The best spas with incredible baths

From healing waters and locally harvested seaweed to tubs with killer views, Scarlet Spy dips into those spa hotels that are worth a visit for the baths alone.

Chill Spa, The Ice House 

Chill Spa at The Ice House, County Mayo, Ireland

Bath goals: river-side bathing

Sink into an alfresco bathtub overlooking the River Moy and Belleek Forest at The Ice House’s Chill Spa in County Mayo. Outdoor bathing rituals include Himalayan salt, Atlantic seaweed (Fucus Serratus) or warmed spice mud, and come with complimentary herbal tea and fresh fruit sorbet. Staying at the hotel? Take full advantage of the in-room bath butler. 

The Spa at Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill Park horizontal shower

Bath goals: all the baths 

From double baths in Silver Birch (see lead photo), to the Twickenham Suite with its own eight-seater Jacuzzi (no questions asked), Pennyhill Park has a bath tub for every occasion. If you’re more of a shower-type, the Acacia Plush junior suite has a rather futuristic horizontal shower (pictured above); lie down and relax while six jets spray down providing a variety of water massages. 

Kohler Waters, Old Course Hotel 

Kohler Waters SOK bathing experience

Bath goals: bathe in rainbows

The spa at Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews is the only Kohler Waters Spa outside of the US and offers treatments with therapeutic water treatments. After an enthusiastic body brush, submerge yourself in the SŌK Overflowing Bath by Kohler; the chroma-therapy full-colour spectrum feature allows you to literally bathe in rainbows. What’s not to love? 

Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel  

Buxton bathing therapy

Bath goals: Healing waters

Built over the Buxton Spring - once loved by the Romans - Buxton Crescent uses the pure mineral-rich water to lower blood pressure and assist with skin disorders. The Buxton CO2 Mineral bath experience – with added CO2 gas for extra bubbles - takes place in the beautifully-designed spa bath and is inspired by the original 19th century natural baths at sister hotel in Mariánské Lázně in the Czech Republic.   

Nàdarra Spa, The Coniston Hotel

Nadarra Spa at The Coniston

Bath goals: tubs for two

Location is key at Coniston with rolling hills, enchanting woodland and a huge lake for the taking. The best place to enjoy those views? In side-by-side roll-top tubs in the spa garden, with your favourite person, of course. Bespoke bath treatments come as standard: choose from a pure Scottish seaweed bath from Ishga or a detoxifying therapeutic tea bath. 

The Well in the Garden Spa, Cliff at Lyons

Well in the Garden Nordic bathing experience

Bath goals: twilight bathing

Tucked in a private corner, behind the Well in the Garden spa, is the brand new Garden Room and Outdoor Thermal Spa. Here you’ll find beautiful copper bath tubs for Nordic-inspired bathing; soak up the idyllic surrounds of Cliff at Lyon while your skin is bathed in locally-grown seasonal herbs and flowers, organic Irish peat and ginger/organic seaweed harvested from the Irish coast. 

The Spa in the Garden, The Manor House Hotel

The Spa in the Garden, Manor House Alsager Cold Water bath

Bath goals: cold water immersion

No longer just reserved for the Wim Hof’s of the world, cold water baths are popping up at forward-thinking spas like The Manor House’s English spa garden. After toasting in the enormous Salt Steam Inhalation Chamber, cool off in the icy cold plunge bath – sandwiched between the cold-water shower and bucket shower. Guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs and activate the nervous system. 

Alchemist Spa, Woolacombe Bay Hotel 

Alchemist Spa copper tub

Bath goals: oversized copper tub 

The Woolacombe Bay Hotel & Alchemist Spa is set in the seaside town of its namesake, famous for its award-winning three-mile stretch of sand and rolling Atlantic breakers. We love the spa’s oversized copper tub; your bath butler will draw it for you, adding your choice of oil, so you can sink beneath the bubbles with a glass of something sparkly. 

Hoar Cross Hall Hotel & Spa 

Hoar Cross Hall pink bathtub

Bath goals: pink baths

Book an Exclusive Suite on your Serenity Spa Stay at Hoar Cross Hall to guarantee a room with a bath; ask for the baby-pink free-standing roll-top – a hit with the Spa Spies. In the spa, opt for Lazy Days Detox Seaweed Bath and submerge your body in hand-harvested Atlantic seaweed to release unwanted toxins and help alleviate aches and pains. 


Spa Likes

"Beautiful interiors, luxurious swimming pools, being pampered, long massages, quality food."

Spa Dislikes

"Noisy echoes, overlooking facilities, thin walls in treatment rooms, cramped spa layout."