Author: Mark Smith

Best spas in Wales - The Spa Man

Six of the best spas in Wales

The best spas in Wales. When I was set the challenge to collate the best of the best I didn’t realise there were so many great spas to include. Wales is renowned for its stunning scenery, rugged mountains and remote windswept beaches. It’s also an ideal getaway for the keen golfer, the thrill seeker and those serious about spa. Combining history with heritage and dramatic wind-swept scenery, Wales in a well-kept secret for holidays and getaways. Renowned for its outdoor lifestyle, it’s popular with walkers who flock to the Wales Coast Path, the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast, which opened in 2012. More recently it’s become known for its adventure and thrill-seeking experiences including caving, canyoning, gorge walking and coasteering. Cardiff, the capital is a complete contrast with a vibrant night life, historic castle and monuments and a buzzing café culture set on a quayside harbour. For the ultimate getaway, head to the picturesque countryside to experience some of its stunning spa resorts which make the most of the surrounding landscape. The …

Caudalie suncare - The Spa Man

Caudalie suncare is ocean and coral friendly (and is rather excellent)

Caudalie suncare is leading the beauty industry with it commitment to protecting the skin from sun damage while respecting the delicate balance of marine life. Offering a high-tech solution to a growing environmental problem, Caudalie has adopted an eco-friendly approach to this collection of Caudalie suncare products. I have tried these under the harsh Australian sun and they work a dream. Lightweight, non-greasy, easily applied and water resistant, the formula is delicately scented with frangipani. It’s a tropical holiday in a bottle and I loved it. Recognising that 14,000 tonnes of sun cream are discharged onto coral reefs (many with damaging chemicals), the brand has devoted years of research to finding a solution that balances the need for sun protection, safety and the needs of the environment. Mathilde Thomas, founder, explains: “For my new suncare range, I didn’t want to compromise between protecting the skin and protecting nature. For many years, we have been working on skincare formulas that give the senses an experience and are eco-friendly.” The result is a five-piece collection of skin and …

Park House Hotel and Spa - the Spa Man

Review: Park House Hotel and Spa, Sussex

Park House Hotel and Spa is a secret hideaway at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. On a quite country lane, the small country house hotel really punches above its weight. It has modern, comfortable rooms, super comfy beds all set in green Sussex countryside with nothing but the sweet sound of birds to break the silence. Rooms are situated in the main building, and there’s a new annexe with additional large rooms that look across the kitchen garden and to the fields beyond. A stone’s throw from the historic market town of Midhurst, (where you might enjoy the polo at Cowdray Park) there are country gardens and historic sights a plenty. But wise people don’t venture beyond the gate. Choose from an array of country walks, lazing by the pool, or you can indulge in some refined English pursuits like lawn bowls, tennis, a round of golf on the six-hole course or croquet (ok that’s more French). The food is worth the drive too. …

Clarins Men Super Moisture Collection

Clarins Men Super Moisture Collection

Clarins Men Super Moisture Collection is a neat capsule range of  three hydrating products to moisturise and strengthen skin. I have been trialling the Super Moisture Lotion SPF20 and love the texture, skin feel and way it protects from sun damage. It’s light, easy to apply and doesn’t leave the skin greasy AT ALL. I also apply this across my scalp for added protection against environmental damage (and hydration for my bald patch). ClarinsMen Super Moisture Collection The collection includes: Super Moisture Balm, an ultra-comforting, invisible and non-greasy balm-like product; Super Moisture Gel, refreshing and non-sticky, and Super Moisture Lotion SPF 20 which is lightweight and skin protecting. The products feature Hydra Resist Phyto Complex combining: organic houseleek to help offset the negative effects of testosterone, with organic leaf of life which encourages the natural hydration of the skin. Integrated into all of the products in the range, ClarinsMen Complex blends gymnema extract and bison grass extract to energise and sooth with Anti-Pollution Complex with extracts of nipplewort and furcellaria which helps to shield the …

Neom Ultimate Reeds - The Spa Man

NEOM launches Ultimate Reed Diffuser Collection

NEOM has added to its Ultimate Collection with a new range of Ultimate Reed Diffusers. Designed to beautifully fragrance large spaces, make a statement in any home and deliver a powerful wellbeing treatment. This super-special trio are ultimate by name, ultimate by nature. From the intricate handmade marble design, to the 18 carat rose gold finish, the refillable Ultimate Reed Diffusers are super luxurious and provide the ultimate boost of wellbeing to help you De-Stress, boost energy and lift your mood. The diffusers are accompanied by natural reeds and are made with one of the 100% natural iconic Neom fragrances; Real Luxury, Complete Bliss and Happiness. I’m a big fan of a reed diffuser and you can read my round-up of the best HERE NEOM Founder and Creative Director Nicola Elliott; “Our Ultimate Candles get their perfect partner! Hand crafted marble design, 18 carat rose gold touches (and a splash of seriously cool colour), natural reeds, and not forgetting the fragrance! Let me remind you (if you don’t already know) our 100% natural super-complex expertly …

The Escape at Four Seasons Hampshire

Four Seasons Hampshire launches The Escape

Four Seasons Hampshire has introduced The Escape, a new experiential fitness retreat that is designed to take participants out of their comfort zone, to push the boundaries of mind, body and soul. It’s an active programme that combines food, fitness and a touch of fun (with some great spa therapies thrown in). Four Seasons country outpost is set in the middle of 500 acres of picturesque Hampshire countryside. It’s a peaceful setting just an hour from London, with plenty of walks and lots of space to free the mind. The Escape, created by top fitness professionals is high energy. Expect 12 hours of fitness experiences from military style training to yoga, which is balanced with around three hours of spa treatments to soothe your aching muscles and some exceptional healthy and nutritious food. What could be better? On day one, your journey will begin as you are issued with your personalised Escape kit and your mobile devices are locked away! This is a digital detox too.  You will head out on a tour of the …

Best mindful spas in the UK - The Spa Man

The best mindful spas in the UK

With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place from the 13 – 19 May, my good friends over at The Good Spa Guide have identified the best mindful spas in the UK for helping to restore the mind, be present and reconnect within. Stress and anxiety are so typical that its hard to avoid in today’s fast-paced society.  Spas have become our modern day escape from our daily lives. They provide an outlet for rest and relaxation. Most importantly for reducing stress, anxiety and even depression. And it’s not just in the moment, the benefits last well after you leave your white robe hanging on the changing room floor. done correctly, spa and wellness that combines elements of mindfulness and meditation can have a transformative effect of your life day to day. Physical activity is also very beneficial, so don’t just laze on the sun loungers. Get in the pool and swim some laps, head outdoors and connect with nature on a forest walk. Or even better try yoga or an exercise class. The Good Spa Guide …

Mountain Spa - The Alpina Gstaad

Review: The Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad occupies a commanding position on a hill overlooking the small resort of Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. It’s an award-winning luxury property for the discerning wellness guest. Built into the side of a hill, the hotel façade presents the traditional look of a Swiss Alpine hotel. Inside it’s all a little different. Blending traditional alpine chic with modern art and contemporary design, the hotel is cosy, contemporary and a chic getaway for a few nights or more. During winter time the main draw is skiing, but many guests visit for the spa or to enjoy one of the two Michelin star restaurants: Sommet and Megu (more of those later). Arriving at the hotel you enter underground and it sets the tone for the journey which is cocooning, modern and had an understated energy. Contemporary artworks are perfectly positioned throughout the hotel which catch the eye, adding a unique touch to the design but it doesn’t have a gallery feel. The dark reclaimed timer is a dominating factor in the design …

Men's Wellness Retreats - SHA Wellness

Men’s wellness holiday bookings surge 42% Have you booked yours yet?

Now is the best time to book a men’s wellness retreat for your next holiday break, because it seems it’s on the rise. According to Health and Fitness travel, bookings have increased 42% since 2010. Paul Joseph, Founder of Health and Fitness Travel, says “Since 2010 we have seen a 42% increase in men booking wellness holidays. Men investing in their well-being and appearance is now so normal; many are living with extreme unprecedented stress due to growing work demands, and we have seen a growing interest from men towards self-care and health awareness. Most retreats and spas are gender neutral and cater equally to both sexes.” So with the help of Health and Fitness Travel I have compiled 8 of the best men’s wellness retreats for the health-conscious guy. It’s timely as in June it’s Men’s Health Week and Father’s Day. From pulse-raising boot camp fitness in Portugal to holistic weight loss in India, these healthy escapes are the perfect gift for men ready to make a positive change. Discover 8 of the best men’s wellness …

Euphoria Retreat Spa - Sphere Pool

Review: Euphoria Retreat, Greece

Euphoria Retreat offers something distinct, unique and a little bit magical. This healing hotel and spa is set on a hill, in a forest in the rustic town of Mystras in the Peloponnese. Between mountains and olive groves, the views are sublime. But it’s the energy of the land and the sense of history in the location that really add to the experience. Mystras is a UNESCO world heritage site and its just 5 minutes from the city of Sparta. Created by Marina Efraimoglou, the 45-room hotel at Euphoria Retreat is modern, yet calming with rooms looking across the valley or out to the forest. It is designed to look a little like a monastery and has a soothing calming effect. The rooms feature super comfy beds, walk in shower and lounge chair. The superior rooms and suites are larger with more features and benefit from commanding views of the valley. Divine dining Eating is a key priority on any retreat and the Gaia Restaurant at Euphoria Retreat serves fabulous Greek inspired food that is …

Spring health tips for men

8 Spring Health Tips for Men

Spring has its great sides, certainly, but it’s also loaded with shortcomings, particularly in relation to health. The changing temperatures, stress, pressure changes, along with several other elements that accompany the season make for a perfect playground for flu and other common health mishaps. Keeping healthy isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and with just a bit of effort you can manage to keep all the negative side-effects of the season at bay, so let’s not waste another minute before finding out what they are. Writer Peter Minkoff outlines 8 Spring health tips for men. Start from outside There are men who are already familiar with the importance of proper skin grooming, and then there are those who still need a friendly reminder. As you know, your skin is the very first thing that people notice about you, and more than that, it’s an important part of the body that takes a serious hit once the temperatures drop. The skin becomes flaky, dehydrated and several issues can arise – rosacea, chronic dryness, clogged pores, just …

Natura Bissé Spa at the Village - The Spa Man

Review: Natura Bissé Spa at the Village, London

The new Natura Bissé Spa at the Village in Westfield London is a welcome addition to the London spa scene. It’s the world first stand-alone spa for the award-winning Spanish brand which brings its high tech, high touch treatments to a new audience. The spa is light and bright, with a contemporary edge. Think white open spaces, beautiful curved designs crafted with wood and calm tranquility within. The concept of the Natura Bissé Spa at the Village is a Mediterranean inspired spa which has a boutique area where you can discover the whole Natura Bissé skincare range in one place for the first time in London. There are three treatment rooms and each features the brands signature concept 99.995% pure air filtered into the space – ideal to purify skin, body and soul. The treatment menu features an array of excellent face and body treatments – all targeted to deliver results in an instant. There are express treatments offered in the chair for a speedy turnaround when time is of the essence. I loved that there is …

Glowing Flow Retreat in Phuket

Glowing Flow announces April retreat dates in Phuket, Thailand [AD]

Glowing Flow has announced two new retreats in April 2019 at the Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort in Rawai, Phuket. Nestled on a hilltop in lush tropical gardens with spectacular ocean views, the uniquely designed resort is adults only and offers privacy and relaxation for guests away from the crowds. Glowing Flow is a residential retreat that promotes health and happiness in equal measure. Expanding creativity, calming the mind, lightening the heart, it combines a psycho-emotional approach to spa and wellness with life-enhancing activities designed to reignite the hidden spark within, revealing an inner glow. Award-winning Spa Director, Patrizia Bortolin and internationally renowned body work expert, Stefano Battaglia have curated Glowing Flow based on their many years of practice in health, spa, wellness and the pursuit of happiness and inner peace. Having worked together at some of Europe’s leading wellness destinations including Borgo Egnazia in Italy and Euphoria Retreat in Greece, they have crafted a unique proposition. Featuring an inspiring mix of mindfulness, trauma healing, mindful running, and self-discovery, the programme takes each guest on …

Aman Skincare - the Spa Man

Aman skincare launches, inspired by Aman resorts around the world

Aman has launched the 30-piece Aman Skincare collection to celebrate its 30thanniversary. The two-year project was initiated by Aman chairman, Vladislav Doronin and includes the insight, knowledge and locally sourced ingredients of the Aman properties. Aman’s intimate sanctuaries provide a nurturing space for body, mind and spirit, from the desert to the jungle, and from island to the city. Today, encompassing 33 resorts, hotels and private residences in 21 countries, Aman continues to seek out transformative experiences and awe-inspiring locations around the world. I have been privileged to visit two of the locations – Amanpuri in Thailand and Amansara in Cambodia, and they are exceptional in terms of service, culture and delivering unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Read about them in the links below: Amanpuri: www.thespaman.co.uk/amanpuri Amansara: www.thespaman.co.uk/amansara  The new Aman Skincare range presents a holistic journey, connecting the resort and hotel destinations and using precious ingredients from around the world to transport, restore and transform. The Aman skincare line comprises three collections: Grounding, Purifying and Nourishing, the range includes luxurious face creams and serums, face masks, body …

St Michaels Falmouth - The Spa Man

Review: St Michaels Falmouth, Cornwall

St Michaels Falmouth is a one of a kind get away. It’s a 4-star deluxe resort combining a welcoming and relaxed vibe hotel, two great restaurants and a fabulous spa – it’s a place to feel good again. That’s the strap line they use in the marketing and I can definitely say after a two-night break I did feel good again. Situated opposite the blue flag Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, St Michaels has 84 bedrooms that feature contemporary coastal chic, and manage to pull it off without being cliched. There are great rooms in the main house with sea view suites and spa garden rooms (to name a few) but your best bet is to book the Beach House. Recently renovated, its rooms offer are comfy, spacious and sparsely decorated with white walls, the odd splash of colour with coastal prints and chic fabrics. Expects a kettle, Nespresso machine, Cornish tea, shortbread, the comfiest bed and Elemis amenities. Oh and did I mention the terrace – yes when its warm (or a touch cooler) …