AIRE Ancient Baths. Something very special is happening in the London wellness world and I’m reluctant to reveal it. Despite wanting this place all to myself forever, everyone deserves to experience the beauty and tranquillity of AIRE Ancient Baths.
Discreetly hidden away in Covent Garden this stunning spa describes itself as ‘a temple of relaxation inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilisations’ and from the moment I step inside I am instantly transported to another place and time. AIRE Ancient Baths pride themselves on traditional techniques and historic settings with well established outposts already in in New York, Chicago, Copenhagen and several across Spain. Following this vein therefore it comes as no surprise that their London branch is set within an impressive 18th century building where Scottish novelist and playwright, J.M Barrie lived and wrote Peter Pan (a precious first edition is kept in the Lobby).
Softly spoken staff check us in efficiently whilst we sip on water subtly perfumed with cucumber and mint. We head down to the changing rooms where we are handed robes, towels and water shoes – a welcome hygienic addition. Descending further via candlelit steps, calming aromas fill our lungs as we enter a subterranean cavern studded with more flickering lights.
Original stone walls with both vastly high and snugly low ceilings encase a series of magical thermal pools. There are a range of temperatures to explore, from a warming 40 degree Caldarium to a brisk 14 degree Frigidarium and a bracing Ice Bath. My favourite however was the Salt Bath where I floated on the water and listened to the soothing playlist, pure bliss. Green tea is available throughout to enjoy between dipping in and out of the pools and there are cosy nooks aplenty to sit and contemplate. The Vaporium is the perfect place to sweat out the sins of the night before its beautifully thick with perfumed steam. The Balenum aka the ‘bath of a thousand jets’ is reminiscent of a luxurious jacuzzi with submerged bubbling loungers. A two hour Thermal Spa tour at AIRE Ancient Baths costs £180 per person.
We went for a 45 minute couples massage which was incredibly relaxing and perfect way to complete the experience. Both therapists were attentive to our requests on how firm and where to concentrate, using high quality products that smelt and felt amazing on the skin.
We left feeling refreshed, revitalised and zen – with a few less knots too! There are a range of different treatments to choose from with the most unique being a three hour Wine Ritual. Spanish Ribera del Duero grapes, not only make delightful Temperillo but are steeped in antioxidants and thus guests are encouraged to bathe in this ruby red liquid followed by full body grape seed oil massage. Prices start from £450 per person, so this is one to save up for. Alternatively, the Himalayan Salt Experience uses the famous pink salt in a variety of ways including a body scrub and a 60 minute massage with hot stones from the region. The detoxifying and healing properties are said to leave you feeling energised and refreshed priced at £250 per person.
Service is charming with staff on hand to help and tend to your every need throughout the experience at AIRE Ancient Baths. Guest numbers are kept deliberately low which creates a very intimate and pandemic friendly atmospheres.
Whether you are a seasoned wellness lover or a novice to the spa scene it’s impossible not to love AIRE Ancient Baths. It’s romantic charm has the ability to whisk you away from the bustle of the city the moment you step inside – the most elegant way to escape and unwind. Just what we all need after the past years stresses. Turn out roads weren’t the only great thing we inherited from the Romans.
To discover more, visit: beaire.com
All imagery courtesy of AIRE Ancient Baths
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