Budget

Budget Europe 2008

by Ralph Martin

POOLING POWER

There's nothing quite like a spa experience for the ultimate relaxing vacation. Taking the waters is a serious business in central and northern Europe, and the classic spots, such as Friedrichsbad (pictured) in Germany's Baden-Baden, are publicly subsidized, often grandiose tributes to the alleged healing powers of mineral-water bathing. A 16-step bathing sequence and a soap-and-brush massage at Friedrichsbad runs to a mere $45. On the other side of the border, in Marienbad, Czech Republic, spend a few hours in King Edward's Royal Cabin at the Nove Lazné hotel. Spa packages start at $80 per day, and include a high-pressure spray-down that leaves you squeaky clean and invigorated. Copenhagen's Vandkulturhuset has multiple pools and marble steam rooms, along with a dash of Nordic let-it-all-hang-out freedom, all for $30 a day.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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