Spa getaways are pretty much my dream mini-break. I ask for them for every opportunity I can in my personal life – for birthday gifts all the way to Christmas. Stocking fillers? Make mine a massage gift certificate. What do I want for my birthday? A full day in a spa. Forget the VIP table at the hottest club in town – I want to be relaxing with a glass of champagne in a nice hotel (with a spa of course).
Careys Manor is a lovely hotel in the tranquil New Forest and with it comes SenSpa, an award-winning spa that specialises in Thai therapy within 5-star facilities.
Come with me on a tour….
Careys Manor is a quaint hotel and as soon as I arrived I could feel the daily stress of London life starting to fade away. Forget the crowds – if you are craving a mini-break away from London or any city really, this is a lovely place to escape to. The hotel is surrounded by greenery and trees which was a pleasant shock to my city eyes (accustomed to greys, browns and whites). There is something about getting back in touch with nature that brings you back down to earth.
So this brings me to the key point about Careys Manor – it’s relaxing and it’s an escape that you won’t realise how bad you need until you get there (and it’s only an hour and a half from London!). The rooms are spacious and comfortable and mine had a great view of greenery – a sight for sore city eyes if you know what I mean!
While you are staying at Careys Manor it is a must-do to try out the SenSpa products (produced by the very spa that Careys Manor sits next to) and if you want to read my full review on them please do so here – they are gorgeous products and are not only natural and paraben-free but also at a reasonable price point.
As I mentioned before, Careys Manor has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the interior is really quaint – it has the feel of a elegant country house with wood finishes, paintings and plush couches dotted around everywhere that really adds to the relaxing feel of the place.
SenSpa is attached to Careys Manor and this award-winning spa is well worth the visit. I was able to indulge in the Sen Fusion Signature Massage. Let me tell you that first of all, I am addicted to massages which in fact makes me very picky because I can tell a good massage from a bad one. The Sen Fusion one was a GOOD one. Not just good but EXCELLENT. I was able to tell my therapist exactly where I was experiencing tension (shoulders, neck and lower back) and that I liked a deep-pressure massage. She not only used the deepest pressure I could handle but she also really worked on those areas of tension. I could literally feel the knots dissolving under her touch. And my knots are not easy to work out.
She worked and worked and I was so happy to have the full 90 minute experience because it really did take that long to work out some of these knots! The amazing thing is that the therapist could feel every single knot and differences between the right and left side of my body – the true sign of a professional. The pressure never weakened and she did exactly what I wanted to. The oils she used during the massage as well (SenSpa’s own) smelled amazing and also helped me to relax. I would HIGHLY recommend this massage to anyone who feels fatigued, overworked, sore and sluggish. It is truly a tension-busting experience.
SenSpa has stunning facilities. Not only can you choose from some amazing Thai massages and facials to indulge in but there is also access to a variety of steam rooms, pools, experience showers, ice room and tepidarium.
A stay here is not complete without access to these facilities. There is a hydrotherapy pool (below) with massaging bubble jets that relax muscles, ease tension and increase circulation. The temperature of the pool is just right as well – not too hot but warm enough to be able to stay in for a long time.
I spent about three hours alternating between hot and cold therapy (I told you I was serious about spas). I first hit the sauna for the feeling of just pure relaxing heat that makes my muscles feel like they are melting. Then it was a hop into the experience showers where you can choose from a shower emulating a warm tropical rainfall, a refreshing cold sea storm or an ice storm to refresh your senses.
Once I shower off, I use the ice room to rub ice all over my body to cool down. Then it’s back to the steam room or sauna where I alternate this for the next three hours and feel amazing afterwards! It also makes your skin seriously glow and is fantastic for circulation and detoxing.
When you go away on a mini-break with the key goal of relaxation you want to be sure that first of all, someone else is going to cook and second of all that it is going to be good! I was really impressed with the amazing food at both Careys Manor and at SenSpa.
Within Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa, there are three dining options to choose from and ingredients are locally sourced and delicious!
For dinner, I ate at Cambium where Chef Paul Peter says “I like to use local ingredients in a worldly way reinterpreting a dish to take advantage of the local area’s rich natural resources”.
The breakfast at Cambium is also amazing with smoked salmon, fresh fruit and amazing options to build yourself a full English breakfast. You definitely won’t starve and this is a breakfast buffet that you actually wake up looking forward to.
I was also able to try the Zen Garden Restaurant which offers traditional Thai food – delicious pad thai and the Beef Mussaman curry was the best I’ve had since Thailand!