by Victoria Shepherd

Looking for a perfect weekend away from London, a way to add variety to your vacation, or perhaps a place to relax after a tiring business conference? Bath, and not the bubbly kind, is located just a brief train ride from the center of England’s capital. And by the end of 2004, there’ll be one more reason for visitors to fall in love with this idyllic city overflowing with architectural beauty, history, and—of course—water.

Situated adjacent to the historic Roman Baths (, which
date back to AD 43, the brand-new, state-of-the-art Thermae Spa
(, designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners,
will celebrate its much-anticipated (second*) opening. In addition to twenty
treatment rooms and natural water baths (even after all these years, no one
seems to know where the water originates from!), Thermae Spa
offers its clients yoga, pilates, and one of the country’s four watsu
massage therapists. The facility is available to all, with
entrance fees starting at as low as free (for access to the Hetling
Pump Room).

Other must-sees in and around Bath are the Postal Museum (8 Broad Street,
t 0.1225.460333); No 1 Royal Crescent, a fully restored Georgian Home
(p 0.1225.428126; and Bath Abbey and Heritage Vaults (t 0.1225.

Places to stay range in price, from the simple but comfortable Carfax hotel (t 0.1225.462089, with rooms starting at 58 GBP (approximately $87), to the luxurious Royal Crescent (t 0.1225.823333,, which, will offer weekend getaways and packages once the spa opens. The Royal Crescent Hotel is Grade-One listed, and prices range from 199 GBP (approx $350) per night for special breaks, to 715 GBP (approx $1090) for the master suite.

*In August of 2003, there was an official opening, a fanfare production
that included a performance by the Three Tenors, but alas, the following day, a fault was found, the pool was drained, and the doors were closed.