We've had to learn to live locally and more sustainably - I know I've looked at the way I make choices; to appreciate the things I love doing rather than waste time on things that don't really matter.
Sustainability has become more important in the spa industry over the last couple of years, too, with product houses moving to fully recyclable packaging and the setting up of organisations such as The Sustainable Spa Association. We added sustainability questions to our Bubble Rating assessment back in 2019.
Spas such as The Four Seasons Ten Trinity have also been choosing products based on their sustainability and corporate social responsibility. In February, they announced a new partnership with VOYA, a product range that uses hand-harvested seaweed – it’s renewable, sustainable, cruelty-free, certified organic - and packaging that’s recycled, recyclable or biodegradable. Not only are their product eco-credentials sky high, but they give back by sponsoring Seal Rescue Ireland. With the Four Seasons just metres away from the maritime history of the River Thames, the partnership feels right.
What’s on offer?
The spa has thalassotherapy at its heart, with flowing gilded mosaic tiles around a marble pool area – seaweed could almost be flowing in from the sea. The pool area is central to the spa with a 14-metre cooler lap pool, and a vast hydrotherapy pool with swan jets and bubbly relaxation beds. At either end of the pool you’ll find a large steam room and sauna – each comfortably seating six to eight people in pre-pandemic days.
The white marble, interspersed with gold accents, feels refined but not bling; beautiful but not ostentatious. Comfortable loungers line one side of the lap pool – with only four people in the spa on our visit, we could all sit in comfortable quiet with no overlap for swimming or bubbling in the hydro pool.
Through glass doors, there's a small lounge area where you can eat lunch away from the wet facilities; each (very well stocked) changing room has a darker relaxation lounge where your therapist will meet you and guide you to the treatment rooms.
Tell us about your treatment
We tried the new VOYA signature treatment, an Organic Seaweed Leaf Wrap (90 minutes, £295).
My therapist, Netra, talked to me about the benefits of seaweed (they are many) and checked my preferences for the treatment before leaving the room so that I could get comfortable on the warm treatment bed.
The first step of the treatment was an exfoliation with salt and mint which was brisk and refreshing; once rinsed off, my skin felt - and smelt - divine. Back on the treatment bed, Netra wrapped my back, arms, legs and chest in long tendrils of the hand-harvested seaweed. Almost as thick as leather, the seaweed laid flat and was cooling against my skin.
While the wrap imbued the precious minerals from the marine plant, Netra massaged my scalp before applying a hair mask to strengthen and protect my heat-fried hair. Netra then unwound the seaweed and massaged a fresh moisturiser into my skin.
While the treatment wasn't a 'so-relaxed-you-could-fall-asleep’ affair, it felt like a long walk on the beach.
Post-treatment, I curled up by the pool and continued my mermaid-inspired escape with some quiet lengths.
If, as a lesson from the pandemic, we are more careful in what we choose to spend our time doing – and, in turn, what we spend our money on - then a VOYA treatment at The Four Season Ten is a blissful example of making more thoughtful, sustainable choices.