Turkish Baths 1877: New manager of historic Sheffield baths issues voucher update ahead of opening
The former Spa 1877 is reopening soon under new ownership
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The woman reopening Sheffield city centre's historic Turkish baths has issued an update about unclaimed vouchers.
The old Spa 1877 site on Victoria Street, at what was Glossop Road Baths, is due to open soon as a new business called Turkish Baths 1877, run by Hazel Wheatley, who has taken over the premises leasehold.
When Spa 1877 was closed suddenly in September 2019 by its then owner Steven Wilkinson many people were left with unused vouchers, some of whom say they have yet to receive a refund more than four years later.
Hazel Wheatley has now addressed the issue in a video posted on the Turkish Baths 1877 Facebook page.
New baths operator explains why old Spa 1877 vouchers will not be honoured
In it she said: "I need to address the question about any vouchers that were previously purchased through Spa 1877. The vouchers we're aware of were purchased in 2019, so quite a few years ago and under a different business name.
"We hope that you can appreciate that I haven't bought the business, I'm taking this on as a new lease, as a new tenant, and opening this under completely new management as Turkish Baths 1877.
"So unfortunately we won't be able to honour any of the vouchers that were purchased. We were under the understanding that people had been reimbursed....
"If we were to honour those vouchers now then within a month we would probably be closed by just doing free treatments.
"So please understand, please come and support us. Our pricing structure's going to be really affordable."
Opening hours revealed, with details of mixed sessions and treatments available
Ms Wheatley added that the website would be live shortly and people would be able to book sessions ahead of the baths reopening.
She explained how the baths would be open initially only on Thursdays and Fridays, from 10am-8.30pm each day, and Saturdays and Sundays, from 9am-6.30pm, with mixed sessions on Thursday evenings and Sundays.
No reopening date has yet been announced but the baths are expected to welcome back customers well before Christmas.
The plan is to reopen the downstairs area, which previously housed a hair salon, nail bar and pedicure station, early in 2024 as a Baths Saloon, serving tea, coffee, homemade cakes and bakes, and salads and meats.
Ms Wheatley said it was not a spa, as there would be 'nothing bubbly', with no Jaccuzzi and no swimming pool. But there will be a 'lovely' plunge pool, a sauna, ice chamber, aroma steam room and a relaxation area where visitors can sup herbal teas and flavoured water.
"We want to make sure that when you leave here you've had a very relaxing experience," she said. "You walk through these doors and you leave the world behind."
The baths will offer salt and foam hammam scrub treatments, along with massages, including hot stone and hot towel experiences, and a small range of facials.
New team includes therapists who worked at baths before
Ms Wheatley said the new team included some therapists that had worked there previously.
The baths had been due to reopen in spring 2022 under a different operator, Town and Country Holistic Spas and Hotels Ltd, but those plans fell through after a dispute between Town and Country and Mr Wilkinson, the building's long-term leaseholder.
Town and Country had said it would offer a Turkish bath experience to anyone with a proof of purchase made through the previous operator as a ‘goodwill gesture’.
The premises, said to boast the world's oldest Victorian Turkish baths, were initially reopened in 2004 following a £2 million renovation.
After Spa 1877 closed in 2019, the premises went on the market with an asking price of £695,000, which was slashed last year to £595,000.
Responding to news of the baths finally reopening, one person wrote: " So pleased to hear it’s reopening again. One of Sheffield’s gems."
Another person commented: "Fantastic. It was a sad day when we heard it had closed down but now me and my daughters can look forward to treating ourselves again."