Unwind and relax at Lifehouse Spa in Essex UK
Where: Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, UK (www.lifehouse.co.uk)
Set the scene: Lifehouse offers a sleek and modern spa sanctuary nestled into 130 acres of historic Essex countryside.
Top Santé tried: Soul Soother, £125 for two hours.
What is it? A full-body scrub and massage incorporating crystals and Tibetan singing bowls.
“Fragrant flower remedies are used to cleanse the room’s energy beforehand. As the treatment begins, my limbs are given light strokes with a body brush alternating with the therapists hands, which feels lovely, before a skin-detoxing exfoliating scrub is applied.
"Unlike with most body scrubs at spas, with this one there is no need to get up to shower off, as the product is swiftly removed with a hot mitt so my relaxation is not interrupted.
"The full-body massage feels divine, after which a pressure point head massage is carried out – the only bit I’m not so keen on as some of the larger movements tug on my hair (I've always thought it must be so much easier having a short hairdo for spa treatments!)
"Facing upwards, crystals are then dotted along my body with the purpose of balancing energy – the one on my forehead causes a flash of blue light behind my eyes! Perhaps unlocking my third eye chakra? I’d like to think so.
"And to conclude, Tibetan singing bowls are struck to send waves of healing vibration around my body – said to further balance energy and improve wellbeing. All in all my skin felt amazing afterwards.” (Katy Sunnassee, editor)
Grubs up! Stay for the day and you’ll get a hot and cold buffet lunch in the restaurant – I had a mixture of salads and a curried chicken dish. Afternoon tea is also served in the bar overlooking the patio – take your cuppa outside into the beautiful gardens if the weather is nice!
Other USPs (unique spa points!)
* A haven for couples: The Hidden Sanctuary – a three-hour session for two – involves a body scrub, full-body massage and use of a private pool and sleep pod – perfect for Valentine's day.
* Treatments for cancer patients: Lifehouse is one of only a handful of spas certified to offer therapies to those undergoing or who have had chemotherapy.
* Historic gardens: If you love gardening you’ll be in horticultural heaven as the estate includes a 12-acre listed garden created around a century ago by the chatelaine of Thorpe Hall, Lady Byng. It includes a number of rare species including the Madrone tree, native to California, and three species of rare orchid.