Sybaritic Spy tries a Caudalie Vinosource Facial

Jun 21 2024

Sybaritic Spy

4 min read

Take me with you…

Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa is an easy find just minutes from the M1 and Leeds city centre. Despite the buzzy location, the modern hotel is tucked away making it a peaceful place to visit.

If you are coming by car, grab a parking ticket at the barrier and hang onto it - if you are using the spa, you can get it authorised at reception to avoid paying the parking charge. The four-star hotel occupies a low modern building with slate Japanese style roofs. Head in via the main entrance to be square on with the reception for checking in if staying overnight.

The spa area is straight along the corridor from here - or follow the spa signs in the car park around to the back of the building where you can enter via a door leading straight to the gym’s own reception area.

Shall we spa?

This is a popular health club with many members; its well-equipped and spacious as a result. Collect your robe and flip flops from spa reception on the upper floor and head downstairs to the changing rooms.

These are designed for multi-use with five large, padded seats by which to change and several private changing areas to nip into. Two separate areas for post-spa preening each contain large mirrors and two hairdryers. Six showers reduce wait times during busy periods; there’s also two loos. Purple lockers for clothes and valuables – of which there are plenty - open and close using a wrist band.

Downstairs there is a 13-metre swimming pool, a whirlpool bath, a colour therapy sauna, a steam room with lights in the ceiling and a Monsoon shower. The whirlpool bath has room for up to eight people with a large window allowing light to flood in while you gaze at the spa terrace. The sauna is quite dark but gloriously hot and very popular; half a dozen people were chatting happily in there on our visit. The steam room was a little cooler and quieter, making it a nice spot to relax.

At the end of the pool is a large seating area with recliners, chairs and doors out to a small terrace area – perfect for sunny days.

The spa’s relaxation room is very restful with two soft grey sofas, four squishy recliners, three high-backed padded chairs and two recliners in the corner. Pull the curtain across to create some privacy should you wish to have a post-treatment nap. Help yourself to the range of teas, chilled water and smoothies from the fridge.

Treatment talk

We tried the Caudalie Vinosource Facial (50 minutes, £84).

We were shown into the relaxation room to fill complete spa forms and wait for our therapists.

After discussing my skin, Hannah, my therapist, decided to adapt the facial to accommodate my lavender allergy and rather dry, sensitive skin (personalised treatments are always the best so top marks to Hannah).

The treatment began with a cleanse using Cleansing Almond milk which felt both gentle and effective. Hannah removed this with warm cloths and moved onto a facial massage focussing on those so called ‘matriarch lines’ that grow more obvious with each passing year. Hannah massaged and gently pinched them - by the end of the treatment they looked much softer. The Hydra Moisturising mask would - Hannah promised - make my dull skin glow; while it worked its magic, Hannah performed a relaxing neck and shoulder massage.

Mask removed, Hannah used a Caudalie Lift Firming Cashmere Cream to massage my skin upwards. The facial ended with a fine spritz of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir.

How did it measure up?

On inspection, I was glad to see that my skin looked much brighter; the dry areas were much less noticeable, and the deep lines a little bit less intense.

Our spa partner – who has even dryer skin (persuading him to use moisturiser took years) – looked similarly improved. Laura, his therapist, reinforced my suggestion and even tried persuading him to go one step further by writing ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ on his post-treatment recommendation card (are you listening, Brian?).

Spot of lunch?

The spa’s own café is located on the ground floor and has a window overlooking the pool. On a spa day guest can choose two courses from a three-course menu.

We went for hearty vegetable and lentil soup served with sough dough bread; our spa partner indulged in Eggs Royal: two poached eggs on strips of smoked salmon with a drizzle of rich hollandaise sauce. We both choose fruit salad and raspberry sorbet for dessert, resisting the temptation of cake (for a change).

Got all day?

Settle down in the main pool area and do a couple of circuits of the steam room, sauna, whirlpool and the main swimming pool. This being Yorkshire, many of the members are chatty and welcoming, so you can settle in for a while. Follow this with a treatment, a spell in the relaxation room and lunch in the spa café. Still got time to play with? Head to the gym for a workout.

Short on time?

Start with a treatment and then have a short disco nap in the relaxation area. Head to the pool for a swim - if the sun shines step out onto the terrace – and finish up with lunch or afternoon tea.


Sybaritic Spy

21st June 2024

Spy Likes:

Warm treatment beds; fragrant steam rooms; therapists who listen to what you say; unexpected treats such as back massages that start with hot towels on your feet.

Spy Dislikes:

Small towels; crowded changing rooms; black mould in the showers; therapists who sniff; anyone who doesn't take my lavender allergy seriously - until I'm actually sick on them!

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