We Tried A Brand New Wellness Retreat And It Totally Reset Us.

In partnership with Handpicked Hotels.

Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to your looking after yourself. Many would go as far to say that its the foundation of everything. Without sleep, it's harder to function, The smallest of tasks can seem monumental. Your brain is foggy and your body is slow. And yet in modern day life it is very difficult to prioritise it. With multiple screens offering hours of entertainment (read: distraction), neverending chores, work and kids, not to mention the constant whirr of our to do lists and nighttime worries in our brains, it can be difficult to fall asleep, and even when you do, to stay asleep and wake up feeling rested. So when we were recently invited to St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort to try the new Hand Picked Hotels premium Wellness Sleep Experience, developed in partnership with luxury wellness brand OTO, we jumped at the chance. The package includes a relaxing overnight stay and a luxury CBD sleep spa treatment, designed for deep relaxation. It's a real chance to take time out, focus on you and reset your sleep habits.

Read on for what we thought.

Handpicked OTO Spa

Imagery: Hand Picked Hotels

The Retreat at St Pierre Park Hotel.

The overnight aspect of the experience means that you pack to go away and actually check in to a hotel room before your treatment, which immediately puts you in holiday mode even if you're only down the road from your house. If fact, for us that was a plus. The beauty of being so close to home is that you are checked in and checked out within ten minutes of leaving your front door.

The retreat started with a welcome mocktail, made even more special with a few drops of OTO’s elevating bitters - a botanical blend of cocoa, cinnamon, liquorice, lemongrass and lime, infused with premium CBD. Yes please. We enjoyed an afternoon tea with the OTO wellness experts who explained what CBD is and how it works and introduced us to the brand's ethos and products. CBD is a relatively new concept to Guernsey's wellness space, and definitely to the spa offerings on the island, so the reassurances offered to us by the experts were welcomed. Knowing you are in good hands and in no danger of 'getting high' or 'overdosing' - a common misconception with CBD - added to the relaxing experience. In a nutshell, that stuff people smoke is different, CBD has many wellbeing benefits including relaxing your nervous system on a deep level, and much like other supplements and vitamins, your body only absorbs what it needs.

Before heading into the spa treatment part of the experience, we had time to relax and enjoy the spa facilities, as well as chat with some of the other local ladies who had come along for the experience. (If there’s a better way to get to know someone new than a relaxing chat under the stars in the outdoor hot tub, I’ve yet to discover it. - Tracey).

Imagery: Hand Picked Hotels

A 90 Minute Spa Treatment With A Difference.

The treatment is an entirely unique experience. This is a specially tailored 90 minute spa treatment, designed in partnership with OTO Wellbeing for optimal wellness. To start with, the massage element is unique. It is not the deep kneading movements that come with deep tissue massage. It's a lighter touch; gentle manipulation of your limbs with the OTO CBD massage oil combined with many other wellbeing elements aimed to create deep relaxation in the body. This starts with the lighting in the room, which is soft and inviting. Nor is the soundtrack your average spa playlist. It has been specially developed by the OTO wellness experts to act like a sound bath to calm your nervous system and complement the rest of the experience. There are some in-room audio elements too as the therapist also adds sound tools that chime over your body. The smell of the massage oil, a mix of herbal CBD and carefully selected essential oils is very calming. Finally, the use of hot Himalayan salt crystals, rubbed on the skin before being placed in your palms is a soothing addition to the experience. It felt like an unhurried and luxurious treatment.


Testing Luxury CBD Sleep Products Before Bed.

We practically floated to dinner, which was also a relaxed affair. Our wellbeing halos firmly in place, and our entire bodies calm and balanced, we ordered mocktails and a light meal, while the attentive team at the hotel turned down our rooms and prepared them with OTO's sleep products. There was also the option to eat in your room, should the experience leave you wanting more quiet time before bed.

In addition to the sleep package, we were also given the OTO CBD Sleep Drops alongside a few other products from the range to test out. The OTO team had advised that it can take up to two weeks to feel the full benefits of adding CBD into your evening routine as your body learns to adjust and relax. We hadn't tried CBD products before, so it was really helpful to hear from the team to understand exactly what CBD is, what the benefits of using it can be and, most importantly hear that you cannot over do it on these kinds of CBD products as your body expels anything it doesn't need. We happily dove into the bath oil and the sleep balm, the pillow spray and the sleep drops on our return to our rooms. One of the gift sets even comes with a little sleep journal - ideal for noting down any thoughts or intentions before you drift off to sleep.

The Sleep Balm is included in the package as standard so you will find this in your room at turn down. Any other products are all available in the spa - just chat to any of the team who are fully trained on the benefits of each one and can help to recommend the best one for you.


The Morning After.

Tracey got up bright and early, with no thoughts of scrolling or snoozing. "I don’t honestly know if it was a placebo effect (which we were told is possible - but not a bad thing) or the cumulative effect of the whole experience that had me sleeping like a baby, but I really did sleep well. I often have a restless sleep if I’m in a hotel, especially when I’m alone in the room, but I slept deeply and felt rested when I woke up naturally the next morning. After such a deep, relaxing sleep I felt rejuvenated and decided to start my day with a walk in the grounds of St Pierre Park, strolling around the lake with just the birds for company and immersing myself in nature, enjoying the peace and tranquillity that only an early morning solo walk can deliver. Returning to the hotel for a breakfast of freshly brewed coffee, a healthy shot of greens and smashed avocado on sourdough with poached eggs and chilli oil topped my morning off."

Enjoying the luxury of being alone in a hotel bed, Stef enjoyed a slower start to the day with a huge glass of water and a coffee in the room and some peaceful journalling. 'It's been a while since I had the time to not only do my morning pages, but even to feel refreshed and rested enough to not just crawl to the coffee machine in a morning."

One thing to note is that we did both feel very thirsty, more so than after a regular massage, so would recommend staying really well hydrated throughout the experience. A good night's sleep in a peaceful location left us feeling creative and full of ideas so we went and sat in the lounge to chat after breakfast. However, the spa facilities were still available to us until check out, so a morning swim or quick steam-sauna-hot tub circuit would be the perfect way to extend the escape a little longer.


Imagery: OTO Wellness 


The Ripple Effects: Learning To Make Some Time For You.

We find that the biggest hurdle to booking yourself a spa experience is often giving yourself the permission to do it. Whether those reasons are based on time, budget, parenting guilt or otherwise, it makes clicking the 'book' button a lot harder. It's the same for us. Just because we spend a lot of time reminding you to do it, doesn't mean we always follow through on it. This experience taught us to re-prioritise ourselves in our busy lives.

"I started the year determined to embody all of the things we stand for here at The List, and enjoying some quality me-time at a wellness retreat was high on my wish list. I wanted to escape for a few days to unwind, invest in self care and enjoy some luxury treatments. But, by March I still hadn't got around to it because I was in the throws of day to day life and responsibilities. I was toying between the added expense of getting away from it all and going off-island and booking a local spa day, when this invitation landed in my inbox. I thanked the manifestation gods (or in this case the goddesses at Hand Picked Hotels) and accepted the invitation. Now, the experience was gifted to us here at The List, but aside from having a lovely time, I learnt a lot beyond the treatment.

'Beyond the 24 hour experience, the ripple effects have been really noticeable. I felt very chilled immediately afterwards, but over the course of a few days I feel recharged and refreshed. My head feels clear of the ‘noise’ that creeps in without me noticing it, stifling my creativity and productivity. It has really helped me to focus. My mind is now brimming with lots of new ideas for The List. I definitely recommend stepping away from your everyday for 24 hours if you can, and being able to enjoy a retreat experience on island is a win-win situation. It feels like you’re a million miles from the duties and chores that are an inevitable part of ‘real life’, without the planning and organisation that comes with a break further afield. I wouldn't hesitate as long to book next time." - Tracey.

"Same for me. It was the first time leaving my baby overnight. I've always made time to pop and get my hair done, but an indulgent treatment focused entirely on me just wasn't something I felt that I could do (let's unpack a whole list of whys later though, shall we - it's a whole other list). So when I went to go to this, under the guise of work and opportunity, I moved my whole week around to make it work. And again, what I learnt about that was that I can and should do it again - I came back refreshed, full of ideas and feeling like myself. My daughter barely noticed I'd been gone (in a good way!). She'd had some great one on one time with her dad and she also got a mum with her cup filled back up on my return. In fact, I had much more quality time with her in the days that followed for that reason. I was also way more creative in my work and was also reconsidering my evening routine to try and maintain that feeling on a daily basis at home." - Stefanie.

We've already planned to do it again on a regular basis - as paying customers, of course. To not only tick the box of practicing what we preach, but because we know it works. And it's a necessary part of our own wellbeing. Plus, we've seen the other new treatments on the spa menu and to be honest, we think need to work our way through them. For research purposes, of course. 

And whilst we do recommend a full 24hr luxury escape, even an hour to yourself to go for a walk, attend a yoga class or enjoy quick solo lunch can make all the difference. So challenge yourself to make time in your schedule this week. And next. And the week after that. It's worth it.


Learn More About The OTO X Hand Picked Hotels Wellness Sleep Experience.

Here’s an overview in a list, of course:

Prices start from £630 per person.


The OTO Wellness Sleep Experience at St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort was gifted, but the opinions expressed in this feature are all ours. It’s a luxury experience that we would happily recommend. If you’re tempted to try it, you’ll find all the details here

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