Massage to revitalise? Yes please!
Here at healthy, we believe that #JuneIsTheNewJanuary – and reinvigorating yourself doesn’t just mean making the resolutions to make sure you eat your five-a-day or hit the gym that you might have skipped at the start of the year. When we heard that Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa in Newmarket, Suffolk, were offering personalised massages that could help us in our quest to revitalise and detox, Senior Sub-Editor Chantelle (obviously) jumped at the chance to try it out. Here’s what she had to say…
It may be only halfway through the year, but a hectic work schedule, long commutes and not enough sleep had me feeling zapped. I felt sluggish and fatigued and somewhat off my a-game, and despite fitting in regular exercise and eating better, I still needed a bit of a helping hand to get me back to my pepped-up self. When I was told that having a massage treatment could be the final little push that I needed, I didn’t need to be told twice – but surely this is far too much of a luxurious and lazy way to feel sufficiently invigorated?
Walking into the spa, there’s an immediate feeling of calm and I instantly felt more relaxed. The decor is chic but understated, and the sense of tranquility continues as I venture into the treatment room. My therapist Hannah is welcoming and friendly and explains the massage options to me. The oils used for the treatment are from the ESPA range and I’d choose from one of the following options: Detoxify, Restorative, Fitness, Soothe and Revitalise – each oil with its own unique properties to help in its specific area. I went for the Restorative option as I felt it most suited what I was after, but the great thing about this personalised massage is that there are is such a variety of choices for whatever your requirement may be. Hannah gave me two bottles with different scents in to have a smell of, and told me that whichever I was more drawn to was what my body ‘needed’. This transpired to be Sweet Orange, Rose Geranium and Lavender which I had no protestations to as it smelt absolutely divine. The massage can also be tailored to focus on any problematic areas, or simply on your upper body or full body and head – if I was going to be restored properly, it was going to have to be the full body for me!
The treatment started laying face down on the massage table, with a few deep breaths of a bowl of hot water with a few drops of my chosen oil in, which was both invigorating to my senses and relaxing. The upper half of my body was massaged first, and the big knots that Hannah informed me were tensing up my shoulders were steadily worked out. The ESPA oil used was smooth but not greasy; I’ve been for massages before where I’ve felt like I’ve been caught in an oil slick and need a good shower, but this was absorbed by my skin beautifully. As Hannah and the oils worked their magic the time ticked away, and while my legs and feet were massaged and the particularly efficacious Sweet Orange scent of the oil swirled around me, it was as much as I could do not to drift off.
My hour was soon up and as Hannah left me to come back to my senses, I felt completely and utterly relaxed and in need of forty winks. Fantastic, but I was meant to be getting rid of my fatigue, not encouraging it! But I needn’t have worried – by the time I headed out to dinner that evening I felt revived, smiley and the most buoyant I had in weeks. The next morning I hopped out of bed and was ready for the day ahead, which, if you know me, is somewhat of a miracle as I am far from a morning person. And, as an added bonus, my skin also felt amazingly soft and toned. Combining the massage with the great facilities at the Spa, ranging from a steam and sauna rooms to hydrotherapy pools, outdoor roof hot tub and serene relaxation rooms, by the time I left I most certainly had the pep back in my step.
If you’re lucky enough to be revitalised/detoxed/energised with one of these massages, I highly recommend not simply finishing your #JuneIsTheNewJanuary love-yourself routine once you leave the treatment room. I stayed overnight at the Bedford Lodge Hotel which is next door to the Spa, and it truly helped complete my mid-year revitalisation. The bedrooms, like the spa, are chic and impressive whilst understated, with super-comfortable beds and gorgeous little Molton Brown minis in the en-suite so you can continue pampering yourself once you’ve left the Spa itself. Meanwhile, my dinner at the on-site restaurant, Squires, was one of the best I’ve had in years – the three courses were flawless in both taste and presentation (my sea bass was succulent and the chocolate orange dessert I’m still raving about) and the sizes were perfect; I ate enough to feel satisfied but not like I’d overstuffed myself. I departed feeling fresh, boosted and relaxed – and wondering when I could return.
A personalised massage at Bedford Lodge Spa costs £70 for 60 mins or £95 for 90 mins. Rooms at the Bedford Lodge Hotel cost from around £150 per night. For more information and to book, visit bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk/home and bedfordlodgehotelspa.co.uk.