Friday 15 March 2013

The Guerlain Spa at The Caledonian Hotel

I was incredibly lucky to be invited to spend a day with Guerlain at the Caledonian Hotel the other week to celebrate the launch of the first Guerlain Spa in the UK which is set to provide a new standard in skin care excellence and absolute pampering right here in Scotland. This is one of those posts that I have had to rewrite so many times as there is just so much to cover, the spa and the whole 'experience' was just so absolutely incredible I have been struggling to do it justice with words! I kind of just want you to all come and actually feel my skin (even after two weeks) and just see what the treatment has done to its texture- it feels so plump and nourished even now, I still don't want to have make up on top of it!

Choosing my scent for my treatment
My experience began with a fragrance journey using scent cones, Michelle the lovely spa manager talked me through the scents and helped me choose the one that suited my needs most that day, my therapist for the day Alison ( known as a beauty coach in Guerlain land), who was listening in on my fragance selection then quietly headed off to prepare my treatment room, tailoring it to my chosen scent the gorgeous Aqua Allegoria Manderin Basilic.  I thought was an such a gorgeous little touch that instantly made me feel special and I knew I was in for something completely different than to anything I have ever experienced before. 

We were shown to our treatment room which was beautifully set up, from the lighting and music to the little details like the robe with my chosen scent ( seriously, I know you might think a robe is a robe but this was just something else- the softest, cosiest thing in the world!) Once I was all kitted up, I was then led to the gorgeous relaxation room to enjoy a herbal tea and a magazine as Alison got the rest of the room ready for the main show, the Orchidee Imperiale Treatment. 

Scottish Spas - Edinburgh's Guerlain Spa at The Caledonian

Each treatment begins with a footbath ( again tailored to your scent) which is exactly what I needed to unwind before the treatment began. This instantly put me in the zone and it gave Alison a chance to ask me a couple of questions and for me to ask her any I had. After a delicious half leg exfoliation and leg massage, I got into place and extremely comfortable thanks to a duvet made from whatever cloud the robe is made from and an electronic bed that allowed me to be in the optimum position, I have never had something like that in a spa before! Alison then walked me through what all was involved in the treatment, I loved that it was all explained before hand- being two and a half hours long it is nice to know what you can expect. I often find treatments so relaxing that if you do go off in your own world, any movements your therapists can make can actually be alarming and take you out of that haze, but Alison was so good at explaining  what she would be doing and any movements she would need me to make to assist her that I felt completely at ease as we began.

My beauty coach Alison preparing a nice peppermint tea before the treatment
 I was given the option of receiving a brow shape or lash tint whilst in the treatment which was just such a fab extra bit of detail that really added to the pampering element of the package. She also gave me an expert and detailed skin analysis, sensitively touching upon my problem areas and ensuring she explained to me what this particular treatment could do for each of these. This analysis and diagnosis is where I really got a feel for the extensive knowledge the Guerlain coaches have and how much training they have undertaken to ensure they are providing an outstanding experience for every client. The level of detail she could provide on not only the products she would be using but on the reasons behind some of my skin troubles was fantastic and really made me feel in the most capable hands.

a very ambient relaxation room
The Orchidee Imperiale is the company's signature treatment and is a firming and anti ageing routine that is based around the benefits of the orchid, which Guerlain grow themselves and have continued to develop their products utilising them over the last 12 years. They combine their products stacked full of beneficial nutrients with their gymnastiques massage techniques that are quite something. Unlike other facials that can often feel quite formulaic this really felt like a work out ( albeit a relaxing one) of precision movements for the skin and I could feel every layer being stimulated. Applying different masks according to my skin needs using kabuki brushes, the Orchidee Imperiale treatment really lavishes you with attention, feeding the skin what it has been crying out for while giving the whole body a true sensory experience.

 In the whole two and half hours Alison did not leave the room or take her hands away for more than a couple of seconds which I think is something really special. While products are working some serious magic on your cells, your beauty coach is using different pressures and working on your neck, shoulders, upper back and decollete at any given time. For me this is what made it the ultimate luxury experience, having someone focus on your relaxation as a whole was utter bliss and it is all performed so seamlessly too. Alison was incredibly professional and respondent to my needs, working muscles she felt needed extra attention and moving so lightly and efficiently my relaxation was never broken. The effects of the facial aside It is worth pointing out that I felt pampered from head to toe with the Imperiale treatment  from the paraffin wax hand treatment that worked wonders on my dry hands to the expertly applied lash tint- I felt truly incredible as I walked out of the Spa,something I had to force myself to do, I had big plans to move in!

So relaxation and glorious all round experience aside we need  to talk about the results...and oh my...
After the treatment was complete Alison handed me a mirror to take a look at my skin and I can honestly say I have never been more shocked! I genuinely did not think a facial could actually give you those results that were really truly apparent- but I actually looked 10 years younger! Seriously, I sat bolt up right to inspect my skin further I was so shocked. I may not be firmly in the anti ageing concern category but what this did for my skin was a revelation, my skin was bright, smooth, plump and just vibrant all over. Whats more you could really see the results in my main ageing bug bear, my two very deep frown lines between my eyebrows caused by years of refusing to wear my glasses! When I looked in the mirror they were genuinely pretty much completely gone, Alison remarked I looked as though they had been botoxed and I had to agree, it was completely unbelievable.  Fast forward two weeks and those lines are still far more plumped and less visible than before- in fact my whole skin still has a softness and healthiness and tone  to it that it has not had in,well pretty much forever. I can only imagine the results of a treatment like this could have on a more mature skin.

The experience still wasn't done there, you are then treated to a touch of colour so that you can head straight on out to dinner or shopping looking absolutely flawless. Alison applied some of their Lingerie de Peau foundation ( now firmly on my to buy list) and a beautiful blush in shade pink punk and I have to say I was blown away with how it looked on top of my newly plumped face. I looked radiant and glowing but with a beautiful even natural base with just a hint of colour to the cheeks. It was the perfect end to the treatment and is a lovely touch, it made me practically skip along Princes street to the train. I ended up missing the first train because I actually stopped to about three times to look at my face in mirrors- seriously. Usually I avoid them like the plague but I was just SO excited to see my face looking that bright that I couldn't resist!

Me after the treatment, tiny amount of base and blush on but mostly just smooth skin
Absolutely DELIGHTED
I was sceptical at first at how I would be with a two and a half hour treatment, being of short attention span and prone to wandering off, this was a revelation. In treatments I have often found it hard to 'commit' to the relaxation element but here at the Guerlain Spa it was impossible not too. The time flew in thanks to the many different stages, and I could have easily stayed  in that room for three times as long. A visit to the Guerlain Spa would make the most incredible present I think you could get a man or a woman, with a fantastic menu of treatments  with an express mani for £20 through to the full Bridal Glow package for £564, there is something for everyone. Their signature Orchidee imperiale treatment is £250 which may be a little out of my price range for now but without a doubt if I could afford a repeat visit soon I absolutely would. When I look at what some spas can charge for a day in the spa including only one hour treatment , this makes this seem all the more 'reasonable', for the level of pampering, products, skill and the longevity of the results you are getting, this makes the treatment worth every penny.

To find out more about the Spa and the treatments on offer you can find them HERE or you can reach them on  Tel: 0131 222 8836

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