James Haskell urges all men to try a spa experience

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Our columnist and England Rugby player James Haskell visits the Metropolitan London to enjoy his new love of spas…

Would I like a spa treatment? Err – yes please! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to go to go to a spa, especially one named “the complete man”. Now, I was already laboring under the misapprehension that I was a complete man, but apparently not. This treatment was the missing piece on my journey to wholeness. I found myself answering this call to arms a few weeks ago, when invited to the Metropolitan Hotel and Spa.

I have talked previously about my past sojourns into spas within the pages of The Sloaney, which if am very honest are very few and far between. The life of a rugby player is not resplendent with trips to luxury spas and lots of self-pampering!

Metropolitan London

The Metropolitan London

We do of course get massages, but these normally involve me spending 30mins grimacing in pain, as a bald man, often bigger than me, over zealously uses his elbow in every trigger point he can find.

We are however, an ever developing, metrosexual breed that would never turn down the offer to replenish dehydrated skin or indulge in a deep tissue back and neck massage, followed by a PURIFY Express Facial, that is completed with a hand scrub and nail tidy. I mean who doesn’t need to up their nail management game!? My mum always told me that girls look at men’s finger nails: long ones, dirty ones, all count against you.

I find it very hard to switch off, and I often choose to work, or do other strenuous activities when looking to take some down time from rugby. You don’t realize it at the time, but your body needs full on rest, you need to switch off.

Metropolitan London

The Metropolitan London has a strong wellness offering and good facilities 

My treatment was at the perfect time of the day: early evening, right after a hard day of training. My body was not in a good place, and I was feeling pretty tired by the time walked thought the hotel doors.

From the moment I got to the clean and smart spa I was looked after well. The staff were extremely friendly and I was greeted with a piping hot cup of ginger tea, which was a great antidote against the bitter night I had just walked through.

Once the usual form filling was done (when asked how each body part felt I had ticked painful in almost every column), I met my therapist. She was a lovely lady who showed my to the changing rooms. Once there, I undressed and put on the perfect fitting robe – an achievement for a big guy. I often feel in grave danger of looking like a cross between Tom Cruise in Risky Business, or that embarrassing male relative, who insists on wearing his wife’s ever so short silk dressing gown. You get the picture.

Metropolitan London

The spa is known as Como Shambhala Urban Escape and they have many retreats around the world 

The well-appointed treatment room was very relaxing and set up perfectly. The first part of the treatment found me seated in a comfortable chair, where the therapist expertly massaged my upper back and neck. It was the perfect combination of hardness so you know your muscles are getting a good working, but not hard enough to interfere with the switching off process. After about 20mins I was then told to decamp to the treatment table.

Once under the warm towels of the bed, I instantly felt relaxed, and continued in this vain for the next 75mins.

My next recollections are a little hazy, as I fell completely asleep. Not ideal I hear you cry, when trying to review a treatment, but surely that is the biggest tick in the plus column. The combination of the relaxing treatment, the COMO Shambhala products being expertly applied to my face, helped me drift off to the land of nod. I was woken as the finishing touches were being put to my now buffed and filled nails. I had now entered the realms of elite fingernail management.

With the treatment over, I literally had to be scraped off the bed. If I could have got away with it, I would have stayed there and not got up.

Metropolitan London

The treatment rooms at the Metropolitan London include a double room, which is ideal for a Valentine’s Day Gift

My treatment was topped off with a luxurious shower in the men’s changing room and another cup of ginger tea. Would I come back? Hell yes! Would I recommend this as a gift to men? Yes I would! Spas are seen as the domain of women, but they shouldn’t be. All you need to do is get the man in question to have a treatment and they are converted forever.

You will have no doubt written a list of New Year resolutions, which should contain some new health goals and wishes to get into shape. You need to make sure that you add onto that list, taking care of yourself, and choosing to treat your body every now and then. Think of what you spend on clothes, or alcohol on a night out. None of these will benefit you as much as taking care of your body and mind does. I have already booked my next treatment and expect to be falling asleep in a spa near you, soon!

If you want to find out more info on Como Shambhala Urban Escape at the Metropolitan Hotel then check it out here