We travelled to Bath on the train – the first plus point, as First Great Western have a 2 for 1 offer, which gives you four hours in the Thermae Spa for the price of two hours (rather than 2 hours for each of two people).
The Spa building is magnificent, clean & shining & immaculately kept. The staff are friendly and helpful and have time to explain the system of lockers, robe & towel hire & the layout of the facilities.
We started with the rooftop pool – a fabulous experience at any time of year but especially in the cold of November. From the stairwell we could see the mist rising from the surface of the open air pool, with magnificent views over the city of Bath. We opened the door & went outside – brrrr!!! icy wind & freezing rain – ran across the pool surround, down the steps & immersed ourselves in wonderful warm water! The pool water is pumped up from one of the natural hot springs in Bath & is at 92 degrees F. We lazed in the mineral-rich waters, watching the incredibly changeable weather & enjoying the jacuzzi-like effects of the air seats & bubble jets.
Then it was time to go down to the aromatic steam rooms – four different essence rooms grouped around a central invigorating shower.
After spending some time in each room we descended to the Minerva Bath, a swimming pool with the same thermal, mineral rich waters, a whirlpool & massage jet.
Visitors are free to roam between the baths & the steam rooms at their leisure, so we visited the steam rooms again on our way back up to find the sun shining above the rooftop pool & all the wonderful autumn colours on display around us.
Drinking water fountains are provided on each floor, the toilet facilities are excellent & finally, after a last visit to the Minerva pool, we made our way to the shower rooms (shower gel provided) & back to the changing rooms (hairdryers thoughtfully provided!)
The only thing you need to take with you is a swimming costume, you can take your own towels &/or bath robe & slippers or hire them there. There is a cafe/restaurant within the complex & they also offer spa treatments such as Watsu, Aromatherapy massage or Hot Stones therapy (extra charge & must be booked in advance.)
Children under 16 are not permitted in the main complex (the New Royal Bath) but in the stand-alone Cross Bath, children of 12 are permitted when accompanied by an adult on a 1:1 ratio. Although this excludes family groups, it does make for a very restful experience!
Lifts are provided for those who find the stairs difficult & there is no call to be energetic in the pools. Most people just float lazily about (flotation aids are provided) so it is ideal for those with reduced mobility. The steam rooms are not suitable for those on certain medications or with heart problems or high blood pressure, so they recommend you check with them (or your doctor) beforehand.
We had an absolutely marvellous & very relaxing day & would highly recommend it!