Need To Know….A Spa Break With A Twist by Olivia Falcon

If you’re bored of juice fasts, long haul flights and spa treatments that tickle rather than actually treat symptoms, I’ve got a slightly different suggestion for a quick, affordable spa break guaranteed to put a spring in one’s step.

A week ago I headed to Denmark for a 3-day spa reboot at the Kurhotel Skodsborg, a sprawling white compound (founded in 1898 by the brilliant Dr Carl Ottosen who believed exercising outdoors was key to healthy living) that sits between a forest and misty beach with sweeping views over to the coast to Sweden. It’s also conveniently just a 20 -minute hop by train to the fabulous design shops at the centre of Copenhagen.
2018 had got off to a roller-coaster start for me, launching a new business had left me stressed and shouty, so I signed up for a 3- day “De-Stress” package, (they also offer ‘De-age’ and ‘De-tox’ ones too), but his one seemed ideal as it promised to calm my mind and reboot my flagging energy levels.
On arrival I was met by the in-house nutritionist who discussed my goals –to unwind, get fitter and have 8 hours undisturbed sleep each night please- before prescribing me with a food (they favour a Paleo based diet) and fitness regime to rebalance both body and soul.
Mornings at Kurhotel usually start with a fitness class – (there are over 100 different ones to choose from each week) but I highly recommend the TRX (a pulley system where you use your own weight to strengthen and tones muscles you never knew you had). Afterwards most people wind down in the spa area that boasts a careful edit of Scandi-branded skin brightening facials (the collagen boosting Bioeffect one is particularly good) or massages (don’t miss Dr Ottensen’s original fascia massage which is brilliant for releasing tension on a deeper level).

After a light lunch of Smorrebrod’ (open sandwiches with a delicious nut and seed bread) piled with dill cured salmon, beetroot, toasted almonds and fresh grated horseradish, most people head to the wet area that features 16 different temperature experiences set around a hydro jet swimming pool. There are salt grottos to clear the lungs, infrared sauna chairs to boost one’s immune system, a dry body brushing room and a brilliant steam chamber which features a special lit ceiling to replicate the northern lights. The piece de resistance however is the SaunaGus, a traditional ‘guided’ sauna experience where a ‘mist master’, talks guests through a series of deep breathing exercises and meditation while whipping a series of aromatherapy oils around the air with a towel to roll intense waves of heat through the sauna.

Just when you think you might overcook the doors of the sauna are flung open and it’s on with your bathrobe and down to the hotel’s private jetty for a thigh firming dip in the Baltic. Although this sounds pretty brutal, overcoming the mental challenge of immersing yourself in the icy water brings with it a great sense of achievement as well as physical benefits – better circulation, tighter more toned skin and a brilliant endorphin rush that leaves one on the most incredible high for hours after. If you’re feeling really brave you can also sign up for water CrossFit class in the sea (dry suits are provided) or a brisk bike ride through the woods of Nyhaven ,the neighbouring royal park.
All in all the mix of fresh air, Nordic exercises, cozy saunas and super comfy, Hygge heavy bedrooms leave one feeling totally alive and rejuvenated. For anyone feeling sluggish, uninspired or stressed, Kurhotel Skodsborg innovative Danish approach refreshes the parts other spa hotel cant reach.

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