Once spending the day being pampered was for those with too much time on their hands. But increasingly its the perfect way for those with too little time to relax and unwind for a while.
Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire made me an offer it was hard to refuse recently with their top to toe spa day.
With a recently acquired overrun garden, manicures have been a thing of the past. And with a daughter about to finish her final English Masters essay it seemed the perfect time for a little mother daughter bonding.
From the moment you enter the day spa, the atmosphere is designed to make you relax. Mood lighting in the foyer helps makes the transition from glaring sun to another world, and after a quick tour of the facilities its time to head off to the heat and ice experiences.
Elegant bathing rooms, based on the ancient Roman bath houses, give you the chance to try a variety of different temperatures and humidities.
The intensive warmth of the caldarium for example, is designed to penetrate the body, stimulating the circulation and releasing the body’s natural energies.
From there you can progress to the steam baths, sauna, and finally taking a chance in the ice cave. It’s not for the faint hearted but rubbing yourself with a handful of rock ice before taking a cold shower certainly makes you feel invigorated!
There’s plenty of places to relax between rooms, or try the large hydrotherapy pool in the centre of the baths, where strong water jets hit the parts a normal massage can’t reach.
After a healthy but filling lunch, it was time to check out a huge pool next to the restaurant.
Designed again with a Roman theme, it puts many sports centre pools to shame and with plenty of space, so no having to swim up and down in rows.
From there it’s on to the massages, first a body massage, and then a relaxing facial, with advice on the best treatments for your skin.
From there it’s a small wait and a chance for a cup of tea and another relax, before the final treats of the day.
First its a manicure, with a wide choice of colours and designs, and then onto the pedicure, again with a variety of treatments before the final polish.
All in all a delightful way to spend some quality time on yourself.
Lynn and her daughter were guests of Whittlebury Hall for their Top-to-Toe spa visit. £99pp including lunch.
For more details go to www.whittleburyhall.co.uk