Something rather unexpected happened to me a while ago: I was invited to experience a day at the Brasschaats Badhuis, which is a fully renewed spa located in Belgium. Never having been to a spa I was more than excited to try it out.
The Brasschaats Badhuis is a place one can go to for relaxation, beauty treatments and the enjoyment of an outdoor pool and many different types of saunas. This spa allows you to take your mind off of all the anxieties and stress you can get from your busy schedule, high-pressure job or never ending studies (ugh, that one is personal) and just breathe, relax, enjoy. Having had firsthand experience with the Brasschaats Badhuis I can happily say that it really helped me feel more peaceful for a couple of days and on the day itself... I was worry-free.
I took my boyfriend with me and we arrived at the Brasschaats Badhuis a bit after noon and we were welcomed with an explanation and tour of the spa and its facilities. I chose to try out an individual facial of 60 minutes followed by massage (back, shoulders and neck) of 25 minutes. My boyfriend begrundingly (yeah, he was not so keen on the idea of going to a spa: "it's for women", is what he said) also chose the individual facial. But I will get back to those treatment later.
First we had to go to the dressing area and change to our bathrope or our towel, because it was a "no swimsuits allowed" spa. This means we had to be nude!! I am a prude and I have never been to a spa before, so I did not really know what to expect... but I certainly did not expect that the dressing area was just an open area where men and women had to change.. and that there would be one open shower area as well. So the moment I realized this I became a bit panicky. I mean, how odd. How awkward!!! It took me a couple of minutes of looking around before I decided to take off my clothes.. very shyly, trying not to be in anyone's sight I quickly sneaked into and out of the shower when no one was there. For some reason, seeing naked people all day all around you (and mainly men for some reason - not just for women huh!) behaving rather normal and polite without a care in the world (certainly not embarressed to be nude) made me relax a bit more. Also, I walked around with my robe on most of the time so it was not that bad. Nevertheless, I still felt a bit awkward but that is all on me.
Having overcome from the shock, my boyfriend and I went to the bar and decided to have a light lunch before we would start our beauty treatments. The bar (lounge area) itself was very big and had these wonderful lounge seats that allowed you to fully lie down in them near the fire places. We lounged there until we were ready for our treatments. We were greeted by two kind ladies who took us to individual rooms. I was asked to take off my robe and lie down on the massage table. My facial consisted of rinsing my face, hydrating it, an examination of my skin type, a gentle exfoliation of my sensitive skin, extraction of blackheads and whiteheads, a facial mask, serums and creams. It was a wonderful experience for both my face and my peace of mind, because I felt so much more relaxed afterwards. The beautician was very kind and knowledgable (she gave me an overview of what my skin needs to better it) and explicitly mentioned each step she was taking during my facial and when we got to my massage I had noticed I was not as tense as when I entered the Brasschaats Badhuis. That pleasantly surprised me! The massage was even more amazing. One complete moment of total relaxation. I should get massages more often and I wished it did not end so quickly (I mean, I would not mind if it went on forever).
After that amazing experience I went down to find my boyfriend near the saunas and pool area. I saw he was relaxing in the heated foot bath (a small pool dedicated to warming your feet and legs) and I joined him. Then he showed me all the different saunas and boy, there are many! You can find several outside but also inside varying from infrared, wood stoved, light-based (that have an effect on your organs) saunas. There were some simple rules added that you needed to follow to make the experience better, such as having a hot shower beforehand and a cold shower after leaving the sauna.
We went there on a beautiful day so I had a couple of drinks outside and enjoyed a soft breeze on my skin. After that nice moment outside I felt daring enough to go into the hot tub, which was really fun and you know, relaxing! Once we were in the bus back to our home I seriously fell asleep!! I could not stay awake anymore... that is how relaxed and at peace the Brasschaats Badhuis made me feel. Luckily, that little nap gave me a bit of energy and I was ready for the rest of my day. Oh, as a side note: my boyfriend does no longer think the spa is just for women. He enjoyed his facial, bought some products for his skin and has even recommended the Brasschaats Badhuis to his parents! I will do the latter to you. I enjoyed it so much that I would like to visit it again when I can and if you are looking for a worry-free day filled with relaxation, enjoyment and beauty treatments (some swimming around, if you feel like it) then you, too, should have a visit. Click here for more information about the Brasschaats Badhuis. Have you ever been to a spa before? Or are you a newbie like I was?
This experience was by invitation. Please read my disclaimer.
source photos: Brasschaats Badhuis.