Throwing up in front of strangers is something I’ve always been scared of. Imagine throwing up, everyone looking and tutting in disgust while you’re wondering what to do with your hands that are now covered in your mushed up lunch. A literal nightmare. But when I threw up in a Beer Spa in Prague, it wasn’t quite so horrifying.
Prague is the home of beer. And it’s everywhere. On the streets, in cafes, in bookshops and even baths. Yes. They literally have a bath in beer. It would be rude not to try it out.
About Beer Spas
Prague has many spas offering beer baths.There are famous ones like the Original Beer Spa and there are luxury ones like Grand Relax. And many of them aren’t new. Bathing in beer has been a tradition stemming back two thousand years and became trendy in the Middle Ages. But rather than just being extravagant, bathing in beer is said to do several things like treat acne, reduce cellulite and improve blood circulation. Photoshopped skin, sign me up!
So I opted for Beer Spa Bernard, who use their own beer from their traditional brewery. They boast of only using the highest quality ingredients, plus, it was very close to my hotel.
Taking A Beer Bath
A Czech therapist dressed in a white tunic pushed a bowl under my nose and asked me to sniff. It had a strong weed-like smell which made my nose scrunch up. She laughed and explained that it was hops mixed with yeast and some natural ingredients that contain vitamin B. She went through all the benefits as the bath bubbled loudly behind her.
She then chucked the contents of her bowl in the bath and left me with a hand held bell to ring in case I needed anything. I flung off my towel and stepped into the water that now smelled a dorm room. It was really hot. But after being told that it had to be heated to the right temperature for the treatment to work, I took a deep breath and submerged myself in.
I poured myself a glass of Bernard’s very own brew from a beer tap conveniently located next to the bath. I had access to unlimited beer. The spa had also laid out a pickled cheese spread for me. I began to feel like a Viking princess in my wooden bath surrounded by statues and my private room. I debated ringing the bell she had given me for nothing more than a power trip and began wondering whether sweating was normal. And was it the heat or the beer doing its magic?
As I got to the bottom of my beer, the bath bubbles stopped and the therapist came back in to lead me to another room. But once I was out, I began to feel nauseous, my head began to thump and I felt light headed.
“I don’t feel so good.” I said to the therapist.
She looked concerned and tried to lead me into the next room. But I felt like the pickled cheese was going to make an appearance so I ran to an empty beer bath and vomited.
The girl rushed to my side and pulled my hair back and rubbed my arm in comfort.
“It’s ok, sometimes this happens because the bath is too hot.”
I swore. I knew it wasn’t the unlimited beer because I drink like a sloth, which meant I only had time to drink one. Maybe 38 degrees celsius is too hot for this ginger-skinned British girl.
After accepting a glass of water and a back rub from the kind therapist, I found myself in a dark room watching lights dance off of the ceiling. This was the part where the beer was supposed to soak into the skin but, for me, it became a place to recover from my previous trauma.
As my thumping head was beginning to quieten I heard the sound of zen like music and vaguely heard the staff jet washing my vomit off of the bath. My body was wrapped up in a thermal blanket on top of a heated bed. It felt like it was hugging my whole body. I don’t know whether it was the room, or because the beer bath had revitalized my nervous system but I felt quite calm about being sick. I laid there for another half an hour, melting into the bed until the therapist politely came in to tell me that treatment was now over.
When I left, they handed me a bottle of their beer and a certificate, though I didn’t feel like a winner. The therapist told me that for maximum benefits, I was not to shower for twelve hours afterwards. This was sad news because I had hops stuck all over my body like Hagrid-sized boogies.
I can’t say that the beer spa made my skin or my hair look Vogue-ready but my muscles were relaxed and I was calm for the rest of the day. And I did feel clean when I eventually washed it all off. But most importantly, it did what any spa is supposed to do — make you feel good. Just maybe next time, I’ll turn the cold tap on if I start to relate to how lobsters feel.
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