Finding ways to relax before your long-haul flight or unwind after your transatlantic business meeting isn't easy. Travelling can be tough on your body, mind and soul, so we asked the experts at the spa at Sofitel London Heathrow to give us the low-down on pre- and post-flight treatments that will leave you serene -- or calm enough to deal with delays, lost baggage and missed connections!
What spa treatments are good to try pre- and post-flights?
"We would recommend a full-body massage to relieve tension for a more relaxing journey, and to stimulate the circulation and lymphatic system, minimizing any swelling and minimizing the risk of thrombosis.
During the flight you will become dehydrated so a re-hydrator facial which includes deep cleansing, exfoliation, hydrating oils, masks and moisturisers will leave the skin feeling smooth, energized, supple and hydrated; this will help minimise premature ageing.
A back, neck and shoulder massage can ease away any tension from the flight and will uplift, refresh and renew you."
Why is important to relax when travelling?
"Both long and short flights can be extremely stressful. This in turn will have an adverse effect on both the skin, causing dehydration and possible breakouts, and the body, causing tense, aching muscles, fatigue and possible migraines.
A relaxing massage before a flight will soothe already aching muscles and relax the mind and body resulting in a less stressful journey."
Can I visit your spa if I am not a guest?
"Yes, The Spa at Sofitel offers luxury facilities including a hydro pool, steam room, sauna, a relaxation room and gym. There is a charge to use the facilities for the day or alternatively you can indulge in one of our well-known treatment experiences where you will then have access to all the facilities at no extra cost."
If I am coming for a treatment before my flight, how much time should I leave? Will you make sure I don’t miss my flight?
"The Spa at Sofitel is linked to Terminal 5, so a short walk across the link bridge will ensure you are at the check-in desk within 15 minutes.
As long as you have checked out of the hotel and you have your luggage, you can enjoy a relaxing experience within the spa and make use of our luxury changing facilities knowing that you don’t have a stressful journey ahead of you.
Once you have informed reception of your desired check-in time we will make it our priority to ensure you end your journey with us within that time."
What do you offer that airport lounges don't? What makes you different to massage services offered in airport lounges?
"The Spa at Sofitel offers luxury surroundings where you can relax with ambient music and lighting either by the hydro pool, or in the relaxation room where there is a selection of fresh fruits, snacks and various herbal teas and coffee.
All of our therapists are highly trained in all aspects of beauty, and our massage offerings are tailored to suit individual needs and concerns. Our passion and commitment is to making each client feel special, experiencing a unique journey from the moment you walk through the doors, right through to the moment you leave The Spa with our excellent homecare recommendations."
What tips could you give us for continuing that placid feeling when we leave your spa and board our plane?
"We know how important it is to relax during the time it takes you to travel to your destination. Fortunately, there is no stressful journey from the spa to the terminal, but some good tips for the flight are as follows:
Body oil with soothing essential oils, or a product that has been used during your treatment, is fantastic to massage into pressure points to aid relaxation.
Soothing music on your iPod along with with some deep breathing exercises -- such as counting to 10 as you inhale and exhale, while focusing on key parts of the body -- will help you to close your eyes and let your mind travel back to your relaxing experience at The Spa.
Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the flight and use a good hydrating moisturizer to avoid dehydration.
Once you have reached a relaxed state of mind, we will do all we can to help you take that away with you. Before you leave, you will be given recommendations and hints and tips on maximizing the benefits of your journey at The Spa."