This year, the Good Spa Awards are divided into two categories.
The spas nominated in the national spa awards were selected by the Good Spa Spies. We chose the 45 finalists from the many spas we've reviewed over the past year, all across the UK. The Spies will decide the winners, but you can leave a comment of support for your spa that will help us as we make our final decision. (We've had many fabulous comments already, thank you!)
We're also, for the first time, offering regional spa awards. The Good Spa Guide has reviewed and given the highest bubble ratings in their region to all the spas in this category. Our regional awards also featured in Archant Life magazines over the summer to give more readers the chance to vote; Archant readers have also been voting for spas via text, and these will be combined with votes cast online. For each region, the spa with the highest number of reader votes will be crowned the winner.
Here are some shortcuts to help you comment and vote TODAY! Vote by the end of August to make sure your vote counts. Today we look at the National awards; next up, the Regional awards.
The National Awards
The finest facial spa award: these facials left us looking and feeling lovelier, lifted, and positively luminous. They include: the Jurlique aromatherapy facial at the Chiswick Health & Wellness Spa; the Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial at Rookery Hall Hotel in Cheshire; the Biodroga Phyto Cell Facial at Simply Healing Centre in West Sussex; the Carita Pro-Lift Firming Rejuvenation at Sofitel So SPA in London; and the Gold Leaf Facial at Thai Square Spa, Covent Garden.
The most marvellous massage spa award: we've been pushed, pulled and pummelled on your behalf. The massages that left us two inches taller and walking on air include: the Purva Karma Four Handed Massage at Gleneagles; the Bamford Body treatment at the Herb House Spa at Lime Wood Hotel in Hampshire; the ESPA Total Holistic Bodycare at Sofitel London Heathrow; the Journey to Africa at St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel; and the Sundari Odati Treatment at Vale Resort in Wales.
How could you have a perfect spa day without perfect customer service? Our spa customer service awards means that these spas practically wrapped us in rose-petals and angel-feathers: Armathwaite Hall in Cumbria; the Fairmont St Andrews; Rudding Park in North Yorkshire; The Mere Golf Resort and Spa in Cheshire; The Treatment Rooms in Brighton; SenSpa at Careys Manor in Hampshire; and the Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Berkshire.
When you go to a day spa, you want a tiny slice of paradise. We found a variety of heavens at: the hidden city gem of the Chelsea Club's Antara Spa; the charming family spa at Eastthorpe Hall in West Yorkshire; the manly Nickel in London; the ladies-only Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden; the Moroccan-themed Spa in Dolphin Square; the UK's first eco-spa, Titanic, in West Yorkshire; and the friends-friendly Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.
Hotel spas need to combine relaxation with accommodation. We loved: the shimmering ESPA Life at the Corinthia in London; the luxurious country mansion that is Lucknam Park in Wiltshire; the interesting and unusual spa at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews; the holistic Scarlet Spa in Cornwall; the super-stylish K Spa at K West in London; the tranquil (and with spectacular views) St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot; and the ultra-modern Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire.
Which spas are worth the journey? These are the destination spas we'd walk 500 miles for (and yes, would then fall down at their door): The World of Spa that you find in the Aqua Sana spas in CenterParcs at Elveden, Whinfell, Longleat, and Sherwood; the health-farm-style Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire; peaceful Grayshott in Surrey; the comfortable and comforting Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire; the wow-factor Rockliffe Hall in County Durham; the gorgeous Pennyhill Park in Surrey; and the ultimate escape at Stobo Castle in Scotland.
You need to take a little bit of spa home with you, right? Well, you can! These are the products we've tried, tested and approved this year. And paid for. With our own money. We cleanse with the classic Eve Lom Cleanser. We gently exfoliate with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. We improve our radiance with Anne Semonin Precious Serum. We scrub up soft with La Sultane de Saba Authentic Eucalyptus Black Soap, then we moisturise with the divine Sodashi Nourishing Repair Treatment and the organic Pinks Boutique Lemongrass and Mandarin Body Lotion. Finally, we get ready to paint the town red by painting our nails with Spa Ritual Nail Lacquer in Sage.
Next up, short-cuts to the Good Spa Guide Regional awards!
4th April 2014
Warm floors when you put your bare feet upon them; heated treatment beds; soft towels; attention to detail, so that your treatment room looks and smells beautiful when you arrive in it.
Cold floors when you put your bare feet upon them; therapists who use your treatment time to write up a list of product "recommendations" that they hope you will purchase.
Behind the scenes