A BIRTHDAY TRIP TO TERMAS DE LUSO
Termas de Luso (Luso Thermal Spa)
Termas do Luso (Luso Thermal Spa) is located in the parish of Luso, Mealhada, Portugal and is part of the Grande Hotel de Luso. After all our hiking I thought it would be epic to take time out and relax in a thermal spa and enjoy the bathing and heat of Luso thermal waters. At this moment due to Covid the maximum period of time for the Água Sensations is reduced to 1 hour and several experiences were not available such as Sauna, Swiss Shower, Hammam, Sensations Shower and Ice Fountain. They offered a discount of 20% off of the total price so half an hour cost €20 and 1 hr cost €24. We arrived 15 minutes before our allocated time slot as advised and I think I slightly freaked the receptionist out by approaching the desk. She waved her hands at me and told me to stop. She then proceeded to take our temperature at the door via our eye, don’t panic no thermometers up any bum holes (ha ha), then we applied hand sanitiser and put our feet into an automatic shoe cover dispenser which instantly provided foot shields for our shoes and no bending down! We also completed a health care medical form in advance acknowledging any medical conditions. I was a little concerned about the number of people in the spa and social distancing but I had nothing to worry about as we were the only ones there. We were then given a gown, towel and locker key. We had to bring slippers (flip flops), swim costume and a swim cap. We purchased the swim caps from Decathlon and I must admit that we look like right idiots. Hubby actually didn’t look too bad, not quite Tom Daley and I just looked like I was going to rob the Millennium bank minus the hand gun. I told hubby that the dress code was white speedo’s for men (the variety that go completely see through when wet (ha ha).
A lovely male member of staff then showed us to the Spa pool which consisted of an Interactive water pool circuit with various types of jets and underwater hydromassage beds. He spoke no English so we kind of guessed what he was saying. Prior to entering we had to shower and walk through a foot bath and he also sprayed the bottom of our flip flops. The hygiene measures were very reassuring. I had difficulty turning the shower knobs due to my arthritis in my hands so hubby came in and turned them on with the door open. The water shot out of several jets in all directions and absolutely soaked the floor of the very posh relaxation area. You can’t take me anywhere! The spa circuit was fantastic. You walk through the pool and there are many stations where you press a button and different types of jets produce variations of pressure, bubbles and tranquillity. There are also under water seats and hydrotherapy beds. There are 2 overhead stations that look like shower heads which send out the most powerful shots of water I have ever experienced. If you have ever been caught out in the rain and hell stones then multiply this experience by a hundred and this is what you get.
I thought it would be a great idea to lie on my tummy and try and enable the water to reach my area where my coccyx was removed as I am often in pain in this region but I miss judged my timings and a huge jet of high pressured water was sent at lightening speed vigorously right up my lady bits which was an absolute shock to my system. I had to keep checking my bikini was still on and not floating a few meters away (ha ha). Having the whole spa to ourselves was such a treat. There were pretty soothing lights that changed colour too. After our allocated time a member of staff showed us back to the changing room and gave us a bottle of Luso water. This was funny as the staff member wore a gown and slippers like he was just chilling out there, this made us laugh. Pre Covid you would have the opportunity to chill out in the relaxation room with background music and sample various Águas de Luso. The spa offers several treatments which I may try out next time. I really enjoyed my luxury spa experience and it was the best ever place to relax, unwind and take care of my body, mind and soul. Next time I plan to try out the Aquadome Spa in the H2otel Congress and Medical Spa, Serra de Estrela. It looks amazing with pools and hot tubs outdoors overlooking the mountains but due to Covid you can only book the Aquadome if you book a night in the hotel and it is really expensive to stay in the hotel.
Purchasing swim caps
This was such a funny trip, buying €2 swimming caps at Decathlon and trying them out for size in the car park. We got a few strange looks (ha ha).
Termas de Luso
We decided to treat ourselves to an overnight stay for hubby’s birthday. I tried to book a night at the Buçaco Palace hotel but it had no vacancies at all. I was drawn towards an accommodation named Vila Aurora as hubby’s grandchild shares the same name (Just ‘Aurora’ not ‘Vila Aurora’ ha ha). It was a lovely vila and designed as a medieval castle and full with antiques. I felt like a princess for the night. It was such a contrast to our last stay in a hotel here. I booked the ‘romantic package’ via Booking.com and was a little disappointed not to be welcomed with a naked Portuguese stallion laying on my luxury bed with a red rose between his teeth serenading me whilst crumpling the rose petal beneath his firm butt cheeks (ha ha). What we actually got was: Breakfast in the room (on request), sparkling wine, fresh fruit and chocolate, rose petals on the bed (minus the Portuguese stallion), swan heart shaped towels and a hot tub jet bath with bath salts as well as a suite with a huge bed on a platform with a view, private bathroom, fridge, air con, bathrobes and free toiletries. The hot tub jet bath was great but after our spa experience I wasn’t really over enthusiastic about a hot tub bath but after a night out it was a refreshing treat. A bit cosy for two if i’m honest and someone has to get the short straw and get stuck at the end with the taps (that was hubby) ha ha. The rose bath salts had the most amazing aroma and I wanted to steal them but resisted.
I was a little concerned that I would wake in the night for a pee pee and fall off the bed platform and smash into the coffee table or through the window but I made it through the night O.K. They also provided 2 slices of cake for hubby’s birthday which was lovely. We loved the huge room with a view, tranquil atmosphere and grand decor bursting with antiques. There are 2 swimming pools and the gardens are so pretty. There is a tower with panoramic views and the location is superb, close to the centre and 2 minute walk to the spa. The free wifi was good connection too. Breakfast was included and there was a wide variety of food (continental style) and the chef also offers a cooked selection including bacon and eggs. The cost was €76.14 which was amazing as it should have been over €90 with the romantic package but somehow we got a substantial discount. I absolutely loved this Vila Aurora. It was such a different experience to the usual bland hotel. There was only one other French couple staying at the hotel so it was very quiet and a perfect romantic place to unwind and relax.
Vila Aurora (Outside and Gardens)
Our room (103) and inside of Villa
Evening out and Pamper Time
Views from Vila Aurora turret (top of the tower)
Birthday presents and the cake disaster (ha ha)
We have a €50 budget for birthdays so I purchased Portuguese Monopoly and an epic Halloween candy cake. I can’t wait to play Portuguese Monopoly with my family here at Christmas. Obviously I have to be the dog or I will throw a tantrum (ha ha). I will also be banker and steal money randomly by slipping it under the corner of the board. Our family Monopoly games last forever. My favourite son (Josh) is only coming for 1 week so it’s gonna be a challenge!
The birthday cake turned into a bit of a disaster. I chose a lovely cake with ‘Parabéns’ iced on the top which translates to ‘Congratulations’. Somehow on the car journey home the icing completely slid off of the cake! I promise I didn’t lick it off (ha ha). I was pretty gutted but it still tasted delicious and we did have a right laugh about it. Hubby didn’t seem to care and he enjoyed blowing out his candles. Hubby’s employer award all it’s employees their birthday off of work. What a lovely gesture? We decided to book the next day as holiday and take a 2 day trip away and a well deserved break from all the DIY. When you have 7 biological children and 3 step children you are guaranteed to receive at least 1 birthday card from one of your children! The odds are stacked in your favour (ha ha).
It was fun exploring the spa town of Luso which is located at the foot of the Serra do Buçaco. It is famous for one thing in particular: water which flows freely from the fountains and springs from the town. Thousands of bottles of this precious liquid are consumed daily across the nation. It is renowned for its healing qualities, hence the fact that Luso is one of Portugal’s most important spa towns. The qualities of the water have been hailed as cures for all manner of ailments including kidney conditions and skin conditions. The São João fountain is located right next to the spa and is a very popular stopping point for visitors to fill up their water bottles and admire the pretty tiling and writing on the walls that surround it telling the story of the “donkeys”, inhabitants of the land. At the beginning of the century, they used donkeys either to transport visitors to the forest or to transport water to other locations. When we visited we witnessed a car pull up with 20 empty plastic huge 5L bottles and several men were running up and down the steps filling up the bottles with water from the fountain. Maybe they have a resturant or really bad eczema. Mealhada is famous for it’s Suckling Pig. I’m not a huge fan of pork but this dish sounds delicious. Luso was fantastic and don’t forget it’s an excellent base to discover the fabulous nearby Buçaco Forest.