“And in here, we have our thalassotherapy.” The efficient woman showing me around the Divani Spa leads us into a large, wonderfully warm room with a large pool sunk into its floor. “Of course, it’s sea water, because that’s the most beneficial.”
It’s also, crucially, heated, so there’s no shock or intake of breath as you enter. Around the sides are a series of 12 water jets, each aimed at a different part of you – thighs, knees, calves, hips – which you work your way around and, oh, you can absolutely feel them doing their work as the cold British winter is gently pummelled out of your muscles. There are also underwater beds to relax on and, instead of a mattress, it’s gazillions of bubbles supporting you as you lie back. Ahhh…
I haven’t even mentioned the massages yet, which are administered by registered physical therapists, so they totally know what they’re doing. After 60 minutes of being manipulated from head to toes, there’s really nothing you can do but go lie down, either on a lounger in the ‘relax area’ or back upstairs in your room with balcony and sea view.
If this all sounds too wonderful, that’s pretty much because it is. If you check in for a programme here, the first thing that happens is a consultation with health professionals who will work out a diet and gentle schedule to put you back to rights, whether that’s shedding a few pounds, going for a full detox, anti-stress or rejuvenation programme.
It all takes place on the Athens Riviera. Which is where? you may well be asking. Just an easy half-hour taxi ride south of the capital on the west-facing coast, making it perfect for sundowners in the bar, where you can watch through the giant floor-to-ceiling windows, or on the beach at the Mythos by Divani Restaurant. You might have to cheat the diet to eat here, but it will be worth it for the freshest seafood cooked to perfection. Plus, the setting by the shore is so soothing and beautiful you won’t want the evening to end.
Don’t want the whole wellbeing experience? That’s fine. You can still visit. The Divani Apollon Palace is a 280-room hotel with two bars, three restaurants, two outdoor pools (one fresh, the other sea water), an indoor pool, plus a private beach. And you can always throw in the odd massage or facial. Water waste to miss them while you’re here.
Prices start at £250 B&B. For more information or to book, visit divaniapollonhotel.com