It was my husband’s first spa visit. You could tell because when asked to choose what he wanted from the menu (of treatments), he joyfully emailed back a list of what he was hoping to consume in the restaurant at Careys Manor Hotel.

Told he’d be having a one-hour Thai massage at the hotel’s celebrated SenSpa he looked nervous, then asked: “And the food?”

He needn’t have worried. From the handmade chocolates on arrival, to the delicious Thai lunch before departing, perfection came as standard.

We arrived for our mid-week break in the early afternoon although, thanks to SenSpa’s generous policy, even though we were only staying for one night we had full use of the spa facilities, including classes, from 11am onwards from the day of arrival to 3pm the day we left.

It’s ten years since the owners decided to create a spa with a difference; one which has the Eastern philosophy of calm and peace plus efficacious treatments, and which is decorated to reflect that.

We started off in the gym and then trotted off to the day spa facilities: pool (ozone treated so no nasty chlorine smells) steam room and sauna.

After a joyous hour of this it was time to get ready for drinks and dinner. Because Careys is most definitely a hotel with a spa attached, not the other way round, and that’s important if, like me, you are married to a human labrador.

You can order calorie-counted food but that was never going to happen at our table.

After enjoying a few gins and some well-chosen New Forest beer for him we perused the menu for the Manor restaurant, although we could easily have chosen the hotel’s bistro or the Zen restaurant.

Beautiful fish starters, excellent sauvignon blanc, lamb with a rhubarb soufflé and local cheeseboard to round it off was a fantastic ending to our first day.

Next morning we were raring to go again; gym before full English, and then a spot of swimming before we were borne away for our Sen Fusion full body massages.

I hadn’t warned my husband about the paper pants horror but any trauma was soothed away by the lovely therapists. The joy of these massages is that they seem to go on and on, held in darkened, beautifully-scented rooms with compelling Eastern music in the background.

Prior to the treatment you can point out any body issues, such as cellulite or bloated stomachs, and the therapist will work on them while you drift to the edge of consciousness.

We took time out in the relaxation room to have some water and tea before trotting down for lunch in the Zen Garden restaurant before breaking loose in the hydrotherapy suite.

This boasts a number of great facilities, from the hydrotherapy pool and its pounding waterjets and champagne bubbles, through to the crystal steam room – a large, hot space where the steam is supercharged by the giant crystal they keep in there. With the tiny, sparkling LED lights it was like being in Aladdin’s cave.

My favourite part was the herbal sauna; just heat – intense heat – beautiful scent and more sparkly lights. We tried the tropical thunderstorm shower and the infamous ice-bucket drencher.

We could have had a Rhassoul Mud Bath or a whole selection of rituals, scrubs, facials and massages.
Best of all, however, is the fact that it’s virtually on our doorstep.

We were home in 35 minutes and are already planning our next visit. It’s easy to see why this place is a finalist in the 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards.

The place is bliss itself.

A one-night SenSpa Escape break costs from £175 per person.