A health club spa brings fitness and spa into one space. Facilities will often include a large gym or fitness space, regular classes as well as the usual spa wet and thermal facilities. Most will offer a range of memberships alongside their spa days or breaks.
The fitness facilities should be impressive too. Think large gyms with the latest equipment, personal trainers on hand and a range of classes offering anything from boot camps to gentle yoga or countryside walks. If you’re not a sporty spa-goer, you can just go along and use the facilities, though they might not be quite as luxurious as some of those found in day, hotel or destination spas.
With a focus on fitness there will often be a range of treatments to complement them. A deep tissue or sports massage would be great for a post-workout recovery. These specialist sports treatments should sit alongside a range of body treatments, massages and facials. You may even discover holistic treatments such as acupuncture or wellness treatments on the menu.
Health club spas tend to have a more upbeat and vibrant atmosphere. Gyms often play loud and upbeat music and it’s used in some classes too. Other spa goers might be full of energy and feeling good thanks to post-workout endorphins, so don’t expect silent surroundings. That’s not to say that there won’t be a quiet or serene atmosphere in certain areas. Some health club spas manage to divide the buzzy gym area from the quieter spa area by having a relaxation room or café between the two.
You can choose to be virtuous or treat yourself at lunch. Healthier options such as salad and smoothies sit alongside indulgent treats like afternoon tea.
To make the most of your day, arrive as early as possible to and leave as late in the day as you can. Ask for the fitness class timetable in advance so you can plan your day. If the health club spa is attached to a hotel and you are staying overnight, check if the gym can be used before you check-out in the morning.
Ask what the spa provides. They should offer towels and robes, but you may need to take additional amenities.
Remember to book any treatments towards the end of the day. You want to let those lovely oils and balms soak into your skin for as long as possible, not sweat them straight off in the gym or wash them off before a swim.
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of fitness or embark upon a wellness journey, a health club spa would be a good place to start. The thought of bubbling away in a hot tub for a while should get you through a tough workout.