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SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel



Visited Sep 2009

I'm told that the best way to put a spa to the test is to arrive stressed out and knackered. I hadn't intended for this to be my approach when I set off for my day of pampering, but a series of delays and fraught phone calls en route soon saw to it that I was about as strung out and anxious as possible by the time I arrived.

Once settled in to the plush hotel room Carey's had arranged for my partner and I, however, I began to feel the stress subside a little. I suspect the freshly-chilled champagne helped here, but it wasn't until I ventured downstairs into the spa proper that I really remembered what it was to be calm...

Late as I was, I went straight into my treatment; an anti-stress Thai massage in one of the candlelit chambers adjascent to the pool and hydrotherapy suite. In half an hour I felt all the day's woes melt away as my friendly therapist worked mainly on my neck and shoulders, having asked me which parts needed most attention. There were smells, bells and only one or two yells from me as she kneeded away the tension.

Feeling utterly chilled, I followed up my massage with a proper tour of the spa's facilities. As well as the expected pool, jacuzzi and sauna, Sen Spa has an adjoining hydrotherapy suite for those on its spa break package. So I donned my bikini and went to see what was on offer.

The suite's main attraction is its therapy pool, which has specially designed underwater seating areas, where you can sit or lie in utmost comfort. Like a kid in a candy store I soon leapt into the warm water and started pressing all the buttons that make bubbles and fountains appear from nowhere.

Once out of the pool, I found myself faced with an inviting row of doors, each leading to a different sensory delight. The first door I tried led to the poshest sauna I've ever seen, complete with twinkly lights to aid relaxation. Next came the 'storm showers' which shoot out warm and cold water to simulate a tropical storm, with flashing lights and sound effects for extra ambience - surprisingly plesant after the dry heat of the sauna! Behind other doors, I found a Roman-style tepidarium, a crystal steam room and 'health showers' featuring aromatic mists.

It was soon time for dinner in the spa's own Thai restaurant, followed by a good night's sleep in my huge and comfortable bed. Despite being no morning person and quite keen to continue 'testing' the sleeping arrangements, I was up bright and early to make the most of my time at the spa.

The hours flew by and I left knowing that I'd happily recommend Sen Spa to anyone. It's ideal for anyone wanting a bit of high-octane pampering, but would also suit seasoned spa-addicts looking for something new. Whether you go with friends, a partner or on your own, you can guarantee you won't run out of things to do!

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