As I mentioned in my What’s in my bag post (linked below) at the weekend I went to my best friend’s hen do. We went for an overnight spa break at Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa in the New Forest. If you haven’t been to the New Forest before, I would highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful part of the UK.
When we arrived at the hotel we checked in and went to drop our bags in our rooms. We were delighted to see that our rooms were on the ground floor and had patio doors that opened onto beautiful gardens so we were able to sit outside and have a drink.
Then we headed down to the SenSpa. The spa itself includes a decent sized swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a jacuzzi, several different saunas and steam rooms and numerous different areas to relax.
My favourite room was the Crystal Steam Room. This room is designed to open pores, cleanse the skin and remove toxins from the body. The room is kept at around 45-48°C so it is quite hot but the steam stops it from feeling uncomfortable. The aroma in the room is really gorgeous and there is a large Bohemian Amethyst crystal which is really beautiful.
The Ice Room was another of our favourites. This room is home to several different ways to cool you down and leave you feeling refreshed after a trip to the sauna or steam room. There is crushed ice which you can rub all over your skin. This is far more pleasant than it sounds! There is also a wooden bucked suspended from the ceiling called a kouble douche. When you pull the handle the cold water drenches you from head to toe. Let the girlie screams ensue!
The Experience Showers are definitely worth a mention. You can set the showers to different settings like a warm tropical storm, a cold sea storm or an ice storm. These are designed to awaken the senses and leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. Each includes flashing lights and sound effects so you really feel immersed in the experience.
Finally we loved the Tepidarium. This room was filled with heated loungers to lie on and relax in between treatments and to stop you becoming cold after leaving a sauna or steam room. The loungers were so comfortable and the room was beautiful. There is a lovely water feature and the room is dimly lit so that you can look up and admire the colours and twinkling lights in the ceiling.
We had dinner and cocktails in the Manor Restaurant. I had a beautifully tender steak with chips and a rhubarb cheesecake. We then retired to our rooms to play hen party games and generally chat and be merry.
The following morning we woke up feeling only slightly worse for wear. We made it to breakfast in The Zen Garden Restaurant. The service was a little slow and it was incredibly hot in the restaurant, but the food was tasty.
At 11.30am, three of us made our way to the Rhassoul mud room for a Rhassoul mud treatment. This treatment is designed to improve the texture of your skin and make it feel softer. You can also apply the mud to your hair. We were shown the facilities and the treatment was explained to us. The therapist then left us to apply the mud all over our bodies and hair and then sit on heated seats in a private steam room for 20-25 mins. This allows the mud to absorb toxins and deliver nourishing minerals into the skin. The steam room itself smelt beautifully of lavender and was dimly lit so it was very atmospheric. The seats themselves weren’t very comfortable though and the room felt a little claustrophobic. It is something I am glad I experienced with friends as I think it would have been quite isolating and boring by yourself.
Lunch was Thai food in The Zen Garden restaurant. I had Boua Tord Goong (king prawns in light curry batter served with tamarind sauce) followed by Gaeng Khiew Wan Kai (a chicken Thai green curry with jasmine rice). Both were delicious. We also had numerous smoothies and scones with clotted cream and jam here throughout our stay. I would highly recommend the Pink Ice Quencher and Virgin Colada smoothies.
Before the trip was over, we managed to find time to squeeze in a couple more treatments. The bride was treated to an Express Manuka Facial which involved warm Manuka honey being massaged into the skin. I decided I deserved a massage as a reward for all my hard work. I had an Anti-Stress Massage focusing on the back, neck and shoulders. The masseuse used Swedish massage techniques to work on areas of tension. She was excellent and made me feel really at ease. The aroma of the oil was heavenly and I could have happily stayed there for hours. I left feeling incredibly relaxed and quite sleepy!
We had an amazing time and I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Carey’s Manor and the SenSpa if you are in the South of England or willing to travel. It’s pure luxury! You can visit www.careysmanor.com for more information.
- What’s in my bag: an overnight spa trip (aperfectmasquerade.wordpress.com)