The spa life in Baden-Baden

by Heather Ann Cosimo
Stripes Europe

At some point you may have wondered, how do Europeans stay so youthful and healthy looking? Yes, there must be something in the water. The secret is in the spas. Germany in particular is known for world-class spas and deep hot springs. Health and wellness are taken seriously here and Germans undeniably take the time to indulge in their wellbeing and conditioning regimes. The thermal water from hot springs, minerals and inherent healing powers lure visitors. 

When searching for a spa destination, it is helpful to know the word “Bad” means “Bath” in German. This usually implies a spa town, where you should be able to find at least one public spa. Baden-Baden is a world-renowned spa resort located in Baden-Wuerttemburg, in the Northern part of the Black Forest. This hot spot possesses a rich and prominent history, a place where European aristocrats and royalty would go to relax. Baden-Baden literally means “to bathe, to bathe.” Today it continues to flourish as celebrities, politicians and international travelers all journey to this posh destination. Bill Clinton once said, “Baden-Baden is so nice, you have to name it twice.” Fortunately, you don’t need the title of President listed on your resume or a mighty trust fund to enjoy the fruits of Baden-Baden. Two famous public baths are The Caracalla Spa and The Friedrichsbad. 

Single admission for a two hour visit to The Caracalla Spa and Sauna is 13 Euros. The vast bathing area contains sprawling pools in a glass-enclosed sanctuary. Marble columns and a domed ceiling soar overhead. The pools stretch to the outside containing massage jets, whirlpools, a waterfall and current area. Test out the water in the hot and cold chambers. Relax and sunbathe, or breathe deeply in the saltwater inhalation room. Step into the steam baths and sauna, completing your journey to a tranquil state of mind. 

The Friedrichsbad maintains Roman and Irish bathing traditions. You will be guided through 125 years of culture and tradition with 17 invigorating stages of bathing. According to Mark Twain, “Here at the Friedrichsbad you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world within 20…” Single admission ticket, including soap and brush massage for 3.5 hours, is 29 Euros. The soap and brush massage is a rejuvenating total body scrub down. Like most spas, this one requires only your birthday suit. As they say, “When in Rome...” If you tend to be more inhibited, you may want to stick with a spa that permits bathing suits, such as The Caracalla Spa. 

Spa treatments run the gamut. Choose from classic massages, mud packs, aromatherapy, scrubs and wraps. Services range from beauty treatments to anti-aging and anti-stress therapies. Whether looking for a long overdue self-indulgence or a cure for muscle aches, spas offer the solution for most ailments. The effects can be far-reaching. Basking in the curative waters can be soothing for multiple medicinal purposes. It is believed to aid circulatory, respiratory, inflammatory, and muscle problems. Revitalize and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

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