The Montpellier Chapter Spa is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity situated in the heart of Cheltenham’s Montpellier, offering both hotel guests and local customers a luxurious range of pampering treatments.
With a stylish decor decked out in American white oak, there are four treatment rooms – two of which incorporate twin beds to allow couples or friends to enjoy treatments in tandem – as well as a relaxation pod and steam room.
The Montpellier Chapter Spa offers relaxing and rejuvenating REN treatments, ranging from bespoke facials to massages inspired by Japanese and Swedish techniques for both men and women. Plus, beauty essentials such as waxing, eyebrow shaping and pedicures are also proving popular.
An indulgent, tailor-made treatment at The Montpellier Chapter Spa in Cheltenham made SoGlos.com’s editor face facts, quite literally.
A bit like a job interviewer asking you ‘what is your biggest flaw’, beauty treatments usually start with the foreboding question ‘what exactly is that you want to improve about your head / shoulder / knees / toes…’ but at The Montpellier Chapter Spa in Cheltenham, there’s a booklet to fill out before you embark on one of their bespoke beauty treatments!
From fine lines and wrinkles to blocked pores and dehydration, there’s a catalogue of epidermis disasters for customers to circle during the initial one-on-one consultation, and having used up plenty of ink on the pre-facial puzzler, I looked expectantly at the spa manager Phoebe to magically solve them all in the next hour, with possibly enough time to tackle world peace too.
Shown to a low-lit circular treatment room – one of four at the spa – resplendent in Scandinavian-style wooden panelling with the fresh smell of essential oils and an acoustic Lilly Allen track chirping away in the background, with a reassuring smile and a voice calm enough to hypnotise, Phoebe did indeed rise to the challenge of tackling the myriad of skin issues presented before her.
Led on a luxuriously plump bed and wrapped in a warm towel, I was being treated to a 50-minute Ultimate Aromatherapy Facial, designed to ‘not only improve skin condition, but also refresh the skin, improve circulation, lymph flow and skin oxygenation whilst easing stress and toning the muscles,’ no less.
Described as being tailor-made to individual’s specific skin types and complaints, the reason for the pre-treatment scrutiny and nervous confessions of not always sticking to the cleanse-tone-and-moisturise-ritual became all too clear when an array of tubs, bottles and tubes were whipped out.
From renewing rose cleanser to exotic frankincense face oil and orange flower moisturiser, the ‘personalised prescription’ of products from the Aromatherapy Associates range were a fragrant delight and it was good to hear that they were based on essential oils and natural plant extracts too.
Using a combination of Eastern and Western massage techniques, my face, scalp and wobbly chin were scrubbed, stroked, prodded, smoothed and dabbed with strips of paper to remove excess product in this full-works facial treatment – which proved both relaxing, with a touch of revitalisation too.
And with the 50-minutes flying by in a flurry of friendly chatter, I soon found myself being offered the chance to rest in the spa’s relaxation area for a while with a chilled glass of water and a fluffy robe for company.
Aside from the relaxation area and a steam room, the only shortcomings of The Montpellier Chapter Spa seemed to be a lack of facilities you might hope to find in a larger spa, perhaps – such as a swimming pool or Jacuzzi.
But the intimate atmosphere and individual attention is a good swap, particularly for locals popping in for a spot of pampering. And the spa’s convenient location in the heart of Cheltenham’s Montpellier can hardly be moaned about either.
Feeling fresher-faced and bolder than I had in years, with a slick of mascara and not a scrap of any other make-up, following my treatment I made way to The Montpellier Chapter’s buzzing restaurant for a Friday night feast amid a lively crowd of Cheltenham socialites.
And where, I have to admit, I possibly undid all of Phoebe’s good work with a fantastically decadent dinner of Asian duck, succulent sirloin and a couple of mint julep cocktails, all topped off with a generous helping of the most delicious treacle tart I have ever tasted.
Despite the indulgent helping of dessert, a week later friends were still commenting on my glowing skin and so a return visit to The Montpellier Chapter Spa seems a diary essential… circling less on the catalogue of ‘things I want to improve’ this time round, I hope!
By Michelle Fyrne
Monday 01 August 2011
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