The wet spa at our Cotswolds Wellness Spa harnesses the tranquillity of the water element in state-of-the-art facilities. The three areas of The Spring – a Herbal Sauna, Steam Room and Hydro Pool – pay tribute to the ancient heritage of spas as spaces at the heart of social life, born from a collective understanding of what it means to be well in one’s body, and to be well as a community.
THE WATER ELEMENT
Although we spend most of our time on land, we have more in common with water than we might think. Water is within us: the human body is 70-80% water (this varies depending on age), and the concentration of salt and other ions in our blood is surprisingly similar to that of the sea water we find in our precious oceans. What’s more, 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water so not only do we find ourselves sustained by the element in our bodies, we are quite literally surrounded by it, too.
Life in us is like the water in a river.
– HENRY DAVID THOREAU
OUR WET SPA
There is a particular experience that washes over us like a wave of calm when we are in the presence of water. It is this tranquillity we have sought to capture in our wet spa areas in the Cotswolds, inviting the water element into the space in three ways.
The state-of-the-art pool invites guests to immerse themselves in its heated waters. Two air loungers and two floor mounted volcano pads can be stood over, sending oxygen past the body to support circulation. Alternatively, stand under the swan neck massage jets to the side to experience a water-powered massage.
Retreat into the steam room to experience the respiratory benefits of the salt brine solution that is diffused into the steam. Salt inhalation encourages healthy breathing and can absorb irritants, including allergens and toxins; this can be a particularly beneficial therapy for asthmatics.
Located at the rear of The Spring, the sauna offers breath-taking views across Daylesford Farm and the surrounding countryside. The sauna regulates the humidity within the cabin for a pleasant heat, and features a crystal at its centre to serve as a focal point for personal reflection or meditation.
THE EBB AND FLOW OF SPA THROUGH HISTORY
The origin of ‘the spa’ as we know it has been traced back to Ancient Greece with bathing sites identified in Knossos however, it is thought that the practice of bathing extends back even further than that. The Ancient Egyptians were connoisseurs of scent, often combining their pursuit of aromatherapy with bathing. The Romans are said to have brought the spa with them to what we now call Britain, in 43AD. Spa bathing became a widespread tradition of the Roman civilisation, with natural thermal spa sites like the Aquae Sulis in Bath acting as a place to conduct business and to participate in society.
Fast forward to the Twenty-first Century, the spa continues to attend to the healing and well-being needs of individuals and communities alike. While its form and function has ebbed and flowed across time - evolving from a communal space where groups would take to the healing waters together, to the more targeted rituals offered and enjoyed in the privacy of a treatment room today - a conscious pursuit of what it means to be well in mind, body and spirit has persisted through time and has renewed relevance as we strive to emerge from a time of collective crisis.
The therapeutic properties of water have been believed for centuries – the long history of spa bathing is a testament to that, and it continues to be prescribed today for the treatment of physical injuries and ailments. Hydrotherapy is commonly used to treat injuries and pains, often alongside other traditional medicines and methods, harnessing the natural resistance of water against the body to strengthen and tone muscle, facilitate low-impact aerobic exercise and increase joint flexibility. Water-related activities, such as cold-water swimming, are also sought for the mental and emotional benefits they bring to the individual, and the spiritual significance of water is manifest in rituals across religions, often signifying a moment of deep cleansing and purification. Truly, it is hard to conceive of wellness in any sense without appealing to this miracle element.
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COTSWOLDS WELLNESS SPA
The architects worked with the original features of the building when designing our wellness destination, to allow natural light to flood the spaces. There is an emphasis on the use of natural materials throughout to reflect the rural surroundings, referencing the four natural elements: fire, water, earth and air.