El Palasiet en TIMES (UK)

  • El: 02.06.2009 19:55:53
 

From Times Online

July 19, 2006

Termas Marinas El Palasiet, Bennicasim, Spain

Healthy water treatments at charming family-run hotel

Nicki Caro

USP A good balance between a health and holiday spa without the feel of a big resort.



AMBIENCE A wonderful family-run hotel opened originally as a thalassotherapy centre in 1970, set in the green foothills of Bennicasim, on the Mediterranean shoreline, between Valencia and Barcelona. When not having treatments, I had the choice of two outdoor pools, sandy beach walks, a gym, yoga or Tai Chi classes, organised walks, golf, sailing and horse riding.

EXPERIENCE On arrival at Valencia airport I was picked up by the hotel's driver and whisked off to what I hoped would be a week of rest and restoration, I was not disappointed. On the first full day, I had a meeting with a qualified doctor, who explained the Thalasso programme to me. Thalassotherapy uses natural seawater and sea minerals in healing treatments, these include seaweed mud wraps in the spa rooms. The first 90 minutes in the healing waters were wonderful - the jets pummelled my tired muscles and the steam soothed my skin. As a skin-care therapist, I was interested to have one of the many facials and body treatments, from an intensive hydration facial to a collagen treatment. I opted for the hot stone therapy, which was not as I had hoped - perhaps it was the was the way in which the therapist had been taught. I would have preferred more massage using the stones, rather than just having them laid on my back and legs in a pretty hot pattern. But my facial was lovely - which in keeping with the marine theme used Thalgo products. I was ushered into a dark candle- and incense-lit room, though I usually like to see what the room looks like and prefer it if there is a window. With well practised hands, and good knowledge of her products, the therapist set about calming my skin and topping up the depleted moisture. My massage by the spa’s physiotherapist was excellent - she understood exactly how to relax my overtight back muscles. Overall their knowledge and the care the staff took over treatments was reassuring and hugely beneficial, to body, face and mind.

FOOD Healthy, delicious, varied menus that made good use of fresh herbs - though limited catering for vegetarians. But where was the kettle in my room for my morning cuppa? (The hotel is working on that one.)

IN CROWD Mainly Spanish, French and Italian guests, which is refreshing for those wishing to escape the herds of British tourists. The staff spoke good English, and there was an interpreter on hand - which is useful when deciding whether to undergo a medical treatment.



WALLET WATCH Good value - a one-night stay and thalassotherapy programme on full board for one person in midseason costs about €225 (£140), spa treatments are extra.

NEED TO KNOW Hotel Termas Marinas El Palasiet, Benicassim, Costa del Azahar, Spain (964 300 250; www.termasmarinas.com)

Nicki Caro is a senior skincare therapist with her own studio in Fulham, London. She can be contacted by email: nickicaro@waitrose.com or by phone: 020 7385 9890.

 

From Times Online

July 19, 2006

Termas Marinas El Palasiet, Bennicasim, Spain

Healthy water treatments at charming family-run hotel

Nicki Caro

USP A good balance between a health and holiday spa without the feel of a big resort.

AMBIENCE A wonderful family-run hotel opened originally as a thalassotherapy centre in 1970, set in the green foothills of Bennicasim, on the Mediterranean shoreline, between Valencia and Barcelona. When not having treatments, I had the choice of two outdoor pools, sandy beach walks, a gym, yoga or Tai Chi classes, organised walks, golf, sailing and horse riding.

EXPERIENCE On arrival at Valencia airport I was picked up by the hotel's driver and whisked off to what I hoped would be a week of rest and restoration, I was not disappointed. On the first full day, I had a meeting with a qualified doctor, who explained the Thalasso programme to me. Thalassotherapy uses natural seawater and sea minerals in healing treatments, these include seaweed mud wraps in the spa rooms. The first 90 minutes in the healing waters were wonderful - the jets pummelled my tired muscles and the steam soothed my skin. As a skin-care therapist, I was interested to have one of the many facials and body treatments, from an intensive hydration facial to a collagen treatment. I opted for the hot stone therapy, which was not as I had hoped - perhaps it was the was the way in which the therapist had been taught. I would have preferred more massage using the stones, rather than just having them laid on my back and legs in a pretty hot pattern. But my facial was lovely - which in keeping with the marine theme used Thalgo products. I was ushered into a dark candle- and incense-lit room, though I usually like to see what the room looks like and prefer it if there is a window. With well practised hands, and good knowledge of her products, the therapist set about calming my skin and topping up the depleted moisture. My massage by the spa’s physiotherapist was excellent - she understood exactly how to relax my overtight back muscles. Overall their knowledge and the care the staff took over treatments was reassuring and hugely beneficial, to body, face and mind.

FOOD Healthy, delicious, varied menus that made good use of fresh herbs - though limited catering for vegetarians. But where was the kettle in my room for my morning cuppa? (The hotel is working on that one.)

IN CROWD Mainly Spanish, French and Italian guests, which is refreshing for those wishing to escape the herds of British tourists. The staff spoke good English, and there was an interpreter on hand - which is useful when deciding whether to undergo a medical treatment.

WALLET WATCH Good value - a one-night stay and thalassotherapy programme on full board for one person in midseason costs about €225 (£140), spa treatments are extra.

NEED TO KNOW Hotel Termas Marinas El Palasiet, Benicassim, Costa del Azahar, Spain (964 300 250; www.termasmarinas.com)

Nicki Caro is a senior skincare therapist with her own studio in Fulham, London. She can be contacted by email: nickicaro@waitrose.com or by phone: 020 7385 9890.