I’ve had a busy month. Actually, scratch that – I’ve had a busy three months! Back in August I started a new job, in September I started my personal trainer course and by October I had to find time to begin my marathon training as well. It’s all been so exciting to do, but as Christmas approaches, I am definitely in need of a break!
A couple of weeks ago Bristol Harbour Hotel invited some bloggers down to see their new spa, have some festive drinks and give us a voucher to come back and try the spa for ourselves. I was thrilled – this was exactly the kind of chill pill I needed. So this week, after all my work deadlines were done and the first part of my PT exams were passed, Jon and I headed to the Bristol HarSpa to get our relaxation on.
At the blogger event we’d discovered that the spa is actually underneath the hotel, in the former bank vaults of the building. As soon as you walk down the circular staircase and through the door, you already feel miles away from the stresses of everyday life – the rooms are beautifully decorated, warm and softly lit. Fluffy bath robe and slippers in hand, we went to get ready in the plush changing rooms (gals, there’s a hairdryer and some incredible (and very flattering) mirrors in there!) and then into the spa.
The spa is almost like a maze of relaxation; at every turn there’s a new nook to settle down and chill out, all set against features of the original vaults which creates a pretty awesome vibe. We grabbed a glass of cucumber water and then headed into the main section of the spa, which is where they have their swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna. After lounging on one of their amazing bed-like relaxation areas, we spent a good hour moving from pool to sauna to steam room to jacuzzi, all of which were big enough to share, but also small enough to feel like they’d been put there just for you.
At the event, we’d also gotten to try out some of the treatments that happen deeper in the vaults – I went for an express scalp massage, and it was heavenly. The team are also just about to release their own product line for the spa, made locally in Bath. I can’t wait to try them out!
Once we’d finished splashing about in the water, we rounded another corner and found ourselves in another one of the spa’s relaxation areas, this time lit by just one glowing light and filled with cushions that stretched out across most of the room. We lost all sense of time as we lounged in the darkness, dropping almost into a meditative state, which was a lovely treat for my busy mind.
By the time we were ready to go, we both felt completely refreshed and relaxed. Walking out into the busy (and rainy, thanks Bristol) street, it seemed almost as if no time had passed at all, but we had been completely revitalised. Top tip: if you don’t have to rush off afterwards, head to the hotel’s Gold Bar for a drink – we tried their Christmas Pudding cocktail at the blogger event and it was amazing (and oh-so-easy to drink, oops!). The bar is all little rooms with cosy armchairs and mood lighting, which is the perfect way to finish a relaxing evening.
When I got home, I was getting my diary out to work out when I would have time to go back for another session when I remembered that the HarSpa also offers a membership scheme. I checked the info we’d received at the blogger event – their off-peak subscription is only £30 a month and means I can pop in to this haven of relaxation before or after work for some sauna time, a quick workout in the gym (oh yes, there’s a gym too) or even just to have a digital detox and read in the jacuzzi for half an hour.
I’ve decided that this year’s new year’s resolution will be to make sure I take time for myself, even when I’m super-busy – and if it’s a resolution, it basically means I have to become a member now, right? I wonder if I can convince Jon to buy me a membership for Christmas…