Who is it for: Ideal for first time spa-goers looking for a complete head to toe experience or a seasoned spa guest seeking relaxation and a smooth and glowing complexion
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes
Therapist: Cynthia Bastoul
It’s raining, my phone is ringing, I’m trying to juggle an umbrella, my handbag and now I’ve just missed a call from the office. Life in London sometimes feels like you’re speeding off at 100mph, desperately trying to cling onto the thoughts that are bouncing around like rogue and untamed ping pong balls.
I arrive at The Spa in Dolphin Square wet, bedraggled and stressed. As I step through the large ornately carved wooden doors – brought in from Morocco especially I’m told – the deep, spiced aroma of the spa hits me. The smell is fitting, it is one of London’s best Moroccan inspired spas after all, and the lush fabrics, gold walls and intricate Moroccan candles remind me of an Arabian palace.
I take a seat and look through the spa’s menu, each page filled with luxurious rituals and indulgent ceremonies inspired by the healing and beauty traditions of Morocco. My treatment of choice, Journey of The Spices, offers a head to toe experience, using spices taken from the ancient spice route.
As I enter my treatment room with Cynthia, my therapist for the evening, I observe the candles glistening around the room and the bowls of spices and various oils carefully laid out ready for the treatment. I lie on my front and ponder the treatment name – Journey of The Spices. Where will my journey take me I wonder- to the hidden souks or Morocco or the traditional spas of Arabia?
The treatment begins with a full body scrub. Cynthia works up and down my body in long sweeping movements – different to most exfoliations I’ve had in the past. Created specifically by La Sultane De Saba for the Journey of the Spices treatment, each product uses a blend of carefully selected spices including cinnamon, cardamom and amber. One my body has been fully exfoliated, Cynthia preps the in-room shower so I can rinse off.
“We all have to train with La Sultane De Saba to be able to perform this treatment,” Cynthia tells me. “It’s my favourite one to do as it really offers an all-in-one experience – perfect for those who really need to relax.”
With silky smooth skin from the scrub, I head back to the treatment table, which cannot be denied a mention – underneath the soft fluffy towels, a heated blanket emits just the right amount of heat to keep me warm throughout. Next comes the massage – Oh the massage! A full body treat, using an Ayurvedic spice oil and Shea Butter. Not one for a soft-handed approach, I encourage Cynthia to be firm and she proceeds to work her magic on the stepping-stones of knots that have accumulated up my back as a result of hours of computer use. Hot herb poultices are used on the pressure points up and down my body, which are offered as a little take home gift – a lovely touch.
Finally, as I’m wrapped tightly in the earth coloured blankets and towels, Cynthia performs a “7-Spices Facial”, again using products courtesy of La Sultane de Saba. We begin with a cleansing ritual – make up is removed with Argan make up remover and a Black Soap and Argan Oil cleanser decongests and removes dirt. To ensure all impurities are removed, Cynthia repeats this twice. A 7 Spices face scrub is then gently massaged in, sloughing away pesky blackheads and ridding me of dead skin cells, I’m told. Once again, Cynthia’s massage doesn’t disappoint as she works an Elixir, which uses Prickly Pear, into my skin. Unusually, the face mask is then applied on top of the oil, which allows the skin to really benefit from the rehydrating properties of the Elixir.
As the treatment comes to an end with a spray of cooling toner, I realise the 2 hours and 25 minutes has flown past and I hadn’t thought about work once. As I wrapped myself in the fluffiest of robes and headed into the relaxation room to enjoy some Moroccan tea I thought back to my question about the journey – where had it taken me? Not necessarily to the sands of Arabia, but it had brought me on a tougher journey: bringing me back to the here and now and back into myself.