There is quiet and then there is tranquillity. Step inside the quiet room at The Malvern Spa and you will be transcended into a sense of calmness and peacefulness like none other. This is because Great Malvern originated as a spa town with therapeutic qualities attributed to its springs. Now those 200 years of spa heritage have been brought back to life again on the outskirts of this town with the birth of this spa. Views make a great first impression of a place and as our First Great western train pulled into the area, we could see the marvellous Malvern Hills undulating in the background.
The Malvern was built in 2008 and is the first spa in the Worcestershire town since 1910. Its unusual location near an outlet is not by chance. It was carefully selected to be next to the site of a bore hole that is used to extract pure Malvern Water. You can drink it, bathe in it and even have the unique signature spa treatments which uses local products and are based on the natural source.
The wow factor of this spa is most definitely the quiet room. You enter a darkened area illuminated by just a hint of soft lighting which is enough to make your way to one of the beds. Here you can rest your head on a bed complete with pillows and a blanket. The pillows are in an ideal propped up position facing a cinema sized screen so that you can watch a series of waterfalls cleverly edited to bring about calmness. The sound of the water trickling is enough to send you into a deep sleep as I experienced within minutes of entering the room. Already in a drowsy state, I forced myself to move from that bed onto the massage table where I was booked in for an ESPA full body massage. This treatment is specific to the individual using a blend of oils. After selecting a vanilla scented oil, I opted for a muscle relaxing massage. She worked on my back with short strokes before moving to the back of each leg. She then turned to the front of my legs and arms before giving me a neck and shoulder massage. The hour-long treatment was completed with a head massage which was truly blissful. There is no skimping on the spa menu and as well as ESPA, the beauty offerings include REN Skincare and Caci.
The spa is a brilliant fusion of traditional meets modern. The chilled out area in the centre of the facility gives off a Greek type vibe with its strong white thick pillars linked by thin voile curtains and huge square shaped plant pots which are home to 200 year old olive trees. As day turned to night witnessed through the glass atrium, the trees came to life courtesy of the small decorative lights. As with most spas, this one comes with the expected jacuzzi, sauna, spa, swimming pool and gym. One of a kind in the UK, the Kelo sauna is made of fragrant wood which adds to the ambience as you inhale and exhale.
The Malvern Spa offers an afternoon tea of clotted cream and jam scones and fancy sandwiches which can be found at the Malvern Restaurant. The latter opens its doors to diners from 6.30pm. At the helm of the kitchen is award-winning Chef Steve Rimmer who prepares seasonal menus filled with the locally sourced and organic produce. The menu has also been devised with the vegetarian in mind too with plenty of choice. Those wanting to extend their stay at the spa, can do so by reclining and unwinding in one of the 32 boutique hotel bedrooms. Each of them are designed with a contemporary Italian style. All rooms are air-conditioned for comfort, with all the modern amenities you would expect including a flat screen TV, powerful hair driers and a hospitality tray featuring tea, coffee, hot chocolate and of course, Malvern water. Full length black-out curtains, coupled with Egyptian cotton bedding will encourage a relaxed night’s sleep.
The central location in the heart of England makes The Malvern easily accessible from most parts of the country, so you can leave the real world behind you for a few hours, a few days, or as long as it takes. We travelled by First Great Western trains. Anytime fares from Reading to Great Malvern are available from £32 each. For the best value fares and offers, buy before you board at firstgreatwestern.co.uk.
By Sabi Phagura