Finding a luxury baths in London is not as easy as you might think.
Fine, plenty of five star hotels offer spas and spa treatments; and gay baths are plentiful in London.
But if you have ever experienced an historic baths – say in Istanbul or Budapest, then you’ll know there’s something magical about combining hot water with an ancient setting.
London is now the lucky recipient of an AIRE ancient baths. The Spanish company has four baths in Spain and a growing international list of baths – all in historic settings; and have now opened up in London just by the Thames, in the lovely Adelphi area of the city close to Covent Garden.
Housed in a stunning 18th Century building, with plenty of charm and history, this is the place where J.M. Barrie lived and wrote Peter Pan!
Also, because it’s built on the original embankment along the Thames, the building has cavernous cellars, full of beautiful brick arches; and this is the space that AIRE has converted into its luxury baths.
It couldn’t be more atmospheric or beautifully done, with candles everywhere, lots of stone, brick and marble, running water, and a succession of lovely bath experiences.
These include a number of huge warm baths – including the Tepidarium at 36ºc and the Caldarium at 40°c, with lots of nooks for relaxing in.
Plus two cold plunge pools – at 14ºC and 10ºC, a large steam room with its own cold plunge; a dramatic jet baths; and the Flotarium – where you can float away in salt water, and scrub yourself with salt.
I took my partner along for the experience. Whilst we were there the baths never felt crowded, even though quite a few people were clearly there with us.
The other guests were mostly straight couples, plus some girl friends on a spa day. There was also one other gay couple, which was nice (and not just because one of the couple was a Hollywood TV actor!)
Check-in is in the well-appointed drawing room on the first floor, and you are then taken downstairs to the changing rooms – with lots of help from staff (the staff were unobtrusive and friendly for the whole experience).
Then it’s downstairs again for a brief tour of the baths, and you are then left on your own to relax. A series of bells, one hour in to the experience and at the end, let you know the time.
Mint tea and water is provided, plus our package offered us Cava and truffles.
We didn’t take any treatments, but there are 9 treatments rooms and a whole succession of massage and treatment options.
Overall we had a great experience, and came out of there feeling incredibly relaxed and calm. A must-do experience in London.
Also see: Guide to new luxury spas in London