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Ancient healing waters & bathing rituals: Bath’s most romantic spas

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

A rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa in Bath UK, one of the most romantic spas in Bath, steaming in the brisk air and overlooking the UNESCO world heritage site and Bath Abbey.
The iconic rooftop pool makes Thermae one of the most romantic spas in Bath. Photo courtesy of Thermae Bath Spa.

Romantic spas in Bath, UK are surprisingly easy to come by. Any city seeping with ambiance like cobblestone streets, picturesque gardens and greenspaces, and a devotion to character and historical preservation definitely has a head start. And when you add a layer of luxury and pampering to a foundation that’s already built on wellness, you get one of the most romantic destinations in the United Kingdom. Seriously, everything about Bath is romantic.

We traveled to Bath in the winter, and the steam from the thermal pools hovered just above the surface, inviting us to “take the waters,” as the ancient Romans called it. One detail we found refreshing, is that the spa facilities in Bath are co-ed, which is a relief when you’re looking for a relaxing experience you can savor as a straight couple. And since both men and women can steam and soak in the healing waters together, swimsuits are mandatory. Here’s to hoping more spas in the United States pick up on the fact that most of us would happily wear bathing suits to be able to sit in a steam room with our opposite sex partners. Oh, and don't forget to leave your cell phones in your lockers as there are no photos permitted.

UNESCO World Heritage site, the ancient roman baths in Bath, UK, with a hot reflective pool flanked by a stone pillar colonnade, ancient statues and flickering torch lanterns under a stormy night sky. ©AOnozWright for Manifesting Travel.
The ancient Roman Baths are home to legendary hot springs that have drawn crowds for thousands of years. ©AOnozWright for Manifesting Travel.

History of the spas in Bath

Before we get into which are the most romantic spas in Bath, we need to talk about why spas are such a big deal in this town. Bath is home to wondrous natural hot springs which have been touted as therapeutic for more than a thousand years. With somewhere around 37 different minerals including calcium, magnesium and sulfate, people soaked in and even drank these waters, believing them to have a range of health benefits.


The city’s original Roman Baths are still a main attraction, and while you can still taste the waters at this location, you can no longer get in the pools as they are now a preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. With the legendary thermal waters drawing everyone from the sick to the socialite since ancient Roman times, it’s made it possible for more and more spas to sprout up over time, making Bath a wellness destination that should be on your radar.

Sprawling English manor, the Bath Priory, with acres of lush green gardens and terraces make it extremely romantic.
The Bath Priory is a stunning example of the scenery in Somerset County in southwest England. Photo courtesy of Bath Priory.

Bath as a spa and wellness destination

Bath is one of the premier wellness destinations in the UK, for more reasons than just its luxurious spas. The serene, natural beauty in the surrounding hillsides and the Cotswolds coupled with the glorious Botanical Gardens at Royal Victoria Park offer a dose of ecotherapy only Mother Nature can provide. According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature is linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health and emotional well-being.

Not to mention the healthy food options. I’ve been a travel editor for a decade and can honestly say there are few destinations that fiercely support their local suppliers the way the restaurants do in Bath. They know the fishing boat captains, the family who makes cheese on their farm just outside the city and the baker who delivered your sourdough loaf this morning. Some even hand-pick their own family-owned and operated wineries specializing in small batch wines. It’s astonishing and very impressive. And when you’re that close to the source of your food, it’s so much easier to be sure it’s organic and good for you. There’s a person and a story behind the ingredients, it doesn’t get much more romantic than that.


Now, onto the most romantic spas in Bath, UK.

A vibrant rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa, one of the most romantic spas in Bath UK, overlooking a preserved Georgian town and the Bath Abbey.
The rooftop thermal pool at Thermae Bath Spa is the stuff of wonders and easily one of the most romantic spas in Bath. Photo courtesy of Thermae Bath Spa.

Thermae Bath Spa

The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath Street, Bath BA1 1SJ united kingdom

Picture this, you and your love soaking under a blanket of stars and overlooking the gothic spires of Bath Abbey and the twinkling town below. The ancient cathedral bell chimes, there’s a soft mist rising around you and the serenity of this moment washes over you both. That’s exactly what you can expect from the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa. The warm waters are drawn up from the medieval springs the city was built upon, and enhanced with bubbling jets and air seats so visitors can relax and reconnect in a one-of-a-kind experience.

Nestled in the heart of town and surrounded by beautifully preserved Georgian architecture, the Thermae Bath Spa is striking with a stunning fusion of stone and glass. This contemporary take on history is a prelude to the luxury and indulgence awaiting inside. Among them, aroma-infused Roman and Georgian steam rooms, experiential showers, an infrared and celestial room and an invigorating ice chamber. The Minerva Bath, named for the Roman Goddess of Health and Wisdom, is the largest of the thermal baths with swirling mineral-rich waters that work to release tension and soothe aching muscles.

For the ultimate romantic experience, indulge in the exclusive Twilight Package, which includes two, two-hour spa sessions, a shared platter featuring Bath’s exquisite local ingredients and a glass of wine for each of you. It’s a popular treatment and the spa director told us it books up quickly on the weekends, so make sure to plan accordingly. If you can’t get a reservation for the Twilight Package, book exclusive use of the Cross Bath in a separate structure out front.

A historical Georgian building in the middle of a cobblestone street, the Cross Bath is an open-air spa that has been used for hundreds of years in Bath UK and is one of the most romantic spas in Bath. ©AlonzoWright for Manifesting Travel
The Cross Bath is an open-air spa that has been in use for over 300 years and can be booked for private use. ©AlonzoWright for Manifesting Travel.

The Cross Bath

The Cross Bath, a private open-air thermal bath, has its own romantic history. Once a Celtic worship site dedicated to the goddess Sul, it lent its name, Aquae Sulis to the spa town. However, the Cross Bath's reputation as a place of healing and fertility is what sets it apart.

In 1687, Mary of Modena, wife of King James II, visited the bath on advisement from a royal physician after struggling to conceive a child. Not long after her royal dip, she gave birth to a son. Today, guests can book exclusive use of the Cross Bath and see the thermal waters bubbling from the legendary spring in a specially commissioned poolside fountain, creating an unforgettable setting.

Romance, restoration, reconnection, rejuvenation, sounds like an intimate afternoon for two, if you ask me.

The sparkling relaxation pool surrounded by ancient stone walls and pointed chapel windows with glass panes and a lush garden view make the Royal Crescent Hotel's bath house one of the most romantic spas in Bath, UK.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is one of the oldest and most sought after addresses in all of Bath. Photo courtesy of the Royal Crescent Hotel.

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS United Kingdom

Welcome to one of the finest addresses in all of Bath. The Royal Crescent Hotel occupies No. 15 and No. 16 of the storied terraced townhouses and is frequently splashed across the pages of the most discerning travel magazines. Built in the mid 1700s by the same architectural pedigree who created the sweeping curve of the Royal Circus townhomes, it has been lovingly revamped more than once to maintain its old-world and stately charm.

The hotel’s sheer elegance is woven throughout the spa with soft shades of cream and white, delicate floral fragrances on the nose and plush towels and robes to wrap around yourself. A heated relaxation pool is the spa’s crown jewel. With its shimmering waters, ancient stone walls and gothic chapel windows overlooking the manicured gardens, the space is a sanctuary for history buffs and discerning wellness travelers alike. A Himalayan salt-infused sauna glows in calming rose tones, the herbal steam room is infused with eucalyptus and menthol, and there’s a vitality pool fitted with tension soothing massage jets.

A beautifully restored Georgian salon in The Royal Crescent Hotel has one of the most romantic spas in Bath with it's paneled walls, ceilings, fireplaces and lush furnishings and antique artwork.
The Royal Crescent Hotel is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK. Photo courtesy of The Royal Crescent Hotel.

The Royally Good Night package includes a romantic overnight and breakfast in one of their individually designed rooms, an indulgent 90-minute treatment for each of you, full use of the spa amenities and complimentary gift sets. After your treatments, you can lounge together in the serene Taittinger Spa Garden, where you can sip exquisite champagne and listen to the chirping birds.

As the sun bids you adieu, make sure you spend time wandering through the hotel’s one-acre garden. Lush scents of honeysuckle, lavender and rose will pull you in, but the playful squirrels bounding through the winding paths will keep you there. It’s a very special place that is worthy of your time and will only enhance the intimacy of your experience. Few settings capture the essence of romance as well as a sprawling English garden with soft hues of blooming flowers and a radiant setting sun.

But if a grand gesture is more your style, the hotel launched hot air balloon rides in the Spring of 2023. Lucky for you for finding out now, but unlucky for us as we were there just before the launch date, so we were unable to book it. The hot air balloon will whisk you high above Bath’s iconic landscapes and landmarks, giving you an ultra-exclusive view of the Bath Abbey, the Pulteney Bridge, and the winding River Avon from a completely new perspective.

A swanky lobby with art deco gold mirrors, modern settees, velvet chairs and a table with afternoon tea service at the Gainsborough Bath, one of the romantic spas in Bath UK.
Afternoon tea service in a swanky but approachable setting. Photo courtesy of the Gainsborough Hotel.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Beau St, Bath BA1 1QY, United Kingdom

Just a stone's throw away from the ancient Roman Baths, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is about as inviting as it gets, especially for couples. The delicate scent of aromatic oils fills the marbled lobby, whispering promises to unravel all your stress and tension right at the check-in desk. The 5-star hotel is a lovely blend of Victorian and Georgian architecture, left over from two landmark structures, The Royal United Hospital originally built in the 1800s and Bellott’s Hospital from 1609. But that’s where the formalities stop. The hotel’s interior is the epitome of approachable luxury, infused with comfortable and modern stylings like leather chairs and paneled ceilings.

That is, until you reach the Bath House with its grand four-story atrium. Natural light pours in through a stunning glass roof, illuminating the hotel’s private, natural thermal pool. It’s important to note that this hotel is right next to the Thermae Spa, meaning they also enjoy access to those fabled hot springs. Various fountains line the tiled alcoves of the main pool with flickering lanterns along the perimeter. Head up to the airy second-story mezzanine and order a couple glasses of champagne while you overlook the healing waters and soak up the sky.

A four story atrium with a thermal pool, lanterns and blue tilework sit below a glass ceiling making the Gainsborough one of the most romantic spas in Bath UK
The sun-drenched bathing atrium at The Gainsborough. Photo courtesy of the Gainsborough Hotel.

The spa has designed a custom Bath House Circuit, which is a hydrotherapy plan that encourages relaxation and detoxification to boost the immune system. You’ll begin with a warm soak in one of the private thermal pools to relax, then use a cool lymphatic hose to cool the body down. Next, it’s 5-10 minutes in the dry sauna to encourage sweating and detoxification, then on to the lavender ice alcove for an invigorating rub down before you finish with a soothing float in one of the pools.

This hot and cold approach has been used by ancient Romans for thousands of years to flush out the vascular system and increase oxygen flow in the blood. And I speak from experience when I say you’ll love every minute of this circuit. You know that feeling you get after too much heat? A little sluggish and sleepy for me. When you counteract that with the ice, it wakes up your senses and gives you a burst of energy not even caffeine can deliver.


If you’re hoping for a massage, and you should be, book the Thermal Candle Massage. Your massage therapist will heat a specially crafted candle that is infused with aromatic oils like rose, cotton and aloe vera before gently dripping it onto your skin. If you opt for a more unique experience, book one of the aqua massages, which are carried out by a massage therapist in one of the pools. All these treatments are designed to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body, while restoring the intimate connection to yourself, your partner, and Bath’s rich history.

An English manor house with a round gravel drive and green ivy climbing up the stone facade, it's home to one of the most romantic spas in Bath UK a L'Occitane spa.
The stately Bath Priory was once a private manor but it's now a luxe hotel with one of the most romantic spas in Bath. Photo courtesy of Bath Priory.

The Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant and Spa

Weston Rd, Bath BA1 2XT, United Kingdom

Tucked away in a tranquil corner of town, The Bath Priory had once been an exquisite private residence built in the early 1800s. Far from a humble abode, it sits on four sprawling acres with award-winning gardens, wide terraces and the crawling ivy we’ve come to believe must certainly represent English nobility. This is an anniversary kind of place.

With period furnishings and an impressive assortment of fine art and antiquities from the hotelier’s own private collection, it exudes unpretentious luxury. It’s just a short stroll through the Botanical Gardens at Royal Victoria Park to the center of town, but thanks to the hotel’s enchanting grounds, it feels more like a proper country estate.

A shimmering indoor pool with waves reflecting off the walls and ceiling at the Bath Priory, one of the most romantic spas in Bath.
The perfect place to float on a dreary day, the heated indoor pool at Bath Priory. Photo courtesy of Bath Priory.

The Garden Spa by L'Occitane is an ode to the sun-soaked hills that grace the South of France and is the only one of its kind in the U.K. Olivier Baussan founded the luxury skincare brand in the 1970s with a focus on harnessing the calming natural herbs and botanicals from Provence to Corsica. These high-end products are the basis of the spa treatments the Bath Priory offers today. While the services are pretty traditional, Discovery Back Massage and Facial, Shea Nourishing Scrub and Wrap, they are elevated by the luxury products used. There are four treatments rooms, including a dual treatment suite for you and your love that overlook the pristine gardens. You’ll be greeted by a tranquil indoor pool, a heated outdoor pool, an aroma steam room and a cedar-wood sauna.

But maybe one of the best things about this hotel is that it’s an entire experience. After a day of pampering and strolling through the award-winning gardens, you can dine at the award-winning restaurant. The 3 AA Rosette-winning restaurant is led by Jauca Catalin and a culinary team focused on showcasing the region’s lush ingredients in creative and unexpected ways.

I highly recommend collecting a hamper (a picnic basket for the Americans in the group) from the restaurant and enjoying it in one of the wisteria-draped corners of the gardens. The luxury hampers are decked out with a soft blanket to sit on, china, cutlery, and the corkscrew you’ll need to open the sumptuous bottle of wine tucked inside. To call it “dreamy” may feel like a bit of a cliché. But what is more romantic than an intimate picnic for two, filled with decadent local dishes, a bottle of the good stuff and lots of English charm? Go ahead, I’ll wait.


No. 15 Great Pulteney – Guest House Hotels

15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4BS

Whimsical and full of vintage splashes like Crosby record players, etched barware and campy accessories, No.15 Great Pulteney is a whole vibe. It’s a collision of classic English charm with cheeky and personalized touches, making this boutique hotel a rendezvous to remember. Each of the 36 rooms is different and the hotel is a veritable treasure hunt filled with quirky touches like rows of top hats on the wall, walking sticks as banisters and glass tables with antique vanity sets and jewelry on display. It’s an “Alice in Wonderland” level of fun and wildly unexpected.

The Pulteney Rooms overlook a wide avenue and a row of the buttery Georgian townhomes for which Bath is famous. Want a cup of joe? Just open the dollhouse in your room, the coffee maker is tucked inside it. The eclectic mix of art and antiques only adds to the intrigue.


But the true spa-like luxury starts in the bathroom of The Hideout. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, this is the room for you. It’s like renting a charming flat, complete with a lounge and fireplace, separate bed and dressing rooms, and your own private

spa. The bathroom has a palatial walk-in shower that doubles as a steam room with a bench, handheld wand and an enormous rain showerhead. It’s like a car wash for two. But the pièce de resistance is your own private hot tub next to it. Enclosed in glass with wrought iron sculptures and LED lighting for after-dark soirées, the hot tub is big enough for four adults to simmer comfortably.

Not to be outdone, the actual spa is tucked into the converted cellar, so it’s lined with warm stone walls in some rooms and domed brick ceilings with glowing lanterns in others. In a nod to Bath’s history as a Roman wellness hot spot, you can slip into a huge copper tub made for two. Thanks to the metallic properties in the copper, it heats faster and retains the temperature for longer, ensuring you’ll want to linger. It’s also filled with rose petals and organic, magnesium-rich bath salts to set the mood and soothe tense muscles. You’ll have the option to privately apply each other’s body scrubs and face masks, as you sip on glasses of British bubbles before your massages.

Afterwards, head to the bar for a proper afternoon tea featuring delicate pastries and sandwiches made from local ingredients and served with local sparkling wine. For the more adventurous, order the CBD infused spritzer instead of the fizz. No. 15 Great Pulteney isn’t one of those places you stayed in that tends to blur over time. Your memories will be just as vivid as the time you spent in this boutique hotel’s playful enchantment.

The Gainsborough private thermal pool at night with lanterns illuminating the marble columns, blue water and stone surroundings making it one of the most romantic spas in Bath Uk.
The Gainsborough has its own private thermal pool with access to Bath's ancient healing waters. Photo courtesy of the Gainsborough Hotel.

Wrap up of Bath’s most romantic spas

As our journey through the most romantic spas in Bath draws to a close, we hope you've been whisked away to a world of reconnection, rejuvenation and serenity. Each of these exquisite sanctuaries offers a unique and unforgettable experience, where you and your beloved can escape the ordinary and immerse yourselves in the warm embrace of mineral-rich waters, indulge in blissful spa treatments, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

There’s truly nothing like carving out the time to reconnect and nurture your relationship in a place as timelessly elegant as Bath. It’s unique history and dedication to wellness is what sets it apart as being an experience that will truly have a lifelong effect on you and your relationship. In a world of fabrication and filters, it’s that level of authenticity and connection that really matters.


Check out more things to do in Bath, England

Headshot for Manifesting Travel's Editor in Chief, Ashley Onoz-Wright

Ashley Oñoz-Wright has been a travel writer and editor based in Las Vegas, NV for the last ten years. Her work has been featured in Manifesting Travel, Modern Luxury, Sophisticated Living, Greenspun Media Group, and She holds a degree in Sociology & Anthropology from DePauw University.


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