Being sent to check out what Ibiza's Hotel Spa's have to offer is probably most girls idea of heaven – and secretly most mens too. However for me, a Spa virgin, I was a little anxious and admittedly out of my comfort zone, but what fool would turn down an afternoon at Playa d'en Bossa's 4 Star Hotel Garbi Ibiza & Spa? Not me...
Arriving in style and a little windswept from my moped journey I was now rather excited to relax at the hands of a trained masseur. I was greeted in reception by Carlos – a pocket sized man with arms of steel, who led me across the impressive poolside area towards the Hotel Spa. He introduced himself as the Spa Manager and offered me various massages such as Full body, Sport and Tension release. I was tempted to pretend I was some kind of unrested athlete and go for the sportsman treatment but instead I opted for a Tension release massage - focusing on my shoulders and upper back. Like most people I get the odd bit of shoulder pain from a bad nights sleep, so I was interested to see if Carlos could work his magic and rid me of my knots.
Not wanting to be greedy I chose the half an hour massage which priced at 40€ is undoubtedly a bargain especially in such a plush hotel. I was led into a small room which was decorated in a refreshing lime green with bottles of rejuvenating ointments and slightly bizarre looking massage equipment laid out on the sides. The moment had come – I had to strip down to my smalls and put my head into the funny hole of the massage bed... surprisingly easy! Carlos then began my 30 minutes of pampering, using a warming oil he started the massage off gently paying attention to the whole upper back area. As the massage went on he paid more attention to the specific tension areas that I had mentioned earlier (my shoulders) and applied a little more pressure to relieve the stress.
Half expecting some pain and the occasional squirm as a first timer, I was surprised to find that the whole massage – although at times a little quirky, was pain-free and thoroughly relaxing. 'Quirky?' you ask... well, Carlos had obviously felt the stiffness of my neck and went onto perform some techniques to loosen things up and this involved moving my head into various weird yet wonderful positions. A small but welcomed section of the treatment included a head and face massage which was a perfect way to bring things to an end. By this point I had almost moulded into the bed and was a little sad the treatment was over.
Carlos obviously sensed I wasn't ready to leave and offered me the Ictiotherapy treatment which is the treatment for your feet and is carried out with the help of various wet members of a square tank otherwise known as Garra Rufa fish. I had indeed passed by the small fish tanks on the way in and of course I was a little intrigued by the treatment but no way near brave enough to give it a go. However, now no longer a Spa virgin I was armed with a new level of bravery and jumped at the chance.
Preparing my feet for the experience, I was asked to wash them and return wearing a pair of shoes provided by the hotel. The moment had arrived and I gently (and a little nervously) lowered by legs into the water. Wow – I spent the first few minutes trying to combat the fits of giggles and grasp the fact that fish were nibbling on my feet. I actually thoroughly enjoyed this treatment as it was a combination of relaxation and utter madness and I feeling the effects immediately I couldn't be happier with my new baby soft skin on my feet.
So with my first Hotel Spa mission complete I have discovered my softer more feminine side and definitely took a new found level of calmness away with me. I also discovered that it is vital to the experience for you to trust your masseur so that you can reap the full benefits of the treatments that you receive.
Click for more information about Hotel Garbi
The latest issue of our weekly magazine...
Our Ibiza Virgins series returns with a look into beach clubs.
The 7th edition of the Pintxa festival begins this Thursday in San Antonio.
Group hug anyone?