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In need of pampering? We've tried and tested some of the most luxurious, winter beauty treatments around - and rounded up some others on our wish list.

Karen Price tried a winter warmer massage at Viva Urban Spa, De Vere Village Urban Resort, Whitchurch, Cardiff Treat yourself this winter with a warming back massage, heated hand treatment and relaxing Indian head massage. Complete the experience with a hot chocolate and cookies in the relaxation lounge.

For someone like me who suffers from shoulder pain and feels the cold, the winter warmer massage sounded like the perfect Saturday afternoon treat. My therapist started the session by massaging my back. As I drifted off on the heated bed, she concentrated on the knots in my shoulders and the back of my neck with warm scented oils.

After massaging my hands and fingers and rubbing lotion into them, she covered my hands with plastic gloves - to seal in the moisture - and heated mitts.

While they radiated warmth, I had a head massage, before being led to a cosy relaxation area where I chilled with a magazine and the ultimate winter warmer - a mug of hot chocolate.

This was one of the most pleasant spa treatments I've experienced as the combination of the massage and the heat provided the ultimate in relaxation.

Tension was gone and my weather-beaten hands felt soft to the touch. The perfect way to beat the winter blues.

The 40-minute treatment costs PS45.

www.village-hotels.co.uk, 0871 222 4578 Claire Rees tried the Spa by Night experience at Year Of The Tiger Health Spa, Penylan, Cardiff You and your plus one get exclusive access to the private 'Zen' lounge in this extended treatment, available 6pm-8pm or 7pm-9pm week nights.

Two comfy beds are separated by bamboo screens and low lights flicker red while soft pan pipes play in the background in this lovely spa.

My therapist Gill prepared an aromatherapy massage of bergamot, basil and rosemary and massaged my legs then back with such a lightness of touch which still managed to work the muscles deeply; the herbs nearly sent me drifting off.

Then came an Indian head massage where Gill worked on the lymph nodes and my ear lobes before the absolutely most wonderful part - the 'tiger feet' massage.

I don't know what Gill (like all other staff, a trained reflexologist) did but it made me feel like I'd left the planet for 20 minutes.

Each light pull of my big toe or pressure between toes was heavenly and I think I fell asleep - but I can't be sure. I just know I haven't been that relaxed in a long time.

An hour and a half is pure indulgence, but where I can usually get restless, I enjoyed every minute and really allowed my body and mind to switch off.

My mum agreed her treatment with Charlotte was just as fantastic.

When it was sadly over, we were given a goodie bag and half an hour to relax in our dressing gowns with herbal Pukka tea.

For the next few hours before I went to bed, I felt drunk with relaxation and the next day my feet were still tingling.

This is a definite plop-yourself-straight-inbed-afterwards treatment. If only it was socially acceptable to wear your pyjamas outside.

PS60 per person (based on two sharing a treatment room) www.tigerhealthspa.com, 029 2045 0050 Samantha Jones tried the Salty Fucus Luscious Body Scrub And Massage at St Bride's Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot Designed as the 'ultimate treat for tired and dull skin', this treatment uses a salt scrub and seaweed massage oil to attack cellulite and to tone and firm.

As I lay face down on a warmed bed, my therapist Melissa asked me to inhale in the rich scents of lime, basil, cloves and petula before pressing lightly over my skin through towels, then cleansing and soaking my feet.

The body scrub, a course mixture of Dead Sea salt, Fucus Serratus seaweed oil and VOYA Luscious Salt, was gently rubbed over my body, starting with the legs, and my skin buzzed with invigoration.

Following a quick shower using VOYA's Squeaky Clean Body Wash, my skin felt immediately smoother.

A full body massage then used the warmed VOYA Angelicus Serratus organic massage oil before a shoulder and neck rub, ending with a gentle massage of the temples.

Deeply moisturising, this was the perfect solution for my tired and dull skin, which looked and felt nourished and made my fading tan brighter.

Two days on and my skin still felt velvety soft. The perfect pick-me-up.

They're also running a Revive and Recover Spa Day, at PS95 each (peppermint sugar glow scrub, 90 min thermal suite and hydro pool experience, lunch, back, neck and shoulder massage and a mini facial) until March 1. | PS80 for 85 minutes, www.stbridesspahotel.com, 01834 812304
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 8, 2013
Words:783
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