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Tried & Tested: Wahanda's weekend at Lifehouse

From: Meghan Writes,

15
February
2011
Tried & Tested: Wahanda's weekend at Lifehouse

When it was said that the Wahanda team would be spending a weekend at Lifehouse, the UK’s newest destination spa, we came from near and we came from far. The Americans got on a plane and the Brits hopped into their cars and filed onto trains.

Essex here we come!

From the minute we got off the train in the little village of Thorpe-Le-Soken and piled into a van that was already waiting to take us on the final leg of our journey, it was clear that the Lifehouse staff aimed to please.

And please they did.

Not only was I immediately impressed by Lifehouse’s modern and welcoming atmosphere (the perfect mix of Scandinavian austerity and light-hearted fun), but everyone was just bursting out of their skin with friendliness.

After a young man in Lifehouse-maroon took our bags we were ushered into the Orchids bar area for some tea and a breakdown of what was to come. The first question out of a number of our mouths (the jet-lagged Americans in particular) was "is there Internet access here?"

"Oh no, no," the spa's managing director Bernie said. "We need to get you city people away from all that."

Now we're all for pampering, but don’t get between the Wahanda crew and the Internet. (Yes, my name is Meghan and I have a problem…)

But after seeing the looks on our faces, and our jaws drop in succession, Bernie assured us that there was Internet in the guest rooms and the library, but other than that, there is no Internet access in Lifehouse. It is truly meant to be a sanctuary.

Alright, alright, I told myself… maybe this will be good for me.

After a light lunch and a stop at the juice bar we were given time to explore the spa facilities and to get a Lifehouse Signature Facial or a Signature Massage.

Determined to make the most of the time before my facial, I got into my bathing suit, slippers and robe and made my way down to the pool and hydrotherapy area. Between a short dip in the pool, the hydrotherapy bath, the salt inhalation room and the scented shower (that I spent more than my fair share of time in), I was a wrinkly little fish by the time I floated to my facial appointment.

My facial was a little slice of heaven. The 60-minute Lifehouse Signature Facial uses only BABOR products and my facialist assured me that she would come up with the perfect combination for my acne-prone combination skin. My therapist was so gentle I thought seriously about proposing to her. I would have paid just to have her stroke my face, forget about the products! With relaxing music playing while I was nestled under a heated blanket, I could have melted into the ground right there in the treatment room. Two thumbs up.

Following our individual treatments we all participated in a comical group fitness bootcamp session, before we dispersed and made our ways to our rooms. I think every one of us can agree that the rooms at Lifehouse are an absolute treat – from the high-tech digital showers and the heated towel racks to the deliciously soft beds. (Oh, and did I mention that they have wireless access?) After catching up on email, a 45-minute shower and a cat nap, I regretfully traded my robe and slippers for street clothes and headed down to Water Lilies restaurant for dinner.

After an appetizer of local wild mushrooms, followed by a cod entrée, a delicious rice pudding for dessert – all of which were accompanied with free-flowing wine – we were feeling pretty good. I can honestly say that I could feel the difference fresh, local food was making in my body. Not surprisingly, one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in recent memory was waiting for me in my room.

There was so much to love about our stay at Lifehouse, and after a lot of thought I think I’ve managed to whittle it down. I have to say that what I liked most about Lifehouse was how they extended their brand to the tiniest details. From the flower logo on the back pocket on the staff’s pants (yes I looked) to the logo on every water bottle. It’s those kinds of things that make it clear that you’re in a one-of-a-kind place, and it doesn’t go unnoticed, or appreciated.

All in all, I would say that Lifehouse put together an impressive weekend for us. But what was most notable – even more than the meals and organized activities – was just how beautiful the facility is. Understandably, there were some minor administrative hiccups. (At the time of our visit, Lifehouse was only 3 weeks old!) But for being able to entertain a crew like Wahanda when you’re not even 1 month old… we’d say Lifehouse has got it where it counts.

Thanks again to Lifehouse for showing us a fabulous time. And I'm happy to say, none of us died from Internet withdrawal. In fact, it was good for us.

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Meghan is a Rhode Island native and enthusiastic New York City transplant. She writes with glee on anything from American Idol to eyelashes and really knows how to eat a burrito. Meghan can also moonwalk, but don't ask her to show you... it's reserved for special occasions.

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