The latest pampering places, products and treatments
SPA OF THE MONTH
Domaine De Manville Provence, France Provence: land of oliveoil, wine, honey… anddetox? Mais, oui. If your body’s crying outfor a cleanse but your mind craves a moreindulgent escape, five-star Provençalbolthole, Domaine De Manville, has thesolution: a detox break that’s as luxuriousas it is virtuous. While your soul is restoredby the stunning surrounds, your body isrenewed with the Wellbeing Escapeprogramme of holistic nutrition, detoxcoaching, exercise and spa. And all in suchan elegant environment, you’ll be fooledinto thinking you’re having a wholly moredecadent getaway.
Spa Time Domaine De Manville Provence, France Photo Gallery
Nestled deep in the Provence countrysideDomaine de Manville is a beautifullyrestored farmhouse set on a 100-hectareestate, surrounded by olive groves,vineyards and the hills of the AlpillesNatural Regional Park. It’s a quick,30-minute hop from Avignon airport but,for maximum r&r, we jumped on theEurostar and soaked up the views.The film-set-worthy house is built arounda courtyard reminiscent of a French villagesquare. In the centre, shaded by planetrees, is a picture-perfect heated pool,overlooked by shuttered guest rooms.Inside the hotel, the décor is effortlesslystylish, all limestone walls, exposed beams,lovely linens and muted colour palettes.There are 30 guest rooms plus nine luxuryvillas dotted around the estate.
On arrival, guests receive a personalisedprogramme created by the team(nutritionist, wellness coach, chef and spamanager). Our first morning began with a7.30am yoga class. Not such a hardshipwhen we simply stumbled downstairs tofind our personal yogi, the lovely SabrinaSadeghi Millencamps, waiting to take usthrough a wake-up vinyasa session in ourvilla’s spacious living area. Our bodiesstretched and energised, it was over tothe kitchen table for a breakfast of fruits,yoghurt and rustic gluten-free breads.Fully fuelled, we headed outside for afast, fun and furious bootcamp sessionwith super-fit PT and spa therapist LeaFargier. Lea spared us no pain, but thesparkling sunshine and knowledge wewere spending our afternoon in the spaspurred us on until we collapsed in aslightly hysterical heap. Workouts done,we were rewarded with a delicious vegansalad, bursting with vitality-packed localveg and berries. With ingredients this good,there was no risk of feeling deprived.
The Happiness Planner, £36; thehappinessplanner.com
Live your best life with the help of thispretty journal, designed to guide youtowards happiness and fulfilment byharnessing the power of positivethinking, mindfulness and gratitude.The Happiness Planner is full ofexercises to help you reflect on yourdays, weeks and months, masteringsuccess and happiness, one dayat a time.Each daily page comes withquestions and guides to help youlearn how to set goals and realisticaction plans, harness your personalpower and build mental strengthwhile cutting out the things that holdyou back. You’ll start each day withan inspiring thought, change thethings that make you unhappy andend the day full of gratitude. Eachweek and month, you’ll reflect onlessons learnedand set goals.Beautifullydesigned andavailable in fivecolours, it’s yourperfect bedsidelifecoach.
‘IT WORKED FOR ME’
Gabrielle Nathan tries a DNA Essential Skin Grade 1 treatment
What? A bespoke facial usingnon-invasive skin treatments.
Where? D.Thomas Clinic, WaltonStreet, London. Prices start from£180 for 55 minutes (dthomas.com/dna-essential-skin-grade-1)‘Award-winning facialist DebbieThomas has redefined facials: there’sno menu; instead you book time witha therapist who deploys products andcutting-edge techniques to targetyour specific skin issues.Following a detailed discussionabout my skin and medical history,my therapist Nuria gently cleanses myface before applying a light peel usingmandelic and salicylic acids thatleaves my face tingling. Next, Nuriataps a hydrodermabrasion wand overmy skin. This anti-ageing treatmentexfoliates, stimulates and hydratesusing jets of cooling water, then aninfusion of amino acids and vitamins.While Nuria expertly extractsblackheads and pimples from myclogged pores, we talk about mycurrent skincare regime. Her advice,“use glycolic-acid face wash twice aday and ensure all your products areoil-free” is simple yet effective – sincefollowing it, my skin has largelyremained clear.Protective eye goggles in place, Ihave a patch test for non-ablativelaser, then my skin is zapped by ahand-held device that heats tissue toencourage collagen production. Myface feels burning hot, but is soothedby ice-cold metal balls that mytherapist rolls across my skin. Finally,a soothing and hydrating oxygenmask is applied to my face while LEDblue and red lights work theiranti-inflammatory and collagen-stimulating magic. After, my skin isclear, even-toned and glowing.’
More than ready for our spa session, weentered the state-of-the-art temple ofrelaxation with heated pool, hammanand Jacuzzi. I tried a Firming Full BodyMassage using the hotel’s product range,full of healing local pine and olive oil. Othertreatments on the extensive menu includea Body Scrub of the Domaine using groundolive stones and The Grand Manville, arevitalising face and body massage.Post-treatment, I hit the relaxation room,before enjoying a smoothie on the sundeck.
We soon fell into an easy routine ofexercise, pampering and soaking upvitamin D around our villa’s pool. On oursecond day, Lea led us on a sunny hikeup to the historic, medieval village of LesBaux, perched high above the hotel on arocky outcrop. We also borrowed electricbikes from the hotel and zoomed along thecountry lanes. Gym bunnies can make useof a Kinesis gym, and there’s a stunning,eco-friendly, 18-hole golf course.
There’s no sipping on sad broths or downing endless green juices on thisretreat. Executive chef Matthieu Dupuisand the hotel’s resident dietician havecreated delicious dishes (free of dairy,meat, caffeine, gluten and sugar), suchas Carrots three ways with coffee mousse,Sashimi-style fish carpaccio withvegetables and Seasonal fruit & coconutmilk panna cotta. Detox has never tastedso good! We finished our break feelingrested, restored and inspired byProvençal life.
Domaine de Manville’s ‘Detox & WellbeingStay’ is from €1,990 (£1,741) per personbased on three nights full board in a sharedLuxury Villa, including return transfers fromAvignon and Marseille, welcome smoothie,introduction with spa manager, wellnesscoach and nutritionist, naturopathyworkshop, hiking, exercise classes, yogaclass, cooking class, three personalisedspa treatments and all food and drink.
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