The power of water and heat to relax and rejuvenate the body has long been uncovered by Belgians ever since they coined the term ‘spa’ centuries ago. The love for a good spa day is still strong in the country, but with a resort in nearly every town, it’s becoming more difficult to discern the true wellness oases. These seven quality retreats, from saunas in the woods to thermal baths using spring water straight from the source, are sure to leave you replenished.
Sauna showmanship at Thermen Londerzeel
The number one attraction of Thermen Londerzeel is its nine different sauna cabins that contain all sorts of extras, from fish-filled aquariums to Himalayan salt stones and storm effects. Beloved by regulars are the Finnish aufguss sessions under the guidance of a professional sauna master, the quality massages and the smart rooms with complimentary breakfast.
Thermen Londerzeel, Stuikberg 4, 1840 Londerzeel, Belgium, +32 52 31 67 16
Rare alternatives at Waer Waters
‘As wellness ought to be’ – Waer Waters, just outside of Brussels, likes to describe its operations this way, and we can’t blame them. The sleek venue’s choice to not use chlorine has been a refreshing approach to the Belgian wellness landscape. Since the decision effectively ruled out bubble baths, original alternatives such as the Kelo sauna – a construction fashioned out of a rare kind of 300-year-old pine tree that delivers a steady 85-degree temperature – and an ice fountain have been installed to compensate. With its smorgasbord of choices (steam baths, hammams, plunge pools, swimming ponds – all with the option of being clothed or nude) and an added fitness complex, Waer Waters aims to foresee your every health need until you sit down in their brasserie for dinner in a bathrobe.
Waer Waters, Rodenberg 21, 1702 Dilbeek, Belgium, +32 2 467 08 08
The Belgian way at Chaudfontaine’s Château de Thermes
The second Ardennes castle to do wellness particularly well is, not coincidentally, also named after a water source made famous by a bottled water brand. The Château de Thermes of Chaudfontaine uses natural spring water, which it guides to its indoor and outdoor pools after warming it up to a balmy 34 degrees Celsius. Besides capturing mineral water straight from the Ardennes spring, the luxurious complex adds a Belgian touch by offering treatments specific to the country, such as shell massages. The Château is traditional wellness at its best, with every facility, including hammams, salt cabins and a gourmet restaurant, at your fingertips as soon as you roll out of bed.
Château de Thermes of Chaudfontaine, Rue Hauster 9, 4050 Chaudfontaine, Belgium, +32 4 367 80 67
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