Location: Careys Manor and Senspa, Brockenhurst, New Forest, Hampshire, SO42 7RH. 01590 623551. www.careysmanor.com
Facilities: Careys Manor is situated deep within the New Forest, on the edge of the small village of Brockenhurst. With three restaurants and 80 comfortable rooms, the hotel is the perfect retreat for a quiet and very relaxing break surrounded by stunning countyside. For us, the highlight of a visit to Careys Manor, however, is the luxurious Thai-themed Senspa. There is so much to do inside that you’ll need a whole day to make the most of the facilities, with a large Hydrotherapy Pool to massage and soothe muscles, a Herbal Sauna, a Crystal Steam Room, a selection of Experience Showers (try the Sea Storm Shower, with its lightning flashes and refreshing sea spray), and a relaxing Laconicum. Comfort is the priority here, with guests handed Thai silk pyjamas and a fluffy robe on arrival. The tempting treatment menu includes both traditional and unique therapies, with treatment rooms lit by flickering candles and Hammam rooms heated to the perfect tepid temperature. After zoning out in the spa, what better way to end the day than by enjoying dinner, either fine dining at The Manor, Thai cuisine In Zen Garden, or a French feast at Le Blaireau Brasserie and Bar? And after the perfect day, it will be time to retreat to your luxurious and very comfortable room for a night’s sleep before starting the process all over again…
Ambience: The hotel itself is so quiet that it seemed half-empty – it was only when I went to the spa and restaurants that I realised the place was actually quite busy, so they have done a great job at keeping the ambience so peaceful. The spa is relaxed, yet there’s no pressure to keep your voice down. Visiting with a friend would be ideal, as you can chat away without feeling that you’re disturbing other guests. Those seeking peace and quiet can retreat to the Relaxation Room, where it takes seconds to drift into a contented sleep on the heated beds.
Treatment tested: Complete Harmony Face & Body Treatment (90 minutes)
This treatment is brand new to SenSpa, combining a relaxing full body oil massage with a refreshing Manuka Honey facial. This was the first break away from my baby since he was born 9 months before, so I was in need of some serious relaxtion and it got off to a great start with the massage. The long strokes with medium-pressure helped to release tension in my body (especially my shoulders and upper back, which is where I tend to hold tension), whilst the beautifully scented body oils soothed my mind and sent me into a light sleep. The facial was also very relaxing, with the highlight being a warm manuka honey massage with quartz crystal to brighten and illuminate the skin. Afterwards my complexion was glowing and my body felt totally tension-free.
Spa Breaks at Careys Manor start at £175 per person, including one night’s accommodation, full use of spa facilities, a choice of classes, authentic Thai lunch, dinner in the Manor Restaurant and breakfast.
Visited by Louise Emma Clarke