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BATH: HISTORY & HEDONISM

Feel good fun as old as time

Words: Shaina Herman

Aquae Sulis, has been a destination for privileged visitors for almost 2000 years; dating back to when the Romans conquered the Britains and discovered a holy hot spring that connected them with the Gods. Dedicated to the Goddess Minerva, of wisdom, art, and trade, travellers from around the Roman Empire were enticed to the pursuit of pleasure and healing in Bath.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the entire city of Bath engages visitors who continue to make a pilgrimage to this ancient spa city. Seeking to experience the same footsteps as our ancestors with the modern day indulgences of eating, drinking, relaxing, and refreshing, the city of Bath has a holistic energy and good vibes.

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A Look back in time at the Roman Baths

As you descend on the ancient baths of Rome, the path takes you through a museum unlike anything else in the UK.  You’ll find sauna rooms with underfloor heating alongside sophisticated steam rooms that harnessed the power of 45 degree water pumping underneath the ground.

After purification, physically and mentally, visitors, both men and women (talk about gender equality!), would descend into the steamy and rich mineral baths. Look to the left and remnants of a wine bar still stand, to the right, oysters brought fresh from the sea. At the end of the tour sample the eternal spring and feel vibrant for the rest of your day. 


 

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Spend the day at Thermae Spa

Although you can no longer take a dip into the ancient Roman Baths, you can replicate the healing powers at the Thermae Spa, one of the only accessible hot springs in England. From the same source as the Baths, guests can indulge in one of the 4 levels of spa related entertainment.

Undercover, safe from notorious British weather, the Goddess Minerva pool jets will move you peacefully through the warm waters. Another level up, find yourself at the sauna and steam rooms. And, finish with the open air 35 degree mineral pool, with panoramic views of the city of Bath. Treatments and day escapes are offered in addition to a 2 hour visitor pass (can get quite busy) for those who just want to experience the benefits of the natural springs.

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Stroll around the Georgian Streets

As the city grew in the 18th century, honey coloured limestone buildings were constructed over the previous ancient city and remains true to what is standing today. From the small city centre, wander around quaint narrow streets with little coffee shops like Colonna and Smalls, and the upscale shopping area on Milsom Place.

Take it easy and walk along the picturesque Pulteney bridge and find a bench in the sun. Visit the Bath Abbey and see gorgeous floor to ceiling stained glass windows. Pop into the famous Sally Lunn’s to get her even more famous giant buns; sweet or savoury. If you are into the trends of history, the Victorian Era is beautifully preserved at the Fashion Museum. Have an afternoon tea at The Pump Room above the Roman Baths or the Holburne Museum and catch live jazz with a British inspired menu at the very cool Green Park Brasserie.


WHERE TO STAY:

  1. The Gainsborough Bath Spa: The Gainsborough Bath Spa offer their own spa village, only accessible to hotel guests and those who have booked treatments ahead of time. As one of the Leading Hotels of the World, the property’s high standards mix modern expectations and attention to detail with the rich history of the area.
  2. No. 15 Great Pulteney: No. 15 Great Pulteney is officially opening its doors this month. The elegant 5 star boutique property curates an experience of indulgence. Artisanal dining from breakfast until dinner is accompanied by afternoon tea, contemporary design, and high-end service.

  3. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa:  The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is an inconspicuous luxury hotel from the front with green gardens and impeccable service inside. A popular historic site, the entrance to the property is adjacent to the No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum and the elite residents of Bath, yet you’d never know inside. Their partnership with Tattinger also means bubbles at your fingertips.

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