Thursday, 30 May 2013

{Review & Guest Post: Olive Dragonfly hits the spa!}

I sent Bex from The Olive Dragonfly along for a Marriott Pamper Day. Here is her review...
On Thursday last week I was very lucky to be invited along to try out a Pamper Day experience at the Marriott hotel in Glasgow on behalf of Sarah who couldn't manage a week day.
I'm very happy to be able to write a guest post for Sarah reviewing the experience on her fabulous pink pages. I was a guest of Experience Days in return for an honest review.
They posted me out a voucher which came in lovely black packaging with all the information inside.
"A Marriott Pamper Day is not just about exploring a new place, it is about discovering a new state of mind. Health and beauty treatments will help you do just that as you relax and unwind in the hands of trained professionals. Let  your skin breath, let your muscles unwind and enjoy being inside some of the beautiful venues Marriott strives to provide. This wonderful pamper experience is available at selected Marriott Hotels & Resorts and the treatments are carried out by professional therapists using top quality salon products such as Decleor Carita and Espa. A 'Must-Do' experience that is about much more than world class beauty treatments."
As part of the spa day experience I was given access to the Marriott facilities including gym, pool, sauna and steam room as well as a choice of three treatments in the Distinction Spa. If you read my blog, you may remember I recently visited the Distinction spa in Clarkston with a voucher from my husband for my birthday and had a brilliant time so I was really looking forward to this! I chose the relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage and the refreshing facial.
I was really looking forward to a swim and relaxing in the steam room and sauna before my treatments (as I didn't want to wash off any nice oils/moisturisers after). I took my kindle to spend some time relaxing after the treatments as I was going alone (everyone else was working during the week or I would have taken a friend along as it is designed for two with one treatment each).
My treatments were booked for 11am but I arrived at 9:45am to take advantage of the facilities. I took the car so I wouldn't have to walk through town all oily after my treatments and was able to register it at the Leisure Club desk so I wouldn't have to pay to park. Unfortunately I was told it was for 3 hours which would only give me 30 minutes to relax after my treatments before having to go and get a pay and display ticket.
I was shown round and given a towel and robe and headed to the pool. I had the whole pool to myself so took advantage and swam laps as the pool is shorter than my local council pool. The steam room was lovely with relaxing coloured lights and I had a quick 5 minutes in the sauna (as much as I can usually stand!) before I had to shower and get ready for my treatments. The showers were nice with lockable doors so you could have a proper wash without your costume on.

I think the pool area could do with some freshening up to be honest, it didn't look like the picture above, there were no cushions on the water stained wooden chairs and I don't remember seeing any plants either. I didn't feel like I was able to "enjoy being inside some of the beautiful venues Marriott strives to provide" as stated on the Experience Days website. Sadly the Glasgow venue could do with a little refurbishment and a lick of paint, it wasn't what I expected after reading about "the luxury and quality of the world famous Marriott venues" and I didn't fancy sitting there to relax after my treatments.  Unfotunately I can't share any up to date photos with you as you're not allowed to take photos in the pool area for privacy reasons.

Between the changing rooms and the spa, I had to walk along a carpeted corridor and upstairs past lots of bare windows looking out to the car park and nearby building works in my robe and barefoot as no slippers were provided and I didn't want to wear my boots (they said towels and robes were provided and I didn't consider footwear, I'd definitely recommend taking some flip flops).

The spa was nicely decorated in bright pink and black and I was given a nice cold cup of water and taken into a treatment room to get ready for my massage. My therapist asked how much pressure I would like and proceeded with the back massage first, concentrating on my shoulders as that's where I carry most of my tension. The massage was lovely and very beneficial. I then turned over for my facial which started off well but in between each application of face product, what I thought was a very rough cloth was used to remove them. I initially thought it was instead of exfoliator but then actual exfoliator was used which was much more gentle. I had said my skin was a little sensitive but after a few wipes with what turned out to be sponges (I saw them at the end, see here for similar texture) it was starting to feel a bit sore. Unfortunately it is still sore even now, a few hours later, when I touch it, although it is very soft! It was a real shame as I love facials and usually find them ultra-relaxing but I have to say I didn't enjoy this one. I experienced one of the best facials ever at the other Distinction spa so it was very disappointing here.
After my treatments, given there were only two treatment rooms and a reception in the small spa with nowhere to sit and relax I just went back to the changing rooms (which was a freezing cold jog back down the corridor after being all cosy) and decided to go home as the chairs in the pool area didn't look very comfortable.  I'd noticed on the signs by the pool that there was a baby swimming group due in at 1.30pm which I wouldn't find particularly relaxing either.  It also meant I didn't have to worry about the car parking.
As a result I have to say I wouldn't choose to experience a spa day here. I've loved spa days in hotels where you can relax all day and stay cosy in the spa area with comfy lounge chairs or chaise lounges to sit on with magazines and water available. These places do tend to be more pricey though and for £75 (usually £89) it's a pretty good deal, I just wouldn't recommend this particular venue. I would recommend the spa for a massage and everyone was very friendly and helpful.
If they were to give the place a little revamp and maybe put some blinds up on the windows between the spa and changing rooms and provide slippers it would be a much more enjoyable experience. I'm still not sure I would spend a whole day there though as there appeared to be nowhere to eat other than a few tables and a vending machine by the main Leisure Club. Again, I've only ever been to spas with facilities for afternoon tea, snacks or drinks within the spa and they are definitely missing a trick here. I would have definitely stayed longer and bought a drink and probably lunch if available and there was somewhere nice to sit and relax after my treatments.
Overall I enjoyed a swim, steam and a bit of pampering at the Marriott and would return for a spa treatment for a treat if I was in town. I'd like to thank Experience Days for the opportunity to sample what the Marriott had to offer.

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