This week our activity ambassadors went to Cologne to explore Claudius Therme and check out their breathtakingly beautiful spa, baths and saunas…
What is Claudius Therme?
These thermal baths overlook Cologne Cathedral, right in the centre of Cologne’s Rheinpark. This place is a paradise for wellness lovers, with indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzis, spas, saunas, relaxation rooms as well as treatment rooms, cafes and restaurants. It’s one of the biggest thermal bath houses in Germany and one of the most beautiful in the world!
What can you expect?
Even the sign outside Claudius Therme is impressive. A big marble slab with the logo entrenched in gold across it. The building itself is the height of luxury with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, huge armchairs and autumnal flower arrangements everywhere. Thick carpet on the stairs leads to the sleek reception desk.
Here I checked in and was handed a towel and a locker key. The locker rooms are conveniently placed near reception where you can change in a private cubicle and head through a door straight to the bath and pool area.
How were the baths?
The bath and pool area at Claudius Therme is stunning. There’s one large central pool surrounded by baths on various levels each of a different size and function. I could spend time in one of the many jacuzzis, cool off under a waterfall or enjoy one of the healing water pools.
These pools often will have water jets that massage your neck and one dimly lit pool even has a cold water plunge pool in the centre so you can dip in, cool down and heat back up again. A pool next to this plays music underwater so you can just lie back and listen to relaxing, ambient tunes.
After I thought I’d explored everything the pool had to offer I noticed people swim through a translucent flap by the main pool. I decided to investigate further, swam through the flap and was shocked to find myself swimming in the open air! The pool extends to an outdoor area that overlooks the entire city including Cologne Cathedral.
It took me a few moments to get over the surprise, but once I’d taken it all in I swam over to a whirlpool where I got swept up and swirled around in circles for a few minutes. I noticed deck chairs close by where people can spend hot days soaking up the sun and enjoying the view.
I climbed a ladder from the whirlpool directly into a jacuzzi which overlooked the baths and the city. Here I sat back and enjoyed the view, completely blown away by the beauty of this place.
How was the sauna?
Real talk. Saunas make me nervous. I’m from the UK and it’s not the cultural norm to be nude in public. Nevertheless, I decided to leave my angst at the door and embrace this aspect of German culture. So I made my way up to The Sauna Village which is so cute and quaint the scene could be taken from a postcard: dimly lit wooden huts with the coal from the sauna lighting up the wooden inside. A board outside each hut explained what kind of aroma fusion magic was happening in each one.
I sat for a while in a cosy Lavender-infused sauna and then made my way into a separate room. This had a log fire in the centre, with a comfortable sofa running the length of the room, covered in blankets and cushions. This wasn’t a sauna but a fireplace room where you can sit and stare into the fire and truly unwind from any stress.
I stepped back into the Lavender sauna for a few minutes because it smelt so delightful and then made my way to one of the relaxation rooms. Here you can rest and read a book or magazine to give your body time to recuperate from the intense heat. These rooms are beautifully decorated with soft red blankets, warm lamps, autumnal flower arrangements and artisanal wooden furniture.
My two hours was almost up so I made my way to the panoramic sauna which is on the top level of the baths. Here I spent my final ten minutes in sixty-degree heat looking at a beautiful panoramic view of Cologne.
How did I feel after?
So relaxed it felt like I was walking on a cloud. It was evening time and I decided it was important that I experience everything Claudius Therme has to offer so after a shower I went to the restaurant. I ordered the potato soup and it was literally the most delicious soup I’ve ever tasted. I slept very well that night.
Benefits of sauna and wellness
Apart from being the nicest place in the whole world, the water at Claudius Therme is actually really good for you and is enriched with natural minerals that help ease stomach pain and improves digestion. It’s the perfect way to warm up during winter and it’s also a great way to spend time with friends.
Taking time out to relax and recharge is extremely good for your general wellbeing. Spending time in a sauna increases your circulation, helps with weight loss and flushes toxins out of your body.
Saunas aid in recovery of intense physical activity and releases endorphins to instantly boost your mood. Studies show that saunas induce better sleep, help fight skin inflammations and fend off illness.
Don’t forget to bring…
You’ll need swimwear but everything else is provided.
Take a look at Claudius Therme’s website for more details on everything they have to offer
And Urban Sports Club has plenty of health and wellness partners across Germany.