As you know, I recently stayed at Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort. Part of my itinerary included time at the spa, which always goes down well. Now, I’ve been to various spas, all of which have been really nice. Spas are generally serene, relaxing spaces in which you can totally chill out and self-indulge – so it’s incredibly rare to have a bad experience (and, thankfully, I never have!). The flip side of this is that it can be difficult for a spa to stand out – but at Terre Blanche, they do the spa experience exceptionally well.
It all began when my golf buggy dropped me off in front of the spa. Hidden amongst the trees of the resort, there was immediately a sense of grandeur and space due to the sheer size of the outer foyer and then the inner reception area. However, the building is by no means oppressive; it’s made of a light stone (hence, the name of the resort) and set in pretty gardens, with an outdoor jacuzzi and sun loungers dotted around the paved terrace. Upon entering the building, I was taken aback at how bright everything seemed – all white finishings, with two low white sofas in the middle of the room, set at the foot of a large staircase. A modest reception desk sat to the left, while church candles flickered above from wrought iron hangings.
After completing my health form, I was shown upstairs to the locker room via a tiled corridor, which houses different treatment rooms. One room had a glass frontage and inside were manicure and pedicure stations along with mini dressing tables for hair and make-up – at Terre Blanche, you can have an entire day of pampering before being made up for dinner at La Faventia, without having to lift a finger! (Easy to see why actress Rosario Dawson chose Terre Blanche during her time at Cannes Film Festival last week – check the Instagram page to see her at the spa @Terre_Blanche).
The locker room has everything you need for pre and post spa treatment; electronic lockers (no annoying keys), robes, towels, flip flops, razor kits, shampoo and conditioner, combs and brushes, professional hair dryers… you name it! Everything is carefully considered to make your visit that much easier – if you don’t have a room at the hotel, whatever you need to help you look presentable is at your fingertips, meaning there’s no risk of being caught with post-massage hair after you leave.
Once I’d had a good nosey around the locker room, my therapist, Julie, took me to my treatment room. Inside, the lighting was dim and music played softly. The plinth was dressed with terrycloth towels and decorated with purple orchid heads and smooth, dark pebbles. So chic! (It’s the little touches that make the difference, don’t you think?). Julie explained the treatment: the CARITAfacial. I was super excited as I’d heard loads about the ‘haute beauty’ brand from Paris, and, since reaching the big 3-0, I’ve decided that there might be some value in facials…
CARITA is a relatively new brand at Terre Blanche; the spa launched its new signature treatment TERRE BLANCHE Treatment by CARITA in March this year. Usually a two-hour treatment, the facial involves a relaxing massage, hair-treatment and facial, resulting in ultimate relaxation and – I can confirm – visible results. The treatment begins with a relaxing exfoliating massage to tone and drain the skin whilst leaving a soft finish. Julie spent a good 20-30 minutes applying the exfoliator and massaging the skin on my face. Starting out in a gel-like formula, the exfoliator eventually went try and flaky, which Julia then brushed off before starting on the renovating scalp and hair treatment massage, which aims to cleanse and revitalise whilst restoring hair to its youthful shine and softness. I don’t think this made too much of a difference to my hair in just one appointment, but it definitely released tension in my neck and brow which was a great relief. The treatment ends with a luminous cinetic facial, which infuses the skin with two professional face and eye masks, combined with an ultra-targeted anti-wrinkle massage and a double Ideal PRO-LIFT sculpting massage, to reveal a more youthful, radiant and flawless complexion. The TERRE BLANCHE Treatment by CARITA lasted over an hour and what I liked in particular was the attention to the very upper body as a whole; Julie focused on the décolletage, the neck, the face, the scalp and even the hair – the finishing touch was running two brushes through my hair, which felt as though all toxins and bad energies had literally been brushed away.
Once I was up and dressed in my fluffy white robe, Julie came back to find me and was so excited – she grabbed the hand-held mirror in one hand and me in the other, and we dashed along the corridor to a window to find the natural light. It felt like Christmas morning: Julie held the mirror up for me to see my skin, her expression frozen, waiting for my reaction in the same way a mum might wait for her child’s reaction to their ‘big gift’ on Christmas day. Of course, I grinned from ear to ear, plumping my freshly exfoliated cheeks and saying, “Merci beaucoup, Julie!”
Without a scrap of make-up, my skin glowed and looked brighter, although the dark shadows under my eyes weren’t completely gone. (I’m beginning to accept that this would be asking for a miracle). My skin felt tighter and definitely softer, and that evening I noticed a remarkable difference when applying my make-up before dinner.
After The Big Reveal, I was left to relax with a mini bottle of water before being shown to the relaxation room, where I was given tea and more water, with an array of glossy magazines to choose from. It was so quiet and chilled out, but I was too excited to go down to the pool and have a swim (after two days of non-stop three course meals and French wine, I was keen to do some exercise). The pool was the most stylish, sophisticated pool I’ve ever seen; the colour of wet slate, it was flanked by white pillars and surrounded by luxurious loungers. The best bit? It was empty. I got in and with every stroke I felt more and more like a Grecian goddess who spends her days in Alberta Ferretti, being fed grapes by tanned warriors in togas. In reality, I did forty lengths and sweated out some more carbs in the sauna before returning to the locker room, where I spent the next thirty minutes swanning from beautifying station to beautifying station, before making the walk back down the hill to the hotel. At dinner, the girls complimented my skin and I vowed to book more facials when I return home. Although, any other spa might not quite live up to expectations… unless there’s a Greek God on hand to feed me grapes, of course.
The TERRE BLANCHE Treatment by CARITA is priced from 285 Euros.
After the treatment, albeit with an Instagram filter!