So Spa, So Good
Ever wondered where the best spas in Somerset are? The Good Spa Spies have been travelling the UK tirelessly reviewing the cream of this nation's spas for The Good Spa Guide's new book, 'The Best Spas in Britain'. With the spa city of Bath and som...
Bath House Spa
A serene, natural-feeling spa attached to the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath's most exclusive Georgian crescent. Housed in what were once the coach houses, the key ingredients here are tranquillity and quiet. Bath stone, wood and bamboo are all used effectively to create a spa that feels part Roman bath house and part monastic retreat. Almost half of the building is taken up with the 12-metre pool, heated to body temperature. We had one of the best massages we've ever experienced here. Don't miss the divine strawberry and neroli sea salt scrub, and the fabulous views across the city of Bath.
Royal Crescent Hotel's Bath House Spa, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath. Tel 01225 823333, www.royalcrescent.co.uk
Bath Spa Hotel
Imagine an elegant Georgian building in mellow Bath stone just a 15-minute walk from the centre of Bath. That's the Bath Spa Hotel. Add an informal spa with Roman-style murals, clear-blue glass panels and wickerwork poolside furniture. Then add your very own butler, attending to your every whim. Our butler showed us to our room and later he arrived with champagne and canapés. Just what a girl needs while changing for dinner. We loved our Babor facial. The process was all very gentle and relaxing but we were cynical about whether it could have made much difference - until we looked in the mirror...
Bath Spa Hotel, Sydney Road, Bath. Tel 01225 476862, www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/bathspa
Green Street House
Green Street House is very much a house in a traditional Georgian style, with neutral colours, stained wooden floors and a homely, welcoming feel. These treatment rooms in the centre of Bath offer a friendly, easy-going environment. Don't miss Green Street's excellent range of manicures and pedicures. Anyone who appreciates a good treatment but doesn't need a full-on spa experience will love it here. The spa's pretty, apothecary-esque shop area is hard to resist, and the attentive and genuine staff here really know their products. The fantastic location in Bath's main shopping area makes Green Street House the perfect choice for an enjoyable post-shopping pick-me-up.
Green Street House, 14 Green Street, Bath. Tel 01225 426000, www.greenstreethouse.com
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Monty's Spa at Charlton House
This tiny jewel of a spa is part of a traditional country house hotel but you can also visit for treatments or for a luxurious day of pampering. The keynote throughout Monty's Spa is richness - in the colours (red, purple and blue) and in their own hand-made and natural essential-oil products. We loved the waiting area, with soft and squishy sofas in velvety red, oranges and midnight blues. Monty's pool is small and gently lit - not for you if you're after a full Olympic workout, but definitely one for your list if you enjoy water massage: there are several hydrotherapy stations where you can sit or lie down.
Monty's Spa at Charlton House, Shepton Mallet. Tel 01749 342008, www.montysspa.com
Thermae Bath Spa
Last but certainly not least is Thermae Bath Spa, a very popular and affordable spa built around Bath's natural hot springs. You can't beat the heritage of the site, the wonderful natural spring waters and the dramatic modern spa building that now houses the ancient thermal springs. Try vichy showers, hot stone therapy or pantai luar - a Balinese exfoliating massage that uses herbs and hot oils. For many, the star of the show is the open-air rooftop pool, where you can swim while looking out across the city to the hills.
Thermae Bath Spa, The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath. Tel 01225 331234, www.thermaebathspa.com
The Best Spas in Britain is published by The Good Spa Guide priced £18.95. Tel 01273 704527, www.goodspaguide.co.uk