A few weeks ago, an email popped into my inbox, asking me if I'd like to receive a voucher from Buy-A-Gift for a Spa Day for Two. I, of course, jumped at the chance. My back is utterly screwed, and the thought of a lovely, calming massage was extremely welcome after a month of incessant stress and faff and difficulty. Spa Days, in general, freak me out a bit - I don't ever quite know what to do with myself - but massages are lovely.
The Buy-A-Gift process is wonderfully faff free. They send you a box with your voucher on, which you then activate online, presenting you with a list of places offering your treatment. One of the things I really like is that the vouchers are transferable - so say you buy someone a voucher for a spa day for two, but instead they decide they want a luxury spa day for one... they can transfer it. There's also the option to add money to your voucher to upgrade it, as well as retaining some if you swap for a cheaper treatment. Lovely idea, very easy to navigate site - brilliant. Not a bad word to say about them.
The spa experience itself wasn't really that great. We were at Bannatynes, Millbank. It's small and a bit scummy looking. It didn't feel clean and airy, it felt like we were trapped in a basement gym with tiny corridors, surly staff and a swimming pool full of agressive men (well, I say it felt like that... it was that). We didn't really stick around in the spa itself - there was nowhere to just sit and lounge (apart from one slightly broken looking lounger) so instead we just waited in the lounge, read the papers and drank free tea until my friend's treatment (I missed mine due to someone jumping in front of a train, and they were unable to rebook it or offer me any sort of compensation - not even a smile)
The conclusion? I'd most definitely use Buy-A-Gift again - I may well get my sister something from them for her next birthday as there's a huge range of options but Londoners, you'd do well to avoid the Millbank Bannatynes, unless an underground gym full of grumpy people is your scene. In which case, know yourselves out!