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Insider spa tips: Q+A with a Senior Therapist at The Runnymede on Thames Spa

Senior Therapist and Beauty Operations Manager Michelle Philp gives an insider look to The Spa, and shares her tips for top treatments at this time of year.

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What sets The Spa at The Runnymede on Thames apart?

It’s the small added touches that make a big difference. In the winter, everything’s really warming. When a guest has a facial, the bed is heated and we put a nice warm duvet over them. For massages, we warm the oils before using them, so we’re never putting freezing cold oil over our clients. We use infrared lamps to give an extra feeling of warmth in the room too. In the summer, we change it up as we don’t need things like duvets then. The candle scents and reed diffusers change to match the seasons as well. It’s not rocket science, but a lot of spas don’t pay attention to these important details.

How have you seen attitudes to spa treatments change over time?

Going to The Spa used to be a one-off luxury, but nowadays beauty is a part of everyone’s lives. People tend to have a lot more knowledge about treatments and ingredients. I’ve worked in the industry for 22 years and I’ve been at The Runnymede on Thames for 14 years. We’ve been a very successful spa for 25 years and something people always say is how we’ve exceeded their expectations.

What other feedback do you get from spa guests?

We get so much amazing feedback. People say they had their best treatment of all time. They say they’ve never been anywhere with such friendly, knowledgeable staff. We have people who tell us how they’ve travelled the world and had spa treatments in lots of countries, but that our standards were the highest they’ve experienced. We’ve very grateful to get the comments we receive as it motivates us to keep our standards high.

Who visits The Runnymede on Thames Spa?

A real mixture of people. We have numerous local members and I have a number of regular clients who come to see me. Then we have day spa guests, who either come as couples or groups of friends. They’re typically coming for some well-deserved relaxation and to catch up with each other. Since The Runnymede on Thames is very close to lots of motorways and Heathrow Airport, it’s become a good meeting point for groups of friends who are living in different areas. It’s an ideal location to get together and have some chilled time together.

What’s your top tip for spa treatments that suit the winter season?

Any massage including hot stones is perfect at this time of year. Everyone’s a bit stressed after racing around so much at Christmas. Hot stones are great for de-stressing and for targeting tense muscles. When it’s so cold outside too, hot stone treatments are quite comforting. Our rituals are also perfect for January. It’s a time of year when everyone feels they’ve over-indulged at Christmas, and they’re in the mind-set of exercising, losing weight and being healthy. So our wraps and treatments that focus on detoxing, invigorating and energising are perfect.

What treatment would you choose to have yourself?

It would have to be our hot stone massage or the signature treatment we’ve designed called the Top to Toe Massage. All our products for this are warmed in the hot stone tanks. The treatment involves a full body massage, a face treatment, scalp massage and a hot hair mask wrapped up in a hot towel. It really is a top to toe experience and a truly indulgent treat.

What else do you recommend guests do when visiting The Runnymede on Thames?

Our location gives lots of options to guests. We’re just down the road from Windsor, where people like to stroll around the shops and visit some of the historic sites. For families, LEGOLAND is only 15 minutes away, so they can go and have busy days out, then relax at The Runnymede on Thames later. Being right on the River Thames, it’s a beautiful spot for walks beside the river too. Even just sitting outside the hotel, watching the boats going past, is a lovely way to spend some time.

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