June 29, 2021
Aire Ancient baths is now in London – experience luxury, candle-lit joy
Spanish born and globally renowned, AIRE Ancient Baths boast eight incredible locations, including Barcelona, Sevilla, New York and Copenhagen. With London’s doors now firmly open, it was time to experience the ritual known for centuries.
Inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Rome, Greece and Ottoman civilisations, AIRE temples are dedicated to the relaxation of both the body and mind.
With the building once the home of Peter Pan writer J.M Barrie, the antiquity alone allows you to enter a journey of relaxation within a candlelit historical building. The tour takes you through multiple baths at different temperatures, allowing you to (almost) step back in time.
Whilst there, they recommend that you don’t bring your phone in with you, so in true Kaya-immersion style, I opted to lock it away and give myself that much needed tech-free time to whole-heartedly experience what was on offer.
A series of thermal baths with varying temperatures allow you to pool-hop, with your body appreciating a multitude of sensations from Tepidarium (36º), the Frigidarium (14º) or my personal favourite, the Caldarium (40º). Why not try the steam bath or Vaporium, the Florarium (yes, a floatation temple-like area), including the glorious salt scrub that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready.
In between the ancient thermal baths, the elegant candle-lit areas offer you that much needed time to sip green tea and stay hydrated. These little pockets of joy allow you time to ponder on a ritual that typically for Londoners has been a solo endeavour, yet culturally is a century-old tradition and an important part of social life soaked through from the Romans, to modern Japan, Turkey and Russia.
In Ancient Greece, bathhouses were places that men would swap philosophical discussions, with some containing libraries. In the Middle Ages, men and women gave up bathing together for fear it would spread disease. In the 1960s and ‘70s, bathhouses in New York became safe havens for gay men to enjoy.
But, back to AIRE.
I felt so secure whilst there, one of my worries was the number of people but I had almost 30-minutes alone which was tranquil. I was then called for my 30-minute relaxing massage, of which the therapist put me at ease and talked me through everything. I sank into the comfiest headrest ever (trust me, it’s important!), and had a medium pressured grapeseed oil massage which covered my legs, back and a head.
As I neared the end of my dreamy experience, the 18th-century phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” popped into my head, connecting health, hygiene and purity. It’s ancient and deserves to be experienced.
A restored 19th-century warehouse next to El Born market in Barcelona; a rural farmhouse that dates back to 1467 in Vallromanes (30 km from Barcelona); a Mudejar house-palace in the heart of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood of Seville and a building located on the ruins of the old souk of Almeria in Andalucia are four AIRE locations in Spain. The company is also present in the USA with a property in the heart of New York City (TriBeCa) which was a former textile factory and another in Chicago (River West), also industrial in nature. As part of its ambitious expansion plan, AIRE Ancient Baths launched a new property in 2020 in Copenhagen in Carlsberg Byen, which was the old factory of the legendary Danish beer and London (2021) and Toronto (2022) are set to follow.
AIRE Ancient Baths London is located at 2-3 Robert St, WC2N 6RL Covent Garden, London. Book your ancient bath experience from £90 or couples escape with Cava and truffles for £200 on their website: AIRE London
Follow AIRE Ancient Baths London (@aireancientbaths_uk) on Instagram and tag #AireAncientBaths #WelcomeAireLondon #BeAire
Written by Kaya Cheshire for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International