Following the excesses and stresses of the festive period you could be forgiven for wanting to get away from it all.
January can be a dark and bleak month but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, so why not treat yourself to a bit of TLC?
If you’re in need of a new year lift you could do a lot worse than treat yourself to visit to a spa.
Ahead of the manic Christmas period just gone my wife and I did just that, spending a blissfully relaxing day at the Aqua Sana spa at Center Parks, Sherwood Forest.
Now, there are some establishments which label themselves as a ‘spa’ simply because they boast a swimming pool, sauna and a hot tub.
Aqua Sana, however, is definitely a spa with a capital ‘S’.
Located in the heart of Sherwood Forest the spa is definitely a place where you can spend all day unwinding, and we did!
From the moment you check-in, put on your robe and stash your belongings - including, crucially, your mobile phone - you start to feel at ease and the stresses of everyday life begin to diminish.
Our spa day began with a breakfast pastry and cup of coffee in the Vitale restaurant where our host talked us through what the spa has to offer and booked us in for lunch.
Aqua Sana is spread over two floors and we spent the morning exploring what the ground floor had to offer, and as it turned out it was quite a lot.
We eased ourselves in gently with a foot spa in the Sole Therapy pod, before cranking up the heat in the Nordic Sauna.
After 10 minutes in the sauna I then braved the Ice Cave - rubbing handfuls of ice crystals over my sauna-heated body.
This was truly invigorating and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The spa also boasts two outdoor hot tubs and despite the pouring rain this was a must and we felt at one with nature surrounded by the forest canopy and the sound of birdsong.
The rest of the morning was spent in the outdoor (but sheltered) pool and the numerous steam rooms.
After a good couple of hours we were ready for some lunch.
As you might imagine, lunch at the spa’s Vitale restaurant is a light and healthy affair - with carbs and stodge at a minimum.
The food is very nice and fresh and as well as a range of soft drinks there are also wines, fizz and beers available.
After lunch we headed upstairs and the spa’s crown jewel - its treetop sauna, offering gorgeous views of the surrounding forest.
It only adds to the ambience and feeling and peace and tranquility.
The rest of the upper floor at Aqua Sana is a genuine chill-out zone with cosy pods and beds - perfect for an afternoon snooze and I would be lying if I said I didn’t drift off for a brief power nap.
That power nap may have become a full-on sleep had it not been for the fact we were both booked in for treatments.
There are a number of treatment rooms at the spa offering a large variety of facials, body treatments and massages.
I enjoyed a blissful hour-long men’s facial and back massage.
It left my skin feeling re-invigorated and I was left feeling so relaxed that I could barely speak.
It was the perfect end to a day of genuine and much-needed rest and recuperation.
Situated less than an hour from Sheffield, it has to be said that Aqua Sana is possibly the top spa in the region.
So, if you want to kick the January blues into touch, or with Valentine’s Day on the horizon you want to plan something special for you and your other half, then you could do worse than treating yourself to a pamper at this forest spa.
For more information about Aqua Sana, including prices, facilities and treatments visit www.aquasana.co.uk/spa-locations/sherwood-forest