Each time you have a few days off, you begin looking for a hotel where you can relax to the fullest.
Then, you can easily find yourself wondering whether to choose a hotel with or without SPA facilities.
Below, you will find out more about SPA hotels and why they have been so popular and visited in recent years.
Let’s start your journey!
Is there a difference between a balneo hotel and a SPA hotel?
We begin by clarifying this issue, as the two types of hotels are often mistaken. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and differences between expectations and reality.
There is a difference between a SPA hotel and a balneo hotel, and it is not just in the pricing list.
Balneo treatments are carried out in health resorts, and there must be medical staff there. Tourists visiting this type of hotels undergo various healing, prophylactic, or rehabilitation procedures in specially equipped doctors’ rooms.
Then, what is a SPA hotel?
To classify a hotel as a SPA, it should be four or five stars (mandatory) and offer more than just the necessary amenities, good cuisine, and comfortable rooms.
In addition to these, SPA means that the guests can experience and enjoy:
- Different healing and beauty treatments
- A variety of relaxing and recreational activities
- A steam bath and sauna
- A warm or cold swimming pool
- A well-equipped fitness hall
- Various classes of yoga, pilates, and other recreative sports
- Massage and detox treatments, etc.
Better SPAs will offer not merely more options but also a higher quality of services and amenities.
What is SPA: meaning of the term
In fact, SPA means Sanus Per Aquam or “Health through water”.
The modern understanding of the SPA includes various procedures and programs for restoring the body, where water is used in all its forms – from mineral, muddy, or ice baths to seaweed procedures and sea salt peeling.
SPA procedures are not just cosmetic procedures, as some people think. This is instead a ritual aimed at releasing toxins, rejuvenating, improving the skin condition, and enhancing the metabolic processes in the body as a whole.
Since when do people benefit from SPA treatments?
The idea of this kind of procedures was born in Ancient Rome at times when fighting was an everyday reality.
The soldiers sought a way to heal their wounds and recover faster – so they found that if they used hot springs, their pains subsided, and their wounds healed more quickly.
Consequently, they began to take advantage of the healing properties of the mineral waters and called these places “aquae” and “sanus per aquam” (SPA), which, as we have already mentioned, means “health through the water.”
At first, baths and SPA outdoor pool facilities were used mainly to treat wounds. As time passed, though, the Romans realized that they could be used not only to take care of their health but also to gather together, relax, and beautify themselves.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, this “water pleasure” was forgotten for a while. However, it was later resurrected in the 15th-16th century in Belgium, famous for its hot springs, which were said to have healing properties.
First of all, the SPA hotels have been visited mostly by middle-class people, as this enjoyment was quite expensive. Rich people from all over the world went to SPA resorts such as Bath, Baden-Baden, Vichy and enjoyed them in every possible way.
Nowadays, anyone can safely enjoy all the extras offered by the SPA hotels in Bansko. They are classy, comfy, and totally affordable for both the average Bulgarian and the average foreign tourist.
Bulgaria is blessed with beautiful scenery and over 800 mineral springs, making it the country with the world’s widest variety of mineral waters.
It is logical, with so many different types of mineral water, to have some of the best SPA hotels in the world – both for a family SPA day or a more extended recreational vacation. On the territory of the whole country, you can find a variety of good SPA hotels, which offer various procedures.
The most popular spa destination in Bulgaria is Velingrad, but Bansko and the region can offer great SPA breaks.
What are the benefits of SPA treatments?
There is no need to say that we live in a very busy time. You feel it yourself when you get home in the evening, and you feel so exhausted that you just want to be able to escape at least for a while in a quiet, peaceful place where someone else will take care of you.
A good SPA hotel is a perfect place to escape and take a break from the busy everyday life in which we have no time for ourselves. Sure enough, there are enough SPA centers in the big cities where various SPA treatments are available with a SPA day pass. Still, if you want to relax properly, there’s no better SPA than this in a faraway mountain hotel.
So, the benefits of SPA you will experience are …
Now that you know the SPA’s meaning, you’ll probably like to learn more about its basic principles.
The philosophy of these procedures is based on four basic elements:
- physical activity
- balanced nutrition
- nourishing and beauty procedures of the body and face
The SPA procedures are designed to restore physical, mental, and emotional health through relaxing, toning therapies – both internally and externally.
The variety of SPA treatments allows you to relax, energize, calm your mind, take care of your skin, hair and body, and even lose weight or say goodbye to the annoying cellulite. Good hotels will also offer you experiences like children SPA, SPA with outdoor pool, and full-day rejuvenation programs.
You see that the benefits of these procedures are complex and are only meant to restore your self-confidence, calmness, and vital energy.
Unlike the treatments applied in the balneo resorts, the procedures at SPA hotels are not healing, but it is also necessary for the therapists to be highly qualified.
What are the prices of SPA vacations?
Criteria that shape the SPA hotel prices are several:
- How popular the SPA destination is
- What spa treatments the hotel offers
- Whether you are going to rest during the active season, the weekend, the inactive season, or the weekdays
- How many days you’ll be staying (if you spend more days, you can take advantage of an additional discount for your stay)
- How many stars the SPA hotel is, etc.
Based on these and other criteria, prices are formed, but it is good to know that they are slightly higher than the prices of ordinary (standard and non-SPA hotels).
If you choose a popular SPA destination like Hissar, Devin, Velingrad, Shipkovo, Bankya, or Chiflik, the prices will be slightly higher. In Bansko, the SPA hotels are priced more than decently and the SPA packages offered are very tempting, including special SPA days for kids.
How do we know if a SPA is worth it?
When choosing a SPA hotel, you should consider:
- Does the hotel really offer everything you need for a delightful retreat: a swimming pool, a sauna, steam bath or Turkish bath, a massage studio, a gym, a detox cabinet, relaxation, beautification, etc.
- Are there qualified specialists, detox experts, ayurvedic therapists, and coaches on-site
- What SPA procedures are on offer, and can you spend a peaceful SPA day with kids if you have any
- What is included in the price of the package you will buy, how many stars the hotel has earned, etc.
It is good to look for information both on the internet and contact the hotel personally to ask the questions you care about. In addition, it would be best to ask relatives, colleagues, and friends for feedback and recommendations.
On the other hand, if you only trust the internet, check out the hotel’s website, look for tourists’ reviews, and find out about therapists who will do the SPA procedures.
In recent years, there have been fewer customer instances where expectations have not been justified, as SPA hotels maintain a good overall hospitality level. Still, there can always be surprises, so be careful and carry out a thorough check.
If you want to be sure about the quality of the SPA retreat you’re planning, you can go to famous SPA destinations such as Velingrad, Bansko, Devin, or Shipkovo.
What are the world trends in SPA tourism?
Undoubtedly, the demand for SPA vacations has increased worldwide and several times within a few years. According to ISPA, the industry has generated more than $40 billion in revenue in 2009 alone. This shows that people need such procedures and are very interested in SPA hotels around the world.
What about SPA in Bulgaria?
The interest and demand for spa holidays in Bulgaria have increased several times in the last five years.
According to the National Association of Spa and Wellness Tourism (NAST), the interest in SPA packages offered by hotels has increased due to the increasingly affordable prices and the possibility of SPA procedures being visited all year round rather than seasonal as the sea breaks or ski holidays.
The search for SPA hotels is also great because of the very concept of SPA – achieving a balance between body, soul, and mind. People who choose (and visit) a SPA are looking not only for beauty treatments and therapies but also for various anti-stress and detox procedures to help them regain their energy and composure.
A SPA day for kids is also very popular among families, regardless of the health and development status of the child.
Increasing interest in SPA hotels on a global and regional scale results in increased supply and expansion of therapies and procedures available.
A hotel with or without SPA amenities – what should we choose?
The choice of a hotel is personal, and only you can make the best decision for yourself. Anyway, if you need quality time for yourself or you’re looking for peace and balance, you should definitely try the body and soul pleasures offered to you in the spa hotels in Bansko.
A few days of relaxation in Bansko SPA hotels will bring down at least ten years of your face and will bring you the joy of life!