When life’s stresses all get too much and you have the aches and pains to boot, a relaxing getaway can be a great way to revitalise your body and mind. Bristol and the surrounding areas are home to many enticing spa and wellness centres boasting luxuriant massages, beauty treatments and thermal spa facilities. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend away, a relaxing treat with friends or just some well-earned me-time, the South West has a lot to offer. We’ve picked out five of the best spa & wellness centres within easy reach of Bristol for a day of pampered relaxation.
Lido Spa & Restaurant, Clifton
Best unique spa facilities
The Lido in Clifton has an exceptional range of facilities to help you find your Zen, including a heated pool, spacious outdoor hot tub, eucalyptus-scented steam room and Scandinavian-style sauna. The real star of the show, however, is their members-only pool; a beautifully refurbished open-air Victorian lido, tucked inside a courtyard of Georgian terraces. Guests have access to luxurious Egyptian-style changing areas and a spa tearoom with complimentary herbal tea, alongside a variety of holistic massage treatments by expert therapists. This includes full body massages – also available as a couples massage – facial massages, therapeutic hot stone massages, remedial massages for injuries, and even pregnancy massages enabling expectant mothers to de-stress and connect with their unborn child. Though swimming can cause you to work up an appetite, The Lido’s spa and dine packages feed the soul – and the stomach – in a stunning, glass-fronted poolside restaurant and terrace, situated in the old viewing gallery.
Ton Poh Thai Spa & Wellness, Greater Fishponds
Best traditional Thai massage
At Ton Poh Thai Spa & Wellness, guests can escape the chaos of the city by fully experiencing Thai culture with all of its spiritual rhythm and calm. Tranquillity rules here, with Ton Poh translating to the Bodhi Tree, under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Its founders Nannapat, Wacharapon and Trinut are passionate about bringing great service with authentic Thai manners and customs to Ton Poh, alongside traditional Thai treatments. Their Thai yoga massage combines acupressure, Indian Ayurveda principles, and gentle assisted yoga postures to relieve muscle and joint tension. Guests can also enjoy a Thai aromatherapy massage; a truly relaxing treatment using uniquely blended pure essential oils. Their signature King or Queen of Ton Poh Massages are 90-minute therapies using four hands and handmade hot herbal compress balls, combining a range of traditional Thai techniques to unlock the senses. Massages can be complemented by a range of specialist beauty treatments.
Thermae Bath Spa, Central Bath
Best natural spa
A 15-minute train ride from Bristol takes wellness-seekers to the historic spa town of Bath, home to Britain’s only mineral-rich, natural thermal springs. At the Thermae Bath Spa you can bathe as the Celts and Romans did over two millennia ago, enjoying stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding hills from the open-air rooftop pool. Guests can luxuriate under the grand columns of the thermal Minerva Bath, or recharge in the multi-sensory Wellness Suite. The main New Royal Bath is at the heart of the spa, and boasts a stunning combination of stone, glass, light and water. Spa-goers can indulge in signature treatments such as Back to Nature – a complete sensory-immersion experience with a full body massage using aromatic oils, followed by a warm mud mask, and hot stone therapy, before heading to the Springs Café Restaurant for a delicious array of refreshments.
Spa Naturel at Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, Central Bristol
Best sports spa
Spa Naturel is conveniently located in an ornate four-star hotel in the heart of the city centre. The hotel’s relaxed and friendly Health & Leisure Club is impressively outfitted with a fully equipped gym, an indoor heated swimming pool, a gym and a solarium, and guests can reward their workouts with a gratifying spa experience. Spa facilities include a whirlpool Jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna, and the attentive Spa Naturel team are on hand to offer professional wellness consultations. Their idyllic therapies aid with recovery and help prevent obstacles to sports performance, including a full-body deep tissue muscle energiser, using deep rhythmic pressure to alleviate aches and fight fatigue, and a Walking On Air massage to revive tired legs and feet by keeping the circulation flowing. Guests can also de-stress after physical exertion with a relaxing facial and body wrap.
Bristol HarSPA at Bristol Harbour Hotel, Old City
Best modern spa experience
Bristol HarSPA is a remarkable subterranean spa with first-class facilities, set in two iconic former bank vaults which have been carefully restored to elevate original features such as the magnificent vault doors. Descending into the vaults, guests will find a chic hydrotherapy pool with atmospheric low-level lighting, seven luxurious treatment rooms, a sauna and steam room, and a modern fitness suite. HarSPA offer treatments with top-tier spa brand ESPA, combining holistic therapies with the latest techniques and using only the purest natural products. Their signature Marine, Mind & Body full-body treatment starts with a relaxing foot bath, followed by a body scrub and a blissful massage and finished with a facial. A range of HarSPA packages, including day breaks and overnight stays, enable guests to fully unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life. Lunch can be caught at the stylish Jetty Restaurant, with fresh and healthy cuisine in a luxury hotel setting.