A few weeks back, Mr. C and I mosied on down to The New Forest for a Spa Break at Careys Manor and SenSpa in Brockenhurst. Check-in was in the beautiful, old building and I loved the fact that the reception desk had hand-creams and other lotions and potions from the SenSpa for us to try out before we’d even filled in the registration form. So, hands soft and scented with lavender and grapefruit, we wandered over to our room in the newer part of the building
We stayed in one of the Garden Rooms which had French Doors opening out onto our own little patio and a delightful garden. As it was hovering around freezing point outdoors, we obviously didn’t choose to avail ourselves of that particular facility but hey, I can imagine that it would be a real bonus in the Summer. Our room had everything we needed, was much bigger than I’d expected and had a super-comfy bed. The decor wasn’t to my taste particularly, and if truth be told, was a tad dated, but we were about as close to The SenSpa as you could possibly get and it was here that we spent most of our time.
Careys Manor and SenSpa
We’ve been to quite a few spas over the past few years but the Careys Manor SenSpa ranks up there with the very best. We were on a Zen Spa Break package which meant that we could spend time in the Spa from the minute we arrived and even on the day we checked out. Brilliant value for money. Breakfast in the Zen Spa Restaurant meant we didn’t even have to get dressed for breakfast as we could just roll straight out of bed, put our spa robe on over our swimming costume or yoga PJs (kindly provided!), and within seconds be sitting down with a latte and fresh pastries or whatever we wanted. I have to say I cheated a bit and put mascara on though – I go nowhere without mascara!
The staff in the SenSpa showed us around the whole place after we checked-in and then pretty much left us to our own devices, which is just how I like it. If we had any questions they were always happy to help and they seemed really knowledgeable about all their treatments. I’ve been to some spas where the ‘women on the desk’ taking bookings know nothing about the products their spa visitors may want to make. After speaking to one of the facialists (is that even a word?) I decided to go for a Willow Hydrate and Glow Facial. Apparently they are good for tired and dehydrated skin and help to ‘diminish fine lines’.
I’m never entirely sure if they do everything they say they’re going to do when it comes to facials but this one hit the spot. No I didn’t look all Cara Delevigne or Elle Macpherson (more age-appropriate) for that matter when I left but boy was I relaxed. I only fell asleep for a short while as I woke myself with one of those snorty noises you sometimes make when you drop off. I wonder how often this happens to beauticians? I always know I’ve had a good facial if I’ve fallen asleep so assume it must happen to others too……. or is it just me?
The skin on my face was so soft and smooth afterwards though and it definitely looked brighter too. Well, what with rice and oats for exfoliating, acai berry, carrot, neroli, blueberry and stone crop to banish my free radicals and Manuka honey and guava to feed my skin, it was a veritable feast for my face.
I think my favourite bit of The SenSpa was the Hydrotherapy Pool. It was huge with lots of different massaging jets for most areas of the body. The neck and upper back jets were so soothing on my tense back and shoulders – they probably felt better than they have for ages. We did the Saunas and Steam Rooms several times during our stay obviously but The Tepidarium was my next ‘best bit’. Yup – I fell asleep again. Lying on the warm loungers under the twinkling lights sent me off to the Land of Nod along with half the room as far as I could make out afterwards.
Our Zen Spa Break Package also included a meal in the newly-refurbished Cambium Restaurant . The first night we had a cocktail in the bar beforehand (caipirinha for me) and then a superb 3-course meal. Why do I always eat so much when I go to hotels? The Chef Paul has worked as Executive Head Chef in a few 3 AA Rosette restaurants and his exciting menus made choosing what to eat, very difficult. Mr. C.’s fave bit was his Scallops starter whilst for me it was the dessert – a kind of Pistachio Crème Brule with blackberries, candied pistachios and New Forrest Yogurt. It was a bit of a departure for me as I virtually always go for a chocolate option…… perhaps next time?
Would we go back to Careys Manor and SenSpa? Oh in a flash! Yes, yes, yes!