Every so often an email appears in my inbox that I just have to jump and answer in a split second and an invitation to spend a morning at the Verulamium Spa was one such email!
Ever since the new Westminster Lodge leisure centre opened in St Albans I have been a regular visitor. Little Miss C does weekly swimming lessons there, we go swimming there as a family and the kids have attended several other classes and events there. In all that time I’ve walked past the entrance to the Verulamium Spa, but it wasn’t until Tuesday this week that I finally stepped through the door and discovered that they’ve manage to hide a wonderful oasis of calm into the corner of a busy leisure centre.
Creche for Master C
One huge advantage that the Verulamium Spa has over other spas is that by being located in Westminster Lodge its customers can make use of some of the other facilities in the centre – the one of most interest to me being the creche. Now, Master C has been in this creche once before when I attended another blogger event in the centre, but that time he was much younger and also had his sister for company. At 19 months he’s now much more aware of everything going on around him, and much more able to express when he’s not happy with something. I therefore wasn’t at all sure how the whole creche experience would work out, but he went off as happy as anything. When I returned to collect him he was so involved with the toys he was playing with that he didn’t even see my come into the room and I was able to chat to staff for nearly 10 minutes before he stopped playing and noticed.
The creche at Westminster Lodge is open 9am to 3pm week days and can be used by all children from 3 months to 5 years in age. It is located in a lovely bright room just off the main lobby area and is very clean with a huge range of toys for the children to play with, as well as a dedicated baby area. All the staff I met there were very nice and all the children seemed to engage with them well. Children can be left for anything from half an hour up to two hours and knowing your children are just downstairs being looked after well definitely helps you to relax in the spa. Just book via centre reception no more than one week in advance.
Facial and shoulder massage
My visit to the spa started with a mini Espa facial and shoulder massage in one of their five treatment rooms. Now the last time I was lucky enough to have a treatment of any kind was back when I was just four months pregnant with Master C so this visit was long overdue. My skin has been a right mess since having Master C, completely different to when I had Little Miss C, and it was great to have someone take a proper look at it and give me some advice. In the week since the facial I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my skin and a lovely Clarins day cream that was in my goodie bag that I went home with has also worked wonders.
The treatment room itself was incredibly relaxing; exactly the right temperature and very comfortable too. After my facial I was then treated to a shoulder massage which quite simply has to be one of the best things I’ve ever had done to me. Long hours working on my laptop and carrying a very heavy Master C rather a lot means that my shoulders and upper back aren’t in the best shape. I came away from my massage feeling like a new woman and with my neck feeling about twice as long as it has done recently.
Heat and Water Oasis
Once the treatment was over there was time for a quick chat with fellow local bloggers Kirsty, Mirka and Chrissie over a fruit tea infusion before heading downstairs to the Heat and Water Oasis. Being in St Albans and the spa being called the Verulamium Spa (Verulamium being the name for the original Roman town here in St Albans) it seemed appropriate that the Heat and Water Oasis is Roman themed.
As well as there being a hydro pool there are also five different heated rooms for you to relax in (Tepidarium (warm room), Lanconium (hottest room), Aroma Steam, Calidarium and Sauna), monsoon showers and a relaxation area including heated stone beds. It really was an oasis in there and a perfect way to forget about everything else going on in the world.
Using the Spa
One great thing about the Verulamium Spa is that you can pay just to use the Heat and Water Oasis (for just £22) which I think is great for a spa that is so conveniently located and with the added luxury of a creche just downstairs. You also get use of the spa facilities included in the price of longer treatments.
If you’re already a member of Westminster Lodge you can get Luxury Spa membership for £25 per month which gives you unlimited use of the Heat and Water Oasis facilities and 20% off treatments. If you only want Verulamium Spa membership then this is £35 per month.
I have to say that until my trip to the Verulamium Spa last week I never really saw myself as much of a spa goer, yet this visit has convinced me otherwise. I felt so relaxed and revived after my treatment and time in the Heat and Water Oasis that I definitely plan to go back. The added bonus of it being right there in Westminster Lodge just makes it even better.
I’ve already booked a place on the Skin Prep Event (to get my body ready for summer) later this month and plan for Little Miss C to go to the creche whilst I do so. Life as a busy mum can be pretty full on, but it can be impossible to do your job well if you’re running on empty (as I seem to do far too often) so I’m making it my mission to look after myself more from now on.
Disclaimer: I was invited for a treatment and use of the Heat and Water Oasis facilities at the Verulmium Spa to be able to review them. Master C was invited to review the creche at the same time. All views in this review are my own and as a result of my experiences I have booked the Skin Prep Event at my own expense.