Amida Spa, Farnham
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Amida Spa Farnham is stunning, already short listed as one of the best day spas in the country and it has an outdoor salt water pool!!
After one day I was more relaxed, my cellulite was massively reduced and I felt beeyoootiful!
On Sundays the spa is open 9 - 6pm (9:30 - 5:30pm once you factor in check in and check out) and we spent the whole day there!
This spa is usually booked solid for treatments, but we managed to score two half hour slots with the incredible David. His work on my back was nothing short of miraculous, I told him that I don't like my massages too deep or painful and he was wonderful at checking the pressure was just right. His play list was also worth noting as it really added to the experience and I left feeling dizzy and not of this world (in a really great way). A true master of massage!
Our spa day included full use of the facilities – and they are impressive:
Salt water infinity pool – this doesn't look like much, but once you get in it's incredibly hard to get out. Like a small flotation tank, you can lean on the sides (I finally understand what infinity pools are all about – being able to rest your head on the side!) and look up at a double height window showing blue skies and green foliage. (Gets crowded towards the end of the day as everyone falls in love with it – so try to make the most of it earlier.)
Outdoor pool with hydrotherapy jets and seats – fabulous, but can get a bit cold especially if you are just sitting, using the hydrotherapy jets. When the sun comes out and you are floating (and not being bumped into by people used to swimming in lanes instead of lounging in the pool) it is the stuff of dreams. And of course there are loungers and tables and chairs (make sure you book your lunch and refreshments on plastic if you want to go outside.)
Outdoor Jacuzzi – annoying pause between uses but excellent jets and just enough room on the side to balance a plastic glass of prosecco.
2 outdoor saunas – the one around the side of the spa (Log Sauna) is a favourite – as is running either from the pool or to the pool after soaking up the heat.
(There are five saunas in total here and each one has a detailed description and temperature gauge. Sauna professionals!)
Plunge pool – tiny, only a couple of feet square with a ladder for you to step down. If you manage to get your thighs in here a couple of times you will notice a great result on cellulite.
Footbaths – next to the plunge pool, I couldn't get any bubbles, but perhaps I should have been more patient – if in doubt check with spa staff.
Ice fountain – beautifully designed next to the steam rooms, with colour changing chandelier (not for resting your water bottle!) use the ice to cool and exfoliate in between hot rooms.
Salt grotto – one of our favourites, with a gentle heat and long shelf on which to sprawl. Salt air is released into the room periodically. I found this extremely beneficial and relaxing.
Three more saunas – including one with a gentle pine scent.
Two steam rooms – these seemed much the same to me although they were supposed to have different scents.
5 relaxation rooms – now be careful here as the ones on the ground floor are along the main path and so can get noisy (spa staff are actually the loudest!) so if you look around upstairs you'll find two dark quiet rooms – unfortunately we found the couches incredibly uncomfortable so went for the upstairs loungers which overlook the infinity pool (which also has loungers next to it). Don't forget to check out the upstairs lounge/eating area - glorious with an open fire effect (although I question the wisdom of putting internet access up here - it's a spa guys! and get rid of the TV downstairs too!)
Day packages also include use of towels, robes and flip flops, herbal teas and water – plus full gymnasium, main pool and fitness classes (not bookable).
This spa is also great for guys as there is a more mixed user group.
Plus there is a two storey café you can enjoy in your robe! (Plus another café you have to get dressed for!)
Our spa day also included lunch, I had a chicken salad which was lovely but lacking in carbs, while my friend had the pasta with pesto which was dripping with oil and was nothing but carbs – so food could be improved. We added afternoon tea with macaroons, cake and an ice cream lemon dessert that was perfect with a glass of prosecco.
Downsides are that the changing areas are very small, but at least separate from the gym change areas and for some reason they have put the vanity areas in the hallway with a light gauze curtain to protect your modesty in the unisex hallway. If you don't allow plenty of time at the end of the day you could find yourself in a queue for the very few shower cubicles - again these are in the spa so they are unisex and you have to wrap up again in more than a towel to get back to the changing rooms. At one point I thought there was only one toilet for the whole spa! but there are a few more around the side of the restaurant (opposite the Log Sauna).
We paid £60 for 2 people (yes only £30 each!) for spa access, lunch, drink and 25 minute treatment – massage/facial/pedicure or manicure. (If you see a great deal advertised elsewhere ask them – they have a policy of matching anything if you book direct.)
From Farnham station the spa is only a few minutes and costs £10-17 return depending on which taxi company you ask.
Train journey – on application
Check out the cool video here (personally I prefer a bikini in the spa!)
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