Spa Saturday

Las Chicas venture to Aire Spa, Baños Arabes (Arab baths) for an afternoon of luxury and pampering. Perhaps a bit late to celebrate Lisa’s December 23rd birthday, but never too late to enjoy the presents. Prepped with a small backpack and fond memories of Miraval in Tucson, we enter a different spa universe, but one that will bring us back time and again in the future.

The lobby is bustling, not exactly the contemplative spa atmosphere, and the locker room is elbow to elbow with complex combination lockers that Las Chicas can’t seem to decode (even from the picture displayed). Finally suited up we are shuttled into a dimly lit stairwell that leads down to the tubs.

On the lower level throngs of people move in many directions among a variety of pools and rooms. We pause briefly and a gentle woman approaches us while gathering another couple of two. She then proceeds to rattle off rapid instructions in Spanish at zero volume, which Mary deftly decodes. Following this, she tells us that we are to begin our massages. However Lisa would rather go to the tubs first, so Mary quickly negotiates a change and Las Chicas head for the water. Bliss is moments away.

The entrance to the main tubs with warm stone benches to rest on and rehydrate.

The cave-like experience is quieting and smells relaxing amid a rather constant low level of talking. The attendant periodically requests quiet, a rather futile effort with this lively group. The walls feel ancient and you can almost get a sense of tubs in times past.

The “temperate” pool, a great place to pause in between hot soaks.

We pool hop from hot to tepid with an occasional dip in icy waters and then venture to the salt tub and finally the jacuzzi. After some time we are signaled to begin our massages. We sink into the tables for 45 minutes.

Hot pool in the foreground, small chill pool in the background.

Following the massages, we return to soak for a bit and ignore the chimes that notify us that our session has ended. With the everyone gone, we linger for a few more minutes and enjoy the silence.

© 2014 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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