An infinity pool cascading over Singapore harbour, an organic spa in Malaysia and one nestling on its own island in Cape Town are just a few The SPA Traveller has reported on this year. But its readers have just voted Harrogate’s Turkish Baths as the Best UK Natural and Thermae Spa in the inaugural SPA Traveller Awards 2011.
And what’s more they beat off Bath’s world heritage spa to take this top award.
The SPA Traveller awards have been set up as an international benchmark for excellence in the spa industry and Harrogate’s Turkish Baths Manager, Graham Holman, couldn’t be more pleased with this award. He said: “We already know we are world-famous but are now proud to say that we are definitely world-class.”
Although Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, only seven remain which date back to the 19th century. Three of the seven, including Harrogate, are in England, but none of them is as historically complete and in full working order as Harrogate’s Turkish Baths. Their importance lies in their decoration, elaboration and rarity.
A £1m refurbishment in 2004 by Harrogate Borough Council, which owns and runs the baths, brought them back to their glittering Victorian beginnings. A further £45,000 extension and redecoration took place in 2009 and this year a £20,000 project has just seen the introduction of mood lighting and a new steam room.
Councillor Caroline Bayliss, Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, has sent her congratulations to the Turkish Baths team.
The Turkish Baths really can compete against their competitors in this ever growing market. Not only are the Baths popular with residents and tourists, we are also seeing a growing corporate hospitality market too. It is still one of my favourite places to relax in. If you haven’t been for a while go along and enjoy a real treat.
Visit the Turkish Baths website at www.harrogate.gov.uk/turkishbaths