The weekend: If, like most City workers, you spend long hours hunched over a keyboard, punctuated by occasional bursts of exercise that you never properly warm down from, you’ve probably got your share of aches and pains. This is why holidays offering spa “cures” are increasingly attractive. The Princesa Yaiza Resort Hotel in Lanzarote offers a two or five day “stress and fatigue magnesium cure”. In between mud baths, scrubs and massages you can take a stroll along the beach, or lie by one of the resort’s half a dozen pools in the shade of date palms and banana trees.
Where? There isn’t a lot to Playa Blanca; where the beach ends the desert begins. If you were looking for a historic town, museums, culture, etc – you’ve picked the wrong destination. There isn’t a whole lot to do apart from relax. But if you want a few days of early summer sun – the chance to walk around in a bikini while everyone at home is miserable and rain-soaked – then Lanzarote is a reliable option.
The hotel: The 5-star Princesa Yaiza is the classiest hotel on the island. Even its most basic suites are enormous and its sumptuous, immaculate and beautifully laid out grounds are cleverly designed to provide scores of secluded spots were you can put your feet up and soak up the sun.
What’s this magnesium business all about then? The magnesium “cure” is two hours a day of luxurious spa treatments. Day one starts with a scrub that I can only describe as a pleasurable kind of pain. The therapist scours you with sea salt and citrus oils, after which you’re squeaky clean with skin as smooth as a baby’s bum. This was followed by a magnesium-rich mud bath. You’re invited to lie in a rather scary-looking coffin-shaped white box, covered in mud before the lid was shut. Luckily there’s a hole in one end, so while your body is encased, your head is free and you’re then given a wonderful head massage while the box fills up with steam, gently poaching you. The theory is that the steam opens the pores and allows more of the magnesium-rich mud to enter your bloodstream, topping up your body’s magnesium levels and ameliorating stress, anxiety, and many other ailments. After the mud bath, there’s a hot shower, and then a 30 minute massage with magnesium oil.
Is this real science? The jury in the scientific community is out as to whether significant amounts of magnesium can be absorbed through the skin*, but healthy skepticism aside, this was a relaxing treatment. I definitely felt less stressed and achy after all that pummelling.
The food: Included in the half board price are breakfasts and an evening meal buffet that includes cuisines from all corners, from sushi to pizza, as well as fish, meat, cheeses, salads and a petit fours selection that will break even those with the strongest willpower.
Need to know? Suites at Princesa Yaiza start from £169 per night including a buffet breakfast, based on two people sharing. The two day fatigue & stress magnesium cure costs £269. Flights to Lanzarote start at £27 each way with ThomasCook Airlines.
*It almost certainly can’t. Instead, doctors recommend a magnesium suppository if you’re especially lacking in the mineral