A spa to splash out on!
Soak up the atmosphere at Le Spa, Le Meridien, Limassol, one of Cyprus's leading family-friendly destinations
Images: Courtesy of Le Meridien Limassol
There is spa-ing and then there is spa-ing Le Meridien, Limassol style!
The SPA Traveller has always advocated a spa is not a spa without a water element - whether it is a cosy Jacuzzi or Olympic-sized swimming pool - but the thalassotherapy experience at this well-established Cypriot hotel surpassed even our expectations.
We all know sea water is good for our skin and most of us retreat to the more sterile, chlorinated pools when we visit a beach resort. But Le Spa has harnessed the benefits of salt water and magnesium within four beautiful outdoor pools (and three indoor ones used in winter) so there is no excuse not to soak up the healing waters her (at this wellness spa resort).
Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word Thalasso meaning sea and therapeia healing) uses the maritime climate, the sea and its derivaties such as algae, seaweed and mud for the restorative healing benefits it has on the body and soul.
Hypocrates, the Father of Medicine, was the first to discover the therapeutic virtures of sea water by observing the beneficial effects it has.
The first of the four outdoor pools used in summer is actually a magnesium pool which lies under a honey-coloured, Grecian archway in the shadow of olive and pepper trees. You are encouraged to set aside 90 minutes for the full thalassotherapy experience as you should aim to stay in each pool for a full 15 minutes if you can!
As you shuffle towards the pool in your robe and slippers an attendant is always at hand to help and time your sessions with his stop watch.
The first challenge for anyone with sensitive skin is the magnesium pool, as for even those of us with Rhino skin, like me, it immediately irritated and felt like millions of tiny pin pricks. But firm in the knowledge it was good for me I slowly immersed myself in this silky waters before floating to the top as if I was in the Dead Sea.
Magnesium is absorbed through the skin while at the same time, using a form of osmosis, draws toxins from the body, sedate the nervous system, reduce swelling and relax muscles. The bath also works as a natural emollient which is why it's good for people with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Ten minutes floating was enough for me and I slipped out with my body fizzing and moved onto the first salt water pool which was absolute bliss as it started to soothe the itching from the previous pool.As I reclined on my neck pillow and gazed up at the clear blue sky, through the splash of pink bougainvillea bushes and breathing in the scent of rosemary which hung in the air, my body totally relaxed and 15 minutes just wasn't enough but the attendant was tapping his watch as it was time to move on.
Proceeding to the next two pools (which were slightly cooler) the experience just got better and better. Water jets were strategically placed and gently massaged every part of the body helping to kick-start my circulation before the next 15 minutes was up and I headed indoors to the hot, hot, hot hammam which brought my body temperature shooting back up.
This has to be the best way to relax before a treatment ever!
After a glass of water in the airy relaxation room with windows overlooking the glistening Med it was off for my Thalgo facial in one of the 34 treatment rooms which make up this massive spa complex. In addition to thalassotherapy, treatments also include the decadent Four-Hands Massage or invigorating Royal Thai Massage, and be sure to treat yourself to one of their signature treatments, such as Journey of the Senses, which includes a hot stone application in combination with a body wrap using
This winning combination of thalassotherapy and pampering extends to the two brands used in the spa - Thalgo for thalassotherapy and Elemis for aromatherapy. The pure indulgence of such a relaxing haven provides the perfect spa holiday or health and wellness break.
My three-hour foray into the spa came safe in the knowledge my kids were being looked after at the Penguin Club complete with its own swimming pool and pottery-painting corner which resulted in a Picasso-esque Grecian urn being produced by my five-year old!
A memorable day had been had by all.
The SPA Traveller tips
• It might be best to wear an older costume for the thalassotherapy experience as you are immersed in magnesium and salt water for an hour.
• Check your kids into the Penguin Club and give yourself time to try some of Le Spa's signature treatments
• If you are travelling in winter the thalassotherapy will be carried out in the three indoor pools
• To indulge in the perfect spa holiday book one of the spa suites in the new wing of the hotel and follow one of the spa menus prepared by a nutritionist