Archives for posts with tag: aire

Sevilla is something else. Being a California girl, I love me some sunshine, and especially cities that are close to large bodies of water (read: oceans or seas). Sevilla, (‘Sah-vee-yah’ – if you know anything about Spanish – and Seville ‘Sah-vill’ if your native tongue is English), on the other hand is not an oceanfront city. It has the Guadalquivir river running through it and due to where it is located in proximity to the equator it has plenty of sunshine at a time of year that most European countries are lacking the vital vitamin D. So you can imagine after enduring 5 very long winter months in the Czech Republic how one could be more than anxious to absorb some sun and see beautiful spring blossoms come April in Sevilla.

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My boyfriend, being Spanish, and knowing my wanderlusting and fashionista heart planned a trip to Sevilla for us both. It must be mentioned though that he is just the absolute funnest – is that a word? He kept the destination of our trip a secret until I could guess; only giving hints every other day beforehand and allowing me one question every day until I could guess the place correctly. After narrowing down that it was 1) in Spain and 2) during a very special week in this mystery city, I started my research. 

I came upon La Féria de Abril – a week long beautiful Spanish culture festival. Here is Wikipedia’s definition which is quite accurate (after having attended): 

“For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). These casetas usually belong to prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, clubs, trade associations and political parties. From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, there are crowds partying and dancing sevillanas, drinking Sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, and eating tapas. This fair also has an amusement park that comes with it and has lots of games to play along with roller coasters to ride.”

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Now, enough about La Feria de Abril and a little more about what I’m actually here to talk about: my spa day at AIRE – even though, I’ll be sharing a lot of photos from the fair at the bottom of this post!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I have visited two of this company’s other locations: New York (once) & Barcelona (twice). So for me to be checking out another location was quite exciting, especially because each of the locations has its own unique layout due to always being built in a historic building and in the city’s best neighborhood. The one thing that isn’t different, the incredibly surreal feeling this spa brand/concept invokes.

This time at AIRE I was accompanied by “my couple” – as my boyfriend calls me. Spanish to English term? European term? Still haven’t figured that out but I like it nonetheless! I think he means “partner”.

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Upon entering, after a photo-op outside the spa in the famous alleyways of Sevilla, we were greeted by the front desk and management who gave us a warm welcome. We were then led through the sunny and quaint interior courtyard to a stairwell with a beautifully carved wood ceiling where we ascended to the second level where the entrance to the men and women’s locker room was and where we changed into our swim attire. Side note: I was distraught because I forgot my bikini. This visit, with the view and photo-op you’re about to see, was the reason I purchased it, but thank heavens AIRE has a black one piece swimsuit you can use if something like this happens. Distraught I tell you. One job, and I mess up; nobody’s perfect I guess. Anyway! 

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After changing, my “couple” and I met at the entrance of the locker room where an attendant was waiting to escort us down into the bathing facilities which would be enjoyed prior to our individual 30 minute massages and wine bath. Yes, I said a bath in wine. 

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The baths layout was bit tighter in some walkways than in the other AIRE locations I have been in; AIRE makes up for this with the vaulted ceiling in the transparent blue and glowing warm pool whose walls are a deep burgundy red and where you can find a giant Moroccan style chandelier hanging just heads-height over the water giving an otherworldly dimension to the space.

We alternated between pools, plunges and the jacuzzi before being escorted to a private glass-doored vault-like room that contained a wall entirely for the storage of wine bottles and, best of all, the large stone basin where we would be enjoying our wine bath. Unfortunately I was not able to get photos in the premises of the baths this time around.

A few steps up into the stone basin allowed us to descend into the deep washtub where the faucet was on and gushing red wine into the tub; pouring onto our feet and quickly around our bodies – just amazing. I felt like a goddess. The wine bath experience is paired with a shoulder, neck and head massage and then topped off with a glass of wine and healthy snack and a few extra private minutes to enjoy the wine waters.

If the current state of euphoria wasn’t at it’s precipice, it was heightened when after the wine bath we were ushered to our own room where we would then enjoy a private 30 minute massage in dark aromatic room on one of the upper levels of the building. The thing I love about an AIRE massage is the, quite literally, finishing touches. When they remove your bikini strap from off your shoulder it is a delicate and sensual removal. When they remove the towel, they slowly and intimately let the last fiber of the towel touch your skin. When they are done massaging a section of your body they almost tickle your skin with the last bit of their fingers. Dare I say it’s a bit erotic? In any case it’s gentle and is a smooth transition to the preceding action, leaving you to continue feeling relaxed.

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After being awoken back into reality, I was met in the hallway by my couple where we were then taken to the picturesque terrace that included a rooftop pool, awaiting us in privacy, with the Cathedral and Giralda Tower just off in the viewable blue-sky distance. A pair of sunglasses might have been nice at this moment though. After being in darkness for over an hour and a half and the re-immerging into a sunny atmosphere with reflective water and white architecture surrounding us, my sensitive blue eyes could hardly take in all that there was to see!

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One of the staff members brought us not only our choice of wine with grapes, cheese and bread bites but also two flutes of champagne. Needless to say, the state of euphoria I was in 45 minutes ago was brought to a state of ecstasy. AIRE does it again – bringing otherworldly bliss to earth. We snapped a few photos and video, shared some sweet moments together and then gathered ourself to prepare for the rest of our short stay in Sevilla.

All in all, Sevilla is incredible. I love the people all across Spain. The sunshine, the spring air was much needed. La Feria de Abril was incredible; having my partner’s friends there to experience the fair with made it all the merrier. We stayed at the Mercer Hotel which was impeccably designed (minus the squeaky bed and frames that randomly fell off the wall). I cannot wait to enjoy more time in this part of Andalusia and explore all it has to offer!

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2 and a half years ago I visited the surreal, and worldwide, spa brand AIRE Ancient Baths in Barcelona, Spain.

Six months ago, right before I set out on this journey of living abroad, I met someone in San Diego who connected me to some new friends in Barcelona who actually work for the incredible AIRE Ancient Baths. What were the odds I meet someone who knew people that are involved with the company whose concept I couldn’t be more obsessed with?! Truly lucky – or blessed as I like to believe.

After setting foot in Barcelona and introducing myself I was graciously welcomed back to the spa for a second visit as an “influencer” – which meant a VIP day of treatment. Forever grateful for the serendipity in my life!

So! Now for the VIP experience, given to me (and my German girl friend/guest, Johanna, who lives in BCN) by my new friend(s).

On this beautiful February Barcelona Sabado (Saturday) morning my friend and I made our way to AIRE Ancient Baths, around the corner from where Johanna, and I once, lived at 11am. (This was Johanna’s first time experiencing AIRE.) Due to our VIP access we were asked to arrive at a time that would allow us to enjoy privacy upon entering the locker rooms and undressing. After changing into our bathing suits and robe we made our way to the underground lair of the spa and bathing experience. After descending a glass-railed candle-lit stairwell we were greeted by a sweet employee who informed us we would be sought after while bathing when our massage appointment was to begin, and directed us to where we could take off and hang our robes.

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Johanna and I began by making ourselves a cup of tea that is supplied throughout the facility on a low and wide Moroccan style, candle-lit (of course), table, along with water in the marble lined relaxation room. Shortly after a few photo ops we made our way to the Tepidarium (Warm Bath 36ºC) where we waded for quite some time. Nearby were two “Frigidarium’s” (or cold plunge pools 16ºC) (my absolute favorite), so we worked up the nerve – literally – and dipped our body’s in, neck deep for about 5 seconds (should be longer!) and then moved to the Caldarium (or hot pool 40ºC) pool to warm back up.

After this we made our way to the sauna/steam room for a good 10 minutes, followed by a few minutes in the Balneum pool (Bath of a Thousand Jets), then to the pinnacle of the experience: the ever-so-cool Flotarium (or salt bath/pool) #floating(!). We seized another photo-op here, of course. It’s actually very very faux pas to take photos during a spa experience, however, our access granted the permission to do so – so long as I did not capture any of the other guests in the shot.

We continued to bathe in the amenities, and drink tea for a total of about 2 luxurious hours while we awaited notice of our massage. Once we were retrieved for our massage appointment we were guided into our own private room of two massage beds where Johanna and I could stay and enjoy this experience next to each other.

I had reported to my new friends of AIRE that last time I was at AIRE Barcelona (see blog post here) my massage felt much more like a tickle than a deep tissue massaging; frustrating to one who is need of a very physical massage. So, this time, my dear friend of the spa requested the strongest masseuse for my second massage with AIRE. & I am happy to report the massage was incredible. It was only 30 minutes, due to the short notice of being in BCN, in combination with peak season beginning, but it felt like hours of bliss. Every touch was so thought out and sensual. From the delicate taking off of my bikini strap to the swift and delicate placement of the towel to the unabashed massaging of the hip regions, it was like a beautiful dance the masseuse performed in order to allow you to reach a level of relaxation ecstasy. True rejuvenation.

After our massage was complete our bikinis and robes were put back on us and and we were guided into the lounge area where we we were offered a selection of beverages. I chose the fresh green juice and we made our way back down into the relaxation area of the spa lair.

We sat in the relaxation area upon the marble and enjoyed the benefits of our massage and lighter feeling bodies for a bit, and then decided to call it a day. What a special spa day it was. I am so happy I was able to enjoy it with a friend, being that it was her birthday weekend and all, and also grateful to have been given such special access and treatment. I truly felt like una reina (a queen)!

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Again, I highly recommend a visit to one of AIRE’s 10, and growing, locations. Chicago just recently opened, and London is scheduled to open in April of 2019. And there’s one more on the horizon that is top secret for now! You will not be disappointed in a visit to AIRE – as there is not as sophisticated of a modern ancient bathing experience that can compete with what AIRE creates for your sensations and rejuvenation.

Gracias, AIRE! ❤