In our ‘always on’ world, peace and quiet has become something of a luxury. I was captivated by this advertisement from the Tourist Board for Finland which simply says...
Then I realised that is exactly what I am looking for when I go to a spa; silence. Or maybe silence for the soul. In my perfect spa I have handed over my car keys, turned off my phone, shut down my computer and left the outside world behind.
The challenge for the spa is to make sure everything runs smoothly while their guests are tuned out. Some spas do this by having quite rigid rules; all treatments start at a set time, you have to wait in one place for your therapist, or you can only have preset packages of treatments, or you have to choose your treatments days ahead when you are not sure how you will be feeling when you get there. So I was delighted to visit Bedford Lodge Spa in Newmarket and find they take peace, relaxation and quietness very seriously.
The spa is in a separate building to the Bedford Lodge Hotel, which means they can create an atmosphere of calmness away from the buzz of people arriving or rushing through to the gym or pool. So the spa looks like, and feels like, a rather elegant house set in its own gardens. Spa guests are greeted and taken to the comfortable lounge to unwind with a drink before being shown around, and your therapist comes to find you when its time for your treatment. Best of all you can simply book treatment time and then decide on the day what you need. I was booked for two hours of Espa treatment time ... and still could not make up my mind. I really wanted to try the new Espa Ultimate Lifestyle facial designed for over 45s. Oh how kind they are to set the bar at mid forties! But I was also feeling pretty tense and needed a massage.
Zoie my therapist was not fazed by my indecision and simply said’ well you can have both!’ She was empowered to adjust the treatment times to suit my needs and fit the slot allocated. She even came up with a solution to the problem of my lavender allergy and my dry skin by mixing a body lotion with a nourishing oil and then adding in some hot stones. A perfect relaxing and unwinding massage followed. The facial was very effective at brightening my skin and firming up my sadly saggy jawline.
There was then time to relax, wander through to the hydrotherapy pool, the steam and sauna and try out the roof top hot tub. Everywhere was still and quiet. In this luxurious spa people drift from place to place, and speak quietly in small voices. Which is how good spas should be .Maybe the Good Spa Guide should start giving a ‘quietness rating’ when we review spas! I am sure Bedford Lodge Spa is busy on race days, as is Newmarket itself. But on an ordinary weekday afternoon the spa is haven of peace and quiet. And as it is only an hour from the Good Spa Guide office I will be back!