Sensory pleasures in the Kempinski Spa...
It had been a rough week on many levels so when Thorsten Lipfert, Spa Director of the Kempinski Resort in Estepona, invited me to come and try some of their new treatments it did not take me more than a millisecond to nod my consent.
Terraké inspired by the origins of the earth
Thorsten has introduced an exclusive luxury new spa line of treatments called “Teraké” (the name is composed from “Tierra” - earth and “Agua” – water) created by the renowned French skin care experts, Thalgo Laboratories. The concept takes its roots in nature using the elements of earth, water, air and plant life as its base and set within a series of rituals that ease you gently back into a sense of well being, balance and harmony.
Treatments are chosen from one of the four universes of Terraké; Terra Magica which comes from the earth itself; volcanic rocks, muds, minerals and clays known for their anti-ageing and toning properties, Primordial Waters that hydrate and purify the body, Of Air and Light for cleansing and detoxification and Luxuriant Plant Life using the wisdom of beneficent jungles and nature’s own plants and buds renowned for their nourishing and slimming properties.
I have been fortunate to have experienced some of the best treatments from the far reaches of the world; a heavenly massage in Brazil (even the therapist lost track of the time!), traditional massage from the Blind School in Thailand involving stretching and deep massage; to soothing, cleansing and detoxifying Ayurvedic treatments in India. So when it comes to Spa treatments, suffice it to say, I am more than a little discerning and I have to be honest, my experience at the Kempinski Spa certainly ranked up there with the best of them.
The therapies are based in ritual and from the moment I walked into the Asian inspired dimly lit room I was transported on a sensory journey. I began my “Deletectable Essence” body treatment with an invigorating body scrub of Green Mandarin essential oil and semi-refined sugar, it smelled fantastic and awoke the senses leaving my whole body tingling and alive. Then I was gently lulled into a deep sense of relaxation with a wonderful massage using a fresh, aromatic and very fragrant smelling oil made from plant essences. My therapist, Julia was first-rate; she used a variety of techniques from Shiatsu to Thai and Relaxation Massage.
Lianas are known for the way they stretch over trees in the jungle and this idea is simulated in the Terraké treatments, Julia used flax cotton that replicated a liana root as part of the massage to gently stretch my body, at one point she slipped it under my head and supported it as if it were in a sling, it was an unusual and liberating experience feeling my head absolutely weightless.
I was then covered in a nutritive wrap made of Shea Butter (hydrates, regenerates and nourishes), Cocoa Butter (protects the skin), Cupuacu Butter (Nourishes and soothes dry skin), Passion Fruit Oil (promote elasticity and prevents dryness while restores and improves barrier function in the epidermis) which felt cool and fresh and the body treatment was finished with a rich, nourishing cream made of the same properties as the wrap. All of the products in the treatment felt really clean and wonderfully natural.
After having a horror story facial by someone in the Atalaya area (mentioning no names but I still have the scars to prove it) I am, as you can imagine, more than a little dubious about letting someone near my face, however Julia assured me that the “Rare Essence” Facial would be ideal.
The ritual began with a cleansing and exfoliation using essences from the plant universe and a bamboo nectar known for its restorative properties and for encouraging elasticity and flexibility in the skin. Julia then gave me an energizing acupressure facial massage using a highly nutritive oil composed of Buriti Oil (promotes the natural equilibrium of water in the skin and contains essential fatty acids), Passion Fruit Oil (regenerated and provides flexibility to the epidermis dry skin whilst preventing dryness) and Woad Oil (regulates skin hydration).
Then a divine smelling nutritive facial mask was applied; I really appreciated the fact that while I was resting with the mask (a combination of fruit and plant extracts with antioxidants and a special oil said to promote youthful, fresh skin) instead of leaving the room as most therapists would have done, Julia gave me a relaxing foot massage; it was refreshing that the therapist made full use of my treatment time and it was a small but simple point that is so often missed out in other Spas. Julia then went on to slather a butter rich intensive moisturizing cream on to my face. I have to honestly say, even though it might sound cliché (so often you read reviews such as these and you question their authenticity) I really did leave there fresh faced and glowing. I was very happy with the results and pleasantly surprised to notice such a difference in my skin tone so quickly, it was genuinely smoother and had a more even skin tone.
After a delicious herbal tea, my Terraké experience had come to an end, it really was a Holistic experience in which all of the senses were awakened and indulged. Terraké treatments are for true Spa connoisseurs; no detail has been left for chance, even the music has been designed by Terraké which plays gently in the background in perfect harmony to the treatments and transports you to another dimension. The products used are an alchemy of rare and special ingredients from the earth that revitalize, nourish and beautify your mind, body and spirit and that smell and feel heavenly; there was nothing artificial about them and you could feel the wisdom of nature at work.
The Spa team exuded professionalism and my therapist, Julia Arias Rincón, was excellent, young and talented and with a genuine gift, she has certainly found her “camino”. Technically her massage was excellent (relaxing and firm at the same time whilst using a variety of different techniques) and all the while she moved gracefully throughout the treatments without ever disturbing me transmitting a sense of serenity and tranquillity.
Thorsten, the spa manager, is very well travelled having run his own Spas and set up others all over the world, as well as being amiable he is a consummate professional and after years in the business running his own spas he has an impressive knowledge.
So needless to say after a difficult week I floated out of the Kempinski Spa not only feeling relaxed and at peace, but with a 180º in my perspective. A big thank you to Thorsten and Julia for giving me space to get back to basics and a morning that left me feeling refreshed, revitalized and ready to take on the world again from a more balanced and serene place.
Kempinksi Hotel Bahía Estepona
Calle de Cádiz, KM.159
T: 952 791 798
By: Nicola Vieira Rodrigues
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