Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax…
Aqua Sana- Elevden Forest
For Christmas 2018 my Husband, Bear gifted us a stay in the Spa Suites at Aqua Sana, Elveden Forest. We had always wanted to stay on site, having used the spa facilities so many times before. We have done our fair share of spa breaks so I was sure I knew what to expect and we were ready for some time out.
The package was very generous- you were welcome to arrive at Center Parcs from 9am on the morning of your arrival and you would have immediate access to the Spa. The Spa Suites would be ready from 2.30pm and check out was by 12 noon the next day, although you had use of all the facilities in Aqua Sana and Center Parcs for the remainder of the day as well.
Included in the package was breakfast served either in your spa suite or Café Vitale (the spa restaurant), lunch and £50.00 vouchers towards dinner at any restaurant in Centre Parcs, which you could use on either day.
We were also both due to have their Luxury Signature treatment- a body exfoliation and a hot stone massage.
Basically, we were in for a treat- and we were ready for it.
Aqua Sana, Elveden Forest
Across two floors Aqua Sana has over 15 different spa experiences, set around a 15-metre hydropool in the spa courtyard. There are a variety of themed steam rooms, saunas and meditation rooms, and a lovely zen garden too.
There are just four apartments situated within the spa complex so you are never more than a few minutes between the spa and your suite. Perfect. We arrived about midday, and were greeted by the Spa Coordinator who took us into a private room and poured us both some sparkling wine (it was off to a good start). She explained what to expect during our break and answered any questions we had. She took our bags as the spa suite wasn’t ready and we made our way into Aqua Sana.
We have visited Aqua Sana many times and using our complimentary towels, robes and flip-flops made our way around the spa. It is a large complex so very rarely do you feel overcrowded and you are free to wander around un-disturbed. The staff are wonderful, they quietly walk around tidying up, replenishing cups for the water, and juicy green apples! They work around the guests, unnoticed but always there if you need anything and doing all those little things that make the spa so clean, tidy and peaceful.
We had lunch at 2.00pm and as both Bear and I are new vegans I was intrigued to see what our food options would be like. I am pleased to say there was a good selection. We both had vegan pasta, myself with tomato and basil sauce and Bear with spicy arrabiata. Both dishes came with a side salad- Bear went with a traditional mixed salad and I had a chickpea Mediterranean style salad. It was a generous portion and it felt fresh and vibrant. Our drinks were also included and we enjoyed a cold beer and a glass of prosecco (I’ll let you decide who had which one!)
It was finally time to check in to our spa suite and we couldn’t wait to see it, and wow, it was just incredible. It was massive, and absolutely beautiful. The suite was immaculate benefiting from open plan decor; it was modern and stylish – yet still homely. You walk into a kitchenette and dining area leading to a lounge with a fireplace. Behind this was an open plan bathroom with his and her sinks (the dream!), a huge bed and quite honestly the largest circular bath tub I have ever seen- situated perfectly between the balcony and the bedroom.
It was incredible, and we were so impressed. I was, in this moment, so pleased we had decided to dine in Center Parcs the second night and had brought a ‘hotel picnic’ style dinner with us to have in the suite on our first night. I couldn’t actually wait to come back to the suite after the spa day and relax in such a beautiful space.
We returned to the spa with a spring in our step! A little later on it was treatment time. Despite visiting the spa many times before we had never booked any treatments as they are very expensive so I was intrigued to see just how good they were. The answer- was AMAZING. We both had a full body exfoliation followed by a hot stone massage. I would recommend it to anyone! A hot stone massage goes up to five times deeper than a standard massage because of the heat, and it felt wonderful! It was Bear’s second ever massage and I think it will become a regular thing as he loved it too.
After the massage – I was very keen to get into the suite but we went back to the spa to unwind a little bit more (if that was even possible!). We made our way back into the spa suite about 7pm and swiftly popped a bottle of Prosecco!
A couple of minor criticisms, firstly, the beautiful fireplace that sat between the bedroom and the lounge wouldn’t work and the TV though, large wasn’t ‘smart’ and we couldn’t get any music to play through it. We set up a Spotify playlist on our Mac so we got there ourselves, but it would have been nice to have use of the main speakers through the TV.
Our vegan hotel ‘picnic’ was delicious and after our prosecco we opened a bottle of red wine and chatted the evening away. I had to make use of the bubble bath – naturally, which was just phenomenal. We both really enjoyed relaxing in the spa suite and for us having a rare evening in together (Bear works a lot of evenings), the bed was so comfortable and we both slept soundly knowing we had yet another spa day the next day.
We woke with the February sun shining through the blinds as if it was June. Breakfast arrived in the room promptly at 8.30am with morning papers; a selection of fresh pastries (vegan friendly!), fresh fruit, juice and tea and coffee. After breakfast, there was nothing left to do but have another bath- it would have been rude not too!
Our second spa day was just as relaxing as the first, the spa was a little quieter and we basked in the unseasonably warmer weather in the outdoor pool and had a glorious middle of the day nap!
We decided to have dinner in Centre Parcs at their vegan friendly, Indian restaurant, Rajinda Pradesh. We had our £50.00 meal voucher and so thought we would make things really easy and go for their Banquet menu at £25.00 per person including drinks
Rajinda Experience Banquet
It was brilliant value for money and so filling-it was a banquet after all! The food was authentic and delicious and we were grateful for the walk afterwards back to the car to help our full tummies!
Our spa break was a clear, undisputed success (Bear was very happy his Christmas gift had gone down so well!). Aqua Sana Spa Suites are expensive, there is no getting around that, but they are fantastic value for money, you do get a great deal included and the amazing service you receive is second to none. Catering for our vegan diets with ease and providing a haven for relaxation and a stunning suite, what more could we have asked for!
We will hurry back for our next big occasion. We were sad to leave but it certainly did the trick as we left feeling happy, relaxed, and full!