For centuries Icelanders have been aware of the medicinal benefits of hot-spring water. People with ill-health, or who have suffered an accident, recover their health by going to pools regularly. It has long been proved that swimming and hot pots have very positive effects on senior citizens. Hot pots are small pools. All of the City’s swimming facilities have several hot pots, each kept at a different temperature, from 37°C & 42°C, equivalent to 98°F - 111°F.
Reykjavík has had the water tested by some of the world's best experts at home and abroad, including staff at Germany's Institut Freesenius. A unique aspect of Reykjavík's swimming pools when compared with Europe is that most are outdoors. Many undoubtedly shiver at the mere thought of bathing outside surrounded by frost and snow, but research has shown that there are various benefits associated with this. It is healthier for heart and asthma patients to be outside in hot water breathing fresh air than to breathe the warm, humid air of indoor swimming facilities.
It also appears that the combination of hot water and cold air has a very positive effect on the human body. It should be pointed out that no one gets cold in the pools as they are kept at an average temperature of 29°C (84°F). Swimming at Reykjavík's pools is indeed a unique experience that increases well being and improves overall health.
In Reykjavík there is a low lying valley named Laugardalur. Its name is derived from pools of hot spring water in the area that bubble up from deep below the surface. During the time when Reykjavík was but a village, residents would go there to wash clothes, and themselves. The road from "Reykjavík village" that led to this hot spring valley was named Laugavegur, or "road to the hot pools." Times have changed, and Reykjavík is now a city, and Iceland's capital. The old Lugavegur road has become the city's main shopping street, and today Laugardalur Valley is a paradise for outdoor activities.
Icelanders enjoy the luxury of drinking pure, crystal clear tap water
Baðhúsið is a ladies-only health spa, opened in 1994 by founder Linda Pétursdóttir, a former Miss Iceland and Miss World. Linda got the idea for Baðhúsið when travelling the world as the reigning Miss World. She envisioned a nurturing and supportive environment where women exclusively could come and rejuvenate their body, mind and soul in a peaceful atmosphere - a place where they could come to nurture their well-being with help and guidance from trained professionals, or simply take some time off and enjoy the company's relaxation programs.
It was to be a place to get away from the daily grind, whether it be by way of a soothing scented oil massage, a luxurious facial treatment or by allowing all of the day's stress to melt away in a quiet hot Jacuzzi. The surroundings would be both beautiful and feminine, with women in white robes enjoying massages, beauty treatments, the steam room or the so-called "rest-nest" where they are surrounded by beautiful plants, candle light, soothing music, benches for resting tired bones and magazines to browse through between treatments.
Today, Baðhúsið is in its 9th year of operation and serves well over a thousand women per day at Brautarholt 20, where they can enjoy all the services Linda originally envisioned, and more. Baðhúsið is and will always be a health spa for ladies only.