Six women, a giant Jacuzzi… and me

Six women, a giant Jacuzzi… and me

Amida Spa, Hampton, Middlesex

I’m not a Neanderthal. (I once bought a bottle of Pagan Man aftershave, but it was to give as a present.) Nor, though, am I such a highly evolved new man that being groomed comes as naturally as it does to our cousins the chimps.

Still, everyone deserves special treatment now and then, which is why day spas are doing increasingly brisk business. Weekends in spa hotels must be fabulous but are beyond many pockets. Day spas let you concentrate your spending on whichever part of your body (or soul) needs the most attention.

In my case it was my inter-office skills that warranted expert pampering. As well as individual packages, many spas offer schemes for office awaydays where colleagues can combine a meeting with lunch and a spell using the spa, or cut out the formal meeting and spend their whole time relaxing. I headed to the Amida Racquets and Fitness Spa near Twickenham with a group of colleagues for just such an awayday. Six women, a giant Jacuzzi and me … at least, that’s the image I conjured up for the rest of the office, for strangers on the bus, anyone who would listen, really.

From the sports centre-like outside, Amida projects fitness; and inside, its airy gym delivers with a huge array of cardio machines, a weights room, squash, badminton, tennis courts and a pool. So, if you’re that way inclined, you can work up a sweat before heading to the sauna to, er, work up a sweat.

The spa has a funky feel

The spa has a funky feel, lots of light and mirrors in the changing rooms, mosaic tiles and picture windows in the hydrotherapy area. Between the relaxation pool and a hydro spa pool lie a steam room, sauna and plunge pool. Eight treatment rooms kitted out in dark wood with Oriental throws feature a bewildering array of 70 treatments, from hot-stone facials to detox wraps, body exfoliations with exotic oils and massages. All the treatments are said to be suitable for both sexes but there is a range designed specifically for men. Too often spas have little to give men beyond the standard massages but Amida has a series of facial, manicure, cleansing and waxing options with the hairier sex in mind.

Another feature which proved hugely popular with my colleagues was the deep relaxation room you are ushered to after your treatment is done – a row of five beds bathed with coloured lights on which to doze. Who needs a business meeting to sleep through when you can go straight to bed?

Amida Spa, Staines Road, Hampton, nr Twickenham (0845 2309 111; click to visit). There are several day packages on offer starting from £70, mixing a variety of spa treatments with sport and fitness options. Day memberships start from £360 for 12 visits a year.

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