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Review: Shambala spa

Introducing the only Ayurveda spa in west Kent - and how Muddy readers can get 20% off when they book any massage or package this month. Stampeeede!

THE BRIEF

I’ve been a writer for 20 years and a taxi-driver for 10 (well, you know, pretty much been ferrying kids around for the best part of a decade). Found too often hunched over a screen or wheel. I always have knotted shoulders and an aching neck.

I’d heard about the exceptional massages available at The Shambala Wellness & Spa, which offers everything from classic spa massage and beauty treatments to Ayurvedic treatments, and is a hidden gem attached to Hever Hotel. To my knowledge it’s west Kent’s only Ayurveda spa – and Muddy readers can get 20% off all massages and packages when they book* (see details below).

If you’ve not heard of Ayurveda – it’s a traditional system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. The holistic benefits of Ayurveda – based on the delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit – have stood the test of time and, if performed properly, it’s on another level to your average massage. So did it live up to the hype?

THE LOCATION

Shambala Spa is found at Hever Hotel and situated in the beautiful village of Hever only a minutes’ walk away from the historic Hever Castle and Hever Castle Golf Club.

The hotel is in an ideal location for both business over-nighters (they offer conferencing facilities for large and small events) and treat-yourself getaways (spa treatments, anyone?). Oh, and did we mention the easy access to the M25, South London and Gatwick airport?

THE LOWDOWN

The spa area is equipped with a sauna, hot tub, relaxation room and salt room. You’ll also find a beauty lodge and the usual showers and changing area with lockers.

The feel is small and tranquil – no marble and gloss here. Think rustic and bijou rather than big and slick – which is part of its charm.

As well as the more usual Classic Treatments (such as Deep Tissue or Hot Stone) and Beauty Treatments (facials, waxing) there’s a really comprehensive list of the more unique treatments you might normally only come across in a London spa.

There’s an amazing selection of special Ayurveda Retreats and Packages here.

THE TREATMENT

I tried out the Pinda Massage performed by Ayurveda specialist Deepa, pictured above. Deepa trained in India 16 years ago so is seriously experienced. She then worked in the Maldives before taking up a position at Ayush Wellness Spa in Jersey the Channel Islands, which is a Ayurvedic healing spa. Then, and very luckily for us Kent folk, she moved to Shambala Spa in the Hever Hotel!

A Pinda Massage consists of Hot Rice or Herbs wrapped in a bundle. This warm pouch is massaged into the musculoskeletal system to provide relief for aches and pains.

Depending on the filling and degree of heat they can apparently help alleviate tension in muscles, break down fats and improve skin tone, blood circulation, metabolism and lymph circulation. Now we’re talking!

THE RESULT

Deepa is absolutely excellent. I’ve had lots of great massages where the therapist worked really hard to try and begin to unravel just some of the knots in my shoulders and back. But with Deepa it was effortless – didn’t particularly dig too deep but was equally, if not more, effective never-the-less. Pure skill.

I’m extremely ticklish and really don’t like people touching my feet or tummy so a full body massage is my idea of hell. But I trusted Deepa which says a lot. I felt considerably less tense when I left.

I’d definitely recommend this small and perfectly formed spa – and the treatments on offer. And with the generous 20% OFF for Muddy readers, it’s just too good to miss. Maybe take your mum/mother-in-law for Mother’s Day? (They offer a Mother & Daughter Retreat). Win, win.

THE COST & MUDDY OFFER

50 mins Pinda Massage – £85 pp

1 Day Ayurveda Retreat – £105 pp

1 Night Ayurveda Retreat – £149 pp

Spa Day – £65 pp

Mother & Daughter Retreat – £189 for two

Just The Two of Us Couples Weekend – £399 for two

*AND YOU CAN GET 20% OFF A MASSAGE OR PACKAGE – JUST QUOTE MUDDY! (Discount valid when purchased before 30 April 2020)

Shambala Wellness & Spa, Hever Hotel, Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NP, Tel: 01732 700700, shambalaspa.co.uk

 

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