The Genuine Spa
You may not know this, but yes, it is in Southern Belgium, in the heart of the beautiful lush forests of the Belgian Ardennes that lies Spa, the original water town from which spa centres all over the world have taken their name! Spa’s main attraction is its beautiful modern spa facility, spectacularly designed in glass and wood by one of Belgium’s foremost architects, where you can enjoy two large heated circular indoor and outdoor swimming pools with hydromassage jets, each heated to a blissful 32°C, as well as Hammams, Jacuzzis, relaxation rooms and an infrared lamp area. Treatments range from bathing in carbogaseous water to mud baths containing rich peat originating from the High Fens of Spa .
The Thermes de Spa centre is directly linked by glass funicular to the newly opened Radisson SAS Palace Hotel, a chic interior-designed 120 room hotel which also offers its own spa facilities and treatment rooms and is located right in the centre of the pretty town, making an ideal base for exploring the many other attractions the town has to offer, such as shopping in the many boutiques or at the Sunday flea market, golf on the excellent course of the Royal Golf Club des Fagnes, or long walks and excursions in the forests and marshes of the Ardennes where many of the natural springs can be visited.
Approximately 25 minutes drive from Spa and 20 mns from Liège is the town of Chaudfontaine with the only naturally hot water springs in Belgium. The exclusive Chateau des Thermes, which is set in a landscaped park bordering the river Vesdre, includes a Thermal Space with swimming pool filled with spring water, a Beauty Space and a gastronomic restaurant.
At the Beauty Space on the first floor of the Chateau, the spa's staff dispenses all kinds of hydro and thermal therapies, massages and beauty treatments, ranging from traditional favourites to the most recent innovations, including phytobiodermie, a unique method incorporating the principles of traditional Chinese medicine with natural skincare products from Switzerland, and...chocolate massages.
Chaudfontaine is also ideally located for long walks in the crisp country air of the Ardennes, and accommodation at the Chateau des Thermes, which currently consists of a charming adjoining 9-room hotel, is due for expansion in 2006.