It has been a hard week for me and without going into too much detail, I needed some time away from everything to clear my head and organize my thoughts. Normally the thought of being single on Valentines Day used to fill me with dread and the notion of having to be sappy and lovey dovey is not something I am entirely comfortable with. That being said I had made it my mission this year to see Valentines Day as an opportunity to treat myself and give me the break that I so very needed. I was suffering from serious burn out and with all the personal issues that have been building up over time, I needed an experience that would get me back into that positive mindset. So when Treatwell offered me an early V day gift and told me to treat myself, I knew the only answer could be a resounding yes. All I had to do was put in my code, choose a treatment and book, it was as simple as that! The day couldn’t come quick enough but even the promise of fresh air did nothing to lighten my mood. Thankfully the thought of relaxation in the Turkish Hamman Experience at Crystal Palace Spa was something to look forward to, despite how rough I was feeling.
Immediately I was struck by the welcoming staff, especially the second receptionist who saw me looking upset and came over to make sure I was ok. I was so awed by her calm presence and when she told me that she could stop the treatment at any time or even re-schedule it touched me to know there was such kindness in the world. Taking me into the Turkish experience section, I was sat in a glorious cove filled with divans and low lighting, while I waited to be called into the baths. Before the treatment began I was asked whether I preferred a chocolate or Rose body scrub, and advised to choose the chocolate scrub, since rose can irritate sensitive skin. After stripping down to my underwear, I was allocated a 15 minute slot in the wet steam room and it felt glorious. I could feel the tension easing and while my thoughts were running rampant I concentrated on mindful energy that could help me feel cleansed and rejuvanated. According to scientific research steam rooms are more hydrating for your skin than saunas because it uses vapid ‘wet’ based heat, rather than the stifling dry heat’ used in saunas. The room was shrouded in a wet steam mist and it felt oddly satisfying feeling the sweat drip down my body. I was almost sorry to be told my time in the steam rooms were up but after being led into the beautifully intimate hamman baths, I relished the chance to try something new.
During the process of the treatment, it felt slightly subdued but rather than that being a ‘negative’, I relished a chance to relax and be at one with my thoughts. The calming scent of natural oils and the soft plop of bubbles became the soundtrack to my treatment, complimenting the traditional Turkish music that lilted so hauntingly above. R began by placing me on my back on top of the marble slab, which Hamman experiences use as a treatment table. It felt strangely Neolithic and a little bit uncomfortable but gradually I got used to it and used my arms as a pillow for my head, while R scrubbed every inch of me. Using a loofah mitt, my body was polished until it was practically sparkling and when I commented how ‘soft my skin must be’, she demonstrated how the abrasive loofah had removed so much dead skin from my body. It was like an out of body experience seeing all the dead skin but I could feel how soft my body was becoming after the scrub. I felt like I had quite literally shed my skin and marveled at the powers that this singular loofah had possessed. In between scrubs I would be doused with glorious pails of hot fragrant water and watching the water wash over me felt like a beautiful eternal bath. Once the dead skin had been washed away it was time to get ‘soapy’.
Citrus bubbles were poured over me, wafting a delicious scent of fresh lemon around the room. Rather than being ‘sterile’ the lemon felt clean, fresh and deliciously fragrant. As someone who personally loves the smell of lemon it felt like my idea of heaven and quite possibly might have been my favourite part of the treatment. Using a rolling massage technique, R roamed across my body, tackling problem areas like my back to remove the knots. Unlike the deep tissue massage I had at Boutique Spa, the treatment massage was designed to be gentle which I didn’t mind as I came to relax and would have chosen a more intensive treatment if I was there to focus on my joint issues only. I was beginning to smell like lemonade and rejoiced, as a citrus scent is a favourite smell of mine and it smelt like home. But nothing could have prepared me for the beauty that was a ‘chocolate’ mask and scrub. Growing up I would lavish slices of toast lovingly with heaps of Nutella and the familiar scent of hazelnut made me feel like a kid once again. It was a strange irony, me a full grown adult getting internal giggles about being covered head to toe in chocolate but at least it had made me feel a little better than I had pre-treatment! I was asked to remain lying down covered in chocolate for 15 minutes to let the mask set and once R came back in, I was permitted to use the shower.
I know I keep using this word but it was glorious, like the best shower I have ever had in my life. Normally I have to be in and out of the shower in 10 minutes but here I could savor the moment and relish the hot steaming water, run my fingers through my hair. Even the shower gel, shampoo and conditioner felt fabulous, again a delicious sweet citrus-this time pineapple- that made me temporarily forget all the troubles that would be waiting for me in the real world. To end my treatment I was given a steaming cup of peppermint tea and took my time in the divan cove, letting time pass by without worrying about how much I had to do when I got home. Sometimes it’s important to live life in the moment and thanks to Treatwell, I was able to give myself the V day treat that I so deserved.
- Due to Treatwells Discount I was able to have a £39 treatment, originally double the price, which considering its a 90 minute treatment is very reasonably priced
- Staff were welcoming, considerate and always willing to help.
- The quality of service was excellent
- You may find the Hamman table uncomfortable but it is proven to aid reduction in muscle tension and joint pain
Have You Ever Had A Turkish Hamman Experience Before?
Please note I was given this treatment in exchange for this post but all thoughts and research is my own. For a limited time there is a 2 for 1 on selected spa days, 50 % off hair removal and a further 30% on off-peak manicures.
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