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LA SPA Helvetia & Bristol

text Francesca Lombardi
photo Stefano Scatà

June 20, 2022

The SPA at the Helvetia & Bristol

The largest spa in the city centre built where the Capitoline Baths once stood

An oasis of wellness and beauty in the heart of Florence: it is La Spa Helvetia & Bristol open to both hotel guests and Florentine customers who choose to experience what it was like in the ancient Roman thermal baths, but with a contemporary appeal and style. An ambitious and exclusive project, born within the pre-existing archeological site which has been refreshed to create a dream-like, rarefied atmosphere where the experience of wellness involves firstly the sight and then all the other senses.

LA SPA’s colors are light, ethereal, all the areas are covered with travertine. Very little furniture, minimalist-style and yet quite spectacular with mirror surfaces and steel and gold details: a special place, perfectly in harmony with the rest of the Helvetia & Bristol hotel, which is also a place situated in one of Florence’s most beautiful spots, near Palazzo Strozzi and the city’s elegant shopping streets. Art, history, glamour, all within a hotel which expands its services with a space devoted to wellness that played a major role in the history of the neighborhood and is now back to having a central position and great charm.

La SPA dell'Helvetia&Bristol - Lacus Quietis

Stepping into the Helvetia & Bristol’s SPA is like going on a journey through self-care. A journey that reaches its peak in the spa’s most spectacular area, where the vaults of the bank that occupied the building previously have been converted into pools. Water is the key element of the SPA and pervades the whole area, the pools as well as the pathways connecting the pools. An ancient mortar well rises to the surface of one of the pools, while the whole space is immersed in the reflection of light projected from the video device on the wall onto the water and on the mirror plinths in the middle of the room.

Two relaxation rooms give onto the pool, one featuring a long fireplace and a mirror wall reflecting the inside of the pool; the other one is more intimate and soft, with the drapery creating little, soft alcoves.

LA SPA dell'Helvetia&Bristol - Calidarium

The ancient Roman baths are the star of the fitness area too, where an ancient Roman wall is still visible and luminous panels illustrate the stratifications over the centuries and the history of a city that was an illustrious settlement of the Roman Empire. The SPA includes the Hammam (Calidarium), a wet room with Vichy Shower (Aquamotus), the emotional shower area (Aquae), the Finnish sauna (Sudatorium), the Frigidarium and the Salt Room (Tepidarium) with a glass flooring through  which you can see the foundations of the medieval houses on which the building was erected.

Last but not least, the three massage rooms on the mezzanine floor, including the SPA Suite with private Steam Room.

The products used at LA SPA are part of the exclusive Cinq Mondes line, which brings together under the brand name a very accurate selection of beauty treatments and rituals associated with age-old wellness traditions and customs. Every single product stands out for its effectiveness, texture and enveloping fragrance, but also for the philosophy it embraces, the subtle and sophisticated invitation to a journey of the senses, while perfectly embodying the essence of such a magical place.

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