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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Spas in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city of the lean, the bronzed and the beautiful.
Each year around May, citywide playas transform into one sheening mass of abs and perfectly formed curves, the altars of Barceloneta feverishly crammed by devout worshippers to the supreme gods of sunshine, general attractiveness and the horn.
Contemplating the Spanish all-round love of life and seeming incapacity to ever be satiated by enough sol, sangria and… siestas, I suppose it is interesting to consider why they have never really been great spa-goers.
Of course, each spring beckons the great Operación Bikini, with women and men (this is the Mediterranean) across the country making a desperate clamor for the nearest gym, pool and beauty salon to be whipped, stripped and honed to within an inch of their lives in the name of beauty. But spas as relaxing centres to pamper and indulge are only just starting to appear on the map here.
Original spas here were the ancient, invigorating Balnearios Termales. Towards the end of the twentieth century however, they were becoming somewhat dreary, crumbling establishments used solely for medicinal purposes, the objective being to bring recovery by means of endurance and light self-flagellation as opposed to relaxation by means of an Offerings from Heaven facial.
Now that people are flooding in from all corners of the world, Barcelona has seen a fresh influx of world-class spas, many residing in five star hotels. Along with this swift internationalization, the Spanish are also realigning their ideas of spas as centres for relaxation and enjoyment.
DestinationBCN recently spent the day exploring the city’s finest offerings for your perusal (it’s a hard life) and was more than pleasantly surprised to discover an ample range of spaces to pamper and preen. Here is our own hand-picked selection.
Aire de Barcelona
These ancient Roman baths in the heart of the Born district have been lovingly restored to provide an indulgent and relaxing spa experience for early birds and night owls alike – the place is open from 8am until 2am.
The Hammam style baths employ the ancient practice of bathing in several pools, working through a circuit of cool and warm waters, steam and hot stone massages. The benefits of hot and cold baths have been extolled for centuries and include better circulation, increased energy and an overall feeling of invigoration.
The intimate atmosphere of vaulted stone, candles, steam, marble and incense are a heady combination and the ideal setting for a relaxing aromatherapy massage. Prices range from 28€ for the thermal bath (including aromatherapy) up to 125€ for a full Argan ritual. Other treatments include personalized anti-stress massages and Hammam exfoliations.
Aire de Barcelona
Paseo Picasso, 22
Tel: 932 955 743
Bliss at the W Hotel
This New York cult brand recently arrived in the striking W Hotel by Barceloneta beach, bringing a pristine and almost pharmaceutical approach to your spa experience in Barcelona. In true New York style, everything about the service here is complete and coordinated flawlessly, from the tea and nibbles as you wait (catering for all diets – olives, slices of cucumber or chunks of brownie? I´ll plump for the latter, but it´s nice to know the cucumber’s there), to the fully equipped changing rooms and comprehensive menu of treatments.
The spa menu ranges from the famous “triple oxygen” facial to slimming body treatments, both with a plethora of optional add-ons, massages, hair removal, and treatments for men.
BlissSpa W Hotel
Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1
Tel: 932 95 28 58
The small but perfectly formed OMM spa combines ancient philosophies with state of the art technology to soothe both mind and body, and offers a variety of treatments including Thai, Chinese, Ayurvedic and even underwater massages. Wooden mats, running water and charcoal tones abound, lending an eastern ambiance to the place. Other far-out treatments range include gravitational beds with colour and light therapy and a decadent Inca chocolate ritual. All products are 100% natural, from their Egyptian hot marble massage bed to the vegetable fibre body brushes.
YHI Spa at the ME Hotel
Calm, tranquility and escapism is the order of the day here. In a similar vein to the SpaciOmm, the YHI spa is a soothing oasis of plump cushions, mystical music and wafts of exotic aromas. “Personal Spa Valets” will guide you through an eclectic array of Carribean, Aztec and Hawaiian inspired massages. This spa focuses on luxurious bodily massages and rituals, which begin at 118€ for 50 minutes.
YHI Spa at the ME Hotel
Pere IV, 272-286