TRIED AND TESTED: Thermal Spa and Turkish Experience
There's something pretty special about Spa Experience's Thermal Spa. At the heart of the business is this seriously authentic retreat - a space to totally unwind by indulging in traditional thermal therapies that date back a good few centuries. Trust me, in the middle of urban London when you're feeling tired, drained and/ or stressed, this is quite something...
It all sounds pretty luxe and exclusive, but the best thing about it? It's really not. The Thermal Spa is remarkably accessible thanks to its affordable price and handy 'how-to' guides throughout the facilities, which keep you clued-up on how to make the most of your experience. Personally, I'm a total spa novice - and felt right at home. Granted, my house doesn't boast a state-of-the-art thermal spa on the property, but you know, you get my gist.
If lifting your spirits and rejuvenating your body are top of your agenda for the day/week/month (delete as applicable), I suggest you bring a little bit of pleasure into your life and head to one of Spa Experience's locations to get in on the thermal action.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE ON OFFER?
Consisting of several chambers, and each housing a different heat treatment, Spa Experience's locations boast an impressive amount of features, including:
Hammam A relaxing heated seating area and the perfect introduction to the thermal spa experience.
Relaxation area Quite the sanctuary! This quiet area is a haven to unwind, with complimentary infused water, fresh fruit, magazines and blankets all thrown in for good measure.
Sauna A ‘dry’ heat treatment in a wood-lined room with a temperature reaching 90C, designed to induce perspiration in order to cleanse the body of impurities.
Scented steam rooms Great for hydrating skin, the gorgeously scented steam rooms can also relieve a number of complaints including sinus congestion.
Plunge pool The point of the Thermal Spa is to alternate heat treatments with cooler ones, which stimulates circulation and can also improve cardiovascular health. The icy Plunge Pool is sure to get your blood pumping!
Ice fountain The Ice Fountain produces ice flakes to be rubbed on the body. A great therapy for the 'control freaks' amongst us, as you are in direct command of how cold you want to get!
Monsoon showers Bliss! Several jets release scented water, creating contrasting shower experiences. These jets range from a warm tropical downpour to cool water, releasing a fine mist.
Bucket shower Cold water. In a bucket. Above your head. If you're feeling brave and want to totally immerse yourself in the experience (no pun intended), be our guest...
Hot rooms Based on a system dating back to Roman times, these hot, dry air rooms vary from moderate to intense heats. You can move from the Tepidarium (warm room), to the Caldarium (hot room) and Laconium (hottest room).
Hydrotherapy pool Multiple jets working on different muscle groups to pummel away any stress and fatigue from the body.
(It's handy to note that facilities between locations differ - check individual spas for specifics!)
WHAT ARE THE OVERALL BENEFITS OF THE THERMAL SPA?
First and foremost the thermal spa is designed to relieve you of stress and anxiety; be prepared to unwind to the max. You have a total of 3 hours to spend in the facilities, so don't clock off after 2 hours and 50 mins - use every second to truly appreciate the experience.
The thermal therapies can also ease aches, pains and stiff joints, relax your muscles, detox your skin and aid respiration and blood flow.
Weaving the spa into your regular day-to-day life is guaranteed to make a world of difference to your wellbeing. Regular trips to the gym, hairdresser or dentist are practically almost always scheduled into our daily lives. I think it's important to think about how a regular visit to the Thermal Spa could remarkably aid your general health too.
ADD A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA SPECIAL - THE TURKISH EXPERIENCE
Spa Experience's Old Street location offers a unique add-on to its Thermal Spa, which I was lucky enough to try out. If you're looking to take your thermal experience a bit further, I URGE you to indulge in the traditional Turkish Experience - which combines a signature wash, scrub and massage. (The package includes full access to the Thermal Spa, recommended to be used both before and after your treatment.)
Luxurious La Sultane Du Saba products (probably better described as magic in a bottle) are used throughout the treatment, and show instant results.
The eucalyptus and olive black soap (used as an all over body wash), and the lush shea butter (included in the massage afterwards) were my personal highlights as far as the products go.
Personally, my skin has never looked or felt better. 'Glowing' is the word I'd like to use here. Seriously, the exfoliation and shea butter massage combined conjured up some serious skin rejuvenation. Overall, the Turkish Experience provided excellent results and a real original treat on top of the use of the Thermal Spa.
TOP TIPS - GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VISIT!
Always start with a thorough shower before you head into the spa, removing all make-up, deodorants and perfume. Pure skin is what you need!
Take regular breaks throughout your experience to ensure you achieve the full benefits of each room. The relaxation room is there at your disposal - use it!
Following on from that point - drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid rehydration. You will find plenty of infused water in there to make sure of this.
Before getting dressed and leaving the spa, make sure you cool off properly – putting on clothes straight away may leave you feeling a little unwell.
The sauna helps skin to detoxify and regenerate, which is great, but it may dehydrate dry skin if you don’t moisturise afterwards. Spa Experience locations offer a variety of skincare products to purchase if you fancy treating yourself. Ask for advice on their ranges.
Don't forget your swimwear! Robes, towels and slippers are provided.
Don't be afraid to speak up - let the therapist know what you want. For example, if the exfoliation during the Turkish Experience is a little too intense, communicate that. The point is to get what you want, don't be shy!
INFORMATION AND PRICES
The Turkish Experience is only available at Spa Experience's Old Street location and is £60 including access to the Thermal Spa. You can find the package here.
The Thermal Spa access at other Spa Experience locations is priced as follows;
Old Street - £26 Bethnal Green - £26 Waltham Forest - £26 Wimbledon - £19 Kensington - £15 Welwyn Garden City - £12.50 Epsom - £12.50 Taunton - £12 Belfast - £15 Swiss Cottage - £11.25