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Our Spa Blog

Our Blog

Welcome to the Essential Escapes blog, where we give you the latest from the frontline of luxury spa holidays. We interview experts in the field of wellbeing, and bring you unique first-hand reports from discerning spa-goers, covering every corner of the globe. Read our reviews from our hardworking team of spa testers!

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Cheryl Visits Marbella Club

The world famous Marbella Club has launched new wellness programmes so you can combine the luxury and class of this wonderful property with a Mediterranean approach to healthy living.

The new packages include:

Purifying, boot camp, stress management, stop smoking, beauty and Mediterranean Renewal.

My favourite is the Wellness Weekend which is designed for those in need of a recharge. Revitalise from the inside out with fresh nutritious Mediterranean cuisine and the healing power of Thalassotherapy. Enjoy a Vichy exfoliation, Multi-jet bath with magnesium, marine massage, back massage and a Thalasso facial topped off by a spot of retail therapy in nearby Puerto Banus! Heaven on earth ….


Cheryl Visits Grand Velas Hotel and Spa Resort in Cancun

Booking a Spa treatment at the Signature Spa Grand Velas all suites Hotel & Spa Resort in Cancun is taking the first step on The Path to Wellbeing.
All guests are encouraged to prepare your body and relax your mind with the hydrothermal journey to help activate your metabolism. This is not for the faint hearted, as you are led from boiling hot sauna and steam to the ice room and eventually plunged into a hot and cold jacuzzi pool with numerous water cascades and jets in between.
I took the Path To Wisdom and had the Uumbal Shawl Massage (80 mins)- head to toe massage which aligns the body posture and cleans the energy channels.
As you enter the spa you are taken through the registration process easily with no fuss with fresh watermelon juice to enjoy. As you enter your Spa room you take part in a welcome ritual, invoking the four elements, your feet are placed in warm millet filled slippers and the whole experience is very spiritual.
You are massaged with cold lemons to make pressure, and then your limbs are stretched with the shawls-a pre-Hispanic method...heavenly...
As I relaxed in mental and physical euphoria after my sensational massage drinking my Organic green tea with low caffeine my masseur handed me the 2 lemons that she used for my massage in a brown paper bag , and told me to throw it into the ocean and make a wish!
An hour later I felt quite emotional as I stood on the beach, made my wish, and threw my brown paper bag into the blue waves of the Caribbean.


Cheryl Visits Penha Longa Spa & Resort

I was lucky enough to visit Penha Longa Spa and Resort – a breathtakingly beautiful hotel which also encompasses a 19th century palace, 27 spectacular golf holes set within historic ruins and a stunning Spa and Wellness centre. The resort is just 30 minutes' drive from downtown Lisbon, or a 10 minute drive from the beaches of Estoril and Cascais, and the enchanted UNESCO Sintra village.

Treatments at this spiritual spa include; walking the Labyrinth to de-clutter the mind and learn to deal with stress.

All treatments feature the Nature Bisse world famous products which make your skin feel like velvet.

Dining at Penha Longa is a gastronomic delight with a choice of 6 restaurants including the BEST Japanese restaurant in Portugal.

Penha Longa, with its tranquillity, natural beauty and plethora of outdoor activities make this one of Europe's most attractive and exclusive escapes.


Spring clean your diet

Nutrition consultant, Claire Cantor, offers her advice on eating for the new season.

"Chinese and Japanese philosophies teach that our bodies are naturally drawn to different foods, depending on the season. We also learn that upward-growing vegetables may boost our creativity and lift our spirits after a long winter.

Here is some inspiration of food choices to help you make the most of the season.

Reach for refreshing, cleansing and energising foods such as radish or daikon, cabbage and leafy greens, shitake mushrooms, sauerkraut, fennel.

Enjoy asparagus, artichokes, spring greens, bok choy, courgettes, watercress, sugar snaps, spinach, spring onions, baby potatoes, fresh peas and pickles.

Oranges, pineapple, all berries, melons, mandarins and clementines, lemons.

Use more barley, quinoa, lentils and lighter grains and serve with grilled fish, tofu, lamb, chicken.

These are “clean tasting” and lively foods for an uplifting and wholesome spring taste. "

Coming up in our next blog, Claire shares some delicious recipes making use of these spring clean flavours.

Eating your way to a good night's sleep

Nutrition consultant, Claire Cantor, offers advice for those seeking a good night's sleep:

"We all experience sleepless nights from time to time. For some however, sleep can be elusive on a regular basis. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression and a reduced immune system, amongst other conditions.

Sleep-inducing substances like tryptophan, can help you sleep better and longer. Tryptophan is an amino acid, found predominantly in protein foods (chicken, fish, turkey, eggs) and can help with relaxation and mood. It is best absorbed in the system when eaten with carbohydrates. An evening snack of oat cakes and a cup of warm milk, or nuts and seeds may be the first place to start your sleep regime.

Foods rich in magnesium, B vitamins and Vitamin C may be helpful as they are good for reducing stress as they are involved in nerve function and cell growth. Vitamin B rich complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains, keep blood sugar levels stable, which may, in turn, help with mood swings and anxiety. Vitamin C rich foods offer essential antioxidants to support your immune system as well as combat fatigue.

Recommended foods for sleep

Magnesium is present in green leafy vegetables, molasses, nuts and seeds, grains, soya beans, almonds, cod and mackerel.

Vitamin C is rich in citrus fruits, parsley and berries, kiwis, cauliflower.

B vitamins can be found in brown rice, and other wholegrains as well as pulses, yeast extract, nuts, beef, soya beans, chicken, turkey, bananas, avocadoes, egg yolks, tuna, salmon, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.

Potassium, in bananas and Vitamin E rich foods such as avocados/ olive oil/ nuts and seeds may also help with sleep.

For their generally calming properties, Dr Caroline Longmore suggests, in her book “The Serotonin Secret”, the foods containing the highest levels of tryptophan are mung beans, lobster, turkey, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas.

Sleep Schedule

Experts also suggest that sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding alcohol and other stimulants in the evening (tv, computers, sugars) can encourage healthy, restorative sleep. So prepare yourself a warm bath, a camomile tea, try some yoga, relax and give yourself some well-deserved 'me' time."

Read more on Claire's nutrition and wellbeing website >

Check out the Sleep Enhancement Programme at Kamalaya in Thailand >


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