Chaucer aside, this spa-focused hotel will rejuvenate the wife’s affinity for the bath.
Why Go: True enough to its name, England’s UNESCO-recognized city of Bath is in fact sitting on natural hot springs. In 2006, the city announced plans to recover three derelict buildings to create a 99-room luxury hotel that offers one exceptional amenity: access to the thermal waters that run beneath the city and the hotel property. Opened in July, the Gainsborough Bath Spa includes the two-story Spa Village Bath, a new space combining thermal pools and modern spa facilities built atop the remains of an ancient Roman bath.
What to Expect: Hotel guests may use the pools from 7 am to 9 am and from 8 pm to 10 pm. Throughout the day, clients with scheduled spa treatments are invited to arrive 60 minutes early to experience a self-guided circuit through pools heated to different temperatures, traditional and infrared saunas, steam rooms, an ice alcove, and relaxation areas. In addition to a range of massages and facials, the spa menu includes aquatic body therapies like Freedom, where therapists stretch and move clients’ bodies through the heated waters. Among the classic treatments is a 120-minute experience combining Malay bodywork, Indian scalp massage, and Chinese acupressure. Malaysian industrial conglomerate YTL Corporation Berhad owns and manages the hotel and has brought in skilled Malaysian therapists to broaden the spa menu. The Gainsborough (rooms from about $450) also has two restaurants and a bar. Three of its rooms and suites are plumbed with the option to fill their bathtubs with thermal waters.
How to Get There: Fly into Bristol Airport 19 miles from the hotel. Guests traveling from London can reach Bath in 80 minutes by direct train from London Paddington station. Valet parking at the hotel must be reserved in advance of arrival. (thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk)