Information about the applicant:
Category 2: Spa Hotel
1. Location and infrastructure quality
Adress: Complexelor Street, Nr.2, Băile Herculane, Caraș-Severin County, 325200, Romania
Placed in the spectacular landscape of Cerna Valey, offers its guests an amazing view of the Domogled Mountain and our unique species of tree of the area – the Black Banat Pine. Băile Herculane is one of the oldest spa resorts in Europe, being historically recorded since the year 153. Discovered and promoted by the Romans, it was the host of many nobles, kings and emperors throughout its history, Emperor Frantz Joseph calling it “The Pearl of Europe”.
The natural setting is a special one, located in the Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park, with an air quality that is felt like at 1600 m altitude and an atypical Mediterranean climate for Romania. The place is a perfect point to visit numerous sights in the area such as: Danube Shore, Decebal’s Face – the highest rock sculpture in the country. It is close to monasteries, natural sights but also only 30 minutes from the Serbian border.
The resort can be reached by car, being a two hours drive away from two of the largest cities in Romania, cities that also have international airports (Timisoara and Craiova). It can also be reached by train and once in Baile Herculane, the resort is only a 7 minute cab ride away from any point of the city.
2. Category, number of beds, equipment, number of places in the restaurant, number of parking spots, conference halls.
The hotel is part of the Bacolux Hotels Romania group and is certified as 4 stars, with 220 rooms, implicitly 500 places to stay in twin rooms, family rooms, matrimonial rooms or apartments.
The hotel has 2 restaurants (one a la carte and one for all inclusive) and an outdoor terrace, all overlooking the mountain, totalling 700 places for dining. Two parking areas are available for guests, in total 120 places.
The hotel has two conference rooms, one with a capacity of 200 seats and another with a capacity of 50. Both have a glass wall with a view of the mountain and access to private terraces. At the same time, a meeting room with a capacity of 20 seats is also available. All have a video projector and all the necessary facilities for organizing events. The hotel has a gaming area, a lounge bar with a terrace, entertainment programs for children throughout the summer vacation, as well as shows with varied entertainment for families every evening of the warm season.
3. Year of finishing the building, year of latest reconstruction and renovation
The original building dates from 1978, being acquired by the Bacolux Hotels Romania group in 2011 and opened in 2012. At the time of the takeover, the hotel was completely renovated, giving the resort it’s first hotel open all year round after a period of two decades of decline of the city and it’s first four star hotel. From its opening until now, the hotel has gone through various forms of renovations every year, constantly developing and expanding. The last renovation took place in May,
when we intervened with renovations on the bar area, the apartments and the a la carte restaurant.
4. Specialization and unique qualities
The hotel is recognized for its spa therapies for almost half a century. The concept implemented by Bacolux brought to Herculum Spa not only a decrease in the average age of the guests, but also an international award for innovation – “Innovative Spa Concept”, Espa Innovation Awards, Croatia, 2019.
Well known for its spa, innovation and its spa rituals, one of the factors that makes it unique is the concept of bringing nature to the interior through design, the elements used in it, as well as the valorization of natural and local resources. The entire spa area uses colours and materials adapted to the environment, the history of the place, the legends and the nature of Băile Herculane.
This is how Herculum Spa was born, to revive the tradition of healing through mineral springs, and at the same time to capitalize on these indisputable resources for the benefit of everyone and the demands of the present. We opened access to sulfur thermal baths for all those who want to try them and not just for those who have a doctor’s recommendation. Sulfur baths are assisted for all users, and those who do not seek medical advice are told the contraindications of these baths and sign a consent for the bath.
Sauna Hercule is one of our special saunas and the large pool has been completely transformed into an inspired design that balances warm experiences. Going successively between hot and cold is the spa lesson learned from the ancient Romans. We use Afrodita, the goddess of love and beauty as inspiration for the Herbs of Aphrodite Sauna. We put bags of herbal mixture under the bench of this dry sauna and replace them regularly. In addition, we use essential oils of aromatic plants, which are not only aphrodisiacs, but also healing.
5. Presence of spa center with 1 or more swimming pools, sq. meters, equipment.
Total surface – aprox 2000 m2
Shared facilitates for wellbeeing experiences – aprox 800 m2
Adults + children over 12 years:
Indoor swimming pool – aprox 200 m2
Outdoor swimming pool
2x oversized jacuzzi – 10+8 pers.
Children under 12 years:
Kids swimming pool
Water slide with water games
Hercule Sauna 85- 95 C (8-10 pers)
Aphrodite’s herbs sauna 70 C (6-8 pers)
Sauna with salt walls – 60 C (4-5 pers)
IR Sauna – 55 C- (4-5 pers)
Saline room for relaxation – ambient temperature
Tepidarium – dry air, diffused heat from heated benches (40-45 %)
4 warm pools – 5-6 pers/pool
Steam bath – 50-55 C, 100% humidity
Facilities for common experiences in the area of traditional Balneo treatments:
2 pools for baths with sulphur-thermal water
Individual or couple experiences in the area of well-being:
3 multifunctional single rooms
1 couple room
14 rooms for medical procedures
Activities for wellbeing
6. Seasonality, occupancy rate
The hotel is open all year round, the indoor spa facilities making it a sought-after place even in winter. The hotel has two distinct seasons, one from June to September and the other from October to May. The destination is also in demand during national holidays and school holidays, which can also influence seasonality. Occupancy has decreased following the pandemic, reaching an average of 50 to 60% in 2022.
7. Opportunity for diet and nutrition
We know that a balanced diet is essential for health, so we are always working on developing healthy options for our guests, so that they can find in the hotel all the necessary means to reach a state of well-being. Thus, both the all-inclusive restaurant and the a la carte restaurant have a variety of healthy products to choose from, and the a la carte restaurant is prepared to comply with the regimes for a variety of ailments. In addition to the options we offer, we frequently run internal campaigns to promote healthy food products and fresh local products to our guests.
8. Availability of comprehensive spa product /concept, packages, programs
We have developed a few signature therapies, combining in the Herculum Spa concept both local natural resources, history, legends of the area. The wellness therapies all bear the signature of Herculum Spa, being made with specific local products.
In Herculum Spa, we have available:
Classic spa therapies
AFRODITA, It’s me
In one of our signature therapies. It is a Spa circuit that includes Aphrodite Herb Mix Sauna and a massage with honey.
After the experience in the warm aromatic sauna, with a mix of local herbs, prepare yourself for a treatment meant to the gods. The massage with honey is a true beauty bath. We use natural honey from local sources, to which we add few drops of orange, lemon, and juniper essential oils.
HERCULE, It’s me
This ritual includes a thermal mineral bath and energetic massage.
Begin with a thermal mineral water bath. You will then lie down and be carefully wrapped with a soft wool blanket. After you rest you will feel calm. Then go for an energetic massage with one of our experts. You will feel renewed, ready to accomplish all the tasks of a modern Hercules.
In the area of traditional spa treatments – we have recovery packages for various ailments: sulfur baths and procedures.
Our current packages also include wellness and balneo combined therapies.
In addition to accommodation and meal options, our program consists of 3 steps for achieving relaxation, well-being and energy recovery: Realease – Refresh – Restart.
The program is designed so that the guest can choose at each stage of the stay from a series of body therapies, massages, sulfur baths that, in combination with local natural factors, ensure a body’s revitalization. (https://www.afroditaresort.ro/oferte/wellness-celestium/ )
9. Number of employees, organizational structure, qualification
Spa operations manager
Spa treatment manager & spa consultant
6 spa therapists (4 qualified masseuses and 2 physiotherapists)
6 qualified nurses in balneo physiotherapy
4 cleaning staff
2 technical team
Total Spa team: 23 pers.
10. Marketing policy
Our marketing policy started from promoting the local natural resources as well as the history of the place, being convinced that our development and image is directly linked to the values of the resort.
Baile Herculane is a city with a Mediterranean climate, atypical for Romania, where at an altitude of only 158 m the body feels the air at an altitude of 1600 m, being the qualitative equivalent of the air in the Swiss Alps. The resort is known for its 17 thermal springs that treat numerous ailments and it is the home of rare species of flora and fauna for Romania. All this is part of our promotion campaigns because we want to develop in harmony with the place and grow together.
We promote the transposition of natural elements in the spa, to offer our guests a complete experience of the place, one that they can only have here, with the particularities specific to the place. One of the campaigns that we have focused on since the very beginning is that of prevention. Working to change the mentality in Romania that thermal water therapies are intended for the old and sick. Through the efforts supported by this campaign, we have managed to lower the average age by 15 years from the opening until now in our hotel.
At the same time, our marketing also included short relaxation stays, including the spa segment in family outings in addition to annual vacations, the destination being ideal all year round, given the mild winters in the area and the quick access to the resort from the main nearby cities.
11. Evaluation of the leading tour operators
Although we have many loyal customers who book directly with us, given the experience in the market for over a decade, we have very good collaborations with tour operators. Attached to the application you have a table with the summary of the evaluation of the tour operators as well as their letters of recommendation.
12. Mineral water
The mineral water we use in the hotel is extracted from our own source and is the 17th source of mineral water in the city. The spring began to be exploited in 2018, following an investment of over 200,000 euros for its extraction, to ensure the best supply of mineral water for our guests.
The source is a spring with mesothermal water, the water having a temperature of 36.7 degrees Celsius, thermosaline water, with a mineralization of 7.9 grams/ litre. Our water is intended for external cures, being beneficial in the treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynaecological conditions.