I’d heard rave reviews about The Sanctuary so couldn’t wait to finally try it out – it’d been on my spa to-do list for over a year. I decided to go for an evening session as I couldn’t justify taking time out of my working day, but having never been to a spa after dark, it made it all the more exciting.
When I arrived it was super busy, in fact maybe a little too busy as although I’d pre-booked a treatment, I was carted off by one of the spa staff and asked to fill in some forms. When I queried this she went off to ask someone else and took so long, I was conscious that I’d miss my treatment time so I ended up going to one of the helpdesks and sorting it myself. After that was sorted, I got shown to the changing rooms and was given my locker which came complete with robe and towel, but no footwear. It does advise you to bring flip-flops but it had totally slipped my mind so was told that I could walk round bare-foot instead. I think it’d be a nice touch if they had Sanctuary spa slippers!
I had my treatment in one of their many treatment rooms and it was slightly smaller than I expected, although I imagine that’s because there are so many visitors, they have to have plenty of rooms to accommodate them. My therapist was lovely and once I’d hopped off the massage table and the dressing gown was back on, she talked me through what products had been used and even offered me some advice on what I could do post-treatment – a nice touch rather than being escorted out of the room immediately after the treatment finished.
One thing I couldn’t get over is how big The Sanctuary actually is. To get to it you’re led via the small spa shop, up some stairs and into a main reception area, which is sizeable but nothing spectacular. However the spa itself is spread over four floors, and despite spending an entire evening exploring the venue, I’m convinced I still managed to miss some of it. I would therefore definitely advise having a quick tour, although maybe a little after you arrive so it’s not packed out.
There are so many ways to spend your time here that you don’t even need to come for a treatment to enjoy it as there are numerous pools and Jacuzzis along with sauna, steam room, sleep room and numerous relaxation areas and it really does attract a mixed crowd. There were people in groups, pairs or going solo and of every age (I was in the steam room with a family of three generations – daughter, mother and granddaughter) proving that it’s still got great appeal.