Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Merchant Hotel Spa: Darphin Facial

The Spa at The Merchant Hydrotherapy Pool 

If you live nearby or visit Belfast and need of some proper pampering (I’m talking *proper*), then I’ve found the perfect place for you.  I was recently invited for a Darphin facial at the Merchant Hotel Spa in Belfast, where I spent the most relaxing few hours I’ve experienced in a long time… luxurious surroundings, incredible products and a talented therapist made a pretty heavenly combination.  I very rarely treat myself to things like this, so it was a big deal for me and as I lay there having my treatment I decided to start a pampering pot, where I’d save up for a luxury treatment every couple of months.  I’ve been having a pretty stressful time work wise, to the extent that it took me a while to mentally switch off and allow myself to relax - and it was so worth it - let me talk you through the experience…


I ran from the car park - last minute as usual - and breezed through the Spa doors to be enveloped with the gorgeous whaft of essential oils and swept down a spiral staircase into a little den of tranquillity, with velvet sofas, candles and fresh flowers.  From this point on, the lighting was really dim everywhere (except the changing room!), which I loved… the Spa is in the depths of the hotel and felt like being in a secret underground haven!

Belfast-Merchant-Spa (3) IMG_6909

After filling in some details about myself, I was taken down the Corridor of Calm (not its official name, but should be!). I LOVED the little touches everywhere - lit candles in lanterns, oil burners, pretty furnishings and artwork - these little things really helped make the whole experience more special for me.

Belfast-Merchant-Spa-review  IMG_6912 

I was left to change into my robe before reclining on this cute velvet chaise longue with a cup of ginger tea (please excuse the slightly fuzzy candlelit photos).

The Spa at The Merchant treatment room

My therapist collected me here and brought me into this gorgeous, candlelit room for my treatment (that’s a shower on the right!). I was in such a daze afterwards I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the therapist’s name, but will try to find out as she was amazing. No idle chit chat, just a truly amazing facial using a selection of beautiful Darphin products - exfoliation, deep cleansing, nourishing mask, hydrating serum and oils. I was told afterwards that my skin was very dehydrated and that I need to drink more water… I struggle with this in winter but am trying to keep a bottle filled by my desk (and in between glasses of wine at the weekend!).

And then it was all over.  You know that dazed, foggy feeling after a relaxing treatment where you really don’t want to be ushered straight back to the bright lights of reality? The Merchant has it covered…

The Spa at The Merchant Relaxation room

I had the pleasure of the Relaxation Room all to myself, where I lay on one of the beds and was served iced water (wasted no time there!) and wooden skewers of gorgeous fresh fruit.  I didn’t go into the Hydrotherapy Pool this time, but I’ll most definitely be back!  The Champagne Nail Bar also sounds very appealing and I imagine (hope!) some of my local blogging friends would be up for a visit some time.

My favourites of the products used on me were Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum, which is really light and refreshing, yet deeply hydrating and Organic Rose Aromatic Care, a gorgeous nourishing oil, which luckily I already own (previously reviewed here).  My skin was seriously glowing after - it looked and felt more smooth and refined and I noticed a difference for a good couple of weeks.  I wish I could say it was good enough to go make-up free, but I think I’d need to go more regularly to reach that status!

Get the lowdown on the 5* Merchant Hotel & Spa here.

When was the last time you had a facial or spa treatment? Anyone else fancy starting a Pampering Pot?

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