The RiverTribe Spa Inspector has been out and about trying out treatments that will restore and replenish in the run-up to the festive period.

Much to my relief the HarSpa survived the headline grabbing fire which engulfed the pool and gym earlier this year. Management at the Richmond Harbour Hotel moved quickly to install a gym and the while area remains closed until next Spring, the spa remains untouched.

My memory of it was clear. At the time I likened it to turning left into the First Class section of a long haul jet with individually sectioned beds where you could rest before and after treatment. Something of a haven on the edge of a bustling town centre.

It has remained pristine and with treatment rooms that are simple but luxurious. A benchmark of any spa is – for me – how therapists carry out the classic treatments so I opted for Hot Stones.

My therapist, Sherralyn, used the chakras or meridians to place the hot stones to allow energy – or chi – to flow through my body. By doing so, effects of stress are eliminated and healing is facilitated. It is a treatment used to relieve anxiety, improve blood circulation, aid sleep and can increase joint flexibility. Thought to have originated in North America as part of Native American Indian culture, hot stones have become a cornerstone of well-being treatments.

The therapist is key to a successful outcome. A calm, steady manner is essential in order to inspire confidence. Sherralyn worked for nearly an hour in a smooth but assertive way that assuaged nagging anxieties. A collateral benefit was the oil which hydrated my very dry skin.

All in all, an hour well spent. In a world of high tech treatments, sometimes a classic is all you need.