I arrived, clueless, at the Marbella Club for my ‘Boost Your Immune System’ package where I was handed a bottle of water, a bright white robe and a pair of slippers to get comfy in. Things were so far, so standard spa.
Then my therapist led me to my first treatment. The door opened onto a room that looked intimidatingly like a scene from Guillermo del Toro’s Shape of Water. In the middle of a white-tiled room, stood a deep bath with pipes and handles cascading out of it.
“Why did you choose this treatment?” asked the therapist, bemused by my nerves. “I was trying to experience something unusual,” I replied, regretful of my adventurousness.
This was the site of the underwater massage. Rather than a masseuse’s hand to pummel your muscles back into shape, your skin is instead pounded and pulled into relaxation by an intensive jet— sort of like a human pressure washer. After the initial fear it was, honestly, incredibly satisfying. As I floated about in the tub of water I felt my muscles become looser with less tension in my shoulders and calves, and we were not done yet.
After a few minutes respite by the heated indoor pool, I was called back to the treatment area outside a door labelled ‘Vichy shower’. Here is where I assume my jaw dropped. “This is definitely the most unusual thing we have,” my therapist confirmed as I reacted.
Above a massage table, complete with the normal headhole and neck pillow, were seven shower heads belting out seawater. As I lay face down beneath the jets there was a peculiar feeling of magic. I was entirely engulfed by water, yet somehow I could breathe: It was high-class waterboarding.
Scrubbed within an inch of my life using Thalasso salt and then coated in nutritious oils like a Sunday chicken ready for the oven, I emerged from the treatment rebooted, revitalised and sensationally smooth-skinned.
The rest of the the ‘Boost Your Immune System’ package afternoon was spent engulfing courgetti, quinoa, asparagus and green smoothies by the beach. I felt healthier than Gillian McKeith and so relaxed napping in public suddenly came under consideration.
Other than your gut feeling great, an additional bonus of day passes at luxury resorts is the ability to do good while feeling good. As trade from international visitors during the coronavirus pandemic has become increasingly unreliable, local customers have become vital in keeping the hotel industry afloat.
“When the hotel reopened after lockdown, we wanted to offer the Marbella Club experience to people who couldn’t travel around but wanted to feel special, or to people who maybe couldn’t afford to stay here but could come for the day,” PR manager of the Marbella Club Alejandra.
In a further philanthropic effort a percentage of each day pass sale at the Marbella Club goes to the Red Cross. “This was a way to get closer to our community and say we’re here, we’re part of the fabric of Marbella and we want to support you,” Alejandra says passionately.
Smooth skin, low calories and an opportunity to help those who need support in Spain from the hotel industry and further afield. Maybe there wasn’t so much to be scared of after all.
To find your nearest hotel offering day packages visit: www.hoteltreats.com/en/spain