Sybartic Spy tries an Oskia Luxury Body & Face Ritual

May 15 2024

Sybaritic Spy

4 min read

Take me with you…

Built as a summerhouse in 1868, Rowhill Grange is a 38-room red-brick, white-timbered English country manor house. It sits in 17 acres of pristine gardens just minutes from the M25 and the Dartford tunnel. The hotel's Utopia Spa spans two floors and offers treatments from Temple Spa, Oskia and Jennifer Young.

Shall we spa?

The spa reception is light and bright, with a retail area selling Temple Spa, Oskia and Jennifer Young products. Staff greeted us and invited us to take a seat while we selected our lunch and read through our itinerary. We were then shown down the (somewhat steep) stairs to the limestone-tiled changing rooms.

The changing rooms are well lit with banks of large lockers, each containing a white waffle robe and towel; change beside one of two padded benches. There’s a separate room next door for showering with four showers stylishly tiled in natural stone, and equipped with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel.

Vanity bars contain everything you could wish for including hairdryers, straighteners, and Temple Spa cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser. Both male and female changing rooms benefit from their own sauna.

Swing doors lead from here to the Roman-themed thermal area and pool, with its frescoes and columns. Enjoy a steam, a bubble in the Jacuzzi or a wallow in the round hydro-pool fed by a waterfall. Upstairs, the 11-metre pool is just long enough to swim a few lengths; relax on wicker-style loungers or chairs afterwards. Don’t forget to bring your own flip flops - this area was rather wet underfoot on our visit and little slippery.

The Relaxation Lounge is inviting, with mood lighting and twelve contoured beds; grab a soft, woollen blanket from the basket and snuggle down. Or take a seat into one of four large wicker swivel egg chairs and twist away whist reading a magazine.

Fitness lovers can make good use of Utopia Spa's well-appointed gym and exercise studio. In need of more indulgence? Head to the Nail Bar for a manicure or pedicure (or both).

Treatment talk

We tried the Oskia Luxury Body and Face Ritual (85 minutes £155).

Emily, my therapist, began the treatment with a scent test, inviting me to inhale two Oskia oils to select a preference. Despite liking the refreshing lemon and mint fragrance (and being certain my spa partner next door would opt for this one), I was drawn to the more grounding rose notes.

After drizzling some of the oil on my back, Emily used long strokes to relax my muscles and work out the knots in my lower back and shoulders. My calf muscles – tight after a weekend of gardening – were then firmly massaged until they loosened up nicely.

Emily then moved onto my feet, massaging the soles before focussing on reflexology points – this made me feel so relaxed she had to gently wake me so that she could ask me to turn over and work on my neck and shoulders using hot compresses.

Emily then mixed an Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm with water and used it to gently cleanse my face in preparation for a Renaissance Mask which felt silky. While this sunk in, Emily lifted and tightened the skin around my jawline using tailored massage techniques.

How did it measure up?

Oskia treatments combine the use of bio-actives like plant cells, enzymes and prebiotics with traditional therapies such as acupressure, lymph drainage and reflexology. This massage, with the rich, rose-scented oil and Emily’s long, sweeping strokes, was excellent; I felt relaxed and well looked after.

The facial element of the treatment left my skin glowing with my usually saggy jawline appearing much firmer. The exfoliating balm worked wonders on my spa partner’s dry, flaky skin, too.

In the warm, dimly-lit relaxation room afterwards – and lying on a comfy recliner - I fell into a deep sleep. Bingo.

Spot of lunch?

If you visit for a spa day, you can choose between a two-course lunch and afternoon tea served in Elements Bar and Lounge. If the weather is kind, you can sit on the outside terrace with its permanent canopy-style cover, and grey chairs and tables. The rain kept us inside, so we sat in the conservatory and looked out.

The lunch menu changes with the seasons and offers a choice of four starters and four mains. We opted for crispy mushrooms with a lemon and herb mayonnaise followed by Soy and Miso Sashimi Salad with thin slices of raw salmon, sushi rice, cucumber salad, Soy and Miso sauce. Our spa partner’s Cornish fish pie – with salmon, muscles and samphire tossed in a creamy sauce – had a crunchy pastry top.

Evening meals can be enjoyed in the Rowhill Grange's 2 AA Rosette restaurant RG's or, if you prefer something lighter, the bar snacks are good. A plate of Tempura seafood and a glass of white wine hit the spot for us.

Got all day?

Spend a good amount of time on the underground level, where the changing rooms and three subterranean pools are located, before heading back up for a swim. Book in a treatment or two, enjoy a snooze in the relaxation room and then head for a late lunch in the lounge or out on the terrace.

Short on time?

The Oskia Face, Head and Shoulders treatment will hit all the right spots in just 55 minutes; combine this with a pretty afternoon tea.


Sybaritic Spy

15th May 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!

Behind the scenes

What We've been up to

See all Blogs