How To Spend It

Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie on… an Extraordinary Active Holiday

Our exhausted reporter seeks refuge at a Roman-style spa after one hard-core cycle ride and open-water swim combo too many

Spa Junkie on… an Extraordinary Active Holiday

December 15 2012
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

A 1km swim, 70km bike ride and 8km run marked the halfway point of Spa Junkie’s so-called holiday, but the regime continues apace…

Day 4

I tuck into a super-high-energy breakfast and we embark on a 55km bike ride along the coastal roads to Almyras sister hotel, Anassa. My heart lifts at the prospect of a QMS Medicosmetics treatment, which Ive heard is now available at Anassa’s spa.

While Im not exactly up to Tour de France standards, I fancy myself as a competent cyclist, so I am shocked by how hard I find this ride. Pedalling up hills in high winds is tough; in order to progress forwards I have to push against the mass of air in front of me, which requires a lot of energy. I am also not very comfortable on the seat or with my grip on the handlebars, but my complaints are met with little sympathy.

With precious little time to recover, I savour my refueling muesli bar and smoothie at Anassa, then take a look around the white stuccoed hotel and its tropical garden that leads down to the sea. At the beach we begin a 2.5km point-to-point open-water swim. The sea is incredible; warm and calm.

I arrive at the Baths of Aphrodite exhausted. I feel a million miles away from the goddess’s serenity and beauty as I ungracefully drag my heavy limbs into the waiting speedboat. I’m thrilled at the prospect of having the rest of the day off and spend the afternoon lounging by the sky-lit indoor pool. At last, the relaxing aspect of the holiday reveals itself.  

Given all the dirt, dust, salt and excessive sweat my pores have seen over the past few days, they are in desperate need of some deep cleansing. It seems a fitting time to slip down to the Thalassa Spa – a luxury Roman-style retreat with 18 treatment rooms, plus saunas, steam baths and a seawater exercise pool. I opt for a QMS Medicosmetics Deep Cleansing Intense Treatment with an algae mask to firm and hydrate the skin.

My skin is analysed by the aesthetician, who applies an exfoliating liquid followed by enzymes to dissolve the dead skin cells. My face is then steamed, which aids the relatively pain-free extractions, and the cooling algae mask is applied; a freshening tonic and an oxygen-rich moisturiser finish off the 60-minute treatment. I am a very big fan of QMS Medicosmetics.  Founder Dr Schulte’s history of working with burn victims inspired him to create a regenerating collagen-based skin care system, and although I'm not overjoyed with the smell, the results are amazing. My skin feels beautifully clean, if not a little red from the extractions.

I have a light snack but skip a big dinner, opting instead for a sumptuous bath and another blissfully early night.

Steamed, squeaky clean… and slimmer? Spa Junkie braces herself for the final physical onslaught – and the tape measure. Find out how she fares on Tuesday December 18