Photographed by Simon de Pury @simondepury

Multihyphenate Simon de Pury — equal parts art dealer, auctioneer, curator, artist and DJ, and the co-founder of de Pury de Pury — reports back from a recent trip to the largest thermal wellness center in Europe…

“While recently conducting an auction at the National Gallery in Warsaw I met Mikolaj Sekutowicz, the brilliant director of development of Therme. He spoke with eloquence and passion about his company, which has become the fastest growing firm specializing in large thermal baths and wellness centers. They started in Germany and are now expanding around the world. He suggested I should go to Bucharest, the capital of Romania where Therme had recently completed one of their largest projects. Less than two weeks later my wife Michaela and our seven-year-old daughter Diane Delphine showed up. Nothing had prepared us for the experience. First of all, the ginormous size of the complex — 14,000 people come to the center every single day and spend an average of eight hours in it. With these numbers you would expect it to be a mass tourism experience. Quite the opposite is the case as the whole place is subdivided into multiple areas for adults, children, thermal baths with different types of water, several saunas, Turkish baths, gymnastics, pool DJs, massages, recreation, silent areas, cinema, games etc., etc.! Eight hours later we left: Michaela rested as if she had just returned from a vacation in the Caribbean, Diane Delphine thrilled for having spent hours on the endless water slides and me having enjoyed drinks in one of the pool bars and feeling like a newborn baby after the best massage I ever had.

We had just experienced, in Romania, the future of our leisure-dominated society. Our sole regret was having to leave Bucharest early the next morning to get back to the daily grind of our (not unexciting) lives!” —Simon de Pury

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