JC Stays: Las Caldas Villa Termal, Oviedo, Spain

Whether you want traditional or modern, active or relaxed, this spa resort is a perfect getaway


Asturias is a part of Spain relatively unknown in the UK, yet both capital Oviedo with its medieval old town and Jewish heritage, and its hot springs, have drawn visitors for centuries.

In beautiful countryside just outside the city itself, Las Caldas, first opened its doors back in 1776. People have been coming for its healing waters ever since and it was comprehensively refurbished in 2008.

In fact there are two separate establishments, on either side of the road, connected by an indoor bridge. The Las Caldas Grand Hotel is the historic part while the Las Caldas Enclave was completed in 2011 and is bang up to date.

Both have around 80 spacious rooms and you can choose between classic or contemporary style.

It’s the same with the spa facilities – in the Grand, there’s the historic spa El Manantial, in the old Bath House, with swimming pools, saunas, steam baths, and relaxation areas.

For something more intimate there’s the Columns Hall, built to resemble a Roman villa, where you can relax with your family or small group of friends.

Across the road, next to the Enclave, is the new Sci-Fi Aquana spa complex. Housed in a flying saucer shaped bunker and sculpted into the natural landscape, it features an indoor pool covered by a 15 metre high dome.

At regular intervals, there’s a sound and light show with fountains shooting up to the roof. It’s pretty impressive although the huge heated outdoor pool, perfect for sun bathing, surrounded by nature and mountains, is equally memorable.

Beyond the spa, water is a feature here; the Stella River runs right past the hotel, which hires out canoes. Along the banks there are isolated beaches where you can pull up and picnic, or try a refreshing dip in one of the natural bathing pools.

Borrow a bike if you fancy venturing further afield, although don’t forget the GPS route planners.

A popular trip follows the route of an old railway line, bringing you to the centre of Oviedo in less than an hour. Visit the 13th century Cathedral, surrounded by a charming network of medieval streets with shops, restaurants and a huge covered market.

The “Bear’s Trail” goes in the other direction, through a landscape of green hills and steep valleys. Just past Tuñón, you’ll find Cercado Osero, home to rescued Cantabrian brown bears – Paca and Molina. A particular hit if you’re travelling with kids.

On two feet, rather than two wheels, you can venture into the surrounding hills armed with a hiking map.

After all these activities you’ll be hungry. The Viator Restaurant serves high class traditional cuisine in a classic setting. In line with the wellness theme, all products are 100% organic, seasonal and natural.

Be aware that meals are served on Spanish time, later than you’d expect in the UK, but if you’re feeling peckish then a coffee shop near reception serves salads and sandwiches all day.

The bar, meanwhile, is modelled on an English pub. In the Grand Hotel, there are Saturday night piano sessions as you sip your custom cocktail and finish what the spa started, unwinding completely.


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