Destination relaxation: spa breaks 2 hours from London
Whether you need a spa day, or prefer an overnight stay, these are some of Balance’s favourite treatments within two hours of the big smoke.
Detox Spirulina Wrap (£100, 80 minutes) Coworth Park, Ascot
After a gentle salt-scrub exfoliation, the ritual begins with the application of a warm, green spirulina algae. The smell isn’t pleasant per se but the sensation of being coddled in a heap of towels while the seaweed imparts essential vitamins, minerals and protein to nourish and revitalise your body is surprisingly delightful.
During the wrap, a heavenly scalp massage is provided using essential oils and, after the algae is washed away, a marine firming body cream is applied to the whole body. This is not a treatment to fall asleep in, there are far too many stages for that, but you will leave the eco-luxury spa feeling lighter and calmer. Possibly aided by the dreamy Relaxation Room where you can relax and unwind with views of the meadow, parkland and polo fields of Coworth Park.
Signature Massage (80 minutes, £130), Luton Hoo, Luton
The treatment begins with a few moments of deep breathing, guided by your therapist. This relaxes the mind and releases tension, before you move on to a massage of the metamorphic zones in the feet, using firm pressure along certain points to ground and rebalance the whole body. Lying on a curved, heated bed, the therapist then embarks upon a Haitian technique of massaging, where the left side is treated, then the right, before repeating on your back using soothing, flowing motions. To round things off, rose quartz crystals are placed on your forehead to promote a sense of calm and wellbeing, while you enjoy an energising head massage. Relieving stress in the body and transporting the mind, this is the ideal mental commute for burnt-out urbanites.
Mindful touch oxygen facial by Natura Bissé (70 minutes, £130), Pennyhill Park, Bagshot
Donning a VR headset (with an audio element to guide you through mindful breathing, and projected visuals of space, rainforests and constructed landscapes to help you focus on being in the present), your therapist applies pressure and warm touches to your arms and feet to awaken the senses, and encourage a prolonged sense of mindfulness. When the headset is removed, your face is thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated and, after a tension relieving arm and shoulder massage, it’s time for the oxygen facial. Applying Natura Bissé’s Oxygen Complex, Oxygen Cream and Oxygen Finishing Mask to release molecules into the skin to energise cells and purge it of toxins and congestion, anyone living in the polluted metropolis will depart with balanced, radiant skin.
THALGO Mud Ritual (55 minutes, £105), Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire
After your feet have been cleansed with a warm towel, your ritual begins with the application of a warm salt scrub, which is gently massaged across the body to exfoliate your skin. Once this is rinsed off, your skin is smothered in warm, authentic Dead Sea mud, creating a sensation similar to being submerged and floating in warm water. Your body is then wrapped up and cocooned so the mud can work its magic, while the therapist soothes your head and neck with a light pressure massage. One last cleanse removes the mud, leaving you feeling squeaky clean, before the final stage of your session, as you are treated to a generous application of ultra-nourishing body cream to soothe and replenish. A calming and indulgent ritual, the gentle process leaves you serenely relaxed, allowing you to scrub away the stresses of the city and return feeling revitalised.