Spa review - ESPA simply salt & oil flotation, Mottram Hall Club & Spa.

PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 May 2016

Flotation bed (Image: Andrew Collier)

Flotation bed (Image: Andrew Collier)


Kate Houghton tries out the ESPA simply salt & oil flotation treatment at Mottram Hall Club & Spa.

When flotation tanks first made an appearance I quickly realised they’d be my worst nightmare: as a claustrophobic I can’t imagine anything remotely relaxing about being locked in a dark box full of water. #shudder

So, when The Spa @ Mottram Hall told me they’d invested in a flotation bed and I’d love it, I was a little sceptical. They were right. I was wrong. It was a dream experience.

For me, a little solitude goes a long way to calming my bouncing mind. I don’t need to be alone, per se, just not expected to interact. I booked my treatment with no real idea what to expect, but what I got was the perfect kind of solitude – the sort that’s all about me.

My lovely therapist, Sarah, first of all delivered a firm yet gentle full body scrub, using a mix of coarse sea salt and ESPA detox oils. It’s strangely relaxing; having your skin exfoliated isn’t a wholly sleep-enducing experience, but I still found myself drifting away.

After a quick shower (remove the salt, leave the oil) Sarah took me to Mottram’s new Alfresco ThermoSpace. The first in the UK, as well as a heated hydrobath, you can enjoy a Brechelbath®, a herbal steam bath, originating from the Alpine regions of Europe. The Brechelbath® Experience releases bursts of steam with an alpine fragrance whilst the copper ceiling pushes the steam down the side walls to warm the body. There’s a Mineral Stonebath room too; where an increase in humidity and room temperature is achieved through the repeated lifting and lowering of a basket of stones. You become acclimatised

to the rising temperatures and the humidity slowly, making it gentle on the cardiovascular system and much easier to gain full benefit from if the usual steam and sauna are too robust for you.

We skipped past these to the beautiful space that contains their floatation bed. It’s fabulous. A huge egg-shaped bed, upon which soft towels are piled. When I first climbed aboard, I found myself stretched out on what felt like a plank. At the touch of a button however the plank lowers down and you swiftly find yourself floating on a cushion of warm water, like a very squashy waterbed. It’s seriously relaxing and I felt myself start to nod almost immediately.

Sarah then set about a scalp massage, using a deep conditioning treatment for my hair. It was ah-may-zing. Who knew I held so much tension around my ears? I thought it was all in my neck, but boy, you’ll be amazed at how many muscles you have in your scalp and how wound up they get! Sarah is really very good at this. I have long, thick hair and in the past scalp massages have been an exercise in disentanglement, painful for all concerned. Not so this time; gentle, careful and just the right amount of firm, it was perfect.

The flotation bed is a quite marvellous device. If I ruled the world I’d live in one. I’d have manicures, pedicures, facials, scalp massages…anything I could have while settled deep and warm into a cushion of comfort. Oh, and sleep of course…the sleep of the totally relaxed, solitude-happy busy woman. Bliss.

Espa simply salt & oil flotation, £55 | 01625 828 135

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