This July, the Spa Spies have been out and about spotting spa trends and new openings. Here are some of the things we’ve got our eye on.
Sunlight rooms: When everyone you know has gone off to Ibiza or the Algarve, and you are stuck in rainy Britain, fear not. Lucknam, Ye Olde Bell and now Rudding Park have installed dedicated sunlight therapy rooms where you can bask in beneficial sunshine without harmful UVs. Recline on comfortable loungers, close your eyes and enjoy the gentle warmth created by ‘sunlight stimulators’. Sunlight is said to be good for a whole host of things, from reduced symptoms of SAD (less a problem in July), sounder sleep, energy increase, reduced aches and pains and a boost in vitamin D production. Also, you don’t need to get wet or over-heated, the carbon footprint is lower than normal spa facilities and you can enjoy the sunshine all year around.
CBD Treatments: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component of medical marijuana that has become an intriguing health trend. While it doesn’t get you high and is legal, it is commonly used for treating types of chronic pain, inflammation due to arthritis, anxiety and insomnia. Already huge in US spas, a few select spas are offering CBD treatments here in the UK. The first was Budock Vean in Cornwall, who offer a CBD infused body massages from £43, a Himalayan Salt CBD infused body wrap (£53) and a CBD Spa Day Package. You can also try CBD facials and massages at Cowshed spas, including Selfridges Spa & Shop and Shoreditch Spa & Shop in London, and Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire. For £15, you can add a CBD supplement to your ordinary treatment at Rudding Park Spa in Harrogate.
Spa on a barge: We love a quirky spa, especially one moored on the riverbanks of a salubrious hotel. The Floating Spa at Monkey Island, Bray-on-Thames (the name comes from its former incarnation as a 12th century monastery – Monks Eyot – rather than mischievous primates) is an old-fashioned barge containing three treatment rooms. The treatments are wonderfully eccentric, using natural and organic products; Moss of the Isles (as the name suggests, may contain moss and Irish peat) and ISun, handcrafted in Colorado. The strapline – Beauty, Botany and Booze - refers to the fact that there’s a bar aboard, too, offering alcoholic herb-infused ‘medicinal’ elixirs and tipples inspired by the monk’s recipes to help you relax during your treatment. Cheers!
"Picturesque views; firm massages; friendly therapists who make you feel at ease; stylish interiors; attention to detail; outdoor hot tubs; infinity pools; fluffy robes and towels; a good selection of spa treatments."
"Any attempt to hard sell; inconsiderate therapists; areas in need of a clean; rowdy guests; cheap toiletries; restaurant menus that are overly healthy; cold swimming pools; no private changing areas; paper pants."