Ten ideas for spa weekends

Jan 23 2015

Summer Spy

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3 min read

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 the Vineyard 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.

4. Creature comforts
Animal spa weekends aren’t really a ‘thing’ but if they were we’d point you in the direction of Chewton Glen in Hampshire. Not only is the spa sumptuous but beforehand you can try a spot of hilarious duck herding with help from a border collie. Or how about taking riding lessons at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire or handling birds of prey at Bovey Castle in Dartmoor National Park?

5. Something different
Blasé about your spas, eh? Perhaps it’s time for something new. How about renting the HotTug at the runnymede-on-thames and taking your hot tub experience (and champagne) out on open water?

Five more spa weekend ideas:

6. Golfing: If you love spas and golf is also your thing, try The Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel in  St Andrews for the best of both worlds.

7. Spiritual: To help you feel good from the inside out, we prescribe a weekend at the Ayush Wellness Spa in Jersey’s Hotel de France.

8. Shopping: Glasgow is where it’s at for shopping, with The Italian Centre nicknamed ‘mini Milan’. https://goodspaguide.co.uk/directory/spa-at-blythswood-square will provide the post-retail therapy.

9. Family: If you find it easier to bliss out in a spa knowing everyone is happy, try the super child-friendly Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds.

10. Romance: The gorgeously gothic Rockliffe Hall in County Durham could provide the backdrop to a beautiful weekend with the one you love – and the spa is first class. 


Summer Spy

23rd January 2015

Spy Likes:

Warmth and sunshine; spas which take me away to another country; fruit infused waters; beach-worth pedicures; deep tissue massages.

Spy Dislikes:

High footfalls; treatments that over promise and under deliver; heavy lunches; loungers drapped in used towels.

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