The spa is the star

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

spaOnce upon a time spas were the preserve of pampered Paris’s and J Lo’s but now everyone is at it. In the twenty first century self improvement is no longer about reading Shakespeare, it’s all about releasing toxins and realigning chakras – so much so that a National Spa Week (we’re in the midst of it) has been created ‘to highlight the many health benefits which consumers can enjoy through a visit to a spa including; detoxifying treatments, improved circulation, anti-stress benefits improved skin condition and general well being.’


Spas have sprung up all over the world from Bangkok (Chi spa at the Shangri La is a CD Traveller favourite) to Bahrain’s Banyan Tree (which boasts the largest spa in the Middle East at the equivalent of 38 tennis court, as well as the world’s first garden hammam) and Bognor Regis where Ocean Spa – only the second spa in the UK to feature a snow cave – has set up shop.

The spa is situated inside Butlin’s brand new £20 million Ocean Hotel and is equipped with a sauna, roman laconium beds (a form of dry sauna with a less intensive heat than the traditional saunas meaning you can relax for a longer period, soothing away aches and pains) and an outside terrace with a hot tub in which you can wallow like a hippo half submerged in an African river. The spa offers a treatment list so long that there is a tendency to sit and read the menu like a child absorbed in a Harry Potter novel. Most of the treatments utilise salt, seaweed, natural minerals and mud from the Dead Sea following in the footsteps of Marc Anthony, the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra – all of whom have slathered on the Dead Sea’s famous black mud (or at least got someone else to do it for them) in their quest for perfect pores and eternally youthful looks. The Dead Sea, y’see, is rich in magical minerals and salts, which supposedly work wonders on the skin. But if you can’t afford a jaunt to Jordan in these recessionary times, you can afford a few bargain priced skin creams from the Dead Sea and if they are good enough for Madonna… Forget forking out on La Mer and the like, the Queen of reinvention is apparently addicted to using bargain priced skin creams from the Dead Sea in order to combat the signs of ageing. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? In a bid to separate the wheat from the chaff, CD Traveller made like her madgesty and smothered ourselves in a medley of mud products  (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it). Read on for the full low-down…


Dead Sea Mineral Shampoo

 For one week CD Traveller religiously washed our hair with this squeezable shampoo containing Dead Sea mud – and then soaked up the compliments that came our way. Our locks really were shinier not to mention more manageable – the mud having absorbed all the excess oil – making it great for those with greasy hair. Even better, it only takes a smidgeon of shampoo and a short amount of time for your tresses to be transformed.

4/5 stars


Dead Sea Bath Salts

People have been flocking to the lowest point on earth for the past 2,000 years to float away their ills in the salty waters, and the novelty hasn’t worn off. If you’re not up for a public beautifying bonanza, then bath salts are the answer. Languishing in a tub filled with Dead Sea salts supposedly relieves psoriasis, eczema, acne et al but being free of any such ailments, CD Traveller is unable to comment. What we can vouch for after soaking in sodium, is smoother skin and a supremely relaxing bathing experience. While nothing beats a dip in the Dead Sea, a soak in a salt bath comes a close second.

3/5 stars


Dead Sea Body Lotion

The Dannii Minogue of the Dead Sea products. It’s not that this body lotion is bad per se, just inferior when compared to its stable mates in the same way that dear old Dannii will forever be in the shadows of big sis, Kylie. Yes, this lotion will leave your skin feeling soft and supple, but no more so than any other moisturizer on the market. Still if this is the missing link in your Dead Sea stash, then it’s probably worth splashing out on.

2/5 stars


Dead Sea Black Mud Soap

This creamy Dead Sea soap is purportedly the best selling Dead Sea product. Its success is all down to its star ingredient, sulphur – the key to keeping skin healthy. Too often in the past we’ve been left with taught, tight skin after sloughing ourselves with soap – not so with this sulphurous soap. The message? Don’t be fooled by it humble appearance – this soap is a swan trapped in an ugly duckling’s body.

3/5 stars


Dead Sea Mud Mask

If you can get past the stench and tingling sensation that occurs when you first slap on the mud mask (it’s not painful exactly but nor is it pleasurable), 20 minutes later you will be rewarded. Pores appear tighter and skin is noticeably less oily. A word of warning however; the mask draws impurities out immediately so not great if you were planning a night out on the town. Also washing off the mud yourself is a major-ly messy affair.

4/5 stars


To buy online or for details of stockists, visit

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