“The city of Bath in South West England was founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans who used the natural hot springs as a thermal spa. It became an important centre for the wool industry in the Middle Ages but in the 18th century under the reigns of George l, ll and III it developed into an elegant spa city, famed in literature and art.” So states the World Heritage site of UNESCO.
And that got us thinking about what locations offer the top hot springs around the world today. According to Reuters, these range from Bains De Dorres in the French Pyrenees to Waikite Valley Thermal Pools in New Zealand.
But, frankly, a day at a natural hot springs and a day at a luxurious spa can be two quite different experiences!
Most of us are familiar with the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of natural hot springs, but why visit a spa? Top of the list is relief from the stresses of daily life, a special “me-time” to switch off from the demands of being connected 24/7. Naturally there are treatments with health benefits such as helping to improve circulation or having anti-aging properties. Different spa menus treat the face or body, not to mention manicures and pedicures. The multitude of spa treatments available today — from Shiatsu massage to Ayurvedic treatments to lymphatic drainage — can be overwhelming. Make sure to ask questions beforehand so you can experience a relaxing and healing visit.
It’s important that time spent at a spa does make you feel refreshed, revitalized and beautiful. At the same time, visiting a spa with a family member enables one to enjoy quality time together.
The Telegraph Luxury list of the 20 of the world’s best luxury spas includes Jordan’s Six Senses Spa, stating: “An unexpected oasis in the desert, Jordan’s Six Senses Spa, Evason Ma’In Hot Springs is built beneath a natural hot-spring waterfall. Lying 264 metres below sea level, the resort makes use of the surrounding mineral-rich waters with a variety of signature treatments.”
In Beirut, Lebanon, the PureGray Health Club & Spa at Le Gray Hotel offers a number of signature treatments including its “Diamond Facial” and a Botox alternative called La Alternativa.
Also in Beirut, the Four Seasons Hotel Spa offers what it terms “a head-to-toe experience” featuring “exotic Arabian treatments and more traditional rituals to bring the body and mind into harmony”.
With the summer swimwear season soon upon us, now may be the time to kill two birds with one stone — pamper your body so it looks its best, and treat yourself to a few hours of total relaxation.