What ever happened to Taking the Waters? What a lovely way to pass the time, and yet you only see people doing so in Hercule Poirot TV shows and old movies.
Balneario de Mondariz is one of hundreds of “spas” that dotted Galician Spain in their heyday, and we stayed there for just long enough to enjoy the Water Palace and spend the night.
The hotel is about 20 minutes from the Vigo airport.
The hotel opened in 1873, and was the brain child of Don Enrique Peinador Vela. Vela believed in the curative powers of mineral water, and was instrumental in getting the then Republican Government to declare that the mineral waters were a public utility and open to all.
Designed by architect Genaro de la Fuente it attracted the rich and famous including the Rockefellers, the Infanta Isabel de Borbon and other Famous Spaniards, the likes of which I have never heard of.
The Hotel apparently even minted its own currency had a program of operas and published a newsletter.
In 1973 a fire ravaged the hotel, but as it was stone they were able to complete a faithful reconstruction, the building is now condominiums.
The Gándara Spring, housed in this Classical-style temple, was designed by architect Antonio Palacios.
There is a “ferruginous” composition to the water in the spring, which contains carbonated gas and calcium bicarbonate apparently suitable for metabolic, locomotive, respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular illnesses, and lots of others, according to the plaque on the wall.
There is a beautiful spa
Alas, we were lacking in time, so we spent our down time in the Water Palace.
They did not allow photos in the Water Palace, so I took these from the Hotel’s website. We were in the pool long enough to get pruny fingers and try out every one of the spray jets, bubble seats and even the spot in the center where the water pushes you along in a circle as you lay on your back.
The pool is almost 1000 feet across and sits under a huge glass dome There are also several mini-pools throughout the building as well as, saunas with different temperatures and humidities.
You go to the pool in a bathrobe and slippers provided, but if you arrive without a proper bathing cap they get you for 4 euros.
There are golf courses, a full gym, or just hike through the ruins, whatever you decide to do, I highly recommend you get there in early spring before the crowds.
We had a twin bed situation, and once again I didn’t think to take the photo until we were checking out, but as you can see through the window, the views are really lovely, and the room adequate.
But, I had to add this photo of the room blow dryer, you don’t see these that often anymore and I love the name.
This was one of the hallways, the hotel covers the gamut between 1920 and 1950 and yet is charming as can be.
All and all, we had a wonderful time, I just wish we had had more time to enjoy the services.