Ease away the strain at Chapel Spa
Whether a trip to the spa is a rare treat or something you try to squeeze in at least every couple of months to stay sane, the ambience can make or break the whole point of emerging in a revived state of relaxation.
Hotels can be too formal and aloof and high street clinics just too busy to feel like you've taken any time out at all.
Thank goodness for Chapel Spa, in Cheltenham, which manages to be unique and convenient all at the same time. As the name suggests, the boutique spa is located in a former chapel in North Place which has been tastefully renovated to create a welcoming, open-plan day spa with a communal space at its heart.
Around the edge of the seating area, there are seven treatment rooms, as well as a hydrotherapy pool, steam room, gym and even a rasul.
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Chapel Spa was voted Best Spa in the South West By the Good Spa Guide last year so you know you're in good hands.
The latest treatments to be introduced feature its very own brand of oils – Ease – which have been designed by the team and created by hand at Aqua Oleum in Stroud.
Five years ago the spa started developing its own treatments to offer something tailored to its clients. Last year, it topped that off by creating the range of oils which have been designed to work on three levels – mind, body and soul – meaning the benefits of the treatment don't have to stop when you head out of the door. The oils can be massaged into the skin yourself, used in the bath or as an oil burner so you can recreate the spa experience at home.
After a pitiful start to the new year plagued by colds, I booked in for a deep tissue back massage which is performed with the new Ease oils which are called Comfort, Release, Meditate, Boost and Nourish. After a consultation, my therapist Kat chose the Release oil for me which contains a blend of coconut oil, grapefruit, marjoram, black pepper and ginger which works to boost circulation and relieve muscular aches and pains.
The deep tissue massage is complemented with hot stones which help warm the muscles before deep pressure is applied to problem areas. Kat had her work cut out with my knotty shoulders, something she recommended treating with regular, professional massages.
She worked her way around the couch in bare feet until every inch of me was soothed.
While I might struggle to make the regular spa sessions she suggested, I might just be able to manage slipping a few drops of oil into the bath at night.