Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review - Nirvana Spa : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 28 March 2010

The Sunday Review - Nirvana Spa

This week, the very lovely Mr. B. took me to Nirvana Spa to celebrate our wedding anniversary (he also bought me smellies while we were there – how good is he?). After a day at the spa, I was feeling just about as mellow as you can get. Let me tell you about it...

Nirvana Spa is a day spa in Berkshire just outside Reading, a short distance from the M4, Junction 10. For me, it is no more than a 15 minute drive away – temptingly close. This is not the first time I have been (oh, no!) but every time I go, I feel refreshed and relaxed. It's a sure fire way to chill me out.

Nirvana spa's unique selling point is their 'Floatation' experience. Lie back, chill out and float about care-free in a darkened room. The first time I tried it, I remembered all too late that I was allergic to mineral products so the salty, mineral-heavy water irritated my skin. The experience is really not very relaxing when you are trying hard not to scratch and not to bump into other people in the darkness. I am told (by those who are not allergic) that it is normally an incredibly mellow experience. On this visit Mr. B. had a 'Floatation massage' where he received a gentle pressure-point massage as he was floating there in the water. He found it relaxing, but not as invigorating as a traditional massage.

The thing I appreciate most about Nirvana spa is that they have several generously sized pools. I love swimming and I love pootling in water. I can't get enough of it. There is a huge hydrotherapy pool with wonderfully warm water and jets of numerous different types. A fitness pool where you can get your lengths in and a members-only pool. The centre-piece of the whole spa is the fabulous 'Roman Room' with a pool suitable for general-purpose pootling; surrounded by palms and loungers it is a place where you can sit quietly with a cuppa and enjoy the vast selection of magazines and papers.

Most of the day spa experiences on offer include a light lunch in the Garden Room café (which always smells heavenly of aromatherapy oils). The lunch is usually a selection from the salad bar (although you can order off the menu up to the value of the salad); I've never found the food to be as inspiring, or as good quality as at other day spas I have tried but it is fine given that you don't want a bulging belly if you're planning on swimming or having treatments after lunch. Also included in the day spa rate is unlimited hot and cold drinks which I think contributes towards the great value for money to be found at Nirvana spa.

No spa day would be the same without a treatment (or two). Nirvana spa offers a wide range of traditional treatments with their own products although some of their best treatments with the Clarins products are reserved for members. Boo. This week I had a rejuvenating aromatic massage which was totally and utterly perfect.

One of the groovy things about Nirvana spa is that many of the facilities such as the jacuzzi and steam room are mixed so if you are visiting as a couple, you don't spend half your day in totally different places. The aromatherapy steam room is one of the best I've ever been in. Fragrant, comfy, dark and peaceful. There is also a set of monsoon showers where you can drench yourself in hot or cold water. Brrrr.

In the afternoon most guests head for the Nirvana Room for a bit of chill-out time. Rows of ergonomically-shaped heated beds fill the room which is silent but for the gentle trickle of the water feature and the occasional snore from someone who has chilled out a little too much! In the past, I've always wondered why anyone would pay for a day at a spa only to go and fall asleep on a bed... but I must admit that this time I did drift off while reading my book. Oops. On a totally different theme, there is also a small gym that guests can use should they have the energy!

If you live within a sensible driving distance then I would definitely recommend Nirvana spa for a relaxing pampering day with no pressure on you to do 'healthy stuff' or 'active stuff'. It is a great way to stay mellow.

Images courtesy of Nirvana Spa

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