AIRE Ancient Baths
AIRE began in Seville, Spain with the idea of bringing back the traditions of ancient civilizations that “found in water an element of wellness, socialization, and a key aspect of life.” Since their inception in 2001, they’ve since expanded to Almeria, Barcelona and Vallromanes in Spain, New York, Chicago, Copenhagen, Paris and London, always finding abandoned historical buildings and converting them into luxury oasis’s in the middle of each city they inhabit. Our Chicago location is housed in an old paint factory from the 20th century, and is the largest AIRE to date, being 20,000 sqft and housing 6 different pools, including one that is both indoor AND outdoor, and several steam rooms.
There are no clocks in any of their buildings (and you certainly don’t want to take your phone or watch in), so they have a bell that goes off at the top of each hour, and your wristband indicates where you’re allowed to go (if you have a massage or ritual along with your bath experience) and when your session ends. The idea is that inside AIRE, time doesn’t exist, and you are supposed to focus on relaxing both your body and mind.
the experience than you would be just getting a standard massage. But if you’re someone who would want a massage in addition to your 90 minute bath session, you can add it in, and choose from a laundry list of options for the massage, from Argan Oil, to Himalayan Salt, and variations on a couples massage. You can even literally bathe in a tub of red wine (for $400), which honestly is my dream.
I spent most of my 90 minutes at AIRE Chicago in the Flotarium (the Dead Sea-esque bath) and the warm pool, which was situated at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They only allow about twenty people in the facility at one time, so even though there are other people in with you, you can find moments of solitude and not hear another voice for hours. There was only once where I was completely tranquil and my head bumped into another person who was almost as comatose as I was in the Flotarium, which we both just laughed off. Truly it was one of my favorite experiences in Chicago thus far, and I can’t wait to return!
Ever wanted to feel like you’re floating in the Dead Sea, but don’t want to spend nearly two grand flying to Israel to do so? I’ve got a solution for you! AIRE Ancient Baths (pronounced eye-day, for the non Spanish speakers), located in River West just north of the WL, has not only a bath that has the same density as the Dead Sea (called the Flotarium), but several different pools that give you the experience of Ancient Rome, Greece, and Ottoman civilizations.
I was able to experience AIRE a little over a year ago, and it was one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever been to. I love going to get massages, which is usually enough to render me a corpse for at least an hour, but this was something much more invigorating. I felt more submerged (no pun intended) in
To see a full list of pricing and options, and to book yourself in for a relaxing activity, check out www.beaire.com.