Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… the Capri Palace Leg School

Can our incognito reporter really say goodbye to her ‘thigh handles’?

Spa Junkie at… the Capri Palace Leg School

Image: Jay Yeo.

July 02 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Spa Junkie is at the Capri Palace Beauty Farm for a two-day programme that includes weight loss and a taste of its famous Leg School.

DAY TWO: 10am

As we are here for a short stay, The Italian (my boyfriend) has been roped in to trial some treatments. Increasingly eager to understand how spas cater to men, he agrees to a facial and a massage, the latter of which he says is one of the best he has ever had. He also comments on the look and the feel of the Farm versus other hotel spas. “It feels like a private hospital – most of the staff come from hospitals, which as a man, I like. It makes the whole experience altogether more serious.” What he means is, he always thought spas were for girls.

“I love working in a spa, not in a hospital.” I’m back in with Cinzia for the morning weigh-in. My “shape” has not changed since yesterday, but I do notice that my legs are feeling firmer, and the diuretics have gone some way to reducing my water retention.

As she performs level tests for heart, kidneys, cholesterol and so on, Cinzia explains that there are various basic programmes available, including the Delicatezza (Gentle) one, which is 800 calories a day, and the Purezza (Purity) one, which allows 1,200 calories. Or you can simply be on a Healthy Diet that is specially created for you and takes into consideration any food allergies and intolerances (for which, by the way, they can administer all tests on site). No two diets are the same.

“I don’t believe in shock and awe,” continues Cinzia. “I have to take into consideration the above test results, but also your origin, and unique food types and habits that stem from your upbringing – not to mention your likes and dislikes. And most important is the emotional attachment you may have to certain foods.”

That’s interesting, I think to myself. Food plays a major role in stimulating and regulating our moods, but not many spas actually ever address food behavioural patterns. I’m impressed.

The Capri Palace boasts the only Michelin-starred restaurant on the island; this works well as the Farm and the hotel jointly source produce. However, they believe the diet chef and hotel kitchen need to be separate. “You need a dedicated diet chef,” insists Cinzia. “It’s a different beast – a chef who cooks for pleasure is very different from a chef who cooks for your health”.


I’m back at Leg School. “Cellulite and water retention are the killer for women’s legs,” says my therapist. “You can be as thin as Kate Moss, but if you are riddled with cellulite and have bad muscle tone, you are not going to look good in a bathing suit.” She’s preparing my legs for the Hydrofor cellulite treatment: a mix of anti-cellulite creams are applied, and a radio frequency machine is then massaged over the areas to allow the active ingredients to penetrate deeply. Then I’m on to another fat buster, the so-called “cellulite annihilator”. Its official name is the Cellactor, and it uses acoustic waves to break fat (apparently, the same technology is used in hospitals to treat kidney stones).

It’s a combination therapy: the C Head applicator emits planar pressure waves to tighten skin and contour the body, giving a slimming effect. Then a D-actor applicator, which looks a bit like a pen and emits shock waves at high frequency from one end, softens the connective tissue – the fibres between the fat cells – which reduces the appearance of cellulite. It also breaks up the fat, so it’s easier to eliminate. Once you have worked the area, the fat is then disseminated in your system, and with the aid of two litres of water, is then eliminated. In theory, after a week of this and the rest, you will see a dramatic difference.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.