Ashleigh Morgan pays Wildmoor Spa a visit
Heading down the drive towards Wildmoor Spa was like driving towards a stately home. Lambs were grazing and daffodils blowing in the gentle breeze in the field opposite – very picturesque. I’d expected it to be a quiet Tuesday morning but the reception area provided a delightful hum of background noise, with couples drinking healthy (and delicious looking) smoothies, a gathering of lunchtime diners and spa guests luxuriating in comfy chairs donned in the requisite robes. This is not a place where people nip in, get their gruelling workout over and done with and then head straight back out again. Wildmoor seemed like a place where people really wanted to spend time and relax.
On a tour around the spa, I could see why. Those chilling out around the swimming pool looked as content as if they were on a Caribbean beach. Whether this was due to the cosiness of a double hammock or lounger or the moveable heat lamps was anyone’s guess. Although there were a few committed swimmers, the sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room was the place to be for many. Upstairs, the gym had a steady flow of members. Equipment can only be accessed via a Wildmoor key which seemed like a novel idea. However, manager ‘H’ informed me that it also allows the staff to keep an eye on members and make sure they’re sticking to their fitness plans. An incentive to keep training if ever I heard one.
The spa offers everything you could wish for. Focus appears to lie with nature and natural treatments using organic ingredients. The changing rooms for example are named Chrysalis while the 10 spa rooms had exotic, calming names such as Tiger Lily and Honeysuckle. The treatment rooms themselves were absolutely huge. I’ve been to spas before where the rooms are no bigger than a broom cupboard but it was like walking into a hotel suite. There was more than enough room for both a guest and a therapist to move around.
I was also impressed with the mud rooms where couples or friends can enjoy the Rasul treatment. This is a private steam chamber where guests can cover themselves from head to toe in nutrient-rich muds and clays and have a bit of unwinding, messy fun before being surrounded by steam. A gentle rain shower then falls, cleaning the body and leaving it with a healthy glow. It looked like something out of an Indian temple. Definitely a treat to bear inmind formy next anniversary.
After slipping into my robe (so comfy I could have fallen asleep there and then), I made my way to the waiting room. I didn’t want to leave. A conservatory packed with interesting magazines, loungers that felt like you were nestling in a bed of feathers and the warmest blankets I’d ever felt made me feel like I was on a wonderful foreign retreat. Head therapist Annie plucked me from my drowsy state and took me to my room to explain about the body and face sensation treatment I was due to have. She asked me what I wanted to achieve from the procedure – relaxation – and tailored the treatment to suit my requirements. Rose, camomile and lavender were used to soothe my aching muscles and prepare me for a wonderful night’s sleep. It certainly worked. I was in bed by 10 o’clock that evening.
Annie began by using hot mitts to brush my back to stimulate my circulation and refresh my body before the intensive work began. I’d requested a two-tone attack on my body with a mixture of cool and hot lotions. A menthol ice cold (or so it felt) gel was applied to revitalise and refresh my muscles before my tired legs were soothed by a hot stone massage. Although you can opt to just enjoy a hot treatment, I highly recommended the double pronged attack – you can truly feel the heat working its magic. Annie moved on to my back working her way down with the mixed gels to lift out all my aches and pains. By the time she’d finished, I felt so relaxed that I didn’t want to move.
To my delight, (I’d completely forgotten about phase two of the treatment) Annie instructed me to roll over on to my back so she could begin my intensive anti-ageing, deep cleansing facial. After gently exfoliating my face, a variety of serums were applied before Annie popped a setting mask on. Embarrassed though I am to admit it, I have no recollection of this. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for the first time during a spa treatment. Clearly I was feeling a little too relaxed. However Annie was far too professional to mention my little misdemeanour. After removing the mask (which woke me up), she gave me a shoulder and décolleté massage to release any remaining tension.
I left feeling as if I was walking on air. After several stressful weeks which have seen me looking rather tired, I emerged refreshed and exuding youthful radiance. For a confidence boost or simply for some much needed unwinding, Wildmoor Spa has the answer.