Time out at the Ginkgo Petite Spa at The Andros

The scent in a spa is probably what I love most and as I step into the Ginkgo Spa at the Andros Boutique Hotel, I’m instantly relaxed.

This massage is long overdue. I’m in the final month of my maternity leave now and it’s a little treat for myself I’ve been craving.

I found this little spa, aptly named a Petite spa as it is just that, via the Entertainer. That little app has been a miracle at introducing me to new places and also at getting my toes done at half the price during unpaid maternity leave days. On a corner in Claremont, the Andros Hotel is home to the spa. Unfortunately I didn’t get to trawl or even spy the hotel facilities as the spa is really separate, with its own parking and entrance, which is a pity as I looooove a bit of luxury – even if I’m just walking through the foyer and lusting over the decor.

I booked via email – always a win in my books as although I may love to talk, and love to socialise, I have a problem picking up the phone. My sister would be surprised at this statement as apparently I jeopardised many a relationship in our youth as I hogged the phone deterring her potential boyfriends. Times have changed, and thank heavens for whatsapp, email and twitter now. Any arrangements I can make via these channels trumps.

I was welcomed with a chai tea and biscotti, and that heavenly spa scent. The one that even though I’ve bought every oil at Rain and Body Shop, I just can’t recreate in my own home.

I was shown to my treatment room, just off the reception room, which was also… petite. So petite in fact I didn’t quite know where to put my things. There’s no dressing room locker with gown and those awkward spa slippers here. Unfortunately this petite spa seemed to be a little less day spa than I had imagined for my self-awarded treat. But it didn’t disappoint.

While I may not have had a gown, I’m always pleased when the towels to ‘cover yourself with this towel’ are new, soft, and luxurious which gratefully the Ginkgo was. It is beyond me how some places think stiff, faded and fraying towels are acceptable.

My therapist didnt ask me what pressure I was after but got straight to work and it was perfect. I had opted for the Elixir massage over the Swedish for no reason other than I never understand what exactly a Swedish massage is supposed to be. She explained afterwards that Swedish is more flowing, and the Elixir was more focussed and tailored. *I cast my mind back to Egypt and my first ‘Swedish massage’ and shudder. Another story for another day perhaps*

Music sets the tone for everything in life and so it sometimes surprises me the music that spas and therapists opt for, especially those that don’t play the standard spa tink-alink (you know what I mean) music. Sometimes it’s the same three songs, on repeat. Sometimes it’s famous movie soundtracks, by panpipes. Today was one of those days where I wondered if they bought this cd on a 3 for 2 special. Luckily the massage was really good and distracted me, and in fairness I’d rather have lyrics than the same three songs on repeat.

As the spa is small and the treatment rooms are off the reception room, it also means there’s no chill out room for your tea or water afterwards – a luxury which is exactly that, like the gown, but at least I was still offered water afterwards which is more than some other places.

The experience was restful and the massage fantastic. While I could have happily whiled away my day (or at least another hour) in a spa wearing a gown and slippers, the Petite Gingko isn’t really that kind of place. But what it lacks in spa-ness it really does make up for in polite and well trained therapists and excellent treatments, if my massage was anything to go by, and the overall feeling of being very welcome.

Plus. There’s that whole book by email thing.

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