Whether it’s a hot tub in the woods or a sauna with tree-top views, more spas are tapping into nature. Aqua Sana Elveden Forest’s 2023 revamp saw the opening of The Nest, a huge heat room with equally huge windows - the blend of gentle warmth, Tepidarium beds and birds flying across the trees is designed to keep spa-goers enjoying the experience (and the benefits) for far longer than a traditional sauna or a steam room. If nature walks, Qigong and breath work are more your scene, try The Spa at South Lodge’s new one-day Nature Immersion Spa Experience.
Sleep (or lack of it) will still play its part in wellness this year, with dedicated sleep retreats on the up. The Spa at Pennyhill Park’s new one-night Pro-Sleep Spa Retreat combines an 80-minute Comfort Zone Tranquillity Pro-Sleep Treatment – aromatherapy oils, sounds of the sea; soft massage brushes - with in-room treats such as Sleep Well Tea, magnesium water (thought to reduce anxiety), and products from Comfort Zone’s Tranquillity range, including bath oils, pillow mists, shower gels and roll-ons.
The big TikTok trend for 2023 was staying in bed to read, scroll or binge-watch Netflix. The point? Remaining in a half lying position, rather than getting up and dressed, is half the battle to relaxing. This is a particularly satisfying ‘activity’ on a soggy Saturday when you don’t have any firm plans. While long naps during the day can interrupt sleep patterns, a disco nap (of no more than 20 minutes) is great if you haven’t slept well the night before - you’re already in bed, after all. Be sure to set an alarm if you’re likely to fall into deep sleep, though.
Cosy Cardio is a form of gentle, regular exercise that can be done at home without the need for an exercise bike, a pair of trainers or a running machine. One example that’s hotting up is Wall Pilates, a successful way to tone up and lose weight using just a wall and a floor mat. The 28-day challenge is a programme of daily workouts designed for your height, weight and age, together with diet restrictions. Your particular programme could see you doing 30 leg raises and cutting out sugary drinks on Day 1, moving up to 50 bum lifts and avoiding fatty foods by day 25.
Struggling? You’re not alone. Last year saw more spas design treatments specifically to alleviate the symptoms of menopause than in any other year (that we are aware of, that is). 2024 is likely to see entire retreats dedicated to Menopause, with everything from nutrition and supplements to exercise and sleep on the menu. Goodwood Health & Wellbeing’s three-day Menopause Retreat takes a holistic approach with expert advice on gut health, cortisol management and exercise on hand, as well as honest discussion on the pluses – and perils - of HRT.
11th January 2024
Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.
Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.
Behind the scenes