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So good so spa...

PUBLISHED: 16:31 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 17:28 25 August 2010

DEEP below the damp and frosty Kent winter lies a taste of the Mediterranean where – just for a day – you can pretend to be in far away sunnier climes. Entering the contemporary designed hotel, Rowhill Grange in Wilmington, Kent, there is little to hint

DEEP below the damp and frosty Kent winter lies a taste of the Mediterranean where - just for a day - you can pretend to be in far away sunnier climes.

Entering the contemporary designed hotel, Rowhill Grange in Wilmington, Kent, there is little to hint at the underground haven that awaits in their Utopia Spa.

Here, time is not to be counted but something that simply drifts by leaving you blissfully unaware if it is sunny or dark outside.

Unwrapping layer upon layer of winter clothing to spend the day in swimwear is at first a troubling thought, which then becomes liberating and in the end feels like a treat, reminiscent of that summer holiday, which now seems so far away.

The spa itself is much bigger than expected with plenty of room to house a swimming pool, a large hydrotherapy pool, a jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna.

Although the de rigeur spa décor emulating a Roman spa is in full swing, the overall feel is tasteful, with a welcome deviation from the theme around the main swimming pool, which is surrounded by paintings of cypress trees.

A taste of the Mediterranean continues with sun beds at one end, where guests can lounge in the warmth reading books and magazine, to their hearts content, without staff telling them to move on.

Even the changing rooms feel like luxury, complete with power showers, kitted out with shampoo and conditioner.

Throughout the place each basin has handcream as well as handwash, with an endless supply of towelling hand towels.. Even the top-notch GHD hair straightness are laying on the dressing table.

Rowhill Grange, which scooped the title of Winner of the Elite Spa of the Year in 2007, has a long list of weird and wonderful treatments, including a detox cocoon wrap, Japanese hot oil massage and a chocolate fondue facial

Temple Spa products is the new range being used by the beauty therapists. The line which includes anti-ageing products as well as aromatherapy and spa treatments, is influenced by the diet and lifestyle of the Mediterranean. They are not tested on animals and use high levels of natural ingredients, some which don't often grace the label of a beauty product. The £20 Breakfast Smoothie scrub-mark contains apricot, honey, oats and jojoba, and their lightweight moisturiser 'My Goodness' at £30 contains watermelon, broccoli, pumpkin and mango.

For those, who think that a D-I-Y facial at home is just as good, rest assured the therapists pamper you every minute of the treatment. There is no leaving the room for 10 minutes whilst the face mask dries. In this time they exfoliate your feet and rub beautiful smelling oil on them. A surprise that feels too lovely to be worried about the state of your feet. Hands, arms and shoulders are also attended to.

The therapists ask if you would like to be told at each stage what product is being applied but there is something quite special about laying in blissful ignorance to the lotions and potions being applied and taken off your face. At one point, it feels like an oil sleek has formed on your face but looking back at you in the mirror is a face with an all too rare healthy glow.

Probably conscious that the deep relaxation leaves some of us nodding off into the most blissful sleep ever experienced, the treatment is topped off with their refreshing All Mouth breath freshening essence. A drop of the potion, containing peppermint and parsley, is dropped into a cup of water to slowly revive and take away any bed-breath, for those who couldn't resist nodding off.

Day packages must be bought for use of the spa. Prices start from £95, including the full use of the spa, a two-course lunch and a treatment.

To make a reservation call 01322 615136 or visit www.alexanderhotels.co.uk/rowhill/

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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