Health & Beauty

Every day should be a spa day


Editor Suzie tried the new facilities at Aztec Hotel and Spa, in Bradley Stoke, following its £350,000 refurbishment…

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If you follow The Interchange you’ll know that I’ve visited the Aztec Hotel and Spa a few times now. As soon as it launches a new afternoon tea, menu or offer I’m the first in line to try it out as I know I won’t be disappointed! 

I returned this time to see the newly revamped spa and leisure facilities – which to my mind was going to be hard to improve upon.

However, having spent £350,000 on upgrades to the gym, members lounge and spa, I fully anticipated an afternoon of luxury. 

Members lounge

A lovely and luxuriant touch as you walk into the spa area is the new members lounge. Whilst not huge, there are sofas, tables and chairs and free hot and cold drinks to enjoy. Prior to my massage my bestie and I sat down on the sofa and enjoyed a latte before being called through for our treatments. This is a great additional touch to the facilities and makes you feel as if there’s somewhere that you can really relax and unwind before and after your visit. 

Treatment

One thing the Aztec Spa and Hotel does well is employing fantastic therapists. Having broken my neck in a car accident a decade ago, I continue to suffer from a stiff neck and tight shoulders. Plus, I’m generally hunched over a laptop all day, which doesn’t help! 

I was booked in for a back, neck and shoulder massage and was asked the usual pre-treatment questions, such as how did I want to feel at the end of massage. I explained as I always do that ideally, I’d like to feel relaxed, but please go to work on my knots! 

At first my therapist looked a little concerned, explaining that this was a Swedish massage and as such it would be light to medium in pressure – and there was me asking for full on deep tissue. I simply replied to do what she could and maybe try to get some knots out if she found them.

What followed was a lovely mix of a relaxing Swedish style massage with a firmer pressure that really did work on those knots. As someone who only ever has a deep tissue treatment, having a more relaxing massage was heavenly – with the added bonus of really working on my problem areas. 

As my therapist walked me back to the refreshment area she asked how it was and told me “you said work on those knots, so I thought to myself ‘just go for it’.”

Lunch

Included in our spa day visit was a two-course lunch. The menu isn’t extensive, but you can choose from a range of sandwiches, salads and soups. My ham hock terrine starter, with sour dour bread and home-made piccalilli was delicious, but I must impress that this really is a light lunch. As someone who really only eats one main meal each day, alongside a small lunch and breakfast, I wasn’t anticipating needing dinner that evening, but you wouldn’t want to skip your supper!

Poolside

I’ve always loved the sheer size of the pool and whirlpool Jacuzzi at Aztec Hotel and Spa. It’s long enough to have a decent swim, and large enough that even with several other people also in the pool, you don’t feel cramped.

The sauna, steam room, whirlpool and poolside area, which includes lovely loungers, have all benefitted from the refurb and it’s clear to see. 

Gym

Who am I kidding, I’d gone for a spa day with my bestie so I didn’t get around to using the gym. But that said, I did pop my nose in. The upgrades are evident, with all of the top of the range Technogym equipment being brand new. And the machines do fancy things, like enable apps such as My Zone Fitness that enable you to track your progression and engage with other users – the future is here!

After a long, relaxing afternoon I popped out to the car to grab my laptop and send a few work emails in the members lounge, enjoying another latte. I left feeling revived, refreshed and relaxed (for me that means knowing there are no looming work emails to manage) after a fantastic afternoon. 

For more information on Aztec Hotel and Spa visit the website.

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