Spa review: Relax & unwind treatment, Es Vive Spa

Hotel Es Vive and Spa, Ibiza, Spain

Photography by Ana Lui

Duration: 110 minutes
Location: Es Vive Spa
Therapist: Nikki Porteus
Cost: 110€

It’s been a while between spa treatments for Miss W, so it was with much ado about the impending ‘something’ ahead that I skipped into Es Vive on a Friday afternoon. Skipped all the way down the corridor in fact, until I reached the spa area – one of Ibiza’s best-kept secrets – and I was bursting with so much excitement I thought I’d barely be able to stay still on the massage table.

Peeping tentatively into the treatment room, I was met by spa manager Nikki Porteus, whose warm and friendly bedside manner (well, massage-table manner) put me so instantly at ease as I settled in for the first half of my treatment, a high performance deep hydrating facial that was designed to restore my glow.

Starting with a deep cleanse followed by a light exfoliation, I felt amazingly relaxed (until Nikki told me I had hyper-pigmentation all over my forehead – how, how? I wear sunscreen every single day!), and just when you thought it couldn’t get any more relaxing, I received THE most amazing neck and shoulder massage with a beautifully scented lavender oil (which I chose, for pure relaxation purposes). Then it was onto a rehydrating mask, to plump up my skin and leave me looking as though I truly did drink the required two litres of water each day. Once the mask was in place, Nikki left the room for 20 minutes, and I have to say, this was the only part of the entire experience I didn’t love (no offence to Nikki’s expert skills here by the way, I’m going to admit I’m fussy and don’t like to be left alone!).

Other people may love that relaxing feeling, listening to the perfect Ibiza chill out tunes as the cool mask did its job and you were tucked up like a snug bug in a rug, but not Miss W. Nope, I’d prefer a foot massage, or the neck and shoulder massage at that time perhaps? I wriggled and fidgeted my way through the time (knocking off my cooling eye pads in the process) as my mind started racing with thoughts of work, the weekend and whatever other random thoughts popped into my brain, until it was time to take it off again. What can I say? I have trouble really letting myself relax… and have a fear of abandonment!

Lucky for Miss W then, that the following 60-minutes were so therapeutic, it completely made up for it – and then some! A deep tissue massage followed, which Nikki later explained to me had a basis in Swedish techniques, using long, deep flowing movements, that at times, felt as though there were two people simultaneously massaging me. Starting while I was lying on my back, moving from my toes, up over my calves, to my thighs, then moving on to my arms and neck again, it was incredible.

Then I rolled over, and it was the same again – and I was in heaven! I’d really thought my leg massage was over, so thorough had it been while I’d been laying on my back. Then it was the arms again, and although I was pretty blissed out by this point, I did start to wonder when my back would get attention… not that I was being impatient this time, I was soooo enjoying every second, but I do spend hours hunched over a computer so everything else felt like it was like the lead up to the main event, if you know what I mean?

Let me tell you, the main event did not disappoint. The main event was The. Very. Best. Part. Of. The. Whole. Experience. Smoothing out my millions of knots, plus soothing my sore shoulders and sending me off into snooze-land, EXACTLY what I’ve been dreaming of, all summer… I may become a regular now the spa is open all winter.

The verdict: The whole purpose of this package is to combat the effects of the night before – perfect not only for guests of the hotel, but Ibiza partygoers in general. And Miss W. As a whole, it does what it says on the tin: my skin was glowing, plump and silky smooth (even the following morning) – exactly what you need in Ibiza, the morning after the night before. But the best of all, something I can’t recommend enough, was the relaxing, muscle soothing, heavenly delight of a deep tissue massage. A hangover cure, the relief for sore limbs that have danced too many nights away and an all-over blissful experience. The perfect respite from the party, within the ultimate party zone.

This review was published on August 31, 2010