Although referred to as Bath, England – the official name for the city is Bath Spa. So, really, you’d be remiss if you missed out on a Bath day spa experience. Most visitors head to the Roman Baths museum, but unfortunately, you can’t wade into their warm outdoor pool. Still, you can connect with an ancient Roman ritual on essentially the same historic site when you make a trip to Thermae Bath Spa.
Spa entrance isn’t particularly cheap, but it’s a nice way to spend a few hours recovering from trekking the hilly city, especially if you slugged up the hill to reach the panoramic views from Alexandra Park. Read our Thermae Bath Spa review below, detailing their New Royal Bath facilities and the Cross Bath.
Thermae Bath Spa Review
New Royal Bath
The labyrinthine layout of the changing rooms is a little strange, but the spa’s changing facilities are clean and functional. Upon check in, you are handed a SmartBand key that controls your locker. You will also receive a towel, robe and slippers for your stay.
At the end of your day spa session, you are allotted an additional 15 minutes to shower and change, etc. Thermae Bath Spa does provide generic shampoo and body wash, as well as hairdryers.
The contemporary Minerva Pool looks like it belongs in a medical clinic. But with the white foam noodles for floating, the atmosphere is more like a public pool. Still, the noodles are welcome since the pool is relatively deep; and the it’s fun to float around the lazy river path – similar to, but much slower than, the grand outdoor Szechenyi Baths in Budapest. If the excitement gets too much, chill out on a lounge chair or check out the other facilities upstairs.
Sadly, if you are used to frequenting hot springs elsewhere in the world (like the Cajón del Maipo hot springs by the Chilean Andes or Spring City Resort in the north of Taipei), you’ll find that the hot springs in Bath are only tepid. So, to truly appreciate the naturally warm water, you must imagine how miraculous the phenomenon was in the old days when warm water would otherwise need to be heated over a fire.
The Wellness Suite
The entire second floor of the Thermae Bath Spa’s New Royal Bath is a dedicated wellness suite. There two steam rooms (the Roman Steam Room and the Georgian Steam Room) both incorporate aromatherapy by infusing steam with various floral and/or botanical aromas. There’s also an Infrared Room, a Celestial Relaxation Room and ‘Experience Showers’ with coloured lights, fragrance and music. When you’re ready to cool down, hit the misty menthol-infused Ice Chamber with a stash of ice flakes.
Be careful when you’re trudging around the Thermae Bath Spa Wellness Suite with your slippers. If you trod through a puddle, they’ll be soaked for the rest of your stay.
The Bath Rooftop Spa
The Bath Rooftop Spa is what really setsthe Thermae Bath Spa apart from the other spas in the area. You’ll probably want to spend most of your time here, since the outdoor poollooks over the entire city and the lovely Bath Abbey. Depending on when you are out, you may hear its chimes or enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
Thermae Bath Spa: The Cross Bath
For a more intimate atmosphere, you can go to the Thermae Bath Spa’s Cross Bath, which accommodates up to 10 people. The serene open-air bath offers a simpler experience than New Royal Bath main spa; and small parties can rent out the entire venue. The Cross Bath has its own changing facilities, and the Cross Spring is recognised as an official sacred site, according to their webpage.
The New Royal Baths in Review
The sophisticated New Royal Baths are worth a visit, mostly due to their historical significance. However, the facilities are more expensive and less numerous than other renowned hot spring spas that you may find elsewhere in the world. Therefore, two-hour entrance is probably sufficient; but they do offer packages that allow guests to stay longer, experience body treatments and dine on site.
If You Go to Thermae Bath Spa:
Address: The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath, BA1 1SJ, UK
Telephone number: +44 1225 33 1234
Website: Please check the spa website for up-to-date information on their opening hours and package prices.
If you’ve been to either of these spas in Bath city centre – what was your favourite pool or facility? And did you manage to catch a gorgeous sunset over Bath Abbey while cosy in the warm, rooftop pool? Tell us about your Bath Spa bath experience in the comments below.