Great Malvern, situated at the heart of England, is a popular tourist destination thanks to its majestic hills and world famous spring water. In its heyday it was a much sought after health resort and its renowned spa treatments attracted the cream of society. Winner of a plethora of prizes, The Malvern resurrects a hundred years of spa heritage in a multi-million pound facility which offers its clients a hotel, health club, restaurant, as well as the 20 metre 35 °C indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool filled with spring water sourced 200m below ground.
My spa journey began with a gentle foot spa, followed by a spell in the crystal steam room. As I lay back on the cool tiles, inhaling the cool aromas, I gazed up at the aqua lights peppered across the darkened ceiling and felt myself transported, for surely I was staring into a star speckled sky on the clearest of nights. Time might have dispersed here ad finitum, but I finally managed to sample another of the four ‘thermal rituals’. I don’t tolerate heat very well but a brief visit to the Herb sauna offered a softer, more humid heat and the gently steamed, seasonal herbs invited me to sweat it out for a good few minutes. Next I braved the cold bucket shower, which offered an exhilarating finale to my fire and ice experience.
Around the hydro-spa were arced a number of loungers, one of which amply accommodated my sprawled bulk. Sufficiently restored, I lowered myself into the bubbling blue and padded my away towards the threshold. A second later I was outside: the cool night air pressed against my skin and I only had to sink into the water to find warm relief. Immersed comfortably in water, outside, in England’s February weather: this was a rare experience to be relished.
Next I ventured into the Grand Salon, a luxurious Roman affair divided by grand pillars and olive trees. I was disturbed in my contemplation of the trickling water fountain by my therapist Lian, who guided me through a darkened colonnade into a room immaculately prepared for a personally tailored, aromatherapy body massage. Gentle in touch, and yet powerful in effect, the tension was slaked from my body in sixty minutes of sensual bliss.
From the moment I was seated in the elegant, award winning restaurant I received the attention of the welcoming, impeccably attired waitresses. I was feasting on freshly baked bread and a platter of olives even before the starter, baked camembert served with homemade chutney, curry granola and crackers, arrived at the table. From the à la carte menu I chose the 8oz rump steak with cherry vine tomatoes, grilled flat mushroom, watercress and chips. The meat was succulent and cooked rare to a perfection rarely achieved this side of the English Channel.
Pampered to oblivion and stuffed to satisfaction, I eventually found myself in the sleek, spacious hotel room replete with soft lighting, large flat screen TV and large, ultra-clean, modern en suite. Sated with an evening of undeserved luxury, and feeling like an Emperor, I sank onto the yielding mattress and was soon sleeping the sleep of the dreamless.
The Malvern, Grovewood Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 1GD