Whether you’re visiting Bilbao, the de facto capital of the Basque Country, for business or leisure, you should always find a slot in your schedule for some me-time. Book a spa hotel and – between touring the Guggenheim Museum, exploring La Ribera Market and gorging on pintxos (small snacks) – you can unwind with a treatment or two. Ready to relax? Here are the best spa hotels in Bilbao – and they’re all bookable on Culture Trip.
With multicoloured backlighting and a moody 21st-century atmosphere, the health club attached to Occidental Bilbao feels every inch the chic urban spa. Although entry is not free to guests, the health club is considered one of the finest in the city, with top-level fitness and wellness facilities. Alternatively, the hotel has an outdoor pool, which opens during the warmer months and is plenty big enough for a serious swim.
There’s little doubt the jewel in this upscale hotel’s wellness crown is the heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool. It sits on the sixth floor, so you can swim out into the steaming air and gaze over the dramatic mountain landscape while you soak. Meliá Bilbao also has a sauna, together with an impressive menu of massage treatments, including the Hawaiian lomi lomi and four-hand varieties. Gym bunnies also have access to a decent 24-hour fitness room with river views.
While the most impressive thing about the Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao is its strikingly avant-garde architecture, the views over the Guggenheim opposite come a close second. And as well as providing the latest fitness equipment, the gym is the only one in Bilbao to offer a direct view of the famous museum. Finished in black granite and wood, the wellness area also offers a sauna, Turkish bath and tailored detox treatments with all-natural ingredients.
While the imposing concrete-grey facade might not inspire positivity, you’ll find some of the best spa facilities in the city centre within the Mercure Bilbao Jardines de Albia. As a guest, you’ll receive discounted entry to the heavily mosaicked space, most of which is centred around a thermal circuit with plenty of hydromassage jets. There are also several spa cabins and thermal loungers to aid total relaxation, but be sure to book your slot in advance.
This storied hotel is best known for being where Frank Gehry first sketched out his ideas for the Guggenheim Museum. It’s one of the most extravagantly decorated hotels in Bilbao, too, brimming with old-school ritz. For a less buttoned-up environment, you have access to the more serene surrounds of the S’Thai spa, just around the corner. Here, you can indulge in massage and body treatments inspired by traditional Eastern philosophies, from Tibet to Indonesia.
Being one of the first boutique hotels in Bilbao meant the bijou proportions of Hotel Miró didn’t allow for a full-size spa. What it does offer, however, is a wellness suite where you book yourself an hour solo-spa experience. You can cycle between the jacuzzi tub, sauna and hammam at your leisure or indulge in one of a range of massage or skin-care treatments. There’s also a 24-hour fitness room with free weights, wall bars and machines.
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