by The Telegraph, April 19, 2017
Our sleuth investigates the curative claims of wellbeing retreats worldwide. This week: the soothing powers of The Spa at the Norton Park hotel in Sutton Scotney, near Winchester.
Small, but perfectly formed, the spa is in the modern wing of the hotel just a short stroll from our room. With an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and eight treatment rooms, it offers a welcome space to unwind.
Spy is struggling from insomnia after years of broken nights' sleep, thanks to the growing number of the little people in the family who seem to think that sleep is overrated. Added to this, neck pains are proving troublesome and the lower back is feeling particularly rigid.
A one night-stay at the Norton Park hotel (from £115 for a standard double room with breakfast) and a 55-minute aromatherapy massage (£70), which can be tailored to target specific "problem" areas in the body with a blend of uplifting essential oils.
The treatment starts slowly with gentle strokes up legs and arms before concentrating on the knots and niggles embedded in the back. Don't be shy to ask for a firmer pressure to the massage if you prefer as therapists can sometimes go too gently. Luxurious Espa oils are applied to smooth over and hydrate the skin. Afterwards Spy heads to the warm indoor pool for a gentle float before reclining on the heated beds for a few more blissful moments.
After a delicious dinner, medicinal glass of wine and the relaxing spa treatment earlier in the day, Spy managed a full night of sleep and woke up feeling refreshed and in happy spirits.
The feel-good factor
This four-star hotel on the outskirts of Winchester is set within 54 acres of landscaped gardens and grounds which is well worth exploring. The action occurs in the modern wing of the hotel, where you will find most of the bedrooms, the Scene restaurant and the spa with indoor swimming pool. If you prefer a more historic feel to your surroundings try for a room in the more atmospheric 16th century Manor house which has 13 bedrooms. It is definitely worth staying for dinner here. The food is seasonal, well cooked and generous with good quality produce and an excellent range of choice.
A special offer of a one-night stay at the hotel with breakfast, lunch, dinner (and a glass of champagne) and a free treatment costs £155 per person until the 4th of June. See qhotels or call 01962 763000 for more information.