Something to Declare: A hotel that makes you look as good as you feel? Yes please

 

As a youngster, talk of "health farms" and time spent swanning about in big fluffy robes and plopping into hot tubs with mountain views sounded like the pinnacle of glamour.

I dreamt of being an adult who would spend hard-earned cash on sweating in Scandinavian saunas or lying supine in a white room with scented candles and lotus flowers floating in pretty ceramic bowls. I've since learnt that it's all very well stealing floaty, fragrant me-time, but I'd also like some anti-ageing abracadabra to go with it.

In my twenties, as I was tense from 12-hour days hunched over a computer, my dark circles and partied-out liver pleaded to collapse in a spa. But while a splash of whale music and a nice lady rubbing in rose oil took me down a gear or two, it was not for long. And, after a while, I found relaxing to be a bit, well, boring.

Now, I've decided that medispas are just what the doctor ordered for this nearly 40-year-old: sexy, soothing hotel spaces as dazzling in function as they are form. I had this epiphany at Anassa in Cyprus, thanks to QMS Medicosmetics, a skincare range developed by a surgeon, Dr Erich Schulte. An oxygen-enhanced "classic collagen facial" in the luxury hotel's Thalassa Spa left me looking like I'd had a facelift. But instead of nips and knives, we're talking unguents and non-invasive applications. Being left blissed out was a mere by-the-by.

Now on a mission to age as gracefully as Jane Fonda (get me!), if I ever have a windfall, I'll be signing up for La Réserve Ramatuelle's "ultimate regenerating experience". A spell in this exclusive hotel near St-Tropez will set you back several thousand euros, but be assured it does include a full medical with a doctor, plus the tuppence-worth from an osteopath and nutritionist, personal training, low-cal haute cuisine, as well as "a morphological study and diagnosis of adipose tissue". Cool!

My Mr & Mrs Smith compadre, James Lohan, winces at recollections of beauticians of yore asking about his holidays in a sing-song voice. "The great thing about medical spas is you can be sure you're getting someone who knows what they're doing. I want it to feel more professional and not have to listen to someone tell me about her boyfriend troubles."

There's a fine line between medical and clinical, but we are as entitled to expect high standards from our spas as we do from hotels. I've spent time at Ayurvedic retreats where the practitioners of this ancient Hindu medicine can truly work wonders. SwaSwara in Karnataka delivers both authenticity and integrity: there's a minimum stay of a week and the intensive bespoke wellness programmes are overseen by qualified Ayurvedic doctors.

So the days of simply ringing down for a massage or rocking up at a broom cupboard for a facial are over. Wellness centres can't get away with simply being charming any more – we demand substance to their style. Needles and knives aren't my thing, so never mind the Botox, but if that person in a white coat can perform a longer-lasting spa equivalent of wiping a little Vaseline on the lens, I'll be booking in.

Juliet Kinsman is the editor-in-chief of Mr & Mrs Smith hotel guides (mrandmrssmith.com).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory