Sarah Woods, author of the Spa Lover’s Guide to Europe, visits the Channel Islands and discovered relaxed pampering and blissful beautification in scenic settings that attract an A-list celebrity crowd.
According to a study commissioned by the International SPA Association (ISPA) and undertaken by PwC International Survey Unit, over 200-million of us will enjoy a spa treatment at some point this year. In fact, with the 2014 spa market valued at $3.4 trillion, it is now almost four times larger than the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. As the demand for relaxation grows, spa breaks in the Channel Islands are becoming a sought-after currency as the home of a wide choice of spa facilities, from small chichi boutiques to larger hotel spa suites.
Mile-long menus offer a tantalising array of pampering from scrubs that boost circulation; massages that turn your skin rose-pink and leave your limbs feeling like jelly or a facial of steaming herbs and menthol that transforms dry skin to velvet. A bountiful supply of mineral-rich seaweed, salt water, coastal air, water-pressure massage and sand scrubs offer endless wellness cures and Mother Nature’s botanical pharmacopeia plays a crucial role in the Channel Islands. You’ll find distinctive signature therapies at spas across each of the Islands; some mix organic astringent properties with light, aromatic essential oils; others delve into centuries-old naturopathic therapies; or focus on treatments that purge the skin and purify and protect.
ORGANIC FACIAL- JERSEY STYLE
A natural recipe that feeds and nourishes skin to promote a healthy glow.
Use the freshest natural produce to help achieve a youthful complexion at every age - it will also help to reduce wrinkles, lessen the signs of aging, improve skin texture and lighten age spot.
Mix oatmeal, honey and fresh strawberries into a paste to create a homemade face mask - an easy preservative-free part of any weekly natural beauty regime that will help keep blemishes at bay.
First, cleanse the face with tepid water. Then apply the mask directly onto the skin - begin at the chin and move up to the cheeks and forehead, then the nose. Allow space around the mouth, eyes and eyebrows. Lastly, spread the mask around your throat. Leave on the face for ten minutes, then wash.
AYUSH WELLNESS SPA ST HELIER
Tel: 01534 614171
Urbanites keen to escape the rat race enjoy impeccable service at the Ayush Wellness Spa when they arrive weary and grey at weekends. For at this Eastern-inspired spa - a Good Spa Guide award-winner in 2014 - the ultimate relaxation treatment is a heavenly hot-stone therapy that reawakens stressed-out bodies during a one-hour sensory delight. As the body is massaged with wave-smoothed pebbles and exotic oils, the mind unravels and breathing deepens. I defy anyone not to succumb to the seductive lullaby sounds of an Asian gamelan as restful slumber beckons - power naps don’t come better than this.
SPA SIRÈNE ST HELIER
Tel: 01534 615425
The curative might of the sea has claimed its place in Jersey folklore for an abundance of health-giving ingredients, from emerald-green sea kelp to coarse sea salts. At the stylish Spa Sirène, in contemporary-modern basement suites decorated in aquatic tones; a menu of marine-based treatments, using ingredients from the nearby French town of St Malo, offer tension-soothing coastal body wraps created from ocean nutrients and algae extracts. Massage incorporates some aspects of gentle acupressure to ensure fatigued and heavy limbs are wonderfully revived – you’ll leave feeling truly re-born after a decadent sea-inspired splurge.
CLUB SPA ST HELIER
Tel: 01534 876500
Voted ‘Spa of the Week' in a February 2015 issue of Star magazine, The Club Hotel & Spa is as famous for the celebrities who have visited its luxurious spa suites as the therapies themselves. Owner Lawrence Huggler has worked hard to ensure it offers privacy, tranquillity and seclusion from paparazzi, cellphones and the daily grind. Spa-goers adore the mud therapies, where their bodies are slavered in thick dollops using a paddle sized spatula. In the moist, steamy comfort of the Rasul bath, it is time to poach lightly for 45-minutes until the loamy sludge has generated a stratospheric sweat. Once it has flushed all the toxins through the dermal layers - an ultimate deep-cleanse - the gloop is showered off. The result is soft skin that feels sublime.
LES ROCHES SPA & BEAUTY ST OUEN
Tel: 01534 487856
Gentle massage pressure is applied to the forehead, palms and soles of the feet as part of the signature Spa Ritual therapy to rebalance natural energies at Les Roches. Soft, rhythmic strokes lull the mind into a blissful state of serenity while rich oils and moisturising lotions created from Jersey honey and sweet-smelling home-grown lavender gently smoothe the skin. It is one of the most decadent treatments, where one pure indulgence follows another, ensuring it is popular with starlets and super-models. A caressing exfoliation therapy that cleanses and scrubs finishes with a nourishing full body wrap that helps to banish wrinkles and cellulite.
GRAND JERSEY HOTEL & SPA ST HELIER
Tel: 01534 722301
Double-sized spa beds in spacious suites are designed with couples in mind at the Spa at the Grand Hotel, a prestigious property purchased for an estimated £15-million in 2014 by Handpicked Hotels’ founder Guy Hands and his wife Julia. No-expense-spared opulent touches ensure an oasis of warmth and comfort, with over-sized fluffy robes, moody lighting and tall flutes of fine Champagne in a peaceful setting. Treatments centre on togetherness using specially-blended aromatic oils, heated towels and tantalising touch therapies - you’ll leave feeling ten years younger and utterly de-stressed.