Thursday, 8 December 2016

Titanic Spa Getaway

Situated on the edge of the Pennines in West Yorkshire, there is a building that has been standing since 1911 (the same year that the passenger liner RMS Titanic was built). Once it was a traditional textile mill, today it contains residential apartments and a Spa.

When the building was renovated, it was done with Eco standards in mind: rrenewable energy is generated through solar photovoltaic roof panels, low U value windows virtually eliminate draughts, energy-efficient lighting and appliances are installed through the building. Titanic Spa has its own water source found 100m below (this was the original water source when the building was a working textile mill). These days it provides fresh drinking water and bathing water for their plunge pool, salt water regulated pool, showers and ice experience. You can find different treatments and relaxation packages at the Titanic, the most luxurious being overnight breaks.

Overnight stays include: 1 course light lunch, 2 course evening meal; use of all of the spa facilities; complimentary robes, slippers and towels; overnight accommodation (in one of  the 32 apartments integrated throughout the residential apartments); continental breakfast and a  choice of treatment (this would depend on the type of the package you go for, or you could choose the Simply Spa package without any treatments).

The arrival time for the Overnight break is between 10.30 and 11.00, and that is exactly the time that we arrived. Check-in was very quick and easy, followed by a welcome drink and a short tour of the facilities. We could choose to leave our bags at the reception for the staff to take up to the apartment once it was ready at 14.00, or put them in the locker that was provided for our personal belongings (our overnight bag was uncharacteristically small, once we changed into swimwear it made more sence just to leave it in the locker).

titanic_salt-pool

Newly robed and slippered, our first stop was the salt regulated swimming pool. The water was gorgeous, such a pleasure to swim in, completely relaxing, and not a whiff of chlorine. Part of the swimming pool is squared off, with the under water sitting area and aqua jets that work at the push of a button, this is the hydrozone experience. There is a steam room and sauna next to the swimming pool, but it has nothing on the dedicated Heat & Ice experience. The hot tub is situated outside on the terrace.


The Heat & Experience, was our next stop, and it is truly special. As you can guess, it consists of several heating and cooling areas. The main area is in a shape of a circle, with showers and a plunge pool in the middle, and different rooms behind glass doors along the outer circle. It is suggested to vary between the heat experiences and the cooling down ones. It is up to you what order to follow. You could take your time in the aromatherapy room, with heated floor, benches and walls, that offers a dry, warm environment for perspiring and cleansing the pores, and follow it with a cool tropical shower to wash it all away.

Go into the Saunariam for the combination of traditional Scandinavian sauna with the benefits of steam infusion. This allows you to stay longer in the cabin and lets the warmth sip into your muscles and joints. Follow this experience by dipping into the plunge pool if you dare.

plunge-pool

Next it could be the crystal steam room. The combination of heat and essential oils is very relaxing, and is meant to be beneficial for the respiratory system. The ice room would make a delightful next stop. The temperature in this room is at constant 15C, so it isn't freezing but feels very cooling, especially if you are just coming out of a steam room or a sauna. You will find crushed ice here, and gently applying it to your body feels really invigorating.

ice-room

The herbal infusion room and the sauna cabin had to be my favourite heat experiences. Think of a traditional steam bath, combined with the aroma of pine, lavender and eucalyptus, this is the herbal infusion room in a nutshell. The sauna cabin provides dry heat that is wonderful for tired and aching muscles. To finish the fun on a cooler note, there is a bucket shower, which is actually not as scary as it sounds, and rather enjoyable.

This area also has the access to the private mud chamber (but this experience is extra) and foot baths, which are a great way to sit back and relax after all the heating and cooling down.

Titanic has a range of organic treatments on offer using Neom Luxury Organics products. I went with the full body massage. As luck would have it, a few days prior to the trip I sprained my ankle pretty badly, so having the treatment that I was booked in for was out of the question. The therapist was so accommodating, straight away making suggestions on how we could customise the massage for me. It ended up being an upper body massage, concentrating on back and shoulders, with a little of a head massage there too. I was so completely relaxed, and I felt absolutely amazing. Even though I love pampering treatments, getting a massage can actually make you feel pretty vulnerable. It takes a special kind of person to make one feel at ease and relaxed. I was so absolutely comfortable with the therapist at the Titanic, that even the stress of having a dodgy ankle didn't take away from the treatment. The products that were used on me smelled lovely without being overpowering, adding to the relaxing effect of the massage. My skin felt wonderfully soft too.

In between exploring different parts of the spa, we kept coming back to the relaxation lounge. This area has a bean bag pit with a holographic fire (that makes soothing crackling noises just like the real one), a book shelf with reading material, loungers with pillows and blankets, banked seating and huge bean bags scattered around, which are unbelievably comfortable. This quiet area has dimmed lighting, relaxing music and a water dispenser, you could easily lose several hours in here snoozing or reading.

apartment

The apartment that we stayed at was absolutely gorgeous, very light, with huge windows and a lovely lounge. Fitted with a fully functional kitchen, you could easily pop out to the shops and make something for yourself if you wanted to. The continental breakfast was placed in the wicker basket (milk and orange juice were in the fridge). Lunch and dinner were served at the bistro in the spa.

Menu changes with the seasons and what is available from local suppliers, with preference being given to organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible. Food was absolutely delicious, vegetarian and pescatarian options were both on offer, but I didn't see anything that was vegan. As the menu itself is not huge, any dietary requirements need to be mentioned upon reservation. The bistro itself had a wonderful atmosphere, with a perfect setting for a delightful evening.

All in all, Titanic spa is a fantastic destination, that takes its eco credentials seriously, from its laundry practices to the building itself. The facilities are incredible and all of it is made even better by very friendly staff. If you are thinking of spoiling someone this Christmas, a Titanic spa gift card is definitely the way to do it.  Titanic spa is open over the New Year, if you want to have a romantic celebration, or a girls getaway and make use of the champagne lounge.

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