The launch was perfect timing as there's been lots of talk in the spa world of wellness days, lifestyle assessments and behavioural change. We wanted to see if a spa support system really can help you manage your busy lifestyle.
The treatment used Sodashi products. Sodashi is a sanskrit word for "wholeness, purity and radiance" and the products are made without chemicals and are not tested on animals. I also had Kombucha tea, which is thought to help detox your system and stimulate energy. Mine was delicious and I felt very virtuous post-treatment!
The spa and hotel is in the Hampshire countryside, near Fleet. It's under an hour from London by train, so is an easy journey from the capital.
The spa is set in what was originally a stable block, with the large and light pool area in the central courtyard. All exposed beams and simple white interiors; the whole of the spa feels very calm and quietly indulgent. There's nothing flashy or over the top here, but if I had to design my perfect UK retreat it would be very like this.
I was given a spa tour, and then had lunch in Café Santé. The glasshouse style cafe serves healthy, Thai inspired dishes. I had a warm prawn and sweet potato salad; it was very filling and delicious.
I went back through to the well-stocked changing rooms (serious good spa points for having a better dressing table than I have at home) and through to the woman's relaxation area. Downstairs there's a relaxation area stocked with fruits and infused waters, and thermal facilities including steam room, sauna and experience shower. Upstairs there's a darkened post-treatment relax area with comfy lounger beds.
The Energy Treatment includes a foot cleanse, exfoliation and massage.
My therapist, Verity, met me in the relaxation area and took me through to the treatment room. She explained the treatment and asked me to change into paper underwear and make myself comfortable on the wide and warm treatment bed. She also rotated the room lighting through three different settings to see which most suited my mood. I'm a calming blue person!
The treatment started with Verity guiding me through three deep breaths and then a foot cleansing ritual, where she wrapped my feet in hot compresses, cleaning and relaxing my feet. These initial treats really allowed my mind to relax into the treatment that followed.
Verity used a light base oil to keep my skin hydrated during the exfoliation. She gently smoothed the oil into my back and backs of my arms before sprinkling Himalayan salts onto my skin and rubbing the abrasive salts. I turned over and she repeated the process on my front, carefully covering and uncovering my torso, arms and legs so I stayed warm.
Once I was scrubbed to perfection Verity turned on the shower, helped me up from the treatment bed and showed me how the shower worked. She suggested that I rinse off the salt, but try to keep some of the oil on my skin for extra moisturisation.
I resettled on the treatment bed and Verity started the massage part of the treatment. The Sodashi Energy Amplifier Massage uses crystals with different properties during the massage. They are slightly warmed (but not to the extent of hot stone or lava shells) and the silky texture is a beautiful feeling on oiled skin. Verity used tiger's eye crystals during my treatment which are said to be both grounding and uplifting.
Verity started the massage on my back and neck, it was a relatively light massage that is designed to energise rather than make the client fall into a very deep state of relaxation. The massage was very flowing, using lympathic drainage techniques (long continuous strokes) to help aid the process of detoxification. After massaging my back, she placed the crystals on the five chakra points on the back of my neck and spine and continued the massage on the backs of my arms and legs.
Verity removed the crystals before she asked me to turn over and massaged my décolletage and abdomen. The flowing stomach massage really relaxed my abdomen and aided my digestion. She placed the crystals on the chakra points on my front, covered me up and massaged the front of my arms and legs. She once again refreshed my feet with a warm compress and then told me the treatment had finished and asked me to take a few minutes before getting up from the treatment bed.
Verity offered me a cup of Kombucha tea and took me back to the relaxation area.
The treatment is designed to be light, flowing and energising and I certainly felt awake and bubbling with energy. We have some super secret Spa Spy projects happening at the moment, so the treatment was a great counter balance to my busy work schedule. Now I just have to find a way of making the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire a lot closer to Good Spa Guide HQ!
Those who are lucky enough to live near the Four Seasons. Become a spa member and you have the perfect place to swim some lengths and enjoy the relaxation areas.
Those who want to get away from London, but don't want a long schlep. The quickest train to Fleet is 38 minutes from Waterloo, and the hotel and spa is only 10 minutes from the station.
£190 for 90 minutes.
The treatment is exclusively available at the spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire.
12th November 2014
Warmth and sunshine; spas which take me away to another country; fruit infused waters; beach-worth pedicures; deep tissue massages.
High footfalls; treatments that over promise and under deliver; heavy lunches; loungers drapped in used towels.
Behind the scenes