Across the road from what is arguably Barcelona’s most beautiful outdoor space, Ciutadella Park, is Aire de Barcelona, a relaxing oasis in the heart of Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. Aire de Barcelona is an Arabic bath and hammam that has been beautifully restored in a stunning old building where today, you can soak in the ancient wells that were previously part of the Old City’s water reserve system. The spa is home to baths of varying temperatures, bubble and salt levels, hot marble slabs for exfoliation treatments, and a massage area all beautifully decorated and incredibly relaxing.
I was lucky enough to spend two hours at Aire de Barcelona where I was treated to the Andalusian Ritual, consisting of time in the baths, exfoliation, and an aromatic moisturizing massage.
I arrived 15 minutes prior to my treatment as requested, to change into my bathing suit and wrap up in a warm robe and don waterproof slippers provided by the spa. At 10am I descended the stairs from the changing room to the spa, where no fewer than eight employees clad in black were standing at attention to greet the guests and take us on a quick tour with detailed explanations of each bath and its individual healing powers. Once the brief tour was done, I proceeded to soothe my tired muscles in all of the baths. My first stop was the Templarium (a perfect 97 °F), followed by a soak in the Caldarium (104°F), and then a glass of pink grapefruit infused water while sitting on a hot marble slab. I then proceeded to the Jacuzzi bath where I took advantage of the jets hitting my back muscles and then the salt-water bath. When I was feeling very brave, I spent a whole five seconds in the Frigidarium (61°F), and then another dunk in the salt-water pool before I was called by my masseuse and led to the steam room.
I spent three minutes in the steam room, opening up my pores before heading to a hot marble slab in the hammam where every inch of my body was exfoliated including my hands and feet, which was much needed and absolutely blissful. After a warm shower, it was time to head to the massage room where I was treated to the best massage of my life. I think the masseuse even used her forearms but I couldn’t tell because I was in and out of sleep the whole time, which has never happened to me before in a massage. This was a truly relaxing experience.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, when it was all said and done, I was escorted to a hot slab of marble once again, where I sipped on cold pineapple juice and ate chocolates served on a beautiful tray. As I sipped on the final drops of juice and held back tears, as it was all over and time to go back to work, I was told I could have a few more minutes dipping in and out of the baths. So I did. If you’re looking for a relaxing few hours in an otherwise buzzing city, Aire de Barcelona should be on your trip itinerary.
Aire de Barcelona
Address: Passeig de Picasso, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Phone:+34 932 95 57 43