So spa, so good…

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My name’s Karen and I am a spa junkie. There – I’ve come clean and fessed up. I love being pummeled by jet sprays and slow cooked in saunas and steam rooms. And I have no trouble submitting to the hands of a good masseuse. So when I was asked if I’d like to sample the spa at the Conrad Algarve last week, my answer was a resounding “Yeee-eees!” Try and stop me! My husband Steve, smiling agreeably, seemed equally keen – but he’s a man who’s 100 per cent happier running through mud than having it rubbed into his body and it didn’t take him long to start having second thoughts. It was quite a feat persuading him that he really did want to lounge in the jet pool, and then have a complete stranger handle his body. I thought he was going to back out – or even run out of the treatment room at the last minute.

When that didn’t happen, my next worry was that he’d get the giggles (he came close) or fall asleep and start snoring… Instead of slowly relaxing during my own treatment, I felt my muscles begin to tense. But my therapist Laura had chosen an Aromatherapy Associates oil of pettigrain for stress relief, and despite the anxiety about Steve, I floated out of the spa on a cloud – and even Steve admitted he’d have a treatment again.

This spa is in the most amazing setting, in Quinta do Lago, near the natural reserve of the beautiful Rio Formosa, and its infinity pool – up and down which Steve manfully ploughed while I basked in the steam room – has breathtaking views.

As well as wellbeing breaks the Conrad spa offers medical screenings with English speaking medics through a local private hospital. These kind of screenings always carry the risk that they’ll throw up some hideous problem like heart disease that, once you know about it, you would be unwise to ignore. On other hand I can’t think of a nicer place to find out that you have absolutely nothing wrong with you…