Thursday, October 23, 2008

Verchant Spa - the Opening

I already thought the Hotel Verchant was practically perfect, but last night I discovered it was even more practically perfect because it now has a brandy new sparkling Spa. The word 'spa' conjures up delicious associations of pampering, well-being, luxury, and bodily ecstasy. I was therefore seriously committed to the idea of attending the opening of the Verchant Spa and was delighted when my invitation plopped into my letterbox.

I went with my TWDB and a small group of pals; the boys were safely home creating mayhem in the kitchen with the babysitter. We were welcomed into the hotel's function room with a freshly squeezed fruit juice and the programme. A healthy start. They were keeping the champagne for later, obviously...

We went on a tour of the Spa which had been specially decorated with loads of candles and rose petals everywhere to enhance the smoochy atmosphere. My initial impression upon leaving the lift down was very positive - a good sign. You move into an ambiance of soft colours, noble materials such as pale marble, and that unmistakable feel of luxury.

We were invited to poke our noses into all the treatment rooms, kitted out as they are with the latest in high-tec spa equipment, and were introduced to the coach in the gym who also has all the trendiest gym machines of torture including the vibrating one.

The most impressive feature for me, was the pool. It was decorated on that day with candles sitting on huge lily leaves floating in strategic spots. When turned on however, the water apparently rises a little to flow over the stones which line the edge all the way round. On the wall at the far end is a mosaic which covers the entire surface depicting a local scene, the quality of which is representative of the overall quality of the Spa.

There is a VIP room which you can hire à deux where you can enjoy your treatments in the privacy of your own area. Ng was commissioned to do a painting for this room and it greets you as you walk in - a lovely soft-coloured painting depicting a deserted beach and a gentle sea. Verchant's owner, Pierre Mestre was delighted with it.

The Spa lures you, makes you want to stay and be pampered, to be swathed in essential oils and delicious-smelling creams and potions, massaged, de-stressed and de-toxed. It's an exclusive club, open to hotel patrons and a limited number of Spa members which of course makes it even more desirable.

It was only the prospect of a buffet by Didier Germain that made me leave that haven of peace and tranquility, and the arrival of the next set of visitors. We went back up the greeny glass steps to reality and non-requited muscle strain into the welcome embrace of skewered scallops and fresh oysters. Oh, and gallons of Veuve Cliquot.

The party was fabulous, the buffet divine, as ever, and the champagne copious. There were even fireworks.

My TWDB is now contemplating becoming a member of the Spa. I'm encouraging him, like mad.

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