Every spa is different, which is why in The Good Spa Guide Awards we have special categories of excellence as well as our regional winners. Here the Spa Spies outline which three spas will meet your specific needs, from wellness to pampering or family friendly fun.
For some, going away is a chance to come back feeling better, rather than indulging and putting on a few pounds, or perhaps a balance of both.
Hoar Cross Hall, Champneys, and your local Bannatynes offer a wide range of classes and may have outdoor space you can explore as well as a fully equipped gym. Earn your relaxation time or afternoon tea by working out first.
This doesn’t have to mean getting a large group together, it can simply mean spending quality time with a friend or meeting halfway between houses to catch up.
Multiple heat experiences, a terrace to enjoy a glass of wine together and a relaxing space where you won’t be told to ‘shhh’. Aqua Sana Spas, Eden Hall Day Spa and Whittlebury Hall make spa-ing to catch up easy.
Spas that focus on wellness often employ a team of experts to help you design your own personal package or they run classes on top of being more environmentally, and nutritionally, aware.
Champneys Tring was our best spa for wellness in 2017; they offer sessions with physiotherapists, medical professionals, nutritionists, boot camps, healthy cuisine and classes. The Bulgari Spa has one-to-one sessions in the Workshop Gymnasium, holistic treatments and a healthy menu. Lifehouse Hotel and Spa offer health and wellbeing consultations alongside seven retreat programmes.
Spa can be enjoyed by all ages, and we are seeing more family groups spa-ing together. Not just mothers and daughters, who have always been able to enjoy some fabulous deals around Mothers’ Day, but entire families: mums and dads, grandparents, teens and kids. Spas have become the go-to place to celebrate en famille.
Some spas, such as Lucknam Park, offer spa treatments for children as young as eight, while others such as Sequoia Spa at The Grove have babysitting services. Take the whole family to Centre Parcs and enjoy an Aqua Sana experience together.
More and more men are going to spas, although usually with their partners or families, and most spa menus cater for male skins and needs. Modern spas are mostly unisex in design and approach these days, but there are some we think are perfect for man-to-man spa days.
We saw lots of chaps with laptops ‘relaxing’ at the boldly designed Ockenden Manor in Sussex; for luxury and manly pursuits, you can’t go wrong with Gleneagles in Scotland; for a competitive workout and barber shop finish try Bulgari in London.
More spas are embracing clients with or living beyond cancer, offering beautifully designed, soothing treatments delivered by cancer care trained therapists. Before you embark on any treatment or spa day, talk to your oncologist or GP and make sure you find the right spa for you – we carry symbols in our listings.
Therapists at Lifehouse Spa & Hotel in Essex have been trained by the NHS Christie Trust. The Spa at Bedford Lodge has completed Wellness for Cancer training, and at Rudding Park you can have Living With and Beyond Cancer treatments with Jennifer Young products.
Certain spas offer alternative treatments such as Reiki, reflexology, Indian Head massage, Thai massage, Ayurvedic or TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) inspired treatments. They are often offered alongside more traditional massages and facials and can be perfect for stress relief or just something a little different.
Try chakra wellbeing or bamboo massages at the Ayurveda inspired Utopia Spa at Alexander House Hotel; take a trip to Thailand by way of the New Forest at SenSpa at Careys Manor; Champneys Tring offers a huge range holistic retreats and complementary therapies.
The Spa Spy
12th September 2018
Intuitive masseurs, inspired or outlandish treatments and design, posh products and celeb spotting.
Anyone po-faced (guests and therapists) or stupid, boring design and treatments.
Behind the scenes