Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review – Center Parcs Aqua Sana Day Spa : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 19 December 2010

The Sunday Review – Center Parcs Aqua Sana Day Spa

Tucked deep in the magical wintery forest of Longleat, snuggled alongside the Center Parcs holiday resort is a closely kept secret - a luxurious spa. The Aqua Sana spa is open to residents of the holiday park but you may be surprised to learn that you don't need to be a guest at Center Parcs to book a day spa or spa break at Aqua Sana.

This week Mr. B and I spent a relaxing day recovering from our winter colds at the Aqua Sana spa in Center Parcs, Longleat. Our day started with some treatments. From the very moment we stepped into the spa we felt pampered – waiting for our treatments we snuggled up in our towelling robes on huge comfy chairs in a dimly lit mellow room with complimentary teas and waters available. The staff, from the outset, were polite and attentive.

Mr. B. mellowed out with a men's back, neck and shoulder massage. As someone who spends all day in front of a computer, this really is the best way to rub away the stresses of work. Mr. b. particularly enjoyed the cooling gel rub which was fresh and invigorating.

I treated myself to a Decleor Classic facial which lasted a whole hour. Starting with a fragrant back and shoulder massage I then snuggled under a warm, heavy duvet for the facial. The facial was tailored to the exact needs of my skin with a thorough cleanse, tone, exfoliation and masque using the wonderful plant- and flower-based Decleor products. Then came the application of the trademark element of a Decleor facial – the warm, heavy oaty masque which plunges you into darkness. After application of a gentle moisturiser I adjourned to the relaxation room to drink fresh water and lie in silence watching the rabbits frolic in the gardens and the squirrels jump through the trees! The quality of the facilities such as this relaxation room and the Elemis cosmetics in the changing rooms really do make Aqua Sana stand out from the other UK spas where the pre- and post- treatment areas can sometimes feel crowded and impersonal and 'own-brand' cosmetics are of an inferior standard.

After lunch (which you can enjoy for free in the Zilli cafe as part of your day spa package), we spent the afternoon enjoying the luxurious delights of the spa itself.

The spa is quite honestly, the most impressive I have ever visited in terms of the range and quality of the facilities. With steam rooms and relaxation rooms to suit all tastes, we were spoiled for choice. We started in the Japanese Salt Steam room and then after a refreshing tropical shower, moved onto the Greek Herbal room which smelled nice, but lacked impact. I think we both enjoyed the Balinese multi-steam room best for the instant impact of the hot, aromatic steam but the menthol heat of the Turkish Hammam came close!

In between visits to the other fragrant steam rooms, the sauna and the sanarium we took quick dips in the small outdoor pool which was great fun as the water steamed impressively in the icy winter air. The meditation rooms were quiet and underused so great places to chill out. During the day, complimentary foot, hand or head massages were on offer to people resting on the recliners at the side of the pool and short demonstrations of products took place. I found that there was always at least one member of staff available to answer questions about the facilities or to offer advice on what to visit next!

I really appreciated the fact that all the facilities in the spa were unisex. Generally, when I visit a day spa, I visit with my husband and it often disappoints me to have to spend much of my day apart from him in single-sex saunas, steam rooms or plunge pools.

I felt that the spa could have benefited from a few more pools. Perhaps a small hydrotherapy or thalassotherapy pool, or even just a plain rectangular pool to pootle up and down in (and make yourself feel like you are doing some exercise!). I also felt that the Zilli cafe lacked atmosphere and could have been made more central to the spa itself. If I choose to spend a whole day at a spa, I often like to curl up on a recliner with a cup of tea or a fruit juice and a good magazine but at Aqua Sana, Longleat, I felt the café was a bit too disjointed from the spa to encourage me to get up and buy a cuppa.

After clearing our poorly sinuses in the numerous steam rooms, Mr. B. and I snuggled up under a duvet in a quiet corner of the spa and very nearly fell asleep. It was as relaxing and mellow as you can possibly imagine! I really think that Aqua Sana Longleat is the best quality day spa I have ever visited and the prices for day spas and spa breaks are incredible value for money.

Remember you don't have to be a short-break guest at Center Parcs to enjoy the luxury of Aqua Sana. Spa Days, breaks and treatments can be booked online at .

Images courtesy of Center Parcs
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