Relaxing in Spa, Belgium
For some serious relaxation, it’s best to head right to the source. What better place than the town that brought the term “spa” to life? The lovely little town of Spa in the Ardennes of Belgium is just waiting for you to visit and have the most calming vacation. Known for its healing mineral waters, Spa has been popular as a watering place since the 14th century. As early as the 16th century, Spa was the first to export its waters to nearby regions, marketing it as a cure. “Spa” then became a generic term for thermal baths and has evolved to encompass relaxing treatments.
Nowadays, the Thermes de Spa combines modern wellness with traditional hydrotherapy treatments. The current location was established in 2004 and is perched atop a hill that is secluded by nature. The facility focuses on pleasure, comfort, tranquility and companionship with its mineral baths from the Clementine spring. The indoor and outdoor pools feature bell fountains, geysers, bubble seats and water jets, all at a constant 91 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the pool are saunas, steam rooms and relaxation areas.
Photo by Jessica Zen
Beyond the pools are 60 private treatment rooms with the sole purpose of providing relaxation. Opt for balneotherapy session, where treatments are carried out underwater to help blood circulation, metabolism stimulation, skin healing and relaxation. A massage utilizing a rain curtain that provides a soft fall of water over the body creates a moist heat cocoon that enhances the massage and sense of relaxation. No matter what treatment you choose, you’re sure to walk out of the thermes feeling tranquil and refreshed.
After pampering yourself at the thermes, head to Lake Warfaaz for a leisurely stroll. This artificial lake is small enough to walk all the way around and is host to many restaurants on the water, fisherman and paddle boaters. Even if you don’t want to partake in any activities, the lake itself is surrounded by lush green trees. You can see hotels and a beautiful mansion dotting the hills surrounding the lake. Enjoy the simplicity of nature here and bask in the quiet ambiance.
If you’ve worked up an appetite and want some quality French food, head to La Bella Epoque. Enjoy a sparkling appetizer beer known as Liefmans Fruitesse, which has a mix of strawberries, raspberries, black cherries, elderberries and blueberries. Pair that light drink with a tomato and mozzarella plate and you’ll be in pure heaven while dining on the terrace. The main menu is a little pricey but includes items like Iberian pork chops, roasted sea bass and steak tartare.
After a long day of relaxing, you’ll likely be ready to head to your hotel. Consider staying at Silva Hotel just outside of the town. This 4-star hotel overlooks Lake Warfaaz and is nestled within the wooded hills of the Ardennes. It is also a spa and will further enhance your relaxing vacation. For the best view, book a lakeside executive room. Perched on the fifth floor, you’ll have a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and lake. If you just can’t get enough of that spa life, book a sugar peeling body treatment or vita balance facial treatment for the ultimate experience. When you awaken fully refreshed the next morning, look forward to breakfast. The croissants are baked fresh daily and are absolutely amazing. There’s also a wide variety of other breakfast items, including eggs, cheeses and fruits. Bonus features- it has air conditioning, an actual parking lot and is pet-friendly!
Though Spa isn’t a large enough town for a weeklong vacation, two days here is the perfect amount. You can explore the picturesque little Belgian town, try the local cuisine and take advantage of the healing waters. Grab a group of friends or your significant other and head to Spa for a fantastic relaxing getaway!
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