The 13th regional Good Spa Guide awards, sponsored by Natura Bissé, were anything but unlucky this week, with a festive afternoon tea to put us right in the Christmas spirit.
Hosted at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, London, the Christmas decorations on the way in were as incredible as they were inside; there was even a red carpet snaking up the stairs at the grand entrance to add to the glam.
Royalty from the spa world and key journalists arrived from 1pm for a glass of Champagne and a meet and mingle.
Natalie (left) and Emma-Jane (centre) of Y Spa at Wyboston Lakes with Good Spa Guide Editor Jo Gardner
At 1.30pm we opened the doors to the UN ballroom – with its views of the Tower of London through full-length windows, high ceilings and statement chandeliers – and took our seats for the event.
Afternoon tea was then served on silver tiers with a selection crustless sandwiches (we loved the cream cheese with minted cucumber and coronation turkey), warm scones with jam, clotted cream and tangy lemon curd; and festive desserts made to look like snowmen, baubles, reindeer and logs. It wasn’t a dry old party either with regular top-ups of Earl Grey, Chamomile or Blackcurrant and Hibiscus tea.
At 2pm, Daphne Metland, founder of the Good Spa Guide, opened the show, talking inspirationally the highs, the lows - and the triumphs - of the spa industry. Daphne then handed over to Caitlin Dalton, Director of the Good Spa Guide (pictured below), to announce the winners.
And here they are... our class of 2022.
Best Spa in the East Midlands and East
Winner: The Club at Cottonmill
The facilities at The Club at Cottonmill are second-to-none with three floors of saunas, steam rooms, experience showers, relaxation spaces and a gorgeous indoor/outdoor hydro pool. The spa garden is made for alfresco spa-ing with cabanas, loungers and bubbly hot tubs surrounded by Japanese-style waterways.
Best Spa in Scotland, sponsored by OTO
Winner: The Spa at Gleneagles
Gleneagles has a solid reputation for excellent Scottish hospitality, dramatic scenery and impeccable design. The spa is sublime, too, with gold and bronze wet facilities and a unisex vitality pool. There’s a huge focus on wellness with treatments from Tata Harper, Dr Barbara Strum – the first in the UK – and Gleneagles’ own range made from plants and herbs grown on the Perthshire estate.
Best Spa in the West Midlands and Wales, sponsored by VOYA
Winner: The Elms Hotel and Spa
Occupying its own converted barn behind ivy-clad Elms Hotel, the two-storey Greenhouse Spa lives up to its name, with full-height glass, natural woods, hanging plants and tools reminiscent of Grandad’s shed giving it the leafy greenhouse. The pool and thermal suite are on the ground floor with the treatment rooms and relaxation areas above.
Best Spa in London, sponsored by Aromatherapy Associates
Winner: The Lanesborough Club & Spa
The Lanesborough is a vast white, neo-classical style mansion in the heart of one of London's most exclusive areas, on the edge of Hyde Park. The spa certainly has a wow factor thanks to its opulent art-deco design and impeccable customer service. You can summon a spa butler at the press of a button in the relaxation lounge. Treatments have been exclusively designed by ila and Tata Harper.
Best Spa in the North West, sponsored by Million Dollar Facial
Winner: The Spa at Carden
Drawing inspiration from the tranquil 1,000-acre Carden Park estate, The Spa at Carden has carefully curated a range of Germaine de Capuccini, Made for Life and Oskia treatments using natural botanicals to improve wellbeing in a separate wood and glass building. The extensive Spa Garden – with its pool, sauna, variety of hot tubs, glass pods, fire pit and Bollinger Bar – is spa nirvana.
Best Spa in the South East, sponsored by Murad
Winner: The Spa at Pennyhill Park
With fantastic facilities – five-star hotel; award-winning restaurant – and a spa with a tremendous range of well-thought-out treatments from Natura Bissé and Comfort Zone, Pennyhill really does deserve its place on the spa pedestal. It's jaw-droppingly vast with eight pools - the most impressive being a 25-metre ballroom pool with underwater music – and a host of thermal delights.
Best Spa in the North East, sponsored by Comfort Zone
Winner: Three Graces Spa at Grantley Hall
The Three Graces Spa is dedicated to 'restoring beauty and balance' through treatments and individual spa journeys, personalised for each guest. Beyond the treatments, you can swim in the 18-metre indoor pool, take a dip in the indoor hydrotherapy pool, or heat up/cool off in the sauna, steam room and snow room.
Best Spa in the South West and Channel Islands
Winner: The Headland Spa
The Headland Hotel is an imposing red-brick Victorian mansion set high on a cliff top with far-reaching views over Fistral Beach. The five-star hotel has a 2 AA rosette restaurant, a stylish spa and a new £10 million wellness complex - The Aqua Club - with no less than six sleek pools and Atlantic views to die for.
Best New Spa, sponsored by Natura Bissé
Winner: Fairmont Spa & Wellness, Windsor Park
Spanning 2,500m2, The Fairmont Spa & Wellness is a thing of beauty with much to tantalise the modern spa goer. There’s a sleek indoor pool with double day beds, a Japanese foot spa with pink blossom tree, a courtyard vitality pool surrounded by hanging egg chairs and a dedicated spa café, Greens, with a smoothie bar. From acupuncture to vitamin infusions, the treatment menu is vast.
On being crowned Best New Spa Katarina Nielsen, Marketing and Communications Director at Fairmont Spa & Wellness, Windsor Park, said:
“On behalf of the entire team at Fairmont Windsor Park, we are delighted and proud to accept this Best New Spa award. From the very beginning our vision was always to create something very special with our spa and wellness offering, and this recognition really means a lot. Thank you, Good Spa Guide.”
From left to right: Albert, Natura Bissé; Emma, representing Fairmont Spa & Wellness, Windsor Park; Rebecca, National Partnerships Manager, Good Spa Guide; and Rachel, Natura Bissé
That's it for another year... which just leaves me to thank our wonderful sponsors, without whom these awards could not take place, and The Four Seaons Hotel Ten Trinity Square, London, for being fabulous hosts.
See you next time.
From left to right: Stylish Spy, Serene Spy, Scarlet Spy, Sybriatic Spy, Summer Spy
23rd November 2022
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