Some spa hotels have grown up around thermal springs and are often where people have been travelling to for centuries in order to benefit from the waters’ healing powers. Thermal water has been enriched by minerals in the soil and is naturally warm where it has been stored deep underground. The waters are usually applied to the body warm in order to calm and relax but can have a toning effect when applied cold. A variety of treatments exist, from bathing in the waters to revitalise and relax or blasting the skin with a jet shower to stimulate the circulation and leave the skin tingling with freshness. The waters are sometimes mixed with mud and applied to the skin to soothe muscles and detoxify. On an aesthetic level, they can help cleanse the skin and give it a luminous glow. The naturally warm thermal waters of The Grotta Giusti Natural Spa Resort in Tuscany are used in its treatments but also in its outdoor swimming pool which ensures that the water is constantly warm and allows guests to give their skin a treat while they exercise.Below are our suggestions for thermal spring and hydrotherapy spas.The Saturnia Spa, Tuscany, ItalyTerme di Saturnia, founded it is said, by Saturn himself, could almost claim to be the first spa; its philosophy is based on the concept of total well-being, defined by relaxation and enjoyment, and attained through the integration of five aspects: hydrotherapy, beauty, stress management, diet and fitness. At Terme di Saturnia these are largely achieved through use of the hot, sulphurous water which emerges at around 37 degrees Centigrade from a depth of 700 metres. This is water that fell 40 years ago as rain, and its main current properties are the presence of large quantities of two gases, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, both of which are of great value to the body, the skin and the respiratory tract. The pool park of Terme di Saturnia uses it to the full, with four thermal water pools, falls, Jacuzzi and vascular courses with both warm and cold water. The Spa has its own range of skin-care products, which contain the exclusive natural active ingredient Bioglea™. Extracted from the algae collected from the waters of the thermal spring, this ingredient has extraordinary moisturising properties, and is rich in amino acids, sulphur, potassium and magnesium. Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort, Tuscany ItalyThe centrepiece of the spa is the large thermal swimming pool filled with natural spring water at 42 degrees. The thermal waters are rich in sulphate, calcium, magnesium and fluoride and offer many benefits to the body. The pool is equipped with a waterfall and water-jets for natural, toning hydromassage and a counter-current hydromassage circuit. Offering both holistic and beauty treatments, the spa facilities at this hotel are some of the most up-to-date. A full range of treatments is offered, from traditional hydrotherapy to ancient oriental therapies. Professional medical staff are available for consultations.Signature Treatment - Oxygen Thermal FacialThis treatment oxygenates, purifies and detoxifies, stimulating micro-circulation and renewal of the skin cells. A special combination of active anti-oxidants energises the skin of the face, neck and décolleté.The Vila Sol Health Spa, Algarve, PortugalThe unique, state-of-the-art Spa is located in a traditional Algarvian house in the heart of the Vila Sol resort. With over 20 treatment rooms, Aquamedic pool, Hammam and a wealth of sophisticated equipment, guests are assured a professional, effective treatment experience. With a holistic approach to well-being, there is a full range of hydrotherapy, skin and bodycare treatments, massages and oriental therapies to be sampled, such as reiki and shiatsu. Vila Sol have developed an exclusive range of natural products which are used in their treatments. The mineral-rich seaweed used in algotherapy provides the basis for one range, while locally-sourced ingredients of olive and almond oils and citrus essence are the fundamental elements of their aromatherapy products.The all-natural approach continues in the vitamin bar, where guests can choose from a cleansing range of fresh fruits, herbal teas and mineral waters to enhance further the benefits of the Spa.The Thermal Centre at the Gran Hotel Balneario Blancafort, SpainThe Thermal Centre harnesses the medicinal properties of thermal waters in a stylish, minimalist setting. The Spa specialises in the treatment of dermatological conditions, stress, muscular and skeletal disorders, as the naturally-occurring minerals have sedative and analgesic properties.The centre is divided into three zones. In the Templarium guests can relax in a traditional Roman bath environment, and in the Natatorium there are bubbling waters and streams to invigorate body and mind.The Oriental Zone offers personalised Balinese, Japanese and Thai massages, and Chinese acupuncture, performed by expert therapists.Located within the Thermal Centre there is also a Beauty Centre offering anti-ageing and weight loss treatments using the exclusive Paola&Olivia natural skin care product range based on the hydrating and anti-oxidant properties of the orchid flower. Guests can also be pampered with the extravagant Perle skincare line which is based on extracts of pearl and soya.In a separate building there is a Medical Centre specialising in diet and nutrition, aesthetic medicine and health.Natural Thermal Spa at the Gruner Baum, Bad Gastein, AustriaAs the key components to ensuring health and wellbeing, the extensive range of treatments available at the spa use three elements: the naturally-occurring elements of radon and heat found in the thermal waters of Bad Gastein, and the cleansing Alpine air.To complement the natural treatments on offer, L'Occitane, A Natural Difference and Alpienne products have been carefully selected, all featuring natural ingredients. Signature Treatment - Radon Tub BathThe thermal waters of Bad Gastein are renowned for their healing properties, most notably due to their active ingredient, Radon. Radon naturally regenerates damaged cells, allowing them to function and therefore promoting recovery after illness or injury. Guests can enjoy one or two trial baths at a duration of between 10 to 20 minutes each, and will be amazed by the rejuvenating effects.
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