“How many guests did you say are coming again?” I ask Scarlet Spy as I survey the number of tables and chairs laid out for this year’s Good Spa Guide Awards dinner. “It’s packed.”
“About 300 I think,” she replies, admiring the fruits of her labour - not to mention the shimmering lake dominating the view at the De Vere Cotswolds Water Park, this year’s hosts for the Spa Life Convention and The Good Spa Guide Awards.
Given how well the year has been going our end (a 13-year high for votes and one million unique monthly visitors to our website), it certainly seems that spa-ing is back, and in no small way. As for Covid… what Covid?
This year’s restriction-free celebrations were hosted by acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer and actor Jen Brister who - alongside hosting Live at the Apollo - has performed five solo shows around the world, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Norway Comedy Box Festival, Comedy Club Asia, Adelaide Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe.
The evening began with drinks in the bar – and, if we are honest, a peek at all the lovely outfits: from flowing summery numbers to stylish jumpsuits, and everything in between. Tables were laden with menus detailing the order of the evening, as well as our branded Good Spa Guide balloons which lit up as the sun went down.
As soon as everybody was seated, a light starter of beetroot, crumbled feta, cous cous, orange and red chard was served, together with red and white wines from South Africa.
Then it was time for Jen to woo the crowd with her sharp wit before announcing the first crop of winners – and here they are, congratulations to everybody in this section:
Best Boutique Spa sponsored by VOYA:
Aztec Hotel & Spa, Bristol
Best Health Club Spa sponsored by SpaSeekers:
Champneys Henlow, Bedfordshire (pictured below)
Best Spa for Innovation sponsored by OTO:
Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall, County Durham
Best Spa for Wellness sponsored by Aromatherapy Associates:
Aqua Sana Woburn Forest, Wiltshire
Best Spa for Guest Experience sponsored by Advanced Nutrition Programme:
Ragdale Hall Spa, Leicestershire
For the main course, diners had a choice of either chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms and leeks, confit carrots, grain mustard and cider cream or sweet potato, sweetcorn and black bean chilli with steamed rice and rice crackers. More wine whet our appetites for round 2 of the awards - hearty congrats go to this crop, too:
Best Destination Spa sponsored by Natura Bissé:
Rudding Park Spa, North Yorkshire
Best Spa for Sustainability sponsored by Comfort Zone:
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London (pictured below)
Best Day Spa sponsored by Million Dollar Facial:
The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall, Lancashire
Best Hotel Spa sponsored by Murad
The Woodland Spa, Lancashire
Dessert was a choice of a lip-smacking bitter lemon and lime tart or a fruit salad and vegan sorbet. Then it was time for dancing to covers band The Choice, which is when this particular Spa Spy hung up her kitten heels and called it a night.
Congratulations to our winners and finalists and - of course - a huge thank you to sponsors, without whom this event couldn’t happen. See you in November for the regional awards.
21st June 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