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How to make the most of using a thermal suite on your spa break

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than time in a thermal suite, wandering from the sauna to the steam room - preferably before a massage. It’s not just a nice thing to do however, it’s also great for your health.

Thermal suites cleanse your skin

The heat helps to open up the pores and draws out impurities.

Stimulates the circulation

The heat encourages blood vessels to dilate, promoting blood flow.

Boosts the immune system

The heat promotes a response from endocrine glands and stimulates the immune system.

Heat can help improve sleep quality

The heat helps to relax mind and body, while cooling down afterwards creates a lulling effect that aids sweet quality.

Thermal suites can help to combat stress and boost your mood

The warmth, the quiet, and maybe even the time on your own helps to relax your muscles and boost circulation and stimulate endorphins, which all helps to combat stress.

Heat eases muscle tension

As the blood vessels relax and dilate in the heat experiences, blood flow increases, which helps to reduce tension in the joints and relieve sore muscles.

Spa@Suites’ thermal suite|Find out more

A proper thermal suite is a lot more than a sauna and a steam room, it’s a combination of different areas, temperatures and levels of humidity, which are designed to take you on a journey that helps relax and cleanse the body, as well as prepare it for spa treatments. 

In many ways, a thermal suite is a spa treatment in itself. Benefits of thermal suites also range from general wellbeing to relieving aches and pains, tension relief, soothing the skin, aiding respiration and sometimes helping with rheumatism and conditions like psoriasis. 

Either way, they will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, especially if you use them once or twice a week for optimum results.

The snow room at Grantley Hall|Find out more

Thermal suite facilities

In any thermal suite you will find a combination of some or all of the following:

Foot spas

Foot spas help circulation and work on pressure points in the feet.


The Caldarium is a warm air room with an even heat radiating from the walls, floors and seats.


The Sanarium is a cleansing alternative to a traditional sauna with a temperature around 60°C.


Saunas are designed to make you sweat, eliminating toxins, clearing the skin and cleansing the pores.

Experience showers

Experience showers are used to rapidly heat or cool the body and stimulate the circulatory system.


The Tepidarium is where heated, tiled loungers are designed to heat the body slowly before you move onto the hotter experiences.

Aromatherapy crystal steam room

Aromatherapy crystal steam rooms are infused with essential oils, often menthol, to aid respiration. Often these rooms are dark and the atmosphere enhanced by details such as lights set out like the stars.

Salt steam room

Adding salt into the steam to help cleanse and tone the skin, salt steam rooms also aid respiration and stimulate circulation.

Ice fountain/snow cave

Part of the combination of temperature changes that really help to cleanse the skin and body the ice cave is somewhere to cool off after using the hotter experiences.

Hydrotherapy pool

Often the central feature of a thermal suite/heat and ice experience, hydrotherapy pools are generally set at around 36 degrees to warm up the muscles and relax the body and mind.

The panoramic sauna at Sopwell House|Find out more

The thermal suite journey

There are no hard and fast rules for using a thermal suite, but there are suggestions to help you get the most from it.

Use the thermal suite before spa treatments

Firstly, it’s recommended that you use the facilities before having a spa treatment, so you can best prepare the skin and body to enjoy your therapy. Then leave products on your skin afterwards to work their magic.

Remove your make-up first

Then, start with a shower to remove all make-up, deodorants and perfume, and a warm foot bath to relax.

Start in the lower temperatures

Head to the lower temperatures of the caldarium for the recommended time. The sauna or sanarium will come next, depending on how hot you like it - you may wish to gradually work your way up.

Don’t forget the ice experiences

Cool down between each heat experience by taking a cool shower or using the ice fountain.

Rinse and repeat

After the sauna, spend a little time in the hydrotherapy pool and/or the tepidarium, then finish with the steam room before repeating the cycle.

Drink plenty of water

Remember to stay hydrated and don’t race through. You can take breaks between experiences and just enjoy the journey.

Heated loungers at The May Fair|Find out more

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