Urban Retreat at The Academy, A Hidden Gem!

The energy of Urban Retreat finds you before you even find the door. On the banks of Brodwood Loch, you’ll find the beautiful little sanctuary, which is a place of complete happiness and peace wrapped in a beautifully decorated salon and spa. The building is in an industrial park with plenty parking. The windows look out onto greenery, yet as soon as you walk through the door you are transported from the industrial park in Cumbernauld to a completely new place of tranquility and smiles. That’s the first thing I remember when I stepped through the door, the warm and friendly smiles of the girls working there, they are just so lovely. The positive energy can instantly be felt, and the salon is completely immaculate.

The walls are brick and the floors are wooden, the lights create a warm glow and the round mirrors as you walk in reflect the decor of the salon and add a modern twist to the brick wall behind them. Underneath them is a comfortable sofa you can sink into before your treatment and grab a magazine to feel completely at home. Looking forward, you can see a panel of perfectly polished glass with Urban Retreat at The Academy of Clinical Training lotus flower logo symbolising peace sitting beautifully on the frosted glass. In the corner, there is a glass stand of make up and gifts, and because of the time of the year, a festive touch is added with some sparkly tinsel (eek!). What catches your eye the most are the Hollywood mirrors just beyond this glass panel, in the salon section of Urban Retreat. There are about 16 mirrors creating an exciting feeling like you’re a famous actor on a film set ready to get your hair and make up done. A stand with Mii Cosmetics (one of my favourite brands) overlooks the salon, and salon chairs sit looking into the glowing mirrors, with hairspray, tools and eyelashes alike sitting on the table tops. As you get your hair or make up done, the girls are all so chatty and there is always laughter and fun happening.

I was booked in for a hot stone massage, and was taken through to my glowing little treatment room.Walking through the building there are floor to ceiling glass panels along the corridor that open up the area and bring in natural daylight combined with the lights inside and give the place a lovely feel.  As I walked through the building I noticed that there were paintings of Buddha, lotus flowers and abstract art with a variety of bright colours. I was told this was done by one of the founder’s dads, and I just loved how personal and local this was. As I was shown into my treatment room, I was instantly calmed with the peaceful music, dim light and orchids on the table. I got myself ready for the hot stone massage and lay on the comfortable bed, complete with fluffy blanket. I have a really bad neck and back and this was such a relieving and satisfying treatment. I felt relaxed and like it was really working wonders on my back – by this point I had completely forgotten I was in Cumbernauld, the whole place has a spa feel to it. Once I was finished about half an hour later, I was given a luxuriously comfortable pillow by my therapist and told to lie of my side while she got me some water. She then said there was no rush and to take my time getting ready and that she would prepare some fruit tea for me coming out – I was treated like a princess! Just as well I got up a minute or so later and got dressed as I would have no doubt fallen asleep lying there! It’s just such a lovely feeling for me to have this place of peace and calm on my doorstep. My days can be pretty hectic and busy and I’m always on the go – my brain is always ticking away thinking of other things and projects and work, my diary is always full, I am forever running about here, there and everywhere, and to have somewhere like this to come is amazing and is going to be so beneficial. The staff are just so amazing as well.

Walking back out I was shown the room nails are done in and it’s fabulous – the little pedicure pods are so unusual and each table has it’s own coloured baskets for nail products so everything is kept nice and neat and tidy.

You may think this is just a salon and spa that offers treatments from hair, nails and make up to semi-parmanent make up and lashes, but it is also an Academy of Clinical Training. The staff are all trained to the highest standard, and are also SQA approved meaning if you train here you don’t only gain beneficial skills but also can go on to gain a qualification. The Academy of Clinical Training offers courses in groups and also one-to-one, either for you on your own maybe to learn make up skills (I am considering going to one of these!) or for you and friends, or even if you have your own salon or business or are thinking of opening one up, the training courses are professional and fun. They are set in this unique environment, which isn’t like an office and isn’t clinical, it is relaxing and feels like you are learning inside a salon and spa (because you are!)

For more details on the courses and the treatments available take a look at their Facebook page

Or online at www.theactuk.com

Amber Zoe x

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