A Bermuda Spa -- the
Girlie Good Life
Leslie Ehm is a Journeywoman
who has called many places home including a wonderful fifteen year stint
in London England. She is now living in Toronto, Canada where she toils
as a Senior Copywriter at an ad agency and loves every minute of it. Leslie
The phone rang. "Are
you interested in checking out the Southampton Princess Hotel's Willow
Stream Spa in Bermuda?", asked the editor of Journeywoman.com. Are
you kidding?, I thought. That's like asking a woman with a broken heart
if she'd fancy a chocolate I.V. drip!
and comfy bathrobes...
Who wouldn't want to spend
a few days in Bermuda? I imagined crystal blue water, pink sand
beaches, balmy winds plus a great deal of pampering. And according
to my press notes, the Fairmont Southampton
Princess had just undergone a $50 million facelift to
make it not only Bermuda's largest resort, but a true and wonderful
spa destination. My mouth watered as I continued
to read about the hotel-spa's exclusive location.... "perched
royally on the island's highest point, The Southampton Princess
acres of land, beautiful beaches and bountiful gardens."
As I hoped it would be,
my room was decorated in soft, water-washed tones. The pale
yellow walls were edged in the purest white, a muted floral
spread covered the bed and (very female) lace-like curtains
framed the doors to my very own balcony. The bathroom was immaculate
and, in my mind, I awarded extra JW points for the yummy soft
robe and reflexology slippers that talked me out of my travelling
clothes. I was beginning to succumb to my relaxing surroundings
and I hadn't even visited the spa yet.
Pampering paradise here
As I approached
the Willow Stream Spa's antechamber,
my senses were seduced by the enticing scent of vanilla wafting
from candles in the palest shades of cream, beige and buff.
Ah-h-h-h, I thought; paradise here I come.
the philosophy of energy emanating from the four basic elements
(earth, water, fire & air), the spa is decorated in sunny
yellow, sky blue, earth brown and vivid aqua. Imagine marble
floors, inhalation rooms to clear the sinuses, wet and dry
saunas, and a fitness center with a grand, sea view. Add complimentary
lemonade, iced tea, bottled water, fruit, and a ladies lounge
decorated far better than most living rooms and you start
getting the picture. Scattered on tabletops were books with
warm and fuzzy titles like, "Emotional Alchemy"
and "Magic Words -- 101 Ways to Talk Your Way Through
Life's Challenges." I was definitely in the chick zone.
She saved my
feet for last...
my clinician, settled me into one of the treatment rooms and
got me snuggled under a warm duvet. With a quiet voice and strong
hands, she proceeded with an hour-long Bermuda Aromatherapy
Facial that, to my happy surprise, began with a lovely hand
massage. Then my face was spritzed with precious Neroli water
(made from local orange blossoms). Next, a Blitz face peel sloughed
off dead skin cells and was followed by aromatherapy oils and
steam for deep penetration. I'm diggin' this, I thought as my
body slowly unwound. But, Emma quickly brought me back to reality
with the next step in the process.
The sages say that with
every pleasure must come some pain. This facial was no exception.
While I definitely profited from the successful annihilation
of my blackheads, I can't say I enjoyed the process. But what
sane woman does? Wise Emma understood and she saved a treat
for last -- a fabulous foot massage! Warm booties were slipped
on to my happy tootsies while she finished up with an accupressure
face massage and cream application. Needless to say, I lay in
a happy stupor, not wanting to move at all, my face positively
Queen for a
The next day I was up early
-- I wanted to try everything! My morning began with Beach Yoga,
a gentle 45 minute stretching session on the hotel's pink sand
beach. I could have chosen one of the other classes on offer
(Toning, Step and Circuit Training -- all complimentary for
hotel guests), but that would have been w-a-a-a-y too energetic
for my liking.
that day, after lolling at the pool most of the afternoon, I
scheduled my Bermuda Aromatic Massage. The extra special perk
about this treatment is that the masseuse actually came to my
room. I felt part royalty, part Kennedy and part movie star
as I relaxed, relaxed, relaxed.
The next goodie in store
for me was a Salt of the Sea Scrub. I lay on a towelled "wet
bed" where I was treated to a Vichy shower (a fancy term
for being sprayed from head to toe with warm water), firmly
scrubbed with a combination of coarse Turkish sea salt and aromatic
oil, rinsed, rescrubbed, oiled, rinsed and ohhhhh, I eventually
lost count. All that rubbing must have sloughed off about 36
years because my skin felt as smooth as a baby's bottom. For
a moment I considered kidnapping my clinician Sabine and having
a full Vichy shower bed installed in my bathroom. In the end,
I settled for the pair of loofahs I was given to take home.
S is for spiritual...
get me wrong, I loved every minute of the spa's pampering, but
this girl needed more. A spiritual pick-me-up, perhaps? Yes!!
I found it by swimming with the dolphins. This experience had
always been a fantasy of mine and I discovered that Bermuda's
Dolphin Quest program is considered to be one of the
best in the world. For $155, I bought myself an hour with playful
dolphins in the ocean pool. Donning my wetsuit alongside a small
group (who all happened to be kids which was half the fun),
I splashed around with the amazing mammals, learning hand signals,
feeding them, and stroking their warm and slippery bodies. There
are few things in the world that can still fill me with a sense
of absolute childlike wonder, but this certainly did. By the
time I got out of the water, I felt blissfully serene and my
face hurt from smiling.
S is also for
spiritual out of the way, there was only one thing left to do
on this holiday -- some real good girlie shopping. I was directed
down Bermuda's Front Street and to my utter joy, I discovered
a Marks & Spencers! Having spent ten years living in the U.K.,
I was very familiar with this amazing emporium. Stocking everything
from super-value, cutting-edge fashion to fabulous foods, M&S
is a shopaholics paradise. For me, the best buy has always been
their underwear. I'm not kidding. Ask any British supermodel
what kind of thong she's sporting under her Gucci dress and
I'll bet you it's M&S. They make every style, every fabric and
they size up to about a 22. Needless to say I stocked up and
more. By the time I returned to my hotel, I was considerably
poorer but very, very happy.
Guess who came
trip definitely opened my eyes to the gorgeous wonders that
Bermuda has to offer. Whether you're primed for pampering or
just looking for an upscale beach holiday, you can expect a
fabulous getaway. My advice is, save your pennies -- Bermuda
and the Willow Stream Spa are not modestly priced. The hotel
does have what they call a "value season" from March
to November but don't count on down-and-dirty pricing. Fairmont
Southampton Princess offers the good life, plus! Just ask Michael
Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones who sat next to us looking
pleased as punch in one of the hotel's four elegant restaurants.
For further information: on
packages and rates for the Fairmont Southampton Princess, Willow
Stream Spa and Bermuda in general, check out www.fairmont.com
spa stories to entice you...