In Lakeside, the Dove Spa is down Brompton Walk which is a quieter walkway leading to the restaurants. I was greeted by a lovely receptionist who took me through to the 'relaxation room' and showed me where all my amenities were, offering me coffee, tea or water. I then met my therapist called Francesca who said she'd be with me in 5 minutes and that I needed to fill in the health form (which is basically about your skin and any problems or illnesses you have). The 'relaxation room' was lovely - big white leather chairs, a tv giving demonstrations, the usual plinky plonky calming music and a jug of iced lemon water available. I loved the quote on the wall from Sophia Loren too, and the amazing glass drop light even more so! I popped to the loo and even the toilet was relaxing, and had Dove's own spa range soap and moisturiser, and proper towels in a basket which I always love. By the time I'd finished the form, Francesca came and got me and it was time for my massage.
I've never actually had a hot stone massage before and had booked 45 minutes, so she briefly explained what it was and how she'd be doing it. Hot stones are heated in a water bath at certain temperatures, and then some are placed on 'energy points' and some are used by the therapist to massage your body. Francesca left so I could change and popped myself under the towel. The room we were in was lovely and had a designated wardrobe/cupboard with shelves and hangers for all my items which was nice. More relaxation music was playing and there were candles and oils burning - my eyelids were dropping before the treatment even started!
The massage itself was really fantastic. She made good use of the hot stones, so when she was massaging my legs with a stone, I had stones placed on my back whilst lying there which was so warming and calming. The massage isn't gentle, so if you don't like any massage above medium pressure, this may not be for you, although they will always ask if the pressure is ok - don't lie! It's their job to know what pressure you like and they don't want to hurt you. My therapist noticed my neck and upper back were tense (I didn't tell her before so I was impressed she knew) and she actually spent a little more time on my neck which was kind.
After the massage, I got changed and went back to the relaxation room. Francesca brought me a glass of water and a hot 'huggy' which are the fluffy heated neck towels which are amaaazing. I sat there for 5 minutes or so adjusting to the light and waking up a little, and then went to the reception and finished my payment. Paying with Wahanda was incredibly easy, as you print off the e-voucher, give it to the receptionist and that's literally it. Couldn't be easier.
So, would I recommend Dove Spa? I really would, and especially through Wahanda as they seem to have some brilliant deals that you might not get on the Dove Spa website. I enjoyed the element of shopping, stopping for a relaxing break, and then continuing shopping - it felt so luxury! I'd also love to have a hot stone massage again..the warming element of the process did it for me I think, not to mention my muscles felt amazing after. I also loved that you could buy lots of Dove products, and even if you weren't having a treatment, this was available.
Dove Spa have locations at Hagley, Merry Hill, Egham, Chorleywood, Streetly, Canary Wharf, South Wimbledon, Hale Barns, Merseyside, Reigate, Sunbury, Epsom, Mayfair, Kensington, Streatham, Chester, Bromley, Jersey, Poulton, Notting Hill and Chiswick - is anyone going to think of booking? I think I'm going to rebook before I go back to work in September! Many thanks to Wahanda :)