AD* Do you like a day in the spa? I do, I don’t get enough down time and I’m forever jumping from one thing to another piling more and more on my work load.
When the opportunity came up to try the Lush Spa in Poole for a morning of pure relaxation, I was very excited to see how one of my favourite brands had approached spa treatments.
Of course, Lush never does things by halves or quite how you’d expect, and I’m thankful it didn’t go down the cookie cutter route that you’d expect from a hotel.
Take a look at how Lush has put its spin on a spa, the innovative treatments available and the fully immersive experiences.
Come on in…
Location and setting
Welcome to the country cottage. No seriously, once you’re through the shop doors and into the spa that’s where all sense of retail stops.
It’s like stepping through the wardrobe doors and past the furry coats into Narnia. Instead of a snow scene you’re transported to a cosy country cottage, sunlight streaming through the windows, highlighting a courtyard, big armchairs to relax in and a kitchen that looks like it’s been taken from a farm cottage in the South of France.
This is not what you expect on Poole High Street!
Think cottage chic, luxurious greens on panelled walls, different textures everywhere, and comfort. The spa oozes comfort. Cold clinical hotel spaces this is not, it’s practically a home from home. Forget how you’d normally define a spa, because this completely different.
Upcycled units and shelves are full to the brim with Lush products used in the treatments and in the kitchen there’s copper and brass tones complimenting the setting even further.
While it’s not big in size, don’t expect a hotel set up, it is fitting to what Lush is trying to achieve – a scaled back, comfortable, relaxed environment with an entirely different feel to anything you’ve experienced before.
It re-defines the spa concept completely and not just with the decor, the treatments are a complete experience. Let me explain…
Of course, a spa isn’t a spa without treatments. I’m all for conventional treatments but, man do I like it when some thought has been put into the experience and there’s an odd twist here and there to keep things interesting.
And, well that’s exactly what Lush has done.
Lush has approached both the treatments and interior by looking at it experientially, as well as putting you and your priorities are put in the very heart of of the activity.
What do I mean by that? Well, they seem to have created, what I am going to call, the ‘triple-threat’, the experiences are based on these three key aspects
- The Senses – Embracing sight, sounds, taste, feel and smell
- Comfort – Making comfort a priority
- You are a priority
On arrival you’re presented with a ‘menu of moods’ and get to pick a word the best resonates with you and what you want to achieve from your treatment.
Then you’re made a tea that has a recipe that’s designed to reflect that word to start you on your experience.
After that you then pick another word from a shelf full of bottles with labels. Each one is full of different essential oil blends. And, it’s a bit like Alice in Wonderland, they’re all in beautiful frosted jewel tones and it really has a fairy tale feel to it.
The scent is then is dispersed through the air with dry ice, in a magically charming almost ritual like process.
The words you pick in the beginning also influence the products used in some of the spa treatments too. I went with some bloggers from Bournemouth and we picked ‘Perspective’ as our focus.
Each treatment then embraces the remaining senses, feel is obvious, there’s usually a part of the treatment that involves a massage, a facial or something similar.
Sound has really been done well, Lush has their own set of musicians who created bespoke soundtracks to each of the treatments. I heard a range and a sample of them all and it really is something else. If you’re into your music, hell even if you’re not, there’s something very captivating about the compositions and they really add something different to the experience.
I must say I know that spas have music that can’t be related to anything so as not to cause an emotional effect – we all connect emotive experiences from our lives to music. But, I was happy to have a slightly different style of music to enjoy during my morning at the spa.
Nailing comfort is hard to do. At normal spas fluffy robes are great but often leave me feeling a little exposed and the spa’s I’ve been to lately have robes that can’t contain my booty or curves, so I’ve usually got something slightly exposed making me feel less comfortable than I should.
At Lush however for certain treatments they give you the softest, fluffiest cotton PJs to wear and then for other treatments they make it very clear what ‘Level of Nakedness’ you’ll have to embrace for the treatment to happen.
I really like this approach. Not everyone is comfortable in their own skin, I’m certainly not. Knowing what you’re going to have to bare ahead of time was really helpful. I’m sure some people would even pick their treatment based on this. Comfort is different for everyone, it’s nice that Lush recognises that.
I was very grateful that my treatment was in PJs I didn’t feel worried that I might flash the therapist accidentally with one of a boob and then spend the rest of the treatment dying with embarrassment. These are the legitimate things that run through my head.
Being comfortable is one of the main things that helps you relax, it’s like the key to unlocking the ‘stress’ doors, if the doors aren’t even open i.e. if you don’t feel comfortable you can’t even think of starting to relax. Comfort is the first hurdle that needs to be overcome on a spa day.
You are the priority
You get to pick the words that most resonate with you to focus your treatment on. You get to pick the essential oil blend which also ties in with some of the products used in the treatments.
By tailoring the treatments to your personal needs, you get more focus and direction out of the experience. And, it helps you to achieve why you’re there in the first place.
Unless you’re loaded (and congrats to those of you out there that are!), spas are not a regular occurrence, and often you don’t just go for the sake of it. You’ve usually reached a place where you’re looking to achieve something and it’s great that Lush have identified that. It gives their treatments a real edge.
What a treat, I was allowed to experience a little bit of a couple of different treatments during my time with Lush. It was a great way to get a taster of the experiences but now I’m itching to go back for a couple of the full treatments!
Here’s a quick description of the treatments I tried…
This immersive experience combines a full-body massage with sounds and scents that really transform your current mood, and removes tension from the body.
How it embraces the senses…
SEE your menu of moods and scents and select how you want to feel.
HEAR blissful bird song and the sound of the Dorset countryside
TASTE the bespoke hot tea, served in the kitchen, to bring you back down to earth.
FEEL relaxing strokes from head to toe.
SMELL your bespoke blend of essential oils to alter your mood.
Psychedelic feels are the order of the day in the Hard Days Night experience. A blend of yoga and pressure point massage take you on a journey, stretching your muscles out and giving you a euphoric feeling and that lovely stretched out feeling that a yoga class gives you.
The massage and yoga was inspired from The Beatles Cirque du Soleil show, that’s on in Las Vegas. A lot of the show involves resistance band work and this has been included into Lush’s massage experience.
The music is very cleverly done, very subtle, and even if you weren’t a Beatles fan I think you’d still enjoy this experience.
You’re in PJs (Lush let you borrow these) for this experience, and this is great as I didn’t feel exposed and this felt a lot more comfortable than being in my pants and a robe. But, the PJs were a little tighter on my bum, I do have a booty like Beyonce and J Lo’s combined and struggle to buy trousers in shops that aren’t circus like on the waist but tight on the thighs thanks to my athletic past as a rower. The fit of the PJs was fine for 90% of the treatment but a teeny bit restrictive on some of the really bendier yoga bits. This is just my size though, not a reflection on Lush. No one else’s booty got in the way. 😂😂😂
Oh, and don’t forget to look up for the moving art work projected onto the ceiling!
How it embraces the senses…
SEE yoga bands passively stretch and lift your cares away as psychedelic lights dance across the ceiling.
HEAR a melodic soundscape featuring reworked Beatles classics.
FEEL rested, stretched, and recharged after pressure point massage to relieve any built up tension.
This treatment is full of the magical whimsy of musicals, childhood classics and fantasy. Lush call it ‘Indulging in a world of our imagination’ and I guess that sums it up perfectly.
Sorry about the picture quality in these, it’s very dark and pink and very hard to capture images in – I’ve done my best! It should give you a good idea of what it looks like.
This treatment is full-body exfoliating chocolate scrub. It’s not as sweet as it sounds though, it’s an earthy chocolate – while I could smell the sweeter chocolatey notes I also smelt roast dinners and bovril, a very comforting earthy childhood smell.
The taster version of this was an arm-massage (obviously the version you’d experience is full body) – after the scrub there’s a rose serum that’s massaged in and that’s gorgeous, after the exfoliation it leaves you feeling like silk.
I don’t like the smell of rose normally but this was blended in with lots of other things and had a very refreshing scent, it’s not what I expected at all.
I’d love to have the full version of this where it covers your whole body. I think it would be very luxurious!
How it embraces the senses…
SEE the glow as the chocolate and rose serums dance across your skin.
HEAR ukulele lullabies rock you onto faraway cloud nine.
TASTE cotton-candy and rose water.
FEEL rich tamarind fruits exfoliated for glowing, baby-soft skin.
SMELL delicate rose, both argan and clay, and warming chocolate
Above are just a few of the massages, facials and experiences on offer. Take a look at the Lush Spa website for a full list of all the treatments available.
The planets, Tales of Bath and the Karma treatments also caught my eye. I like how diverse they all are, there’s something for everyone, short, long, full body or just your face, there’s a lot of options.
A spa with a difference
Nothing was ‘normal’ at the Lush Spa in Poole and I loved its twists on there classic spa experience.
Embracing something a bit different is good for your soul – relaxation is different for everyone and fully immersive approach definitely resonated with my personality.
I really want to go back and try out the other treatments, in the mean time Lush kindly gifted me some of those fluffy PJs so I’ve been getting those on at home when I want to relax. I also bought (personal purchase, not gifted!) the full of grace serum, a solid argan oil shampoo, and the Fresh Pharmacy Soap (which has a new formula and is my go to face product – you know the one you can’t live without!) and a few other treats from the shop while I was there.
The Lush Spa is a great all rounder with plenty of quirks and extras to make the experience stand out from other spa experiences. I really enjoyed my time there, and it was just what I needed to bridge the gap between work and my holiday. Spa trips should be mandatory and gifted by work places! Can I make a national spa law an and enforce it? Wouldn’t that be awesome?
See you soon Lush Spa Poole, I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be great friends ha ha!
AD* – Gifted Experience from the Lush Spa in Poole, no payment was exchanged and I have no obligation to post on my blog or do social but I loved it so I have. ALSO, all opinions are my own, otherwise what’s the point? No seriously what would the point of that be? And no, experiences can’t buy a good review, these are my honest thoughts. Like it or lump it!