Opposite Bath’s famous Thermae day spa, The Gainsborough is a very different experience to anything else you will find in the UK… THIS is what makes it so special…
The hotel is owned by a Malaysian company who are working on a concept called The Spa Village. It has two sister properties that both took three years to open to get the details just right.
It’s a five star venue and it’s like your own little piece of Malaysia in the middle of Bath.
There’s no such thing as a spa day here, you can only join in the pampering fun if you’re staying at the hotel – that’s what makes it feel so special and utterly relaxing.
It’s the only spa in the UK that uses the waters from the natural thermal waters which come out of the ground at 40+ degrees and is cooled to 32 degrees in the spa pool.
The Spa VIllage concept is centred around the history of healing and wellness and The Gainsborough’s owners have spent years researching the local history of healing at each of their venues, in this case through the thermal springs.
You are asked to arrive an hour early for your treatment and you get a bespoke Aroma Bar Experience where you sit at a bar set up with lots of fresh herbs and produce and are served a probiotic welcome drink which is a fruit punch mixed with olive oil and orange syrup. While drinking this you fill out a form which tells the therapist how you want to feel at the end of your treatment. From that they then give you a series of oils to test and add them to a pouch of fresh Cornish sea salt, and the aroma becomes the focal point of your time in the spa. This pouch can also then be mixed into a bespoke perfume, massage oil, shower gel for you.
You are then taken into the thermal suite by bath house specialist who stays with you, taking you into each experience and talking you through it. From there you are then left to spend some time in the thermal pool if you wish.
The spa celebrates the two keys periods of history of when spa’ing in the traditional sense was key – Roman and Georgian. To reflect this there is lavender water and warm dark, chilli chocolate available to drink while you are in there.
15 minutes before your treatment you are taken into a quiet area which is the oldest part of the building and on the floor is a spectacular old roman mosaic. You get five minutes to meditate and reflect on things before being given a wax tablet on which you write a thought, aspiration or fear and this then gets placed somewhere sacred before you have your treatment.
A journalist by trade, Bonnie is the Editor for Spabreaks.com. Keen to spread the message on accessible wellbeing and a spa experience for all, she thinks green smoothies are somewhat overrated and her favourite spa treatment is an Elemis Couture Technology facial.