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By Anna Van Der Heijden
Living in London hasn’t been as easy as I expected. It’s an enormous city, much bigger than the one I’m from in Holland, and the pace of life here is frantic.
Luckily, somewhere on the edge of the scenic Pennines in West Yorkshire lies a beautifully renovated old textile mill. The main building is much bigger than anything else in this rural, calm area, denoting its economic importance at one time, but feels perfectly in place nonetheless.
It presents a wonderful contrast between history and modernity. This sprawling edifice houses the Titanic Spa, named not after the famous doomed ship, but the important textile mill that once transformed this region into a hub of business activity.
Today, the sleepy spa is located near the village Huddersfield. The balconies of the apartments look out over rolling hills, quaint houses and English fields populated by daisies and horses. Modern life is still within reach, but far enough away to help you drift into a state of relaxation even before your spa treatment starts.
Upon arrival we are greeted by a genuinely friendly receptionist who gives us a short tour. All the staff here are sincerely friendly and warm, which is almost disarming but very welcome, after having arrived from brisk, curt London.
After changing into bathing suits, a thick robe and plush slippers, we slowly move from room to room, soaking up the unpretentious yet luxurious ambiance. Following the directions of the kind receptionist, we soon have our first treatment called the ‘Heat and Ice Experience’. This involves moving from a dry Finnish Sauna to a freezing plunge pool; from the Crystal Steam room to the ice scrub area. This centuries old therapy aims to detox the body and boost circulation: the heat will clean your pores and get your blood flowing; the cold will close your clean pores and gives your circulation a further boost.
After this energising experience, we swim a few gentle laps in saltwater pool, which is amazing for the skin, and then whirl about in the hot tub before taking a bit of a nap in the relaxation lounge strewn with inviting bean bag chairs. To revive, we drink a glass of bubbles on the terrace along the narrow river, and contemplate hitting the gym, but opt instead for the mud chamber. An Egyptian-inspired treatment, the mud chamber involves the application of warm, organic mud to the skin to detox, exfoliate and nourish. After you’re covered from head to toe in the goop, you sit comfortably in a steam chamber to allow the nutrients in the mud to sink in before rinsing off in the tropical rain shower. You’re guaranteed to have baby soft skin after this.
Beyond the fabulous, organic treatments, what makes a stay at Titanic Spa even better is that there is no need to feel guilty about being pampered there; Titanic is England‘s first eco spa and takes this title very seriously. They use only organic beauty products, wash their towels and sheets on low temperatures ozonated water that leaves the laundry completely disinfected, recycle all items possible, and in fact, their entire building has been completely renovated to regulate temperatures by using mainly natural resources. Perhaps their best eco feature is the fact that all of the water they use – and spas use lots of water – comes from their own well, which lies underneath the spa.
Delicious organic scents perfume the air around us, and no wonder: the Titanic Spa works with all-natural brands including Decleor, Elemis, NEOM Luxury Organics and Comfort Zone to enhance the aromatic organic spa experience. For example, during my Decleor Sheer Bliss Massage, two therapists perform a perfect choreography on the body using the pure, therapeutic Decleor oils. Sometimes they moved in synchronicity, at others they moved their hands apart to create an extraordinarily stimulating experience that left my body tingling from head to toe.
There are several kinds of spa treatments on offer, of course, ranging from specialised ones like those for men or pregnant women, to global ones, like Indian head massages and Japanese Reiki, to those you’d expect at any top spa, like hot stone massages and facials.
To extend that utterly relaxed feeling, most guests here wish to spend the night, and it’s a wise choice. We stayed at a two-bedroom apartment, which was bigger than your average London apartment. It had a wonderful living room with a balcony and windows from floor to ceiling looking out over the hills. The large beds were lush with puffy pillows to doze off on.
The healthy delights continued with the food in the bistro, which serves up fresh, light food and juices that are locally sourced whenever possible and usually organic. Those with specific dietary restrictions or needs can call ahead to have their meals catered in a way that suits their requirements.
We left Titanic Spa feeling completely revived, relaxed and satisfied. In London, I felt a bit overwhelmed, as though I were drowning in work and other responsibilities. Titanic Spa was my lifeboat, keeping me afloat in a sea of stress.
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