Swimming costume and walking boots? Check. There’s nothing quite like an escape to the country for a weekend spa break, especially when you get to stock up on fresh, woodland air before your facial.
The Grove has a trio of marked walking trails for guests, ranging from casual mile to work-up-a-sweat four miles. Hiking somewhere in the middle, by the time we make it to the Sequoia Spa I’m ready for some serious R&R (side note: and a recovery foot massage).
Here’s our take on January’s Spa of the Month, Sequoia…
SHOP THE ESSENTIALS
The Grove gives good walk and swim opportunities, so pack wisely…
Sequoia isn’t just a hotel spa, it’s a seriously slick operation. Like a maze of spa zones (we got lost more than once), you can hang out for hours in your fluffy dressing gown hopping between sauna, steam and 22-metre black mosaic tiled swimming pool. Get the grand tour on check-in to discover any exclusive spa-guest-only areas that you might otherwise miss. Start your spa experience at Sequoia at the instagrammable Juice Bar where you can get a detox tea, healthy smoothie, fresh juice or protein-packed milkshake. Our tip? Glug the Green Supreme with spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and avocado to feel virtuous before your treatment.
Weekends are buzzy with members kicking back with a book around the main pool. Come spring/summer season, Sequoia has more outdoor spaces and terraces to enjoy some al fresco relaxation, so it’s worth booking when you can enjoy an injection of vitamin D before or after your treatment.
Sequoia has 12 treatment rooms so, unsurprisingly, there’s a number of signature treatments for spa-aholics who want something different from the norm. I opted for one of the signature facials; the High Definition Face Lift by Natura Bissé (£170 for 1 hour 20 mins). Starting with relaxation ritual and bonus feet massage, by the time the therapist focuses on my face I feel zoned out. Like an alternative to microneedling, the facial uses high-tech anti-wrinkle concentrates to inhibit the contraction of facial muscles, so your skin feels instantly smoother and plumper. Combined with cranial balancing massage and sculpting massage techniques, I feel like I’m floating. Post-facial, my skin is visibly glowing. We also loved the sound of the ‘The Orangery Experience’, another Natura Bissé spa signature ritual (£185 for 1 hour 50 mins) that’s like a top-to-toe vitamin C booster for your face and body – ideal for a spring awakening.
THE BEAUTY KIT
Oskia is the newest brand to be introduced to Sequoia. Check out the new facial double act on the menu; the Signature Oskia Glow Facial (£145 for 1hr 20mins), or Oskia Revitalizing Facial (£115 for 55 mins). More established brands include ESPA massage rituals and Natura Bissé premium facials.
We’re all for equal rights ‘n all, um, except for spas. When it comes to Sequoia, women get a whole extra corridor of heat experiences that’s made for hen dos or girly hangouts (sorry, boys). Think sauna, experience showers and aromatherapy steam with ambient lighting. The female-only vibe gives it a different feel to the rest of the spa.
CF SPA TIP
Landing on a January weekend amongst fellow detoxers, Sequoia Spa is understandably busy with members and spa goers. But as a hotel guest (shhhh), you have exclusive access to some spa areas. For chill-out zones with maximum zen, head to the Vitality Pool (our favourite because we had solo access for a blissful 15 minutes) or relaxation room.
NEED TO KNOW
Double rooms at The Grove start from £385 (including VAT and breakfast). CF recommends staying in the Mansion House for a supplement of £50 per night for a Superior Mansion room.
Address: Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG
Tel: +44 (0) 1923 807807
To visit Sequoia Spa at The Grove, visit www.thegrove.co.uk
To read more Spa reviews, take a look at our favourites here