If you’re looking for a swanky place to detox, somewhere that might just turn a blind eye if you slip up and land in a faceful of martini in the bar, try the Selman. It is moody and truly magnificent and apart from having wonderful rooms and the most amazing pool, left, it also has a six-star stables so you get to gaze upon the extraordinary perfection of Arabian horses (worth upwards of £300,000 each), top image, as you lunch. Apart from being super-sexy, the hotel is also home to the sixth Espace Henri Chenot. Chenot is the grandfather of the detox concept and the go-to guru for everyone from Elle Macpherson to Arsene Wenger. At the Selman, the set-up is less rigorous, Chenot lite effectively, so the spa does not have a medical division full of people in white coats with probes at the ready – that’s a plus for me but I guess it depends on your personal preferences. Sadly, pain remains on the menu though in the form of the daily ritual/humiliation of the hydrotherapy cure (bath, mud wrap, hose down). That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? It isn’t until you get to the final stage where they use a hose that is so powerful and painful it could disperse a student riot quicker than you can say Nick Clegg is a **!!.
I was assured by the very sweet receptionist that they’ll turn down the pressure if it hurts too much. Yeah right, do I look stupid? Oh yes, that’s right I do but I still wasn’t falling for that line so I opted for a Chenot signature massage instead. This is an hour was gently stroking that is so relaxing I felt like two or three hours had passed and my limbs were about six inches longer. Absolute bliss. The spa’s stunning courtyard pool and the amazing jacuzzi, above, aren’t bad either.
I travelled with Lawrence of Morocco (that’s a tour operator rather than a local dignitary), which has three nights at the Selman from £747pp, room only. Definitely worth it.