Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Pamper and Save

My daughter recently treated me to a pamper session at a hotel spa, something which I’d never actually experienced before, but which turned out to be very relaxing.

Unfortunately, I didn't leave with a
figure like this!
This pamper treat took the form of a five-hour session at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Kent, part of the Q Hotel chain. The spa area itself, though not large, houses a pool, sauna, steam room, relaxation beds and treatment rooms. If you’re not feeling as lazy as we were, (we went for the relaxation and pampering not a workout) then there’s a gym, and there’s also a lounge area to slump with a coffee. Sadly, what was missing in my view was a Jacuzzi/hot tub, which I would have loved!

On arrival, we had to fill out a health questionnaire, on which I was impressed to actually see ‘hypermobility’ as a category. I suffer from hypermobility* syndrome, but a lot of people and places still fail to acknowledge this condition, so it was refreshing to see it taken into account on this occasion.

Still, on with the spa. We were shown the facilities by a member of staff, then left to wallow at our leisure until the time of our pre-booked facials. We promptly changed into our swimwear (changing rooms were adequate, lockers nice and large for belongings) then took to the pool. This was quite modest in size, but reasonably warm, and not overcrowded as there weren’t too many people there.

My daughter ventured into the sauna, but found it much hotter than others she had tried, but I bowed out of that one. However, we did both enjoy a couple of sessions in the steam room, which was small, accommodating about four people. Unfortunately, we never did manage to spend any time on the heated relaxation beds, as these were always in use when we were free to go on them, but did relax on the poolside loungers.

We were both booked in for express facials, which involved 25 minutes reclining on a warm bed in a dimly lit room, listening to relaxation music, whilst a therapist massaged our faces with a selection of oils and treatments (having first assessed skin type and any problems). I can be a bit of a sceptic when it comes to beauty treatments, and was doubtful as to whether there would be any lasting effects, but have to report that my skin did feel softer for several days after – and it may have been my imagination but looked a bit more glowing too!

Following our facials, we enjoyed a little more relaxation time before adjourning to the lounge for coffee and pastries.

“And what did all this cost”, I hear you ask? Well, not as much as you may think. Although this was a gift from one of my daughters, she operates on a budget, so had made use of a deal from Groupon, a company that I’d heard about but never used. Our five-hour session, including towel hire and the coffee and pastries (actually choice of tea, filter coffee or hot chocolate and two mini Danish pastries each), but not the facials, cost £11.50. For a further £7 each we could have hired robes and slippers, but found that we didn’t really need these. As part of the Groupon deal, we could choose up to two beauty treatments apiece for a 20% discount, meaning that the mini facials came to £24 each as opposed to the normal £30.

My overall verdict of the day? I did feel quite relaxed and enjoyed my time at the Bridgewood Manor Spa, and may repeat the experience once in a while, when offers are available. And I’ll certainly be looking out for other great deals via Groupon.

* You can read more about hypermobility syndrome here  

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