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A NEED FOR PAMPERING


So, after all the excitement and hard work that Christmas and the New Year bring, it may be time to simply be kind to yourself – lie down, relax and be pampered. Well, Paris is always a place where they understand exactly what it entails, and one of the sleekest, chicest places to spoil yourself is the newly- opened Mandarin Oriental on the rue St Honore, the street that was made for cosseting.


DETOX


Within the hotel, not only is there comfort in every corner but a spa that is as tranquil as it is opulent, in shades of pearl and white. The floor is studded with silver leaf butterflies and the walls decorated with origami-style petals, while the pool is lit in soft grey with shadowy butterflies projected onto the wall. As each guest enters, a Tibetan gong sounds and you are truly in another world. Continue to spoil yourself with a Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale facial treatment, which massages and moisturises your face for over two hours, an unforgettable anti-ageing treatment. It costs €420; not because you’re worth it but because you’ve earned it – and your skin will thank you. More info: www.mandarinoriental.com


Most of us know about over- indulgence, especially during the party season and, come the New Year, we begin to feel heavy and sluggish, our energy levels low and our skin dull and lifeless. If that’s how you feel, a detox is probably what your body needs. It’s simply a way of giving your body a rest for a few days, thus allowing the toxins time to leave. It’s tantamount to an MOT, which helps rev up your energy levels. Many are tempted to detox at home with one of the many kits on offer but it is so much easier to follow a stringent regime when you are being looked after. Because the point of a detox is to give the work of the body a rest, foods are kept to a minimum with only juices, broths, tisanes and salads on offer. This limited diet can make you feel tired so all you want to do is curl up with a book or TV, which is why it is advisable to head to a dedicated retreat. Homefield Grange in Northamptonshire is such a place, a comfortable country house with large sofas, deep armchairs and roaring log fires. However, it is not for the faint-hearted as programmes are rigorous and geared to getting bodies back on the health and fitness track. Put a toe in the water and try a weekend package, or go for the full Monty and take a week to re-educate your eating habits and fitness regime. There are consultations with nutritionists and naturopaths, one-to- ones with personal trainers and yoga instructors, talks, lectures, massages, colonic irrigation and, should you need any extra minerals and vitamins, these will also be supplied. Of course you will lose weight, but that


is not what a detox is about. It is a resting time for the body and digestion; the minute you return to normal eating patterns, you will revert to your normal weight. But it is a great way to kick-start a diet. Packages at Homefield Grange are from £445 for a three-day weekend package, up to £1,295 for a week’s stay. More info: www. homefieldgrangeretreat.co.uk


IMPROVE YOUR FITNESS


The New Year is always the time to get back to the gym or return to exercise classes. It’s when many of us renew our health club memberships – only to allow them to fester after a few weeks. But, to make sure you are doing the right classes, exercises and regimes for your body, why not take a break in a place where all forms of activity are on offer so you can pick and choose until you find what works for you. In which case, head to St Lucia and the BodyHoliday. Overlooking the glorious Cariblue Beach on the island’s north-west coast, this resort does exactly what it says – gives your body a holiday. And should that body want to do nothing at all,


there is the beach, loungers, pools, cabanas and a spa with more than 30 treatment rooms. But, if you want to exercise, there is plenty to


choose from – yoga, Pilates, stretch, beach boot camp, aqua aerobics, Zumba, circuit training, mountain biking, scuba, snorkelling, tennis, golf and more. There are personal trainers as well as meditation teachers – how could you NOT want to do something?


Best of all, it is an all-inclusive resort,


which not only means your food, drink and entertainment is included but also a treatment a day at the spa and a huge choice of activities. Fitness is virtually guaranteed. More info: www.thebodyholiday.com


Winter 2011-12 I WORLD OF CRUISING


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