Cheltenham is not my usual place to visit for a day trip, I normally prefer a train ride to Bath. But yesterday I took the 40min journey from Bristol temple meads to Cheltenham Spa. The ride was easy, the walk from the train station to Montpellier Chapter hotel was even lovelier, discovering gorgeous Georgian houses bedecked in their Christmas attire.
The purpose for my visit was to test out the new REN hot stone massage at the hotels spa. This was a first for me, the hotel, Cheltenham by train and a hot stone therapy. I was pleasantly surprised by it all.
The hotel is stunning. Rooms beautifully proportioned in cool, uncomplicated décor. Soft greys and warm tones throughout. No jaunty feature walls or trying too hard. Just simple, elegant and sophisticated.
When I arrived the staff were bustling about setting the tables for the many Christmas parties arriving later for lunch. In the main restaurant, long tables were laid with crisp white linen and gold crackers. The receptionist said I was lucky to be having a massage, she wished she could escape the mayhem!
I was shown down the corridor passed the courtyard garden, downstairs to the spa. A secluded quiet retreat with gentle music and soft lighting. RELAX. Breath out.
After filling out my details, skin complaints and aching joints, I was taken into a wooden clad circular room where I was to have my treatment.
The stones felt warm against my skin, smooth basalt and REN oils worked wonders as I gently drifted away, calmed by the rhythm of the sweeping massage. The stones are heated in a little oven and then gently applied to the skin with oils. Not too hot to feel uncomfortable, but warm enough to feel my muscles relaxing and a deeper pressure applied.
Starting with my back, she worked deep into my shoulders using the stones for added pressure. Then my arms and backs of my legs. Turning over, stones were applied to my chakras, the chest, breast and stomach, the warmth of the stones calming my breath.
More oils and massage for my legs, hands and my toes. Finally the face, small stones and beautiful REN oils gave my face a gentle facial before a hot towel was placed on it.
Relaxation. Utter bliss.
The REN hot stone massage is brand new to Montpellier Chapter hotel spa, and is proving incredibly popular. What better way to unwind over the festive period, and warm up on a cold winters day.
Price: £80 for 1 hour 15min massage.
Details can be found on their website.
Thank you to Montpelier Chapter for inviting me to review.
All words, opinions & photography are my own.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.