Some do it in the name for luxury while others do it for relieving stress. Whatever your reasons, taking time out to relax should be at the top of your priority not bottom. The demands of modern-day living can be overwhelming, leaving many people feeling they have no time to themselves. But here at Luxurious Magazine, we believe in a balanced lifestyle and search high and low for some of the best ways and places to relax. Senior reporter Sabi Phagura did just that and discovered the spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire.
No matter however many demands you have in your day, if you overdo things you risk burning yourself out. I started to pay more attention to these wise words as my hedonistic days steadily paved the way for much-needed down time. Today, taking time out to relax has become synonymous as working hard. So there was no guilt in going along to the spa set in the beautiful countryside at the Dogmersfield estate.
The minute you pull into the driveway of the hotel, you know you are entering a country club retreat doused in the epitome of five-star luxury. Nestled in 500 acres, it’s a place that feels miles away from civilisation as possible. The spa stands independent of the hotel and was once an old stable block. Today the place looks gloriously extravagant and a far cry from its former life. Everything here oozes luxury from the changing rooms to the relaxation area.
Normally incapable of doing anything after a massage due to being super relaxed, I decided to head straight to the 20-metre in-door and outdoor vitality pool for a swim. It’s also open late too so swimmers can experience swimming under the stars. It was fairly empty on the Monday morning I arrived so made for a pleasurable swim without any having to dodge lots of fellow swimmers. There are also family times set aside at varioys times across the week and I’m told the pool gets rather busy at weekends.The additional sauna and steam room facilities, set away from the main pool area, were just the ticket to relax and prepare for my treatment after a hearty 40 minute swim. And although I thoroughly enjoyed my leisurely morning chilling out in the spa, it was the massage that ensued I was most looking forward to.
Recommended by reception staff, I settled for the spas signature treatment Hampshire Herbal Massage – a complete 90 minutes of bliss. With Hampshire being the great novelist Jane Austen’s home as well as inspiration to many of her novels, this treatment draws on her path of herbal remedies. The massage is carried out by using hand-made steamed herbal poultices with lavender, chamomile and English peppermint. Gently applied to every inch of the body both front and back, I dipped in and out of consciousness. My therapist Muna was incredibly quiet,you could hear a pin drop. Drifting in and out of a sleepy state, it was only when Muna put cold stones on my face as part of the facial, did I jolt from my dozy state. She informed me at the end this was a deliberate part of the process to alert me it was the end of the treatment. Luckily I was able to continue that semi-unconscious state in the peaceful and darkened relaxation room. I could have stayed there for the entire afternoon had it not been for the fact my lunch was booked an hour later.
The Café Sante is open all year round and serves Asian-inspired lunch options, smoothies and hot and cold drinks. Think spring roles and Thai curry. Floating around in your robe and slippers is not only encouraged but expected. Tucking into a massive bowl of Prawn Pad Thai noodles, I could see why this place attracts visitors taking advantage of day and evening spa packages to make a whole day of it. Weekends I am informed can get busy for both the spa treatments and gym classes so it’s best to book in advance.
Making ‘me’ time a priority may seem selfish, but if you do it on a regular basis it can help you be more productive, improve your concentration and reduce stress levels. This retreat is definitely up there in the luxury ranks and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated before popping back into the humdrum of your normal life.
Where and how?
Spa day packages are available to non-residents Monday to Friday. The Hampshire Herbal Massage costs between £175 – £185 depending on duration. To book a spa package or more information visit https://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/spa/
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