FEATURE: Aqua Sana Spa offers a blissful experience within a stone's throw of Sheffield
Nothing quite gets you away from the hustle, bustle and stresses of everyday life like a spa day.
It is a pastime that seems to be growing ever more popular and the number of spas opening up is increasing accordingly.
It is a trend that is happening all over the country and Sheffield is no exception, with a number of venues now offering a spa experience.
That experience can vary greatly depending on the venue with some offering a morning of afternoon of relaxation, while all others are a full-on all day event.
Although it is a true that Sheffield now has a couple of very good options for a quick pamper or treatment these venue are limited in size and scope and realistically you'd be stretched to make a whole day of it.
If you want to get away from it all for a full day of relaxation then you have to look a little further afield, but not too much further.
Aqua Sana Spa at Center Parcs' Sherwood Forest resort is just over half an hour's drive from Sheffield and has everything you could hope for in a spa.
Aqua Sana is open to day visitors as well as guests staying at Center Parcs and boasts a plethora of different spa experience rooms and treatment rooms.
Myself and my partner visited the spa on a chilly Wednesday and were offered an extremely warm welcome on arrival.
After getting changed in in the spotlessly clean and extremely stylish changing rooms we were greeted in the spa's Vitalé Café Bar with a welcome drink and breakfast pastry - all included in the spa day package.
While we were enjoying breakfast we were given more information about the facilities by that day's host.
Once breakfast was out of the way we cracked straight on with trying out the extensive facilities.
There are more than a dozen spa experience rooms spread out over two floors.
We spent the whole of the morning lounging from room to room on the ground floor.
Downstairs there are footbaths, a traditional wood-lined sauna, a Japanese Salt Steam Bath, an India Blossom Steam Room, and a classic Turkish bath.
The heat and humidity increased from room to room as we took a clockwise circuit around the luxuriously heated outdoor pool which we also enjoyed taking a dip in.
Between each of the rooms there are multi-sensory showers which only add to the experience.
There are also a couple of pristine outdoor gardens in which to relax.
The morning absolutely flew by and before we knew it it was time for lunch - also included in the day package.
After a refreshing and healthy lunch we made our way upstairs to make the most of the facilities.
This heralded a change of pace and atmosphere. The spa rooms on the upper floor are less intense but no less enjoyable than those downstairs.
The upstairs rooms include a Greek Herbal Bath and a Tepidarium.
There are also a wealth of various beds - including waterbeds - for ultimate relaxation.
My partner and I made our way onto a veranda overlooking the forest found a big round bed, covered ourselves in blankets and woke up nearly two hours later!
By the end of the afternoon we were both in agreement that neither of us had felt so totally relaxed in a long, long time.
Our visit to Aqua Sana also helped to dispel a few myths surrounding spas.
What was the demographic? Everyone.
There were plenty of couples, same-sex groups on birthday celebrations, people on their own, young people and older people.
Different people but all very relaxed and all very comfortable.
We decided to not have any treatments on our visit but that is not to say there aren't plenty of different treatments on offer.
There are facials, body treatments, massages and plenty in between on offer.
Our only regret from the day was that we hadn't got to the spa even earlier in the day so that we could have made even more of the excellent facilities.
If you are looking for a proper spa day with all the trimmings within easy travelling distance of South Yorkshire and the North Midlands then you really didn't look any further than Aqua Sana at Sherwood Forest.
For more information of the spa and its facilities, treatments and prices visit www.aquasana.co.uk