Katalin Fekete reviews Thermalbad & Spa Zurich, which offers a retreat for health aficionados and people looking for a relaxing escape.
It is damp and cold outside, and the sun does not manage to break through the thick layer of fog hanging over the city. My knotted shoulders ache and I feel drained of energy and ready for a revitalising break in Zurich’s new thermal baths and spa. The wellness oasis, built in a former brewery and fed by one of city’s two hot mineral springs, seems the right place to recharge my batteries.
An oasis of tranquillity in Zurich
As I enter the brick building, I receive a large beige bathrobe and a small towel of the same colour before walking through a sparsely lit passage that takes me from the hectic bustle outside to an oasis of peace, relaxation and tranquillity.
The day spa fuses 100-year-old barrel vaulted rooms with simple, yet elegant modern design and comfort. Stone arches, dim lights and the roar of the water give you the impression of being deep inside a cave. The subtle warm tones of grey, brown and white dominating the interior make you feel welcome and comfortable.
I go straight to the Irish-Roman bath in the spa area that combines hot, dry Irish with Roman hot water baths to cleanse body, mind and soul.
Ten stations, each with a plaque giving some information about that particular step, take me from a warm blossom to a hot herbal steam room, and then to a number of warm and cold pools with Jacuzzi and underwater jets massaging my body.
Refreshed yet exhausted after the spa ritual, I am happy to lie down in the heated, candle-lit area next to the pool and listen to the murmur of the water with its calming and relaxing effect.
The beautifully designed spa — stylish, yet unpretentious — exudes a magical atmosphere: chandeliers softly illuminate the high arches, while lights in the pools make the water dance on the vaulted ceiling. The beauty and peacefulness — only few people enjoy a spa treat early in the morning — make me unwind.
To round off the spa experience, I indulge in a revitalising 25-minute massage with steam-heated herb pouches (‘Milch-Kräuterstempel-Massage’). Lying on the heated bed in the treatment room and listening to soothing music while being massaged from head to toe, is sheer bliss. I close my eyes and let my thoughts drift.
The thermal baths also offer three large wood-panelled pools, a reminder of the fermenting vats once kept here, where you can enjoy hydrojet tubs and bubble beds. A dark emerald green room with a shallow pool (‘Smaragd-Bad’), in the next room lets you meditate while floating on your back and listening to gentle underwater music.
The highlight of the thermal baths is the open-air rooftop pool that offers a magnificent panoramic view of Zurich and, if weather permits, the snow-capped Alps. Staying in the pool heated to 35˚C and feeling the crisp air on my face while watching the fog slowly disappear is invigorating.
Spa Zurich fact file
The thermal baths and spa in Zurich is a day spa resort that opened in December 2010. It offers:
– thermal baths with hydrojet massage tubs, a whirlpool bath, a shallow pool for relaxation and meditation, a herbal steam room and a rooftop pool.
– an Irish-Roman spa ritual that takes you to steam rooms, warm and cold pools with jets of water to massage your body and relaxation areas. You can book various massage sessions.
– a bistro serving snacks, meals and drinks.
The day spa is very popular, especially with people in their 20s, and is crowded in the afternoons and on the weekends.
Thermalbad & Spa Zurich
Brandschenkestrasse 150, 8002 Zurich
Phone: +41 44 205 96 51
9am to 10pm, Monday through Sunday. Tuesday is ladies only.
The admission fees are rather high, but the duration of your stay is not limited.
Thermal bath: SFr. 34.00 for adults and SFr. 16.00 for children up to 14.
Spa: SFr. 58.00 for adults, which includes access to the thermal baths.