Heading out to the airport without the prospect of taking an actual flight feels almost naughty. What business do I have cruising down the M4 with nothing but a morning's pampering in mind? Well, Hilton has recently opened a flagship hotel next to T5 and who better to give its new day spa a whirl? Well someone has to do it.
First impressions are good. The 'Imagine' spa is light and spacious with a generous hydrotherapy pool, mineral salt grotto, Ice station, herb sauna, and heated loungers. Given that most guests are seeking pre-flight relaxation or post-flight rejuvenation the range of treatments is impressive. I decide on the 30-minute signature Raindrop Massage followed by a bespoke facial. But not before I indulge heavily in the water therapy and try out one of those heated loungers with the gently vibrating motion and in-built music station.
Having hot lavender oil drizzled down my spine and legs (reminiscent of a tropical rainfall apparently) is not unpleasant but it's when my therapist gets going on my back and shoulders that I really start to squeal. Months of bad 'desk' posture and a recent lengthy bike ride has left my muscles screaming for attention and they are not to be disappointed. I love my therapist's bold enthusiasm when she finds yet even more tortured knots to knead.
Next up is my facial, guided by my responses to the questionnaire it is decided to go 'bespoke'. I fear that my description of 'dry skin' does not adequately describe my condition. 'Dehydrated' is my therapist's verdict. I'm not one for following a strict beauty regime so it's obvious that my daily moisturiser is not able to do its job properly given my slap-dash approach to the preparatory exfoliating and cleansing bits. Oh dear.
Using the highly reputable German brand Babor products, extracted from plant and natural sources, my therapist sets to work. A dizzy but strangely relaxing combination of peels, masques and intense moisturising leaves my skin tingling and feeling, dare I say it, youthful. Quite an achievement in only 30 minutes.
So, either between, before or after flying from T5 try working this very reasonably priced spa into your itinerary. Current hot deals include treatments from £35 including full use of the spa facilities. It's definitely worth it.
Imagine Spa, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, Poyle Road, Colnbrook, Berkshire, SL3 0FF (+ 44 (0)1753 766476; imaginespa.co.uk/thamesvalley/home/)