Getting ready for your holiday? Don't forget a pre-holiday spa treatment, too. If you get our monthly newsletter -- and if not, why not? -- you'll know that there are some fabulous pre-holiday pamper deals around at the moment. Here's our guide to the top five all-essential pre-holiday treatments.
1 - Salt scrub
An exfoliating salt scrub removes dead skin, leaving your body feeling silky-smooth and looking brighter. A salt scrub is an ideal treatment to prepare your skin for a holiday, as it helps fight cellulite by improving your circulation (important mental boost!). A scrub will also prepare your skin for an even tan, and it's a great "immediate results" treatment, leaving you looking and feeling good.
2 - Manicure/pedicure
There are few treatments which give such lasting and instant results as a mani/pedi. A good pedicure should last a week, if not longer, just the thing to keep you looking good by the pool, in the sea, or in flip-flops and sandals. Admittedly, it's easier to chip fingernail polish, but that's just the way that the Spa Powers-That-Be make you buy nail colour at the end of a manicure. The essential rule to remember is: do not match. Bags and shoes, yes; fingers and toes, no. The best colour to accentuate a tan is pink. Hot, pale or even glittery. This season's on-trend colours of baby-blue and mint-green are good for most skin tones, too.
3 - Fake tan
Staying out in the sun too long is so bad for us; if we stay out too long, we burn, getting painful, lobster-red skin. The sun ages skin prematurely as well, and too much sun could even lead to getting skin cancer. So why do we risk it? Well, we love to have a tan. If you've been put off by self-application disasters in the past, treat yourself and get a tan at a spa. We promise, nowadays, that tell-tale, orange-y, unpleasant-smelling fake tan is a thing of the past. Popular spa brands such as St Tropez and Fake Bake are even paraben-free! So do your skin -- and yourself -- a favour, and fake it!
4 - Inch-Loss wrap
There's something awfully temping about the idea of going into a spa and leaving inches thinner just an hour or so later. But, truthfully, most wraps don't last much longer than the time it takes you to have a drink of water afterwards, as they usually rely on dehydration to create that temporary inch-loss. However, your skin will feel smoother and there's no denying the psychological boost an all-too-temporary inch-loss can have.
Which is why an algae, seaweed or frigi-thalgo wrap is on this list!
5 - Waxing
For many, losing that hair is a holiday inevitability, along with buying too many clothes before you go, and taking ages to find your passport. If you're pondering a trip to get those, ahem, essential areas waxed before setting off on holiday, three key rules apply:
* Go to an expert. Nothing hurts worse than a botched home-wax job. Trust us.
* Go just after your period; your hormone levels are more stable and so waxing hurts less.
* Only do it if you really want to. If being hairy and keeping things natural is good enough for Julia Roberts and Germaine Greer, then they're good enough for anyone!
14th March 2014
Instant results; jasmine and frangipani scents; hot steam rooms; a good selection of magazines; modernist decor.
Whale noises (on CD, not in the pool hopefully); hard massage beds; tiny toilet cubicles; being spoken to like a child; lukewarm pools.
Behind the scenes