These days, the idea of a bridal shower is getting increasingly hackneyed, wouldn’t you say? From the faux net veils, to the giggly squeals of your inebriated girlfriends, from the cakes and props in unmentionable shapes to oh-so-clichéd ‘Bride to be’ sash, today’s trendy brides are dying to think out of the box to ensure that their bridal shower is absolutely unforgettable. Among the new trends that we’ve noticed among to-be brides lately: destination parties, renting of private islands, intimate hammam parties and, of course, a good old fashioned spa themed bridal shower. Most of us love the idea of a zen-inspired spa (that we see far too often, all over the world) with strains of bamboo flutes lulling you to sleep, Balinese aroma oils, the smell of lemongrass wafting from diffusers, dull mood-lighting and the works. Save all this for your honeymoon, we’re guessing. For your bridal shower, think of something fun.
During a recent trip to Barcelona Spain, we visited the coolest spa in the city and our verdict is that this is the best place to host a bridal shower if you’re planning on shunting your soul sisters to Spain. The oh-so-trendy W Hotel Barcelona attracts Europe’s A-listers (and many global celebrities) thanks to its stunning location smack in the middle of the waterfront area. With its minimalist and undeniably chic décor, the W Hotel Barcelona is undoubtedly Barcelona’s coolest address for a short stay, a party or a sparty (yes, such a thing does exist).
We walked into the Bliss Spa not knowing what to expect. Contrary to the calm, sombre, blissful receptions of regular spas, this was something quite out of the ordinary. A bright, cheerful, sunlit entrance, with a generous use of lively colours greeted us as we entered. The blues and the yellows were enough to put us at ease, almost instantly. Walking through the spa, we couldn’t help but wonder if the ambience was loosely inspired by New York City or the iconic ‘Sex and the City’ culture. The Spa Manager was quick to tell us that it was indeed inspired by the legendary TV show and that the W Barcelona wanted its spa to be a cool, hip, daytime place where ladies could relax and have fun rather than relax and isolate themselves in a dark room. We absolutely loved the long beach mural replete with waves and hat-covered heads of the sunbathers.
Here’s the most interesting part, we walked into the ladies lounge where a wall entirely decorated with fashion magazines yearning to be flipped through.
Just across, a bunch of super cool manicure and pedicure stations beckoned the ladies in our group. Choosing your nail paint from a book or a basket is so-last-season. Another wall completely dotted with bottles of nail paint could leave any girl spoilt for choice. Once you’ve settled into your row of manicure-pedicure stations, it’s time for a calming herbal infusion…or maybe not. The impeccably groomed staff at Bliss will cook up a variety of chic cocktails: Cosmopolitans, Bellinis, Mojitos or maybe even a bottle of champagne. All this accompanied by their famous brownie buffet. Forget the soothing strains of the flute, it’s all about the groove R n’ B beats at this spa. You can choose from the ‘Blissage75 or Blissage 105’ signature massage, the Carrot and Sesame Body Buff, the Head over Peels Scrub +Rub or the Skintentions facial. Rather tongue-in-Chic, wouldn’t you say?
Just so that we boys didn’t feel left out, we were led to the treatment area where a variety of relaxing massages and body treatments were offered to us. ‘Homme Improvement’ is a boy’s version of the Triple Oxgen Treatment, indispensable for a well-groomed city guy.
In the meanwhile, the ladies can sip their champagne and cosmopolitans, enjoy strawberries dipped in white chocolate, flip through the latest issues of the Vogue and Elle and submit themselves to the skilful hands of the spa therapists.
The Bliss Spa at the W Barcelona is all about sun, sin, sand, spa treatments, and, of course, loads of style.
Now this is one bridal shower none of your friends will find it hard to live up to.
Riaan J. George is a widely published lifestyle and luxury journalist who has established himself as an authority on all things chic. Ex-Culture Editor at L’Officiel India, Riaan now runs his virtual style magazine Urban Eye by Riaan George (www.urbaneye.in) which brings you the latest updates on fashion, travel, food and culture. Follow him on Twitter@riaangeorge