I started with a milk and honey bath, feeling like an ancient princess as I stepped into the milky, swirling water. My skin softened and seemed almost to glow under the creamy water. It frothed deliciously when I turned the jets on, and my body relaxed as my skin smoothed under the water. A quick interlude in the sauna followed by a cold shower and I was back to my bath, drinking fresh mint tea.
When Autumn came for me, I was more or less as soft as I thought it possible to get.
I was wrong, however.
First she wrapped me in seaweed, turning me into a giant piece of sushi, and while I was cocooned in warm blankets, she gave me a superb face and neck massage. She really does know how to find all the magic spots of tension in the face and jaw, and she releases them with smooth, decisive strokes. She also gives an excellent ear massage, which is not something every therapist does.
I showered off my seaweed and returned to the table for a serenity scrub, a salt based scrub with orange and lavender.
A word about scrubs: the two exfoliants the Bamboo Garden Spa uses are sugar and salt. They have a number of sugar scrubs, including a vanilla bean and a warm ginger. Right now they have two salt scrubs, a thai herb (which is not recommended for those with sensitive skin because of the lemongrass essential oil), and a serenity. Sugar is a gentler exfoliant–it does leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, but not as burnished as salt does. The salt scrubs penetrate your skin more, bringing off more dead skin and bringing out a smooth glow.
The serenity scrub smelled delicious–some unknown flavour out of my childhood, perhaps. It didn’t smell quite like orange and lavender. Whatever the smell was, and we couldn’t figure it out, I quickly fell asleep as Autumn was applying it to my back, and woke up startled when she said it was time to turn over. Autumn, it must be said, is a fantastic scrubber. She went lightly over sensitive areas, but really worked on areas with dryer, less elastic skin. I often have patches of dry skin, thanks to eczema, and she gently lifted those away, revealing fresh shiny skin underneath.
I rose for another shower, and returned to the table for a moisturizing massage, which was splendid. She used a hemp body butter and my skin eagerly soaked it up, turning still smoother.
Then I reluctantly ventured into the outside world, and was wooed by the scents of the Bistro, so I drifted up for lamb sirloin and coconut sorbet. The coconut is my favourite flavour. It’s fantastic in a fried banana split, but I just had it plain with a beignet on the side. It was a fun interplay of flavours, fried beignet goodness and cold creamy coconut. Phantasmagoria, I say.
A note about exfoliation: delicious as it is, exfoliation is not recommended more than once a week, because you don’t want to damage your skin. If you are concerned about allergic reactions to masks or scrubs, ask for a patch test. Because the staff at Bamboo Gardens make all their own products, it may be possible to adjust a recipe for you (if, for example, you react to lemongrass but wish to try the thai herb salt scrub). Do not shave or wax on the day of your exfoliation, or you will regret it. As I mentioned above, salts provide a more vigorous exfoliation, whereas sugars are more gentle. Both provide a wonderful experience–I, however, prefer salts.
When you get a mask or exfoliation at Bamboo Garden, I highly recommend adding an hour massage to your appointment, because you can never have enough bodywork, I say. And why not extend that moisturizing massage into a full experience?