Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:00 AM
It's been a tough winter; the weather has been appalling and my skin is starting to show signs of winter wear-and-tear. Time for a London spa day with a girlfriend!
The newly refurbished Montcalm Hotel & Spa in London is just a stone's throw from Marble Arch and a perfect destination for a relaxing spa afternoon in London.
I booked through Belaqua.co.uk, specialists in luxury spa days and spa breaks. It's very convenient for booking spa and hotel breaks, making hotel reservations, buying spa treatments or a range of spa experience gift vouchers online or by phone.
Belaqua prides itself on offering only the very finest spa venues and you have the reassurance that their team inspects every venue to ensure the spas deliver the highest level of service. There are no hidden premiums and they don't charge a booking or credit card fee. They guarantee their prices are the same or lower than the venue's published price.
The Montcalm is a new offering from Belaqua and the stunning Grade II listed hotel has recently reopened after a nine-month, Â£38 million refurbishment. It's now a slick and contemporary five star hideaway. A day in the spa is away of enjoying all the style and comforts without actually staying the night.
The Montcalm Hotel & Spa Belaqua Divine Spa Day includes a massage, a 30-minute refresher facial, full use of the spa facilities and a two-course lunch in the Vetro restaurant.
Following a delicious, Italian-inspired lunch (drinks not included in the package) we headed for the spa and spent a few hours enjoying the Jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms and the monsoon shower.
The gym and exercise pool are also great features, although we weren't there to do any sort of hard work and found the pool more of a novelty than anything else.
The Jacuzzi area at the Montcalm spa
We lazed about on the soft day beds in front of the "fireplace" in the chill out area, flicking through magazines and determining to do this more often in future.
The whole spa has a very peaceful, reflective atmosphere and around the pool are a number of tiled, heated beds that may not look so comfortable at first glance but my friend managed to fall asleep on one.
The only time the peaceful effect was intruded upon was later in the day when the Jacuzzi and monsoon shower were both in use.
As you would expect the spa and well-stocked changing rooms are very clean, with wet towels whisked away like magic. The showers in the changing rooms are also excellent and there is luxurious Elemis moisturiser on hand for afterwards.
At 3.30 it was time for some real indulgence and my therapist set to work using luxurious treatments from Carita and organic Li'tya. She was very good at listening to my concerns about my skin and the facial was a seemingly endless series of gorgeous products. The black salt massage treatment did wonders for my tired complexion and winter dryness was banished with re-hydration treatments.
A treatment room at the Montcalm spa
I highly recommend the facial/massage combination of this package, which flow seamlessly into each other with added aromatherapy relaxation benefits.
For me, the make or break aspect of any spa facility is the skill of the massage therapist and the quality of massage here at the Montcalm is high: the right combination of relaxation and stimulation of tired muscles.
A Belaqua Divine Spa Day at The Montcalm is a truly healthy indulgence - healthy for body, mind and spirit. We felt revived and rejuvenated after a day unwinding, relaxing and being pampered. And at Â£129.00 it's good value for money for a spa day in London.
Natasha von Geldern
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