Monday morning and I am frazzled. Caitlin is now in secondary school and we are up at an unholy hour (well 6:30). The school run is frantic and involves a lot of raised voices and arm waving. As you might imagine the chance to relax in the peace and quiet of one of my favourite hotel spas is like manna from heaven.
I enlist my friend Helen to share a Tapas & Tranquillity experience at The Laguna Health Club & Spa which is attached to the Park Plaza Hotel in Cardiff.
We can have full access to the pool, steam room and jacuzzi from 8 am but manage to get ourselves there at the more respectable hour of 10 am. The deal also includes one ESPA Express Treatment each and then (oh joy), a sharing platter of Tapas and a glass of vino in the Laguna Bar.
You’d think using a spa might be out of your budget but this is an excellent offer of £89 for two people – extremely reasonable and a lovely gift for anyone who needs a bit of time to kick back and relax.
The Laguna Health Club & Spa is a short walk from Cardiff Queen Street Railway Station and there are several NCP car parks nearby. (We parked in the Capitol Car Park which offers the best value for money).
The spa is accessed via the sleek interior of the Park Plaza Reception and its reception sits on the first floor where you’ll also find the gym.
On arrival, we were asked to complete a brief health questionnaire just to let the ladies carrying out our spa treatments know whether there were any health complaints they needed to know about.
The pool, steam room and jacuzzi are situated downstairs with generously sized fitting rooms, all equipped with showers, hairdryers and plenty of mirrors in which to survey the transformation from frazzled to slightly more serene.
Being of a delicate disposition, Helen and I opted to stay in the relaxation room which overlooks parkland and trees and where, frankly, I could have stayed all day. The lovely reception staff served us coffee and we spent a happy half hour chilling and talking to fellow spa guests.
My express treatment was the ESPA Salt & Oil Scrub which you can have either as a stand-alone treatment or in preparation for an ESPA Massage. It’s a skin-softening exfoliation treatment which combines sea salt with essential oils to leave your skin nourished, smooth and supple.
The exfoliation treatment is then applied and you then shower it off before your therapist returns to apply moisturiser. I had the ESPA Relaxing Salt Scrub which tingled slightly without being harsh. This was followed by the lovely ESPA Bergamot & Jasmine Body Lotion – a light, daily body moisturiser.
My skin was baby-soft and smooth and next time I will be certainly adding in the full massage. It’s so easy to drift off in the dimly lit treatment room with gentle music playing that you forget about the hustle and bustle going on in the heart of Cardiff city centre. Tranquillity indeed.
Helen opted for the ESPA Personalised Express Facial which includes a consultation, SkinVision analysis, cleanse, exfoliation, personalised facial mask and finishes with an application of a booster serum to suit your skin.
Her therapists used ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk, Refining Skin Polish, Hydrating Floral Spafresh Aromatic Toner, Bio-Active Eye Cleanser, Soothing Eye Lotion, 24-hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser, and 24-hour Replenishing Moisturiser.
As one of the world’s leading skincare brands, ESPA is housed in some of the most opulent and luxurious spas around the globe. Their ethos is that every person can achieve natural beauty and inner calm and their products are formulated with a blend of active botanicals and nourishing extracts, to deliver the very best nutrition to face, body and hair.
The Laguna spa also offers a range of treatments from its signature eco-friendly brand, Pevonia which has celebrity fans such as Angelina Jolie and Eva Mendes. There’s a treatment to suit everyone.
Helen emerged nicely relaxed and glowing with equally smooth skin.
We couldn’t fault our treatments (both would cost £35 when purchased separately), however, as a recommendation, the unisex bathrobes supplied could be bigger and a hairband for the facial would have been a nice touch. And since the express treatments are carried out in 25 minutes, there was, perhaps understandably, little time to languish in the shower or be talked through the products used. A lengthier treatment would definitely have added to the ‘zen’ of the experience.
That said, everything was spotlessly clean and comfortable and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful.
Then it was off to the Laguna Bar for our tapas and we were given the choice of either a meat sharing platter or a vegan one.
Given that we had spent the morning replenishing our mental and physical reserves, we opted for the healthier choice and received a lovely platter of vegan treats including:-
Everything was light and fresh and the sharing platter really was a feast for the eyes. The glass of full-bodied Merlot was welcome too.
The Chill Hummus had a delicate but noticeable heat whilst the Quinoa, Butternut and Beetroot Salad had a delicious sweetness. There was plenty of food to go around and we left feeling pleasantly full and very relaxed.
There are a number of spa packages to choose from such as the Hendrick’s Gin Afternoon Tea & Spa, the Hen Party Twilight Supper & Spa and the Spa Group Package which combines a spa treatment and a traditional afternoon tea.
The Tapas & Tranquillity experience costs £89 for two and is available Monday to Thursday. To book telephone 02920 111 110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a great way to start the week!
*We were gifted our Tapas & Tranquillity Package. All views are our own honest opinion.