Sybaritic Spy tries… Natura Bissé’s Diamond Facial
Take me with you…
Passports at the ready for the ultimate secret spa at Hotel Arts, a luxury property in Barcelona. You’ll find Spa 43 on the 43rd floor accessible via three (yes, three) lifts: ground to reception, reception to thirty-something and from there to 43. The final ride will have you exit the lift and walk around the corner - past huge vases of white hydrangeas and yellow roses - to the spa's own lift.
From here, look left for a view of the city sparkling in the sunshine, or down for the beach and water, where sail boats look like children’s toys.
Shall we spa?
We shall… Spa 43 has been designed for private use. There are four wonderfully warm spa areas, each with its own hydro pool, steam room, sauna and shower. Sit in the hydro pool or lie on the padded bed and drink in those dizzying views. The delightfully hot sauna has two large windows for more gazing: watch the sun sparkle on the sea or dance across the city's many church domes. By contrast, the steam room is dark and cosy - and smells divine.
Each mini spa has its own spacious changing room with good-sized mirror and hairdryer allowing you to head straight out to a beach party or fancy restaurant, should you wish (we recommend you do).
We tried the Natura Bissé Diamond Facial (90 min, £180).
Katrina, my therapist, took a good look at my skin and explained the steps of the treatment before beginning with a holding massage, moving down my arms and legs to help me relax.
She then set to work on my face and decolletage using the Diamond Luminous Cleansing Ritual, traditionally used in Asia for facial cleansing (I have never seen an Asian woman with poor skin so they must know the secret of cleansing and detoxing).
Katrina made sure I was comfortable throughout the treatment - at one point, she placed a warmed pad across my stomach which felt very relaxing.
Next up: a series of facial massages in preparation for a rejuvenating mask. Katrina worked on lifting and massaging my face using a variety of techniques, focussing on pressure points. My skin drank in the wonderfully rich products. Katrina then showed me the gold magnetic rod she was using to ‘push’ said products deep into the skin.
Towards the end, Katrina placed an LED light therapy mask over my face which changed colour from red (believed to increase collagen and diminish fine lines) to green (to calm inflammation) and, finally, to blue (to prevent blemishes). While this worked its magic, Katrina treated my feet to a massage.
This is very much a results-driven treatment - as the most senior of the Spy Spies (in age at least) I was interested to see the results on my mature skin. The younger Spy Spies always look great of course but, as we age, it becomes harder to keep our skin in good condition. My skin appeared rehydrated, glowing and plumped up; my fine lines much softer.
After the treatment I was taken to my very own relaxation area with outside terrace and offered tea or a glass of Champagne. I sat on a soft padded seat and sipped bubbles in the sunshine.
My spa partner was pretty spaced out after his hot stone massage, and somewhat distracted by the wonderful setting, but able to compare treatments.
As a Natura Bissé fan, I swear by their Diamond White Brilliant Sun Protectionwhich has light reflecting pigments to give a glow so healthy I can ditch the foundation. As a medical journalist, I also value the science behind these products, and how the brand embraces technology.
Spot of lunch?
Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a pre-spa lunch at the Marina restaurant at the Hotel Arts. The shaded outdoor terrace overlooks the pool and seafront - and specialises in seafood. Our Turbot with grilled vegetables, served with a glass of cool Spanish wine, was the perfect start to our spa day.
The views: Spa 43 is a spa in the sky.
The privacy: we felt like VIP's
Our treatment: our skin still looked wonderful a week later.
We didn’t love
The idea of only having 45 minutes to enjoy the heat and water experiences prior to our treatment – but having them to ourselves meant it was just right.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: honeymoon anyone?
Besties: get the latest gossip without being overheard.