March (Sorry it’s late) Spa Visit – Bannatyne’s

Wow, it’s been too long since I last posted one of my #12monthsofspa posts but life has totally got in the way; from freelance work, a new job and waving a wee goodbye to one of my closest friends, Steph as she flew off to sunny oz.

Back in March, Steph and I spent a girlie day together working out and beautifying ourselves at Bannatynnes in preparation for her big trip.

We bought our ‘spa day’ on Wahanda which included a 55min facial and take home product for £37.50 which felt like pretty good value although I have mixed emotions about the experience.

The staff were super helpful throughout the day and the members seemed really lovely and praised the club for their facilities. The gym equipment was brilliant and I was quite tempted to sign up after our day there. We had a good workout and were also invited to take part in any classes which looked really fun although we gave the street dancing a miss.

BANNATYNES

What was classed as a spa was more like a beauty salon in a gym and we were disappointed to find out there was no relaxation area apart from in the gym reception. While there was comfortable seating we were on view for everyone to see as we tried to relax in our dressing gowns and one of the team hovered around us. Not very serene or tranquil as you’d expect from a spa.

The facial treatment using own range products was average, nothing wrong but nothing that stood out for me. I appreciated that the therapist had warmed the bed and wrapped me up in a blanket but it got a bit too claustrophobic and meant I was unable to enjoy the facial as much as I’d like.

Overall, I’d say it was good value for money but realistically we should have expected more of a gym experience than spa which is what we were led to believe by the offer. As a health club Bannatyne exceeds expectations and has a great team, although it they want to move more into the spa market then they may need to rethink the guest journey.

#12monthsofspa Love life & enjoy the moment

12monthsofspa

A few people have been asking me what my #12monthsofspa is about so I decided to take to my blog and share my motivations with you.

#12monthsofspa is a result of something that happened to me in 2012 and the changes I decided to make so I wouldn’t feel that way again.

Last year was fantastic for my career but also a busy one. Working a full time job and doing various freelance projects meant my work/life balance was a little off kilter. Friends even commented and asked why I was working on a Friday or Saturday night when I should be out having fun. I was genuinely enjoying the work I was doing and the opportunities that had come my way were a stepping stone in my career giving me the confidence to do more freelance work and build up my portfolio.

However, working in the spa industry I understand that wellness is important part of life and stress can play a big part in ageing the mind and body.

During a reiki session I was warned I was doing too much and not living in the moment, it was time for me to ground myself. I knew she was right and I was letting life pass me by. That was when I decided that I would set myself a #12monthsofspa goal, taking time out to stop, stand still and enjoy the happy things in my life.

ENJOY THE MOMENT

#12monthsofspa allows me to set aside time once a month to purposely relax, plus, it’s a great way to enjoy the company of friends catching up, lounging around and putting the world to right without a glass of wine in hand for a change!

Some people think that going to a spa is expensive and yes, it can be but there are offers on all the time, especially during quieter times of the year and week days. I find wahanda, bookaspa and spabreaks all great for the most up to date spa offers. I look at it this way, I could spend money on clothes to make me look better but I’d rather feel better from the inside out. A family friend once shared “you should always spend money on your face, clothes will come and go but you’ll always have your face.” Dear Veronica is one lady who knows how to spend her money wisely and she looks great for her age.

So, what are you waiting for? Embrace life, enjoy the moment and don’t wish away your days.

February Spa Visit – The Owl House Day Spa

The month of love just so happens to also be the time of the year (back in the 80’s) I was also born. So, in true birthday style I spent the day relaxing and drinking bubbles at The Owl House Day Spa. As you will know, from my previous spa post The Owl House Day Spa in Nottingham/Derbyshireis one of my personal favourites, and it didn’t disappoint.

OWL HOUSE SPA DRIVE

I had originally purchased an offer from Groupon which included use of the spa, Pig in Mud/Scrub and 25 minute treatment for two, all for £69. Using a generous £10 off voucher from the spa I upgraded our package and included a 40 minute Owl House Muscle Melt Back Massage.

On arrival the spa host took our details to create a personal treatment plan, to suit our emotional and physical needs. We began our spa journey by robing up and visiting The Herbal Steam Chamber (also known as a Rasul or Pig in Mud/Scrub). The beautiful tiled chamber uses heat and steam to invigorate and detoxify the body with the selected essential oil that the spa therapist chooses for you. The Gingerbeard Man and I were given a scrub, which was ideal as we had tried the mud previously and it can get a little messy! We lathered our bodies with the oil based scrub, sat back and enjoyed the twinkling lights above us in the chamber before the warm monsoon shower exfoliated our skin and left us feeling refreshed.

OWL HOUSE SPA TRT ROOM

Once we were clean from our Pig in Scrub treatment we got down to some serious relaxing on the dreamy daybeds. It was easy to relax with the staff being there for our every need. We lay around for well over an hour, which flew by. At one point I was a little concerned by the amount of people arriving at the spa, it’s small and I was worried that it may spoil the silence and there wouldn’t be enough space for everyone to relax (I most certainly didn’t want to lose our daybed!). I needn’t worry though as the spa host and therapists had cleverly organised treatment and lunch times around the guests allowing enough time for everyone to enjoy what they had to offer.

The Gingerbeard Man and I were taken to a double treatment room for our facial and massage. The dimed lights, soothing music and rich fragrances lulled me into a sense of calm, the way I always feel when I visit The Owl House Day Spa. The Aromatherapy Associates facial was as hydrating as I remembered and Owl House Muscle Melt Back Massage did exactly that. The Gingerbeard Man was truly relaxed by the end of it, so much so he gently told me off for ‘disturbing his peace and quiet.’

OWL HOUSE DAY SPA

We followed our treatments up with some bubbles in the hot tub, as always, the spa host was attentive and served our drinks to us while soaking up the warm bubbles in the winter chill.

By the time we left the spa we had spent a surprising (yet amazing) five hours unwinding and celebrating. While the spa is small and has limited facilities, the surroundings are beautiful, the staff incredibly helpful that offer results driven treatments. If you’re looking for somewhere to de-stress, chill out and recharge then The Owl House Day Spa is for you. The spa owner has done a fantastic job in creating a successful spa with fantastic staff and I can’t wait to visit again.

Flowers: A love or hate relationship?

RING A RING O ROSES

If you want to create a friendly debate in an office full of girls, have a bouquet of flowers delivered on Valentine’s day.

A beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived at the office for one of the girls. Upon arrival she went as red as the roses she had received and scolded her boyfriend under her breath, while we all cooed in unison, secretly wishing our own men had gone to the effort. She on the other hand appeared to be genuinely coy, playing it down and joking that he should have chosen her favourite flowers. We teased and called her ungrateful and all thought her boyfriend was wonderful. It may have made her blush but there was a definite smile on her face as she hid the bouquet under her desk.

A delivery of flowers can also bring many happy memories. Feeling soppy I thought I’d share this beautiful and romantic story with you.

11am

An impressive bouquet of flowers arrives with the word ‘Will’ on the card for a friend of mine. Wondering what was going on we all assume that there has been a mix up or maybe she has secret admirer!

2pm

The delivery man is back with a second spray of flowers. Looking puzzled she reads card and it says ‘You’. By this point we’re all super excited and guessing his next move. They play cat and mouse on the phone, chatting to one another as if nothing is going on but clearly grinning from ear to ear.

3:30pm

With work out of the window, all eyes are on the car park, waiting for another delivery. When the van arrives there is a cluster of adoring women downstairs and a gaggle of girls upstairs peering through the window. The card reads ‘Marry’. We instantly urge her to go home to her man as he awaits her with his final message.

4pm

I’m sure the excitement consumed her as she made the journey home, where he was patiently waiting for her on his knee and a ring in his hand ready to ask ‘Will you marry me?’.

I can share with you that they lived happily ever after with five years of marriage under their belt and a beautiful little girl.

What are your thoughts on having flowers delivered to work? Love or hate it?

January Spa Visit – St Brides Hotel & Spa

It’s February and I’m guessing a lot of ‘new year resolutions’ have gone out of the window. Unused gym memberships, failed diets and booze bans are now a thing of the past. But hey, that’s why I decided to give myself a ‘goal’ for 2013 to spaaaaah more; #12monthsofspa everyone’s a winner with a spa break!

In January I treated my mum to her Christmas gift and we made the scenic drive to St Brides Hotel & Spa in Saundersfoot, West Wales for a day of pure relaxation. The spa was out of this world, with amazing views of the beach and a heated infinity pool perfect for winter weather.

ST BRIDES RELAXATION ROOM

We experienced a deeply exfoliating body scrub, full body and scalp massage and [ comfort zone ] prescriptive facial spaced throughout the day to ensure we could make the most of the spa facilities. The relaxation room was incredible with light streaming through the sliding doors which are opened in the summer for a breath of sea air. The double treatment room also had sliding doors; the spa therapist opened them a little and the sounds of the sea crept in while we enjoyed a soothing massage using fragrance essential oils.

ST BRIDES TREATMENT ROOM

The heated infinity pool gives an instant wow factor and the spa ensure that there are not too many guests in the spa at the same time which allows you to enjoy the space and the picturesque view of Saundersfoot bay.

ST BRIDES INFINITY POOL

Thank you to the team at St Brides Hotel & Spa who instantly made us feel at home and looked after our every need. We had a lovely time and will remember the blissful day we spent there for many years to come.

Next stop – Back to the Owl House Spa in Nottinghamshire for a birthday treat.