Crouch End.

Yesterday, 11:15
Police want to speak to this man about the meat throwing (Picture: Scotland Yard)

A bag of meat was hurled into the grounds of the Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Thursday morning in a suspected hate crime.

Yesterday, 08:00
Anthony Hopkins. Picture: Steve Dietl

Misconduct is a truly terrible film; but it is at least a compelling terrible film.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Chris Taylor (back row right) and clients from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants set off for the sponsored run

A crack team from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants took on a sponsored run to raise much-needed cash for the centre this week.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
An image from Keith Collman's Caledonian Road gallery (Picture: Keith Collman/keithcollman.com)

You can take the man out of the Cally...

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Local historian and walking guide Rob Smith on the former site of the New River reservoir

When, first thing in the morning, you stumble blurry-eyed to the kitchen to fill up the kettle, how much thought do you give to where the water’s coming from? Very little, probably, and why would you? It’s there. It’s wet. It does what it’s supposed to do.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe