Tag Archives: Spa

Spa-rkle for Christmas – Prepare for Party Season

We are now entering the party season, the time when going out on “a school night” is actually acceptable, whether it be a night out with friends or the annual Christmas work do. Often it means treating ourselves to a new party outfit or two and a pre party pamper treat. Hannah our Spa Director offers top tips to prepare.


To prepare your skin for the festive season, ensure you drink a lot of water, 2 litres a day is the recommended intake. If over indulging is on the cards your water intake should be increased. There are ways to help the skin feel more hydrated and therefore be refreshed, glowing and allow make up to have a flawless finish. At home you can exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove any dead skin cells and use a hydrating mask once or twice a week to combat dehydration and infuse the skin with much needed nutrients. In the spa treat yourself to the collagen smoothing facial which will give your skin a collagen boost and correct the signs of ageing as they appear. The collagen mask smoothes fine lines and has a plumping effect, after the treatment your skin will be radiant and its collagen reserves restored.

To prepare for the LBD at home, skin brushing and a good body exfoliation will help to increase the circulation and leave the skin looking radiant and feeling smooth. In the spa the Thalgo slim and sculpt treatment is perfect for targeting stubborn unwanted curves and cellulite. You can combine this treatment with a full body exfoliation to save having to worry about how to reach your back or those difficult-to-reach areas. If you want to add a nice shimmer to the skin use the Polynesia Sacred Oil which gives a lovely gold shimmer as well as hydrating and nourishing. The other alternative is to have a spray tan or apply self tan at home. In the spa we use the Vita Liberata spray tan, an organic luxury anti ageing brand, with three different strengths of tan. You can choose from a touch of colour, a week away or even a two week holiday tan.

On-trend colours for make up this festive season are very much plums and purples and shimmers are back. A smoky eye is sultry and seductive, apply a shimmering, mid tone eye shadow to the moving part of the eyelid, use a brush to blend from lash line to socket line, use a darker shade on the outside corner of the eye, sweeping along the lash line and slightly into the socket line, add a little under the lower lashes, working inwards. Line the eyes with eyeliner to the lash line, for a more dramatic look apply to the lower line as well. Finish the look with mascara on the upper and lower lashes.

For nails, add sparkle to the ring finger or a touch of glitter to all nails.

Change Your Routine to Keep Seeing Results

You’ve set yourself a hard gym routine to help get you through the summer season, now it’s time to make a change to keep on seeing those results. Phoebe McCully, a Senior Fitness Instructor at our Health Club, gives us some top tips.

 Matrix gym cardio suite at Donnington Valley

Sticking to the same routine can be very easy and comfortable, but at some point, your routine may not give you the results you want, so you need to shake things up. Changing your workout routine can be a motivator and may make things more interesting for you.

You work hard in the gym trying to find the routine that suits you. You start the routine and you notice that it is helping you make the changes that you want, so you stick with it. However, after a few months you may notice that the changes you liked to see have stopped appearing. The reason this happens is because repetition means the body can adapt. It will know what to expect and will then use less energy.

So here aresome signs that you can look for when deciding if you should change up your routine.

Do you get bored in the gym? Are you noticing fewer results? You find the workout less challenging? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you need to mix things up!

Instead of just spending your amount of time on the treadmill, or cross trainer at a constant speed, I recommend our clients try our new ‘Sprint 8’ software. It is designed to help improve fitness levels, and burn away fat. It will be hard and will kick-start your body into making those changes again.

Mix up your strength routine by adding in a super set, to challenge your muscles even more. Finish the reps on the exercise that you are doing and then go straight into another one for the same muscle group. Super sets will help improve your endurance and build muscle.

If you make changes you will keep seeing results, and you will stay motivated. Try to make a change every four to six weeks. To help you make the right changes, why not book in for a review with the Fitness team? We would be only too happy to help and you never know how it will change the way you feel about your routine fore the better.

Trim up for holiday, hit those target areas

The sunny weather and social season is upon us and in the back of your mind you will have that niggling wish you’d done those extra couple of minutes in the gym, attended that spin class or lifted a heavier weight. Phoebe McCully our Senior Fitness Instructor helps you make that change.

Trim up for holiday

If you always do the same routine in the gym, your body won’t make the changes you want to see. Yes you might have seen some positive developments in the beginning but as you go on, your body adapts to what you are doing and will plateau. So make a change and get the results you want.

Try a different cardio machine that will work you harder. For example if you always tend to use the treadmill switch to the Stair Climber, you’ll feel your heart rate pick up, helping to push those fitness levels higher. The Stair Climber will also help add some toning work to your legs.

Try a different exercise for the muscle you want to train. By changing your routine around, you will find that you will be bringing other muscles in to play that you wouldn’t have used before, helping you get that shape and toned look you have been fighting for. There are many different exercises you can use to tone and strengthen each body part. For example, if you always do squats to help train your lower body, why not try a walking lunge? It still trains your lower body as well as hitting different areas.

Try swimming; this is also a great form of all-round exercise. It’s ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability. Swimming can help tone muscles, correct posture and improve core stability. Try to vary your strokes to eliminate boredom and ensure every muscle group gets a workout.

Try a class

If the thought of pushing weights or different exercises bores you, then classes are surprisingly easy and addictive alternative – and prove results.

If your target area is to train and strengthen your core, then come along to one of our abs classes; you will come away with new ideas. Aimed at giving you an intense workout to strengthen the core abdominal and lower back muscles, it will help you get over that plateau. Or for better body tone and shape, Body Toning class will sculpt the entire body, helping you burn fat, gain strength and produce lean muscle.

This month why don’t you try and get yourself out of your comfort zone and make the changes, so you get to see the results you want?

Uncomplicated British Beauty: delilah

Every woman wants to feel special every day with minimal make-up fuss. Last Monday, the delightful Rupert Kingston introduced delilah, his luxury beauty brand, to our product range.

Delilah Cosmetics
Uncomplicated British beauty from Delilah Cosmetics

Remember that understated glamour you feel every time you don a new colourful lipstick or every time you wear your favourite perfume? That’s how luxury and select make-up range delilah made us feel last night.

And as we learned, there’s no reason why we can’t feel that way all (or most!) of time with the right products. Borne of twenty years international experience in beauty buying and make-up artistry, delilah was carefully formulated in Italy from the finest ingredients. This capsule collection offers women a touch of understated luxury that they can enjoy everyday.

Importantly, delilah does not contain parabens, those modern-day nasties which recent research attests is no good for our skin at all. Instead, the products feel great, lightweight, and let your skin breathe.

Rupert offered a host of excellent tips and tricks as well, such as always to wear an SPF (I’m so guilty of forgetting but skin will be grateful in the long-run), that a brow pencil can so easily enhance your look, and that your choice of make-up brushes can dramatically enhance the application. Invest – or choose wisely initially – for long term gain.

Touching and feeling the products really brought this to life – the packaging is gorgeous and feels on a par with YSL or Chanel – very important in making a product feel extra special. With a host of pretty corals, daring poppies for the lips, warm browns, peacock greens and sultry purpose for the eyes, Rupert also aided our decision on choosing colours. Essentially, while the ‘barely-there’ is great, if you feel daring, don’t be afraid to wear colour!

The main takeaway was that make-up should be fun, easy, and make your skin look good (rather than being obvious). And delilah products very much did the job. I’m placing my order right now.

Spring and Summer Beauty Essentials at Donnington Valley Spa

Beauty Essentials at Donnington Valley Spa

Beauty Basics are best for this time of year…

Don’t overload the make up this Summer as the heat can melt away eye shadow and foundation! You know the saying less is more, too much can actually add years to a person.

Stick the the basics:

  • Sunscreen or use a tinted moisturiser or BB cream with sunscreen in it or self tan
  • Concealer for under the eyes and any blemishes
  • Mascara or get your eyelashes tinted
  • Light coloured lipsticks or lip gloss
  • Soft eyeshadow

Minimize the damage caused by hair dryers:

  • Use a towel to wrap your hair turban-style and gently squeeze out excess water
  • Leave it to dry three-quarters of the way before you pick up your hair dryer
  • Do not hold your hair dryer too close or too long on one area of the head
  • Stop drying while your hair is still a bit damp

As the sun is here, we are now thinking about wearing our latest swimwear. This means exposing our bodies which have been hidden all Winter and therefore feeling tired, dull and dry.

To prepare your skin for the Summer, start by using a loofah or body brush, this lifts the dead skin cells and helps to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, use all over the body and try and work in the direction of the heart. This can be done daily, leaving skin smooth and revitalized. Use body polish or body exfoliator also to soften the skin, remove any dead skin cells and also nourish the skin, this will leave your skin glowing. This will also prepare your skin for the skin, helping you to get more even, fresher longer lasting tan. Just remember your sun protection.

One thing that worries a lot of women is Cellulite.

The bad news
Cellulite affects 90% of women

The good news:
Cellulite is reversible

Cellulite can be treated in the following ways:

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Exercise
  • Topical Cellulite treatments
  • Cellulite creams

It is necessary to increase the blood and lymphatic circulation to break down fat cells and help eliminate toxins.

Popping your pimples!
The sun can bring out these dreadful creatures.
You should maintain a strict hands-off policy when it comes to your spots. Messing with a pimple can extend its staying power up to seven to ten days instead of the normal two or three, since the dirt from your fingers can force bacteria into your pores and cause an infection.

Feet First!
Now it’s time for the sandals to come out of the wardrobe, treat yourself to a pedicure and wear those sandals with pride. This will exfoliate your feet, remove any hard skin, toe nails cut and shaped and the cuticles will be tidied up so the nails can be polished with a colour of your choice. For that summer special add some crystals or glitter for the summer sparkle.

Protect your eyes!
Don’t forget to protect your eyes this summer, sunglasses are a necessity to keep those damaging sun rays away from the eyes but they also add a bit of glamour and can be true fashion statement.

With holiday season fast approaching we’ve put together a special pampering package to help you slip into that holiday frame of mind.


  • A polynesia spa ritual (1hr 25 minutes)
  • Spray tan or file and paint fingers
  • Jessica pedicure

£100 per person for members,

£125 per person for non members

Monday to Thursday, Subject to availability.

Call us on 01635 551188 to book

Semi-permanent eyelash extensions

Relaxation room at Donnington Valley Spa

Guest Blogger: Nikki Butler

The beauty of individual semi-permanent eyelash extensions

Semi-permanent eyelash extensions have been sweeping the nation over the last couple of years, helping women achieve the beautifully stunning eyelashes they have always wanted.

This treatment really is fantastic and one that I am extremely passionate about.

Firstly, let me start by reassuring you that semi-permanent eyelash extensions are not about giving you overly long, curly or false looking lashes! The lashes that I create are beautiful and elegant and are designed to enhance your eyes, not overwhelm them. They do not look false in any way and many of my clients keep their lash extensions a secret, maintaining to friends and family that they are blessed with naturally gorgeous lashes…just with the help of a good mascara. It remains our little secret.

Eyelash extensions are perfect for every day wear, as well as special occasions. Many clients will have eyelash extensions applied for a special occasion and then become addicted! All of my clients will tell you that their lashes given them a little confidence boost…I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Let me explain a little more about the treatment and answer some of the FAQ’s;

What are semi-permanent eyelash extensions?

Semi Permanent eyelash extensions are created by using very fine, soft synthetic lashes and bonding them to your own lashes. The synthetic lashes are attached by using a high grade specialist glue to bond the synthetic lash to your natural lashes. Each lash is individually applied to a natural lash and placed slightly away from the lash line and do not attach directly to the eye lid itself.

The lashes are waterproof and you don’t need to wear mascara, they are perfect for parties, weddings, holidays and also for every day wear. They are easy to care for and full aftercare instructions will be given at your appointment.

How long do the lashes last?

The lashes come out with your natural lashes throughout your lash cycle, which is typically 8 -12 weeks. Maintenance appointments are recommended every 2-4 weeks (depending on your lash cycle) to keep your lashes looking fabulous.

Will lash extensions damage my natural lashes?

No, there is no damage caused to the natural lash. The extensions are attached to your natural lash and will come out with your natural lash during your lash cycle.

Are eyelash extensions suitable for everyone?

No, I’m afraid not. If you have no eyelashes then this treatment isn’t for you. The extensions require natural lashes to bond to.

What will happen at my appointment?

Firstly you will have a full consultation and complete a pre-treatment questionnaire. Your eyelashes will then be assessed and we will discuss and agree the perfect look and style for your extensions. You will then be asked to lay on a therapy couch and make yourself comfortable.

A small amount of tape will be placed onto the corners of your bottom lashes to help secure them. Hydrating gel eye pads are then placed under the eyes to secure the bottom lashes and to give your eyes a welcome treat. You will then be asked to close your eyes, lay back and relax.

Your appointment will take between 1.5 – 2hrs for a full set of eyelash extensions.

OK, I love them! When I can have them done?

I am at Donnington Valley Spa and Health Club on Thursdays.

To book an appointment please contact the Spa reception on 01635 551188 or email treatments@donningtonvalley.co.uk.

If you’re curious out semi-permanent eyelash extensions but not sure you want to have a full set, why not try the taster/half set. The taster set will give you a lighter look and let you experience having the extensions in, before committing to a full set. The taster set still gives stunning results and is a great introduction to the treatment.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Please read the full treatment details on the website www.donningtonvalley.co.uk/spa_essentials.asp

Summer Spa Treatments

Spa treatments to get you ready for summer

The sun is trying to shine and we are all hoping we can put our winter wardrobes away very soon. Now is the time to rejuvenate your skin after winter and prepare your skin for Spring. Now is the perfect time to refresh and revitalise both the body and face.

Calm your skin

Aromatherapy Associates Soothing Facial
55mins | £65.00

A truly soothing and calming facial suitable for irritated or inflamed skin, helping to reduce redness, nourish, soothe and restore the skin’s natural radiance. During the treatment cold stones are used to add to the benefits of the products and movements of the massage.

Refresh your skin

Thalgo Sea and Senses Hot Stones Facial
1hr 10mins | £75.00

A facial can be just as relaxing as a body massage. For ultimate relaxation, Thalgo has developed the Sea and Senses facial, based on marine hot stones and a unique massage, for re-mineralising and relaxing benefits. After a welcome massage and cleansing ritual to immerse you in an aquatic cocoon of relaxation with a spritz of Reviving Marine Mist, a seaweed mask is mixed with essential oils adapted to your skin type and applied to the skin. While the mask infuses its benefits, the therapist carries out a massage using the hot stones, starting with reflex activity on the feet. The ultra-sensorial experience of Sea & Senses allows the face to regain its natural beauty as tension melts away.

New bookings for this treatment throughout April and May will get a complimentary Thalgo skincare gift.

Relax and rejuvenate the Body

Polynesia Spa Ritual
1hr 25mins | £90.00

Experience Polynesia, the exotic sensorial spa ritual, inspired by 4 of the most beautiful islands hidden in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. This luxurious treatment begins with an azure water foot bath inspired by the crystal blue waters of the Manihi lagoon to protect and hydrate the skin. Next is the exotic island body scrub, a gentle vanilla-scented body scrub blended with pure white sand from Bora Bora, sea salt, coconut shell and algo-monoi for a thorough exfoliation of the entire body leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft. The Mahani massage incorporates a rhythmic lomi lomi massage and warm sand pouches to loosen muscles and nourish the skin. Finally Polynesian Sacred Oil from Raiatea, the sacred island, is swept over the skin, its subtle golden pearls leaving a sun kissed glow and a delicate scent of flowers and monoi.

New bookings for this treatment throughout April and May will get a complimentary Thalgo Polynesia gift set, (while stocks last)

Beat the Cellulite

Thalgo Silhouette High Precision Shaping Treatment
55mins | £68.00 | Coming Soon!!!

This high performance innovative treatment tackles cellulite and stubborn unwanted curves for amazing results! Featuring a unique Thalgo-exclusive Body Wrap which infuses pure oxygen into the deep skin cells to detoxify the skin and encourage the release and elimination of stored fats. Corrective concentrates packed with active ingredients are applied to target zones to refine and re-sculpt cellulite-prone areas and address lack of firmness. The Perfect Sculpt Massage is then carried out for 25 minutes, using techniques specifically designed to correct problems related to cellulite and deep fat deposits. The treatment finishes with the application of Intensive Correcting Cream or High Performance Firming Cream.

To book these or any of our other treatments to get you ready for the summer please call us on 01635 551188

Hannah Henley
Spa Director

Detox your skincare

Detox Your Skincare regime – Healthy Winter Skin

We have now all forgotten Christmas and with the cold and wet weather spring and summer cannot come sooner. Our skin is feeling tight and looking lack luster from the central heating or being out in the cold so where do we go from here.


We can start from building beauty from the inside out, collagen forms a key component of the skin, hair and nails. Collagen makes up 75% of the skin which is the largest organ in the body which is significantly affected by the ageing process. It appears that women lose collagen at a faster rate than men during the ageing process.

Taking collagen orally can help rebuild the existing collagen stores in the body as well as to stimulate the body’s own production. Tiny amounts of collagen are available in foods that we can buy from the super market; however the levels of collagen required to maintain or rebuild collagen levels in the body can only be gained from taking a high grade of collagen, such as the Proto-Col capsules or Thalgo Booster Collagene youth and glow elixir.

What are the benefits of collagen?

  • May boost the natural production of collagen within the body
  • May help improve the elasticity of the skin
  • May produce noticeable signs of the skin becoming firmer with a reduction of lines and wrinkles
  • Readily absorbed by the body because it allows protein to be bio-available and water soluble
  • May aid the repair and regeneration of ligaments, tendons, joints and bones as well as improving the connective tissue of the skin
  • May help stabilise the body’s immune system and neutralise the production of abnormal molecular structures which are known to be a major cause of joint problems and stiffness.
  • Provides the raw material for cartilage to rebuild

Studies show that we lose 1.5% of our body’s store of collagen every year after the age of 25. Thus by the time we get to 40 we have lost 30% of our store. The results of this are dramatic!

Ready to detoxify

Ocea Draine
10 days to eliminate! Ocea Draine is the perfect product for anyone who wants to jump start a weight loss regime or simply detox the body. Clean out your system and restore well-being with this combination of Fucus algae and three organic plant juices (horseradish, fennel and artichoke). One phial a day for ten days, taken every morning will gently and effectively cleanse the colon, giving a feeling of lightness and renewed energy. Skin is also more radiant. 100% natural formula made with organically grown ingredients.

Recommended for anyone

  • wishing to go on a diet and slim down their figure
  • with water retention
  • wishing to flush out their body due to over eating
  • who is seeking an organic detox product and supports organic farming

Slim 7
The Thalgo Slim 7 is a delicous red-berry flavoured slimming drink that will help you to slim down your figure. A seven day programme which can be taken on its own or following the 10 days of Ocea Draine for Maximum effect. This is for anyone who wishes to slim rapidly thanks to a simple and pleasant programme. Great for anyone who has gained a few kilos and who wishes to lose them rapidly thanks to a short-term programme.

  • How it works:
    Slim 7 combines active seaweed and plants that act in synergy to help you “burn” fat more quickly, detox your system and tone up your body.
  • How to use:
    Dilute the contents of one measuring cap in a large glass of water. Your figure-refining week: The first 3 days: Two 50ml measuring caps per day. The next 4 days: One 50ml measuring cap per day.

Detox The Body

3 Algae Body Wrap
The original marine algae wrap, harnessing all the incredible benefits of seaweed. After a relaxing welcome massage to relieve tensions, the body is exfoliated before Thalgo’s patented seaweed body wrap is applied, infusing its minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients to the body. This treatment activates circulation, increases metabolism, relieves aches and pains and improves skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Excellent for detox and general well-being.

Revitalise your skin
Sea and Senses Hot Stone Facial

A facial can be just as relaxing as a body massage. For ultimate relaxation, Thalgo has developed the Sea and Senses facial, based on marine hot stones and a unique massage, for re-mineralising and relaxing benefits. After a welcome massage and cleansing ritual to immerse you in an aquatic cocoon of relaxation with a spritz of Reviving Marine Mist, a seaweed mask is mixed with essential oils adapted to your skin type and applied to the skin. While the mask infuses its benefits, the therapist carries out a massage using the hot stones, starting with the reflex activity on the feet. The ultra-sensorial experience of Sea and Senses allows the face to regain its natural beauty, as the tension melts away.

For more treatments please click here.

Hannah Henley
Spa Director

Seasonal Treatments

Seasonal Treatments: Part 2

This is the time of year when we are rushing around preparing for Christmas and getting ready to see family and friends. We sometimes forget to take some time out to relax and get ourselves ready for the festive season. Perfect for the winter season our top treatment picks will keep you looking and feeling your best for that Christmas party or just because you deserve a treat.

Best for the aching feet after the Christmas shopping
Twinkle Toes Foot Ritual is a treatment which begins with a cleanse and exfoliation to the feet and lower leg up to the knee, followed by a light massage. To finish your toes will be treated to a file and polish ready for the festive season, topped with the diamonds dazzle or a glitter top coat.

Best for getting the skin ready for a Tan
A full body exfoliation with the Vita Liberata to remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin leaving it feeling soft and allowing the tan to be applied evenly.

Best for dry winter skin
Try the Winter Rescue Facial. A truly soothing and calming facial suitable for irritated or inflamed skin, helping to reduce redness, nourish, soothe and restore the skin’s natural radiance.

For Christmas Nails and Make-up
For the nails this winter season the traditional reds, silvers and gold will be very popular, yet bold purples, blues and greens are great to give a warm feel. Glitters are back in force and work well on all nails or just the ring fingers for a more dramatic look, glitters and gems combined also work well on bold colours or even with French tips.

With the Gatsby theme being very in this Christmas make up trends tend to be swaying to the smokey eye and the hot lips look. For those of you that want a dramatic look for the eyes but do not like mascara, try tinting the eyelashes or getting eye lash extensions.

An extra treat after Christmas – Twixmas Spa Break
Recharge your batteries with a mini break after Christmas. Stay with us and enjoy a 3 course dinner in our award winning restaurant, a 25 minute spa treatment and a full English breakfast.

Call us on 01635 551199 to book. or visit our site

Seasonal Treatments

Seasonal Treatments

Perfect for the winter season our top treatment picks will keep you looking and feeling your best right through until spring and beyond.

Best for Detoxing
The Thalgo 3 Algae Wrap is a fantastic way to start the new year detox. A relaxing massage initially relieves tension, the body is then exfoliated before Thalgo’s patented seaweed body wrap is applied. This treatment activates circulation, increases metabolism, relieves aches and pains and improves skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Best for before the party
Our Polenesia treatment combines an azure water foot bath, a vanilla scented body scrub, and a lomi lomi massage using warm sand pouches to loosen muscles and nourish skin. This is topped off with the polynesian sacred oil which leaves a sun kissed glow and delicate floral scent.

Best for your immune system
Boost your immune system or help yourself recover from cold and flu with The Immune Recovery Treatment. This upper body treatment is cleansing, clearing and decongesting and helps clear the mind and support the immune system.

To book call us on 01635 551188 or click here to find out more.