Looking at the photo above makes me feel like I am in a sort of galactic enterprise on top of a ship in Star Trek. Instead, this is the inside of an amazing spa called Inuu located in the country of Andorra. The country of Andorra itself is pretty cool, located in the southeastern Pyrenees mountains, sandwiched between Spain & France with its official language being Catalan and known as a tax-haven (expect tons of shopping malls in the capital city).
Its capital is the highest one in Europe (elevation of 3,356 ft above sea level). Driving here wasn’t the easiest task – located high up in the mountains, we basically watched car after car stop to assemble their snow chains as a steady-but-beautiful snowfall commenced around us. It made me think of a few scenes in a childhood favorite book of mine ‘The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe’.
We happened to make this tiny country our first stop after Christmas in Ax-Les-Thermes during our #winteroadtrip from France to Portugal. Not wanting to make the long drive in one go, we decided to stop in both Andorra and Toledo, Spain for a night and luckily for this girl, after being quite sore from skiing – we got the opportunity to check out the spa above, bright and shiny Inuu spa, which just opened its doors in January 2013.
While the huge Caldea spa is very well-known to many French and Spanish people who live around this area, Inuu is its sexy & luxurious younger sister. Everything here is provided to maximize relaxation, as soon as we were arrived we were whisked to the reception in order to go over our program for the day by a trained professional (everyone here speaks around five languages – naturally) while sipping a fresh coconut & banana juice. For us, we were going to partake in a 30-minute relaxing oil massage plus a chance to utilize all of the amazing facilities at Inuu. We were quickly outfitted with robes and sandles emblazoned with Inuu’s snazzy logo and got a comprehensive tour of the place. Now this, is the life!
What can you expect at Inuu?
They offer a variety of wellness programs over three floors (U Care - UThermal- U Balance) that include access to two thermal heated lagoons with whirlpools (including one that continues outside), a sundeck, fountains, salt cave, sauna, turkish bath, gym, waterbeds and a variety of cooling showers including my favorite ‘white rain’. The water in the pools change colors and you can’t help but be mesmerized in this place, it is just so beautiful. While Caldea spa hosts everyone from families to couples, Inuu is more about relaxation and privacy with an age limit of 16 to enter. Perfect for sore Texans like myself.
Lets talk about food!
Of course we worked up an appetite touring these amazing facilities ;-) so we headed to the cafe located on site where we could dine in our robes for a very affordable price of 19 euros for a complete menu, all categorized by sensory experiences (aqua, beauty etc.) though you can mix & match any dish to create your own personalized menu. They take their nutricion seriously and we really were impressed by the quality of the food, even the bread was infused with dried fruit & nuts.
The food was absolutely delicious, nutritious and inventive. I adored my veggie-filled cabbage roll with miso soup while Nico got a fish & rice medley. Dessert was a work of art as they sought to brought our the forest surrounding the Pyrenees to my plate.
Plus did I mention there was an aquarium in the restaurant?
One thing I absolutely appreciated about Inuu was the pure professionalism by their staff. We realized during lunch that we couldn’t make out massages in time so we notified our waiter who called and scheduled us for a later time slot with no problems. The massage itself was a relaxing oil experience that may or may not have just put me on a level of happiness that made all of the stress of 2013 worth it. The separate spa facilities ‘U Care’ in this area of Inuu was beautiful, a relaxing space to hang out with heated chairs overlooking the city and yet another…. amazing aquarium.
One of my favorite areas of the spa was the outside thermal pool, which you can access from inside. That day was particularly snowing and the experience was nothing short of surreal wading in the warm water with soft snow sprinkling down around your head.
Obviously this place is a luxurious haven for those who really want to relax. Knowing how much skiing and sports activities exist around Andorra, it makes sense that they would invest in a thermal spa complex of this level. While it is pricey (details below), for people who love spas, this is worth every penny. From the facilities themselves which are impeccable as well as the courteous attention to detail from the staff, who are super helpful without being intrusive. As an added bonus, the locker rooms were well-outfitted with everything you needed including shampoo, conditioner, hair-dryers, straighteners and special waterproof ‘key bracelets’ that you used to open and close your locker and pay for meals at the on-site restaurant.
Inuu Thermal Spa info: address Parc de la Mola, 10, AD700 Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra.
Admission is 65 euros p/p (children under 16 are not allowed) and they have a variety of packages including different sensory experiences (massage etc including entry to the thermal spa – all of which you can see here). Hours are from 10am to 10 pm, every day except December 24 and 31 (closes at 8pm) On December 25, Inuu is closed all day. There is independent parking located directly underneath the spa.
We stayed at nearby Hotel Husa Mola Park which was within walking distance of Caldea/Inuu (and we parked in the underground parking underneath the thermal spa). A modern hotel with rates from around 90-100 euros per night. It was the perfect place to stay to access both the spa & the town itself.
*Disclaimer – My partner and I were guests of the Inuu Thermal spa but trust that all opinions and thoughts are my own.