At the Good Spa Guide we’ve been keeping the winter blues at bay by chatting dreamily about spa weekends. It’s interesting – and inspiring – to hear people’s varying ideas about what makes the perfect spa break. What’s yours?
1. Destination spa
Sometimes all you need is unadulterated spa-ing and to wear little more than a robe and slippers all weekend. For straight-up spa indulgence we heartily recommend checking into Surrey’s health farm-esque Grayshott Spa, the ridiculously romantic Scottish Stobo Castle in Peebles, or Britain’s original and favourite spa retreat, Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire. And not checking out again until Monday …
2. Educational and edible
Because wine and fine dining are de rigueur at top hotels, there is no shortage of spa breaks for palate pampering. At The Langham London, for example, you can while away a day in the Chuan Spa before dining at Roux. But if you’re happiest when hands on with food and drink, there’s the wonderful Wine School at theVineyard Spa in Berkshire. Or the fun Bakery Masterclass at Pennyhill Park in Surrey (which also has a two-Michelin-star restaurant, The Latymer). Learn before you luxuriate.
3. Outdoors and active
You’ll never feel bored at Carden Park in Cheshire, with golfing, a rope course, Segways, mountain biking, tennis, laser clay and air rifle shooting, quad biking and archery to keep you busy. If that sounds like your cup of green tea, see also the Aqua Sana spas at Center Parcs around the UK, and Careys Manor in Hampshire where lazy time in the SenSpa can be beautifully offset with cycling in the New Forest. Or Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District, which is a dream for recuperating ramblers.
5. Something different
Blasé about your spas, eh? Perhaps it’s time for something new. How about renting the HotTug at therunnymede-on-thames and taking your hot tub experience (and champagne) out on open water?