I’ve not visited many spa’s and quite frankly, it’s because I’ve gotten lazy. With one like Aqua Sana on my doorstep I’ve never felt the need to look much further afield. Last year I briefly covered our experience at Aqua Sana whilst recommending a new year spa stay but our second experience of their Luxury Break definitely warrants more detailed coverage.
Elveden Center Parcs is nestled within the forest, making it ideal for a peaceful off-the-grid break. If you enjoy spa experiences and time spent winding down, then their Luxury Spa Break is for you. You’ll be hosted in one of only four suite’s situated away from the village and connected directly to the spa.
Initially, the £398 price tag (and more over a weekend) seems a little steep, but there are plenty of hidden benefits which justify it. I’ve tried out a few of Aqua Sana’s different packages and whilst each offers its own benefits, the Luxury Spa stay actually works out the best value. Whilst the day packages are great for visiting with friends, as a couple, the Luxury Stay is perfect.
The Luxury Spa Break & Inclusions
As you’d expect, the break includes a night in one of the suites and access to both Center Parcs village and Aqua Sana over the two days. It also includes treatments for both guests: a hot stone massage as standard, with the option to upgrade to another 55 minute treatment for an additional £15. I upgraded my treatment to a facial but Jamie has enjoyed the hot stone massage twice now.
To put pricing in perspective straight away: a ‘simple spa day’ consisting only of lunch and access costs £105. Times that by two people for two days, you’re looking at £420 without the luxury of a bed or treatments.
In terms of food, the stay includes refreshments on arrival and within your suite as well as lunch (on your preferred day) at the spas Vitalé Cafe. Breakfast is included and can also be taken in the Vitalé Cafe. Instead, we opted to have it brought up to our suite and enjoyed it on the balcony. £50 worth of vouchers which are redeemable across the whole of Center Parcs are also issued on arrival. We tend to put these towards the cost of our evening meal, but they can be used against anything. From activities, additional treatments or even in the Starbucks!
The Spa Itself & How To Get The Most Out Of It
With any package, access to the spa and each of its seven experience rooms comes as standard. Although we usually make the most of every one, my favourites like the Greek Herbal Bath provide dry heat. Outside each of the rooms is a sign which features benefits and advice on how long to stay in each.
The key to making the most of each experience room is to actively relax. This sounds like an obvious statement but you’ll advantage much more by closing your eyes and clearing your mind.
Many of the experiences aim to detoxify, read: you’ll sweat a lot. Keeping hydrated is key and there are multiple stations from which to grab water and even some fruit. Between experiences there are plenty of simple yet effective cosy areas which are perfect for relaxing. I’m not the biggest fan of the plain seating but the water beds, hanging chairs and blanketed pods are all brilliant.
– Doing nothing is harder for some than others. If you’re someone who likes to keep a least a little occupied then make sure to take a book.
– Some of the rooms will leave your swimwear damp. Hop into the Tyrolean Sauna and you’ll dry off after a few minutes.
– Robes and towels are provided with any package but flip-flops are only provided with a stay. Make sure to bring your own if you’re going on a day basis. You might not need them for the majority of the day but when you need a wee you’ll be grateful for them.
– As a contacts wearer I make sure to wear dailies to the spa rather than my usual monthlies. Unless you’re planning on avoiding all of the more humid rooms and the pool, I’d definitely advise this over wearing monthlies or glasses.