Set in a traditional riverboat on the River Thames, the hotly anticipated Floating Spa at the Monkey Island Estate in Bray-on-Thames, England, is set to open in February 2019.
Part of YTL Hotels – whose spa team includes Lai-Ping Chik, Sylvia Sepielli and Melissa Mettler
– Monkey Island Estate is set across seven acres and will consist of 38 bedrooms and three deluxe suites, all designed by New York-based Champalimaud Design.
The Floating Spa will be based completely on the water, on a bespoke crafted barge with three treatment rooms, an airy and bright wheelhouse reception and an Elixir Bar, all moored on the banks of the island.
“The hotel will have all the trappings of a fine English country hotel – kitchen gardens, beehives, the lot. I felt there was one missing element...the River Thames,” Mettler told Spa Business
. “The spa will bring to life the spirit of adventure on this great river. Poems, stories and the power of the river will feed our offering...and it all happens on a bespoke wide-beam river boat.”
The The Floating Spa experience will be peppered with touch points that celebrate the power of water, taking guests on holistic voyages through the history of the island and the River Thames.
The history of Monkey Island dates back 800 years, when it was founded by monks, and all treatments and experiences have been choreographed to fit the setting and concept.
As such, the Floating Spa signature treatment will be The Monks Elixir – Botany and Beauty. The treatment will begin with an ‘Elixir Tasting’ of one of the monk-brewed ancient herbal tonics: Chartreuse, D.O.M Benedictine or Frangelico. Following this traditional sensory ritual, guests will indulge in a full body massage with house-cured herbal oil and essential oils, further enhanced by herbal packs placed on the joint to relieve stiffness and improve mobility.
The spa team – which is behind YTL’s Spa Village concept – was determined to root the spa in the history of the island and the surrounding nature, and has partnered with British spa brand Moss of the Isles to create bespoke treatments designed to tap into nature’s most potent and nourishing elements to create powerhouse formulas that transform, heal and rejuvenate skin.
From the Floating Massage, which mirrors the hypnotic effect of rocking on water, to the Garden Herbs and Magic Peat, which reflects the lush and fertile grounds of Monkey Island, these signature treatments use natural and hand-crafted products, including unique ingredients such as moss, peat, rosemary, and horse chestnut.
Additionally, the Floating Spa will be working with ISUN Alive & Ageless skincare – high-performance integrity products all hand-made from wildcrafted, organic, and natural ingredients – to offer both massages and rejuvenating facials.
In true Spa Village style, the spa experience will not be limited to treatments in the Floating Spa. Special touchpoints and surprises for guests will ensure that visits to the Floating Spa are all-encompassing and holistic.
The Experimental Teahouse will grow medicinal plants and herbs that will be used at the on-board Elixir Bar, based on the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries’ barge that traded along the Thames in the 1700s, and guests will be encouraged to sample house-cured elixirs to suit their needs, many of these taken from ancient recipes brewed by the original Monks of Monkey Island.
Organic British products, traditional pastilles, and even chocolate meditation sessions, will all comprise to ensure the Floating Spa experience is as intriguing and unique as Monkey Island itself.