At 22 years old, it’s kind of sad that I’ve never been to a spa. I’ve never done the pampering thing, had my nails or eyebrows done, had a massage or been in a sauna or anything! That changed this week. I had two different treatments, and a ‘spa experience’.
I’m not opposed to pamper sessions, I’ve just never had the facilities or money to do it! While I was at college there was a salon next door, and the girls were often going in to have their nails or eyebrows done. However, my student budget didn’t stretch that far. To this day, I’ve never had my eyebrows done (is that really bad?!). So this time, when the opportunity arose for a few treatments at the Aqua Sana, I gave it a try.
The first I had was a Paraffin Wax Hand treatment. I had no idea what to expect on this one, but it sounded ok. Being the socially awkward creature I am, I was mostly just dreading having to sit with a complete stranger and talk to them for half an hour (a social anxiety nightmare!). But she was nice, and must have sensed I wasn’t very good at chatting, because she didn’t force it. The treatment itself was strange, my nails were filed, some creams and oils were rubbed into my nails and forearms, and then I had to place my hands in gloves full of hot wax. I felt kind of bad for my therapist (is that the right word?) because I’m so over-sensitive to heat, she had to wait for it to cool a little before I could put my hand in. Then it kind of sets and you can’t move your hands, and she put a big oven-mitt-thing over the gloves. Then you just sit there until she said I could move my hands to sort of break the wax. I felt like a bit of a melon during this bit, sat with my hands stuck in giant oven gloves. My hands were quite soft afterwards, so I suppose it was nice, but I few hours later my hands were even drier than normal, so I’m not sure what the point was in the end. Nice to be pampered though I suppose.
My second treatment was a joint one with my boyfriend, the Serail Mud treatment. This one was mostly just funny. We had to go into a mini steam room, exfoliate each other with some salts (which FYI hurts), then shower, and then put mud on each other, which was hilarious. Then the steam is turned on and you sit facing each other, massaging the mud in which doesn’t really do much as the steam makes it too watery and it slips off. This steam was quite nice, it didn’t have any scents added, and it wasn’t too hot. I only coughed a little. Then you shower again to get the mud off, which takes a surprisingly long time. Afterwards you go to the ‘relaxation room’, which is basically a big room full of loungers and blankets looking out onto a garden, with soothing music playing. I didn’t feel like the mud made a huge difference to my skin, but it is softer than usual, so that’s something!
Finally, we had the full run of the spa, which included a pool, several saunas and steam-rooms, and quiet zones. I found this kind of bizarre, everyone wandering around in matching robes, a bit dreamy-eyed and sweaty, and not really talking. Most of the rooms were dark, and between that and the steam in some of them, it was a little stressful trying to find somewhere to sit without sitting on someone. The first sauna I went in (bearing in mind I’ve never been in a sauna before) was a Tyrolean sauna. And I sort of thought I was going to die. Or at the very least, melt into a puddle. It was so dry, and I’ve never experienced heat like that, I could barely breathe! I sat for a few minutes before I had to leave. I probably should mention that I don’t do so well in heat, I feel lethargic and dizzy, so for most people it wouldn’t be such a shock to the system.
After that I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, I wandered around for a while, and then tried a Japanese steam-room. This was possibly worse than the sauna, the steam made it almost impossible to breathe, I choked and coughed and probably annoyed everybody else in there who was genuinely trying to relax, and it was just as hot as the first sauna I went in. So after that I tried a few more steam-rooms, which weren’t as hot as the first one, but still fairly unpleasant. Some of them smelt beautiful, with scents of jasmine and lemongrass, but I found the scents made it harder to breathe. My favourite part of the whole experience was the waterbeds. Found in the quiet zone, my boyfriend and I snuggled up under a blanket for a while, which for me was the most relaxing part of any of it. I’ve never been on waterbed before, and it was surprisingly comfy, when the water moved I found it really soothing, like being rocked to sleep.
Overall I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the whole experience. I don’t think I particularly found it relaxing, but it was fun at times. I think if you’re like me, and struggle with extreme heat, then saunas and steam-rooms may not be for you. There’s plenty of other treatments on offer, so I’m sure there’s something for everyone! Maybe even something for me, if I was so inclined to go back. I found most of the spa rooms stressful more than anything else, but everyone else seemed to love it! So I think it’s just me who struggled. Perhaps I should try it again someday, I know my boyfriend wants to go back.
Have you been to a spa? How was your experience?
Have a lovely day x