It was a while ago now i was fortunate enough to indulge in a complimentary spa day by Spa Experience UK by Better, and i’ve been meaning to share it for ages, but it’s been a turbulent few months where the blog has taken a step back, see my last post A Mother’s Confession for a more detailed explanation.
What can i say, the whole experience was truly dreamy and i’d do it all again in a heartbeat, next time with a friend! The Taunton branch which is the nearest to me from Bournemouth, is located in the Blackbrook Leisure Centre, i wish i’d realised this before as it would’ve been great to make the whole day of it by going for a swim beforehand with Corben followed by a relaxing afternoon, something to keep in mind if you’re planning a trip there. The drive their is quite picturesque as you go through the countryside. Their are signs by the reception for the spa but there are plenty of helpful staff to hand if you do lose your way (like i did).
I made my way through the canteen, passed the family pool and up these stairs to the tranquil reception of the spa.
I was greeted by a very friendly and professional therapist, filled out a quick treatment form where i expressed any areas of worry i had and any skincare complaints (if any) there were so they could work on these during the treatment. I was then handed a bag with a robe, towel and slippers to use during my stay and was chaperoned into the changing area, which had shower facilities so you could rinse off before entering the Thermal Spa as well as lockers and hairdryers.
A cheeky bikini and no makeup selfie in the changing room. I was already impressed at this point at how clean everything was and how tranquil, there’s very subtle calming music played which sets your mind to relax mode before you even step foot into the Thermal Spa.
I had a few hours to use the facilities before my treatment, and in anticipation of the day had read their blog and scoured their website beforehand all about the benefits of sauna’s; how it improves your immune system, your cardiovascular health, releases toxins from the body, improves skin and of course makes you feel great. There’s a really interesting post about using Sauna’s to beat the Winter Blues which is more suited with the arrival of Autumn.
Alongside the standard Sauna room, this branch also features the Hydrotherapy Pool: ‘Multiple jets working on different muscle groups to pummel away any stress and fatigue from the body.’ When i arrived i pretty much had the spa to myself, but this pool was definitely most popular as the visitors started trickling in. It definitely wasn’t the highlight for me as i was more interested in the steam room, sauna and monsoon shower. Speaking of which…
A Monsoon Shower: ‘Several jets release scented water, creating contrasting shower experiences. These jets range from a warm tropical downpour to cool water, releasing a fine Scotch mist.’ Now this was absolute heaven! I took full advantage of the different settings and was straight in there after a 15 minute session in the sauna. What i loved most is the subtle essential oil aroma that cascaded around you with the water, if you closed your eyes you could really pretend you were somewhere tropical.
You’ll have to excuse the blurry pictures, but as you’re not really allowed to bring phones into the spa i was trying to be subtle and you can imagine the Sauna and Steam Room are quite, well, steamy! So couldn’t quite capture the best photos. But you can get a pretty good idea, the sauna is a lot dimmer than it looks and is described on the website as: ‘A ‘dry’ heat treatment in a wood-lined room with a temperature reaching 90 C, designed to induce perspiration in order to cleanse the body of impurities.’ If i’m honest, this was the highlight for me, it takes a minute to adjust to the dry heat as it does take your breathe away, but i just love how being in there for a prolonged period of time felt on the body. Of course it’s uncomfortable but i enjoyed the challenge and persisted as i knew of the benefits it would have on my body. So i sat and stared at the Ice Fountain (see below) until the 15 minute timer was up. Overall i spent a good 45 minutes in there, staggered over the few hours i had in there. If i wasn’t in here, you could most definitely find me in the Steam Room:
Which i luckily had to myself as the pool was the most popular feature receiving the most attention from visitors. Now that i think about it, i think this was actually my favourite of all the Thermal Spa, because of the beautiful aroma that was dispersed along with the steam, it was so therapeutic!
After a good while in the Steam room or Sauna i’d practically skip over to the Ice Fountain: ‘The Ice Fountain produces ice flakes to be rubbed on the body which stimulates circulation and facilitates the cooling of the body.’ Which was the perfect way to cool down. As a beauty blogger too i revelled in the fact that this would also close all the pores after having all the toxins drawn out, so i made sure to do this before my massage treatment.
As part of the Thermal Spa, you also have access to the ‘Relaxation Room’ which can be dimmed or lit, with fruit infused water, fruit and magazines available to help you unwind even further. For the benefits and whole experience of the facilities, £15 for 120 minutes is an absolutely bargain! If only there was a branch in Bournemouth, i’d go every month!
By now, as if i wasn’t relaxed enough, my therapist came to shimmy me along into the next part of the experience. This is one of many treatment rooms here, where the therapist and i had a quick consultation before the beginning of my massage. I chose the signature treatment of ‘Total Spa Experience’: ‘Relax and unwind with this complete treatment allowing you to receive a multitude of experiences in one. Begin with a full body exfoliation, followed by a warm cocoon envelopment and soothing face and scalp massage. Then, enjoy the comforting touch of hot stones which will leave you feeling relaxed and at peace.’ It was nothing less than delightful (although i must add if you have a problem with getting your baps out then perhaps go for a different treatment!), this one does involve showering the salt scrub off mid way through but i was made to feel completely relaxed and comfortable throughout, my skin was beautifully soft after but i guess the treatment you chose is down to what you feel your mind and body needs most when you go to book, there’s such a variety of treatments and massages to cater for any aches, pains or woes.
After my massage i was left to enjoy the Relaxation Room with a glass of pink prosecco, i honestly could’ve stayed there all day, completely switched off and in a state of bliss, since becoming a mum i’ve found it really hard to ever completely switch off even during a Lush Spa Treatment or even at home when try to re-create the essence of a spa. But the combination of the thermal facilities and 60 minute long massage my mind was completely at ease. It’s really affordable and i felt so looked after from start to finish. I would recommend to anyone and everyone within travelling distance to a Spa Experience to try it out.
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