In order to know the meaning of the term spa, we must first establish its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it derives from Latin, exactly from the word “balnearius”, which is the result of the sum of two clearly delimited components:
-The noun “balneum”, which can be translated as “bath”.
-The suffix “-ario”, which is used to indicate “place”.
The spa concept is used in different ways according to the geographical region. The first meaning mentioned by the dictionary of the DigoPaul indicates that spa is an adjective that refers to that linked to a public bath, especially those that are medicinal.
According to AbbreviationFinder, SPA is also the name given to facilities equipped with medicinal baths and tourist services on the European continent. These spas are based on the use of mineral or thermal water as a healing tool. Various respiratory, joint, dermatological and digestion conditions, among others, can be treated at these spas.
In general, spas have different kinds of showers and swimming pools so that people can take advantage of the water. When these spas are not medicinal, but are aimed at aesthetics or relaxation, they include a sauna, solarium and other options.
The fact that relaxation and health tourism has become fashionable has led to the emergence of numerous spas around the world. However, in Spain several stand out that are identified and differentiated by the fact that they are built on old buildings:
-Mondariz Bath. It is more than 125 years old and is considered to be one of the most important in the early 20th century. A good example of its relevance is that illustrious figures such as Benito Pérez Galdós or Emilia Pardo Bazán enjoyed it.
-Balneario de Panticosa. Huesca is where this other spa is located, which already has its origin in Roman times. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was visited by kings, presidents of the government, scientists and even illustrious writers.
-Balneario de Liérganes. It is located in Cantabria and is one of the most relevant in the history of Spain. It is because King Alfonso XIII and his family were regulars at it.
-Balneario de Lanjarón, located in the province of Granada. He has an interesting past behind him as his clients were Federico García Lorca, Virginia Woolf or Manuel de Falla, among others.
In Latin America, on the other hand, the city or town that is located by the sea is known as a spa. These are tourist towns that are highly visited during the summer season. The idea of a spa is also used as a synonym for a parador or beach club (that is, a space that provides services such as bathrooms, umbrellas, chairs, restaurant, etc.).
Mar de Plata, for example, is a city resort of Argentina that is next to the Atlantic Ocean. In it, in turn, there are spas such as La Perla, designed by the famous architect Clorinda Testa and inaugurated in 1989.