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Wellness blends with 2,300 years of history at The Museum Hotel Antakya

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We’re thrilled to have recently opened Antakya’s largest wellness centre. Nurturing good health and wellness is now more important than ever; so, we look forward to welcoming both hotel guests and members from across Antakya and beyond once we reopen
– Ergin Erden

A luxury Turkish spa which overlooks an archaeological excavation spanning 13 civilisations, has recently been unveiled at The Museum Hotel Antakya, Turkey.

The spa shares its home with the world’s largest single-floor mosaic which covers 1,050sq m and dates back 2,300 years to the fourth century.

The Museum Hotel Antakya, was originally destined to be a five-star luxury hotel in the heart of modern Antakya, but once work began an archaeological treasure trove was discovered revealing five layers of history, including 30,000 ancient artefacts as well as the single-floor mosaic made of 160 shades of natural plant-dyed stones and city walls dating back to 300BC.

Following official guidelines, the Turkish destination is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The building has been raised to make room for an open-air national archaeology park, – called Necmi Asfuroğlu Archaeology Museum named after the owner of The Museum Hotel Antakya – a spa and hotel suspended above, where guests can step out their rooms and experience open-air views of the ancient mosaics below.

Balans Spa and Fitness Centre is claimed to be the city’s largest wellbeing facility standing at 3,300sq m, the rooftop wellness centre crowns the destination and has been designed to blend the indoors with outside.

The spa includes six treatment rooms named after Apollo’s muses as well as a private couple’s spa suite with two massage beds, a Turkish hammam, sofa, Jacuzzi and garden.

A highlight of the spa is a bathhouse experience which includes both mixed and female hammams, this feature is inspired by the mural of Apollo and the Muses depicted in the mosaic and the visible ancient Roman bath ruins.

With contemporary wellness at its heart, the spa menu offers treatments including facials, massages, hammam experiences, aromatherapy and reflexology, all inspired by ancient beauty rituals and supplied by botanical product house Cinq Mondes.

Guests can also enjoy natural and local artisanal products as part of their hammam treatments, as the spa incorporates the daphne of Antakya, local coffee and culturally traditional herbs such as Zahter into select treatments.

Turkish spa consultancy Promet oversaw the delivery of Balans Spa as a turnkey project.

Ergin Erden, sales and marketing manager told Spa Business: “We’re thrilled to have recently opened Antakya’s largest wellness centre, which offers both hotel guests and members a deeply immersive and restorative experience, drawing on both ancient Turkish heritage and spa therapies from around the world.

“Nurturing good health and wellness is now more important than ever; so, we look forward to welcoming both hotel guests and members from across Antakya and beyond, as our aim is to become a wellness hub for the region.”

The wellbeing offering also extends to fitness as the destination includes a Life Fitness-equipped gym, studio for classes such as reformer Pilates, yoga and spinning, three pools including an outdoor infinity pool and a Jacuzzi.

During the day, the wellness centre is open to both hotel guests and to members of the public via a membership system – a scheme purposefully devised to foster interest and a strong relationship between the facility and the local community.

Turkish design firm Emre Arolat Architecture led the multi-layered project’s design which centres around the mosaic and is stacked with contemporary steel frames supporting sheltering rooms linked by walkways and glass-panelled bridges.

The hotel’s decor has been completed with copper accents, warm wooden floors and views onto the surrounding Habibi Neccar mountains while local cultural references are interwoven throughout interiors with mosaic-inspired designs, decoration walls, en-suite marble bathrooms and woven Antakyan furniture.

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A luxury Turkish spa which overlooks an archaeological excavation spanning 13 civilisations, has recently been unveiled at The Museum Hotel Antakya, Turkey.
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