“ Address: Royal Baths / Parliament Street / Harrogate / HG1 2WH „
If you want to feel pampered and refreshed then the Turkish Baths is the place to go for a few hours. I got gift vouchers for there for Christmas (they last for a year so it's a good present for a busy friend as they don't have to rush to use them but will love you for it when they do!!) and booked a back, neck and shoulder massage after a session in the Turkish baths. Definately best to do the baths before the treatment as you get to unwind and feel really relaxed ready for it. It's so quiet and peaceful and especially when its cold outside during the winter its great to be able to sit in a heat room, close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beach. The staff are really polite and helpful and everything is immaculate and well restored. The Turkish Bath sessions are about £15 (varies as to when you go and if its a mixed or single sex session). Would definately advise booking beforehand though! Worht every penny - leaves you feeling reborn!
The Turkish Baths in the spa town of Harrogate are in a beautifully renovated building, tiled and painted in a Moorish style and are centrally located (just down the road from Bettys).
I visited them with a hen party during a women only session on a Sunday lunchtime. They also have male only sessions and mixed sessions. Swimming costumes must be worn in the mixed session and the vast majority of people in the women only session wore costumes too.
On arrival there are cubicles to get changed in, these are warm, clean and dry, then there are small lockers to put your clothes in. Towels are provided (as many as you want) and there is also shower gel in the showers so you only need to take your cossie and any other toiletries you need, the lockers need a £1 coin.
After this you are shown round the baths by a member of staff, then you get started. First a shower then into the steam room, which is very hot and has strongly eucalyptus scented steam, then another shower and into the plunge pool. This is a pool about 10 by 5 metres which is very cold and thoroughly invigorating (if you can't bear to get in you can just splash yourself or have a cold shower - noone will force you in). After this you move through a series of three hot rooms, starting at warm and going to very hot. After each one you shower and go in the plunge pool. It may be a good idea to take flip flops as the floor is very hot, although there are towels on the floor that you can dash between. When you've finished there it is recommended that you spend 30 minutes in the relaxation room (normal temperature) to acclimatise back to the outside world.
I wasn't particularly looking forward to it but found it a very relaxing experience, helped by the setting which is beautiful and clean but not overpowering luxury. I'm not someone who likes to be too hot, but found all the rooms but the steam room OK.
The prices vary from £12.50 to £18 depending on when you go, we paid £18 which was quite a lot but were in there for a total of at least 2 hours, so its not so expensive that its not worth a try. They also do various treatments but I didn't have any so can't comment on that. They have a cafe which I relaxed in with a nice cup of coffee while waiting for the rest of the party.
The only downside was that they allow up to 60 people in at once. As it was a peak time when we went there were about that many people in and it felt very busy. There was always a queue for the plunge pool and we only just managed to find enough space to sit in the hot rooms, certainly not much space for lying down and relaxing.
I went to Harrogate for just a few days but I thought I had to make time for the Turkish baths and I'm glad I did. I recommend everyone to spare a couple of hours to do this if there in the area.
I didnt use the spa however th turksih baths were beautiful. It has been restored and the architecture is amazing. As you first enter there are small changing rooms and towels that are available throughout your turskish baths experience. As you conrtinue to walk through you enter the chill out room. This room is used at the end of the turkish bath treatment and it is recommended in order to climatise your body to a normal temperature.
There a a further three hot rooms each curtained off to preserve there temperatures and a steam room. There is also a plunge pool and a selection of showers, hot, cold or warm. At the beginning of the session a guide walked us through giving us a brief discription and history of the baths and what your visit should consist of.
I bought a book with me and I found the whole experience very relaxing, its a great place to unwind while cleansing your skin. Be careful when reading the book in the hottest hot room as the glue began to melt!
The turkish baths were £15, which I thought was a little bit expensive however you get as many clean towels as you like and its a good experience so well worth the money.
I note the other review sets out the turkish baths in some detail and I have nothing to add to what is an accurate overview of the main spa facility!
I thought I would contribute a review of the spa treatments and the spa treatment area downstairs from the turkish baths. The website sets out the spa treatments available - from facials to massage to body wraps, holistic therapy and the standard manicures.
I went for a spa day with my mum a while ago and we both had an indian head massage, chocolate mud body wrap with exfoliation and massage.
The indian head massage was done whilst seated on a chair in dim warm room. The practitioner stood behind me and applied pressure to various points fo my scalp and also spent some time shaking her fingers across my head. I have to say i have had better indian head massages. This was not particularly relaxing and was more invigorating. I think I would have preferred to spend my money on something else.
The body wrap was to die for! Whilst lying on a soft warmed bed on a sheet of what looked like foil the therapist started by exfoliating my whole body with coconut husks and all kinds of goodies. This was fairly invigorating. She then smoothed on deliciously smelling chocolate mud in long strokes, almost giving me a massage as it was applied. It was as warm as bath water and was extremeley relaxing. once covered top to toe, the therapist wrapped me in the foil, covered me with blankets, turned up the heta on the bed and dimmed the lights. She then sat behind me and stroked my hair lightly and gave me a little head massage whilst i drifted off for what must have been about half an hour. I was then unwrapped, and left to shower in the room while she gave me some privacy. back on the bed she massaged me with a delicious moisturiser which felt like a serum. The experience was far better than i expected, i was firmer, softer and felt incredibly relaxed. the price was more than reasonable!
the spa rooms downstairs have the use of a provate jacuzzi area but i went upstairs to the main spa rooms.
the therapists were brilliant - mindful of privacy, perceptive as to needs and gave that little bit extra to make you feel pampered. the rooms were quiet and peaceful - bliss!
Harrogate's popularity as a conference town has seen it grow and grow economically and new buildings crop up by the day (Bill Bryson fans will recall him describing the new Victoria Shopping Centre as a blind architect's success). The stunning Winter Gardens building has been tragically turned into a Wetherspoons and another royal baths room has become a nightclub.
Fortunately some gems have still survived and one of them being the Turkish Baths. Situated at the bottom of Parliament Street (same streets as the famous Bettys tea rooms), the baths are hidden away within the old Royal Baths building.
There are a range of treatments available which I have not tried and therefore can't comment. The main reason for most people going is for the Steam Room and Plunge Pool. Once you have paid and changed (bring your own towel by the way) you make your way to the Steam Room. It is scented with eucalyptus and is great for sweating out the impurities; it is also great if you have a sniffly cold or indeed a hangover! From the Steam Room it is highly recommended that you jump into the Plunge Pool. Yes it is cold but it is part of the revitalising process. You can then wander through the Hot Room chambers which range from mild to extremely hot! I personally don't like the hot room as it's a bit too much for me. The relaxation room is surprisingly calming, you should sit there for at least 30 minutes to totally relax, if you leave immediately you will probably get dizzy when you get outside into the cold air.
You can find the times on their website but I would recommend going midweek if you can as it will be quieter. There are 3 sessions available, Male, Female and Mixed. It is important that you book onto the right session, in other words, if you turn up to a mixed session on your own you won't get in, and yes it has to be a male and female together. There is nudity in the steam rooms and hot rooms during the none mixed sessions, nudity is strictly prohibited during the mixed session.
Off Peak (Tues) = £11.50
Peak (Sat & Sun) = £17.20
Other = £14.20
It's worth a visit if only to see the renovated baths themselves, the marble arches are quite spectacular. Personally I find it a fantastic getaway from the hussle and bussle of daily life.
Give it a go!
Combine a beauty treament with a turkish bath and ease tense muscles and stress.