Thermae 2000: Experience a Real European Spa

by farrah on February 23, 2014 · 32 comments

The Europeans do some things better than us Americans. For one, they really, really know how to relax.  They know how to restore vitality to their soul without perfumed pomp and circumstance. I’ve been to spas of all kinds back in the states, but I’ve never done it like this before. Recently, I had a true European spa experience and learned this lesson first hand.

Thermae 2000The outdoor pool with jacuzzi in the center.

What & where

A few years ago before we moved overseas, my husband and I borrowed a Rick Steves’ dvd which highlighted natural spas of Europe. We agreed that it was something we absolutely had to experience for ourselves if we made it over. Well, lucky enough we’re here and so for my 38th birthday my husband bought me a package which included an overnight stay at Thermae 2000– one of the most popular spas in the Netherlands located in Valkenburg. The thermal spring water of Thermae 2OOO comes from deep sources hidden in the calcareous soil of Limburg. For over 40,000 years the thermal water has located and is full of trace elements and minerals (translated from Thermae 2000 website). This water feeds the spa.

Thermae 2000One of the cafes overlooks the main indoor pool area.

My first impression was the building itself seemed a little dated. However, the fact that it was so clean trumped any concern that I might have had. From my hotel room, to the pool areas and locker rooms- everything was spotless. My package included admittance to the spa for two days, a five course dinner at Restaurant Pure, and an overnight stay in their hotel. There are adults of all ages welcome, men and women, and absolutely no small children. The spa is mainly the indoor/outdoor pools and jacuzzi areas, treatment facilities, and the outside saunas (where you are NOT allowed to wear clothing).

Thermae 2000The cocktail lounge.

To do:

Chill out. Relax. Take it easy! Lots of soaking, swimming and lounging.

Thermae 2000More of the outdoor pool area.

Upon arrival you’re given a robe and spa sandals. In the locker room you put on your swim suit (unless it is a specified nude only day, which it was NOT!) and head over to the pool. Or the cafe, possibly even the cocktail lounge. I booked in advance three additional treatments- since hey, this was my birthday after all! I started by hanging out in the quiet floating pool, took a nap in one of the chairs, and waited for my services to start.

My treatments

Lichaamspakking – Which was an interesting full body scrub, then wrap and immersion in a tub of warm water. It was a fabulous way to kick off my stay.

Gezichtsbehandeling 50 min- Simply put- a facial. My poor skin was massaged, exfoliated, and moisturized.

Top Tot Teen massage 75 min– I’d say this was one of the most intense massages I’ve ever had. My masseuse knew what she was doing. And I asked her to be intense.  She found a knot on my upper left shoulder-blade and worked and worked on it until I got to that point of pain where I didn’t think I could take it anymore. That said- she was extremely good, and I felt like a rubber band after my 75 minutes were up.

My favorite part of the spa itself was the Training Pool Floating experience. In this area, a curtain was drawn around a small pool. The lights were dimmed except for some twinkling lights in the ceiling. We were given plastic floats and spent the next 30 minutes or so in absolute stillness floating in the water- with music coming from underneath.

My dinner was awesome- I have to admit, I was so relaxed and tired that I had to skip the last course of dessert! I felt ridiculous, but at the same time the idea of a hotel bed all to myself was far, far too tempting. I went to bed early thrilled to do it all again the next day- which I totally did (except for the treatments).

Tips:

  • Subscribe to their newsletter. They often send out specials or quick sales and specials in their newsletter only.Like them on Facebook. When they actually do show up in my feed- sometimes I see they’re hosting a giveaway. It never hurts to watch- people really do win those things!
  • If you get the NL’s Groupon, you will see deals there too. My original package (two days at the spa/one night/five course dinner package) was all from a Groupon.
  • Like them on Facebook. When they actually do show up in my feed- sometimes I see they’re hosting a giveaway. It never hurts to watch- people really do win those things!
  • Bring a bottle for water with you to drink during your stay.

I enjoyed it so much I came home and told my husband that he has to come with me and check it out. One day in my email I went sent a deal for two to enjoy the spa for a day. Hence, we’re going to go while his mom is here the next two weeks. Needless to say- I am very, very much looking forward to a return visit!

All photos from Thermae 2000 website, as cameras are not allowed inside.

Have you ever been to one of these spas? What did you think?

Linking up with the ever fabulous SJ at Chasing the Donkey for Sunday Traveler. Check her out as well as these other fine folks!

 

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elizabeth February 23, 2014 at 7:28 am

I don’t know how it is in the Netherlands, but in Germany if you go to the doctor and tell them you are stressed, they will write a prescription for the spa. You get to go to the spa and get massages for free!

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2 farrah February 23, 2014 at 7:43 am

I have heard this! And that the rx can be good for MONTHS. CRAZY!

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3 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey February 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I am packing my bags as I type…

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4 Jessi (Outbound Adventurer) February 24, 2014 at 3:47 am

Seriously? Wow, as if I didn’t already have enough reasons to visit. Sold!

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5 Erica February 23, 2014 at 7:39 am

A friend and I went to Therme Erding back before Christmas near Munich (http://www.therme-erding.de/de/100686/100888/english.html). It’s described as Europes largest but didn’t strike me as being so grand….maybe because we were not able to access the water park area due to the timing.

We had a good time but I contracted pink eye there…I know gross! This spa did allow kids but they weren’t obnoxious in any way. And we steered clear of the nude only portions…lol. I just can’t go there.

The outdoor pool was amazing since the outside temp was well under 40 degrees but the pool was nice and toasty.

I loved all the little mineral spas with the instructions on the order to explore them for maximum benefit. I also booked a massage and it was good except for the “walls” in between massage rooms was just a curtain….so it wasn’t very quiet.

You’ll have a blast….and no kids! Yay!

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6 farrah February 23, 2014 at 7:49 am

I’ll have to look up where this one was- I know the Rick Steves’ one was in Baden-Baden. And yeah- ew! At least it was only pink eye- ha!

And going outside was pretty awesome- it was late December for me, so chilly indeed. I liked how this spa had an outdoor ‘track’ of sorts, where you could swim along this path and go in circles. It was fun. I can’t wait to show it to A!

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7 Marloes February 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

Wow! That’s some spoiling you had! I just went to a spa nearbye in Baden-Baden; and the dutch saunas I’ve been to totally win when it comes to being luxurious, pampering; the whole ambience is so relaxing. I love going to a spa. Good to know about the groupon deals! Here, groupon is ‘big’ but I heard multiple bad experiences with groupin in the Netherlands before I left; maybe they got things going smoothly now, I’m surely going to check them out once we move back! Oh and happy birthday!!

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8 farrah February 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

So far, we haven’t had any issues- I think this is the second time we’ve bought them here. Now that I’m on their mailing list though- I get the good deals without too much effort 🙂

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9 Stacey Veikalas February 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

This is awesome, we are currently in Germany only 2 hours from the Nederalands ~ I am definately going to have to check this place out! The whole family will really enjoy it it looks like! Super Post thank you so much for sharing ~ I am looking forward to more of your stories and adventures!

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10 farrah February 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

I have so many friends in Germany! I really liked Thermae 2000, can’t wait to go back 🙂

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11 Ann February 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

Ummm… yes! I think this just became our number 1 choice for a date night in the semi-near future.

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12 farrah February 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

It really would be a great date! You hang out, eat and drink in your robes, soak, etc. Good times!

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13 Nina February 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

Hi Farrah,
We went there last year and absolutely loved it! We looooved swimming in the outdoor pools while it was raining. Such a relaxing place.

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14 farrah February 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Oh nice! I’m glad to hear that you too went here and had a good time 🙂 It was pretty chilly while I was outside- but yep- there’s just something about being in that warm water that feels soooo good!

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15 Caitlyn February 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I went to Thermae 2000 in 2011 and really enjoyed myself. Only bad thing was that killer walk up the Cauberg hill to get there! (Yeah, it’s not so luxurious if you catch the train there.) I had a brilliant time and also got the tickets on Groupon, so it wasn’t too pricey at all. Valkenburg’s also a nice place to spend a day or two 🙂

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16 farrah February 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

LOL! I took the train home. You crazy girl- why didn’t you then take the bus that drops you off at the entry?!?!?! I was really surprised at how easy it was to navigate. The bus stop is literally across from the entrance 🙂 take that next time!

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17 Adelina @ PackMeTo February 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I was in Valkenburg but I had no idea there was a spa there. Looks so relaxting! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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18 farrah February 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Thanks for hosting! Yes, it’s a really great place. The restaurant alone is worth a visit, and you don’t have to be a guest of the spa or hotel to enjoy it.

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19 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey February 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

This, this …. THS is what you link up with us for. You are torturous, I will get you back for this. I used to get massages and what not *cough* fortnightly *cough* back at home and since moving to my more rustic surrounds the only spa I get is the splash back from the bath…… ahhhhhh I envy you. But alas I know you deserved it xx

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20 Hannah February 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I want to be there right now. Sooo bad.

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21 Bex February 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

So glad you recognise that us Europeans know how to relax, without it necessarily meaning we’re being lazy!

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22 farrah February 24, 2014 at 6:59 am

Well, as far as I can tell the Dutch and Germans that I know are anything BUT lazy. What is so great is how they see the necessity in taking care of themselves- which in turn allows them to work hard. I think it’s something that Americans should definitely learn from.

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23 The Dessert Engineer February 23, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Wow, I would love to be in that pool with the Jacuzzi in the middle. The Training Pool Floating experience looks like something I would want to try!

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24 farrah February 24, 2014 at 6:58 am

Yep- it’s pretty nice indeed!

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25 Travis February 24, 2014 at 5:37 am

I spent a day in Valkenberg a couple years ago and managed to visit Thermae 2000. I totally agree that it is a completely different experience going to a good European spa or bath, and I really enjoyed this one. Plus the town is really nice as well! Thanks for sharing and safe travels!

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26 farrah February 24, 2014 at 6:57 am

Thanks for popping in Travis, and glad to hear they’re consistent!

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27 Chamisa February 24, 2014 at 6:06 am

Okay, you’ve convinced me to book a spa day at one of the local places here. And no cameras inside.. I’m guessing that has to do with the no clothing allowed rule 🙂

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28 farrah February 24, 2014 at 6:57 am

Exactly 🙂 Plus, it’s just nice to know that there aren’t an possibly unflattering shots floating around of me in a bathing suit either!

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29 Samantha @mytanfeet February 25, 2014 at 8:23 pm

THis looks amazing. I’m sure European spas are out of the world and from the sound of it, seems like you had a relaxing time! Although I’m a wussy when it comes to massages since I’m so ticklish so I wouldn’t be able to handle ti as well as you did!

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30 frankaboutcroatia February 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

I seem not to be a SPA person. Went once for a wellness weekend in Slovenia, but found it a bit boring. I guess it has to do with me not taking humidity very well. That’s why I never enjoy indoor pools, and alike. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler.

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