Soak in Alpine Waters
The Swiss love their baths, and most folks head to the
Bains des Pâquis (Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, 1201 Genève) in Geneva during the summer. However, if you
are up for trying something more modern, the Bain-Bleu
Hammam & Spa (Quai de Cologny 3, 1223 Cologny) is the place to go for a blissful bath experience.
Located in a quiet neighborhood (take bus N°6 or N°2, direction Genève Plage), this spa and bath is sensuously sexy — in a good, clean way, of course; it is a bath, after all. Once you enter this spa, which opened at the end of 2015, you are cocooned in a dimly lit space filled with shimmering mosaic tiles and sparkling patterns on the walls and ceiling from the magical Moroccan lamps.
If you opt for the hammam circuit — and this is a true hammam (not just a steam room that is called a hammam, which we see too often these days), so it is like being in a jewel box. Rich reds and opulent oranges surround you, whether in the aromatic steam rooms, the scrub rooms, or in the central pool. There are even private, couples’ steam rooms where couples slather mud on each other, and then shower it all off. A traditional soapsuds scrub can be booked in advance to get an authentic experience and, at the end of the circuit, the Oriental Salon is “1001 Arabian Nights” made real. You enter individual apartments through embossed sliding golden doors to find a large daybed covered in cushions, replete with rugs, and all you hear is soft murmurings coming from the room next to you.
The rest of the baths are also nicely naughty, but instead of those fiery hammam colors, industrial cool concrete walls, burnished metal and whitewashed woods now surround you. The main pool, called the Mythical Bath, has streaming waterfalls, secret alcoves, and jets that unexpectedly flow up from the pool floor. On the rooftop, the pool has metallic, contoured bubble loungers and mini-jetted tubs for one or two that look out over the lake and to the mountains beyond. Perfection.
To use the pools, prices start at CHF 28, and CHF 42 to also access the hammam. These prices give you access for the entire day. The hammam has a small café and there is also a bistro onsite. Time permitting; this is a great place to spend the better part of a day.
Photography: Bain-Bleu Hammam & Spa