Monday 25 July 2011

Balinese Massage - Mandara Spa At Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge

One of my regrets on my honeymoon was not having a his and hers massage in Hawaii. I think it would have been lovely to have massaged away all the stresses of planning the wedding. So, when the opportunity arose for my husband and I to try the Balinese Massage at the Mandara Spa, Park Plaza we gladly accepted.

So a few hot Saturday's ago we hopped onto the train and found ourselves in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Westminster Bridge, where mime artists, human statues and hot dog vendors mingle with tourists. Having navigated out of the maze of people we walked a short distance to our destination, The Park Plaza. The hotel is in an excellent location for lots of tourist attractions but for once we were heading in the opposite direction.

 The building is a huge modern building, contemporary in design and pretty much impossible to miss. As we were early we sat down in the Espressamente illy coffee bar for a drink and a read of the papers (I managed to resist the gorgeously tempting cakes). Fifteen minutes before our massage appointment we took the designated 'spa lift' to the Mandara Spa located in the basement of the Hotel.

The Mandara Spa is the first Mandara Spa in the UK. The decor takes its inspiration from Asia with dark wood, bamboo and cream colour scheme and completes the feel with a wonderful black stone water fountain. This was in such contrast to the outside world that we had come from that it was a welcome escape and we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the Bali experience.

Having tried the Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Body Butter and loving it, I was looking forward to having the Balinese Massage. This is one of the Spa's signature services and described as 'Our most relaxing massage, harnessing the therapeutic properties of 100% pure essential oils. Used for centuries to renew, strengthen and heal both body and mind, this traditional therapy combines stretching, long strokes, skin rolling and palm and thumb pressure techniques to relieve tension, improve blood flow, ease stress and calm the mind. It can also help to improve the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular and nervous systems.'

We completed the obligatory health questionnaire and waited for our therapists to arrive. We were having our massages in the sole double therapy room.

Once shown to the room we were asked to remove our clothing and lie on the bed, a slight awkward moment occurred when I asked whether we should be completely naked or keep our pants on... the therapist replied that it was up to us, whichever made us more comfortable. The last time I had a massage the therapist had provided paper pants to wear and as this offer was not forthcoming on this occasion, I had to ask the question! We opted to keep our underwear on...However, had I read the PDF on the website a bit more closely I would have seen a section on what to wear and spared our blushes.

The room was warm, welcoming and extremely calming. The decor echoed what was outside, the lighting subdued and the music authentic. Once the therapists set to work my eyes were closed and I just drifted away while they performed their magic. The Balinese Massage was incredible as it combines different techniques of massage which really do work on all the senses. Just as you get comfortable with one style like rolling the therapist changes to another technique which felt really nice. As I was lying there I could smell essential oils being used on my body which was a sensory experience of its own, though I could not identify them.  Apparently you have the option of choosing from four aromatherapy oils depending on your requirements - Calming, Comforting, Sensual and Energising. We were not asked what we would like used on us but I 'think' that my husband had Citrus Spice oil used on him as he came away feeling energised and invigorated. I felt calm and relaxed after my massage so I may have had Tropical Blooms oil used on me, I cannot be sure but what I do know was that I smelt lovely and my skin was left soft and conditioned.

Once the massage was over we headed back to the waiting lounge and enjoyed the cold drinks of fresh lemon, orange and water on offer. There was also a selection of herbal teas. To eat, a choice of fresh fruit and tasty 'healthy' cakes.

We then headed to the Health Centre for a dip in the pool and use of the Sauna and Steam room. This belongs to the hotel so it is possible there will be other guests in there, which being a Saturday afternoon was full of boisterous youths

We left the Mandara Spa with a wonderful sense of contentment. My husband had a real spring in his step and for me, what made my day. was my mum saying that the massage must have done us a world of good as we both looked so well and ten years younger!

We had the 50 minute Mandara Spa Balinese Massage which costs £85 per person. For more details on this and other treatments visit Mandara Spa 

1 comment:

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