The spa and fitness centre — SO/ SPA and SO/ FIT— is hidden within the 75,000 square metres of lush gardens at SO/ Sotogrande, a location that ensures tranquillity and seclusion and plunges guests immediately into a beautiful natural setting. There’s an easy flow between inside and outside spaces with wide windows flooding rooms with clear southern Spanish light while the treatment cabanas, eight in total, are spaced individually through the grounds, adding to the air of exclusivity and privacy.
“There are three chief aspects that elevate SO/ SPA and SO/ FIT for our clients,” says Catarina Gonçalves, Director of Wellness at SO/ Sotogrande. “First its location in a separate complex within the wonderful gardens. This makes it intimate and calm from the moment of arrival. Secondly our recovery zone with the flotation and cryotherapy pools is very special, something that few spas anywhere in Spain offer. And thirdly our aquatic and thermal zone, a complete journey through hot and cool pools and jacuzzi is something that our guests enjoy very much.”
The entire complex is as welcoming in winter as in summer says Catarina, with the spa’s cosy atmosphere ramped up in the milder months of the year. “The treatment rooms are so snug and warm, like miniature wooden chalets, while on our beds we always use duvets to ensure the ultimate comfort for our guests,” she says. “From the heated marble in our traditional Moroccan hammam to the rubs we use, SO/Spa has a true year-round appeal.”
The menu list is artfully curated. Come and experience a Pure Oxygen Facial, an anti-ageing treatment using products from QMC, a results-driven, medical grade German brand. The results, says Catarina, are instantly apparent. Body treatments with ESPA, a highly prestigious award- winning brand, include energising or relaxing massages with 100% natural body oils customised according to each clients goals. Cypress and juniper berry to detoxify, peppermint and rosemary to energise, sandalwood and myrrh to soothe and gardenia and sweet orange for positivity.
“Every guest is unique and has their own aspirations for their time with us,” says Catarina. “What’s important is that we do everything we can to deliver that, whether they are here for a quick treat and simply want a manicure and pedicure or whether they want a totally bespoke treatment plan that promotes relaxation and true wellness.”
SO/ SPA and SO/ FIT merge in seamlessly with the hotel’s young and playful tempo. Its motto of “play hard, sleep deep” means finding a perfect balance between SO/ Spa and SO/Fit, relaxation and beauty with exercise and health. And throughout, there’s a focus on making it fun.
“We take overall wellness very seriously but enjoyment is key,” says Catarina. “We want to reflect the hotel’s playful and youthful ambiance. So our range of complimentary group classes includes something to suit everyone from high intensity workouts, cycling spin classes, calm down Pilates and early morning yoga classes. There’s a SO/ FUN dance class too.”
The SO/ FIT gym zone is equipped with state-of-the-art fitness machinery including free weights and a cardio area. It’s open 24 hours year-round with specialist trainers always on hand to set up or supervise a personal fitness programme. There is a hot and cold aqua circuit and a 20 metre indoor swimming pool while the yoga pavilion has bagged one of the most delightful locations of all, at the highest point with especially wonderful views of the golf course and Mediterranean Sea. Just the place for salutations at sunrise. And as well as hotel guests, all the facilities are open for annual membership.
Sotogrande has long been known for it in its remarkable world-class sports facilities: golf, tennis, biking and hiking, polo and water sports. Now with the addition of SO/ Sotogrande’s spa and fitness area, the resort has reached a new level of excellence.
“We have a 360o approach to wellness,” says Catarina. “We aim to give a full range of options and levels so that everyone will find something that works for them whether they want to feel invigorated or relaxed when they leave us.”
It adds up to something SO/ special. Why not come and see what all the buzz is about for yourself?
Written by Cathy Hawker