The well-being fad is still going great guns. More fashionable than balneology but less medical than thalassotherapy, the spa has been chosen by plebiscite by tourists as their preferred holiday cocoon. Hoteliers have also jumped on the bandwagon, converting one or two of their meeting rooms into massage rooms, whirlpools and relaxation zones. The reality is, however, that the definition of 'spa' can be wildly different from place to place. To avoid disappointment (for example a basement room with neither windows nor decoration), choose a hotel housing a spa branding a well-known name or one that offers both 'dry' and 'wet' treatments. After all, spa is the acronym for 'sanitas per aquam', or 'health through water.' It is all about a return to the sources, to the ancient joys of the thermal baths, to which the contemporary spas are worthy heirs.