AS I’ve mentioned previously, we were pretty lucky this year with the October weather. However, we did have one rather soggy weekend to contend with, but I found a great way to forget all about those rain clouds.

You must have noticed that there are special offers and vouchers popping up all over the local newspapers and websites. Some of the discounts you can get are amazing and provide a real opportunity to try something or somewhere new that perhaps you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Now, I confess to being a deal queen – always on the look out! Recently a good friend of mine was feeling completely stressed out about work and definitely needed a “pick me up” treat. She had mentioned enjoying spa days where she lived previously and so when I saw an amazing 73% off voucher for a few hours in a posh spa not too far from where we live, I snapped it up thinking it would be perfect for her.

I, on the other hand, was a spa virgin. It’s really not my thing at all, or so I thought!

Initially, it lived up to my expectations. The lady on duty didn’t really understand the role of welcomer or greeter, grumbling that she couldn’t find our booking. One way to really wind me up! I even offered to email her the confirmation from my phone but apparently that wouldn’t have helped as the computer was most definitely saying nooooooo!

Just as I was ready to leave, she underwent a personality transformation and came round to the idea that we had booked and, after then, I have to say, she was actually very pleasant. She explained all the different areas of the relaxation spa (we’d already declined her kind offer of an hour long gym session) and showed us the way to the changing rooms.

Wow, “changing rooms” sounds so inadequate. The words remind me of the smelly locker rooms where we used to wriggle in and out of our wet swimming costumes at the municipal baths in my hometown. Instead, these “changing palaces” were bigger than my apartment and richly decorated in a dark wood moorish style. Hidden in each locker we found a huge bath towel and fluffy bath robe. The showers had stylish frosted glass doors behind which a selection of gels, shampoos and conditioners were begging to be used. But first to the spa…

Well, I’m still a bit baffled. But I can tell you that the jacuzzi was to die for with cascades of warm water falling on your back and underwater jets pummelling the rest of you. There was a Mediterranean sauna, a hammam steam room and a herbal aromatic steam room. An array of different showers completed the spa area: some shot water at your nether regions, others plopped rain style drops on your head and one cascaded a waterfall over my friend while she sat on a marble stool (it looked, somewhat disconcertingly, as if she was sitting on the loo!). All were preprogrammed to alter the water temperature in set patterns between gloriously warm and horribly cold. It may be good for your circulation but give me hot, hot, hot showers any day! Finally, there was a large seashell design basin in the centre with freezing cold water in it – to refresh your face apparently. Brrrrr!

We enjoyed a lovely couple of hours catching up on news while diving between the showers, saunas and jacuzzis. I’m sure the other, very quiet patrons wished we hadn’t been there (bizarrely we were the only women there – perhaps the men present were husbands lying low while their wives cooked Sunday lunch?)

Would I go to a spa again? Well, as I said, we went on a voucher deal which meant that it was a ridiculously cheap way to enjoy what otherwise would have cost us around €50 each. There are very few people I want to see me prancing around in my swimming costume which would limit opportunities somewhat but yes, at such a discounted price, I would go again. At full price? Never in a month of Soggy Sundays.

Although absolutely no exercise was involved in our purely relaxing spa experience, we both decided that wallowing around in spas made us starving hungry and so we rounded off our girlie morning with a lovely lunch in San Pedro. Now that’s more like it!

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