Looking for a spa treat in the West Indies? We review the luxury Aveda Concept Spa at the Sugar Ridge Hotel
Even before you step over the fragrant threshold to the delights within, you know you’re in for a treat at the Aveda Concept Spa in Antigua. It’s part of the luxury facilities at the Sugar Ridge Hotel in the north of the island, built on the site of a former sugar plantation.
Once through the door into the super-chilled reception, like every Aveda spa, walls of lotions and potions nudge you to think more about general body maintenance than the occasional holiday pamper. But what better way to start the new year than a couples’ head, back and shoulders massage on January 1st?
After the obligatory health questionnaire, my husband Jonathan and I were led into a spacious treatment room piped with the rather clichéd, but nonetheless soothing tropical soundtrack. We had to select three words from a set of flashcards on each bed that most appealed to us to begin our ‘sensory journey’.
If the words Alka Seltzer had been there it would have been a no brainer, but I went for Grounded, Nourished and Wisdom which helped steer my masseuse Chichi into selecting a trio of aromatherapy oils for me.
I’m always surprised when you go for a back massage that the treatment starts with your feet, but luckily I’m not ultra ticklish, so I just zoned out and enjoyed the experience.
What I thought was going to be an upper body massage actually treated the back of my legs, arms and hands too – I’m not sure whether that was because the salon was particularly quiet that day or if it’s standard practice. But whatever the reason, it was the most amazing massage I’ve ever had. Just the right amount of pressure to ease out the knots in my shoulder without feeling pummeled and the most gorgeous purr-inducing head rub. There was no inane chit-chat either, which is always a bonus.
Jonathan also loved his massage and at the end of the 45-minute session we both slithered off our couches and dressed ourselves like silent zombies.
Perhaps the best part of the experience was we weren’t handed a so-called ‘prescription’ of products that we felt pressured into buying. It was just a matter of, ‘hope you enjoyed it and have a glass of water before you leave’.
A 45-minute back, neck and shoulder massage costs $60. As it’s the cheapest and most basic massage on the Aveda Concept Spa menu at Sugar Ridge, the Aveda Elemental Nature Massage and Fusion Stone Massages must be very special indeed. A massage is meant to be a treat after all – and what a way to start the year…
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