Author: Mark Smith

Galgorm Resort and Spa - the Spa Man

Good Spa Guide Awards 2017

The Good Spa Guide – the UK’s leading authority on the spa industry – has unveiled the winners in its annual Good Spa Guide Awards 2017. The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA, Scotland was named best UK spa, while further awards were given for customer service and design, through to best country retreat and top newcomer. A total of 12 awards were also given for the best spas in each UK region. Winners of the 2017 Good Spa Guide Awards – in association with Spabreaks.com – were announced at a glittering gala dinner sponsored by Temple Spa on 14th November 2017 at Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. Over 101,000 consumers voted in the Readers’ Choice National Awards, while the Best UK Spa and the Regional Awards were based on audit scores from annual reviews conducted by The Good Spa Guide’s own ‘Spa Spies’. THE RESULTS IN FULL Good Spa Guide Awards 2017: Regional Awards Best UK Spa (sponsored by Temple Spa): The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA, Scotland Best Spa in London: The Bulgari Spa Best Spa …

Rooftop Finnish Sauna Southbank London

Finnish Rooftop Sauna comes to Southbank London

The Southbank Centre brings the benefits of the sauna to the Southbank with its Finnish Rooftop Sauna. Promising guests they will get hot, hot, hot, there will be great views of the River Thames and you can cool off win the open air or with cold water buckets. The specially designed Finnish Rooftop Sauna will sit on Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, and there will be a sauna expert to demonstrate steaming stones and introduce you to the authentic sauna experience. Reaching 90 degrees celsius inside, you can then cool down outside (and in London that won’t be a problem, but for the hearty amongst you you can go full Finn and douse yourself with cold water. The benefits of the sauna are well researched (read more HERE) and even the Daily Mail has reported on the striking health benefits (so it must be true). There are some science-backed benefits to saunas, which range from increased circulation (as a result of the elevated heart rate and widened blood vessels that accompany exposure to intense heat) to reduced muscle soreness …

Rudding Park Rooftop Spa - the Spa Man

Review: Rudding Park Spa, Yorkshire, UK

The Spa at Rudding Park near Harrogate has raised the bar for the spa industry in the UK by creating an innovative spa with some real ‘wow’ moments (yes its totally instagrammable). It complements the smart, modern hotel and with the addition of the modern bistro Horto featuring seasonally inspired dishes by Chef Murray Wilson it makes Rudding Park the place to stay and spa in Yorkshire. The hotel at Rudding Park A privately-owned luxury hotel, Rudding Park has 90 bedrooms, the spa, two restaurants and a kitchen garden, private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space. Set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, it makes Rudding Park one of the most beautiful places to stay in Harrogate. I loved the use of colour throughout the hotel with perfectly placed pieces of art that attract the eye and give it a modern luxury feel. Rooms are spacious, contemporary and the Follifoot wing opposite the spa is where you want to be. Rudding Park Spa The spa is huge. It’s impressive Rooftop …

Jack Black Eye Balm

Jack Black Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel launches

Jack Black Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel is a potent cooling gel with advanced ingredients and soothing extracts. It is applied with a cooling stainless-steel massaging roller-ball applicator to dissipate the fluid retention that creates the puffy eye appearance. It’s a handy little item to have in your travel bag or gym kit. The best tip with any eye product – is use it. It won’t work sitting in the cupboard. Morning and night is preferable for maximum results. This one promises to energise and refresh tired-looking eyes with a blend of hydrating ingredients, soothing botanical extracts, and nourishing vitamins which together help reduce puffiness, soften the appearance of fine lines, and brighten eyes. The clear, lightweight gel absorbs immediately with its mess-free, non-sticky formula. What’s in the Jack Black new Eye Balm De-Puffing & Cooling Gel? Chamomile Extract: Helps soothe and de-puff tired-looking eyes Grape Seed Extract and Vitamins A, C & E: Encourages cell-turnover to help brighten skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines Panthenol & Sodium Hyaluronate: Provides lightweight yet effective moisturisation and …

Good for your health, mind, body and soul: it’s Spa Week UK 2017

It’s National Spa Week 2017 which means that you can abandon all guilt and book a spa treatment. Or  why not pull out all the stops and book a spa break. There are some great deals to be had, but what’s more important is that it is great for your physical health and mental wellbeing. Trust me – I’m The Spa Man. Running from 3oth October to 5th November, Spa Week 2017 celebrates UK spas and salons by putting them in the spotlight for one dedicated week, giving them the opportunity to showcase the many real physical and emotional health benefits of the treatments that they offer to the UK public. This year the event is sponsored by Groupon and Aromatherapy Associates. Participating spas and salons will be providing some fantastic offers and promotions on a range of treatments so that you can discover for yourself why regularly visiting a spa is a necessary personal investment, not just a one off ‘treat’. The main aim of Spa Week 2017 is to promote the many physical, mental …

CBx for Men Perricone MD - The Spa Man

What’s hemp got to do with it? Perricone MD launches CBx for Men

CBx for Men is the new capsule collection of men’s products from Perricone MD and boy do they deliver. I’ve been trialling them for over a month and have been suitably impressed with the textures, skin fell and results. I wondered what the CBx stood for – but it is a reference to phytocannabinoids, which is a key ingredient the three products in the Perricone MD CBx for Men skincare line. Formulated with Cannabis Sativa, phytocannaboids promise to visibly calm irritation, smooth the skin, balance oily patches, and help to maintain hydration in the skin. Phytocannabinoids are non-psychoactive cannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant and have no recreational use. The phytocannabinoids used in the CBx for Men range are extracted from the mature stalk of the fiber-type hemp plant. Phytocannabinoids are said to deliver powerful antioxidant benefits which help stressed, oil-prone skin feel soothed, healthy and refreshed. These benefits are especially important for mens skin which tends to be dry and irritated as a result of shaving or frequent exposure to the elements. so this is …

Les Source de Caudalie - The Spa Man

Review: Les Source de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Les Sources de Caudalie really is a unique spa that connects the brand with its origins in the vines of South Western France. Situated amongst the bucolic vineyards in picturesque countryside just 20 minutes from Bordeaux, it’s international reputation for food, wine and spa is unparalleled. The hotel at Les Sources de Caudalie The hotel features modern rooms that pay homage to traditional French design. Many of the original rooms are decorated with antique furniture, whilst the new suites, opened in 2014 retain the warm sense of charm, with a more contemporary colour palette and quirky design notes that work perfectly in the country setting. Cosy and comfortable, they are of the highest standard with well-appointed bathrooms that are (naturally) stocked full of Caudalie products. The property is the spiritual home of the Caudalie brand (and is the ideal escape for couples wanting to taste wine from the neighbouring Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte whilst dining in the two Michelin Star restaurant, La Grand Vigne. The food was exquisite. That’s not to dismiss the other restaurants. …

10 of the best face masks for men

Face masks for men have become a booming market and a skincare must-have following the internet trend for multi-masking. It really went crazy in 2016 and social media can take the credit for most of it. The trend for multi-masking has been a real boost for skincare sales in this emerging new category. Face masks were valued at £11.2 million in 2016, increasing by 45% on the previous year according to the NPD Group. Experiencing double digit growth since 2014 face masks are the new must-have. Whilst there’s a face mask for pretty much every skincare concern, today we are going to look at the 10 best face masks for men. All tried and tested by The Spa Man. So, join the mask brigade with The Spa Man’s top picks of the face masks for men. Perricone MD Pre:Empt Series – Refreshing Shower Mask This is very clever and unlike any face mask I have tried before. It definitely does maximise your time in the morning as its specifically developed to be used in the shower …

Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square - The Spa Man

Review: Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, London

Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square is the latest launch on the London spa scene and rounds off a big year of investment in the capital. It has made a big impact in terms of design and service provision, positioning itself as one of London’s best. Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square is housed in the former Port of London Authority Building and is both impressive and quite imposing from the street. The spa is situated in the subterranean levels and on entry you are greeted by a large, spacious reception decorated in gold tiles. Curved surfaces and a back lit retail wall make a dramatic statement on arrival, and there’s a warm, professional welcome from the reception team. Within minutes of arriving in the spa, you will be sipping a welcome tea and filling in the consultation. Marble is a theme throughout the spa and is continued to the pool area and through the changing rooms. The large fitness suite and studio are just off the main corridor then to the left is the indoor pool. …

The Spa at Four Seasons Park Lane - The Spa Man

Pop up spa at Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane features Omorovicza

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is holding a week long pop up, The Omorovicza Midnight Suite featuring La Perla, from September 7 to 14, 2017. Spa clients can experience a selection of treatments from the new Omorovicza Midnight Menu which has been designed to celebrate the launch of their Midnight Radiance Mask. The brightening overnight mask is formulated with active ingredients to gently exfoliate the skin while promoting cell renewal and fighting hyperpigmentation. The luxurious pop up will be located at the Hotel’s stunning tenth floor Spa (which is amazing and I speak from experience). It’s a roof-top sanctuary boasting 360-degree views of the London skyline including Hyde Park. It is stunning. It’s going to be a floral affair as Four Seasons very own Floral Designer Rosalind Ackerley has designed the suite using an array delphinium, hydrangea and lisianthus flowers and tones of midnight blue throughout. The boudoir style room is the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate and showcases a range of La Perla’s nightwear collection, which is now …

COMO Shambhala London - The Spa Man

The best wellness retreats in September

Most over massage, there’s a new kid in town. It’s wellness. These are the best wellness retreats coming up in September 2017. Designed to boost wellbeing, increase fitness and restore your mind, body and spirit, spas are really tackling some of the big issues facing people in today’s stressful world. These therapies often deliver life-changing results for a happier, healthier life. All of these events and programmes are scheduled to take place in September this year. But often run throughout the year. This is just a taster of what’s available at your local spa. From sleep and stress to gait, posture and gut health, discover why health is the new wealth at a spa near you. The best wellness retreats: Sleep Sleep. It’s an essential element of life and helps to maintain our mental health and physical wellbeing. But for many people it remains one of life’s greatest challenges. Restless nights, poor sleep or tossing and turning until the birdsong of dawn leads to long, difficult days at work and a sluggish body and foggy …

Review: Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal

Six Senses Douro Valley is the new-ish 57-room spa resort in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley. It’s a world-class spa combining wine and wellness. Situated in picturesque vineyards overlooking the majestic River Douro, the property dates back to the late 19th century and is located around an hour from Porto in northern Portugal. The resort is the first venture of its kind for Six Senses in Europe and marks a period of rapid expansion for the company. Most of the guest rooms have impressive river views and the wine library and restaurants fully embrace the viticulture of the region. As well as the organic garden the 19-acre property offers a large outdoor pool, walking tracks through the vineyards to the river, and its own forest. The spa at Six Senses Douro Valley is vast and was the European launch pad for the brand’s new Integrated Wellness Programme. The spa reception area is a fresh, open space with minimalist surfaces, grey wooden floors and polished concrete walls, complemented by the light grey and sandy tones of the upholstered …

Gentleman massage - Thai Square Spa

Six best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day

Suggesting a list of the best spas for men is courting trouble as I’m sure to miss out some very, very good ones. Apologies now! and email me if I have missed out a great spa that you think is perfect for guys. I visit lots of spas and most serve men fairly well. However, there is always room for improvement. I’ve made this selection based on a few things: range of treatment options on the spa menu, choice of fitness facilities and how welcome men feel. They are also spas that I have personally been to. I can recommend that they are great spas for men. Either alone or with a friend or partner. So here’s the best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day. Galgorm Resort and Spa Galgorm Resort and Spa is just over half an hour from Belfast and its a great place for guys, and excellent for couples (I’m thinking romantic weekend away). The new Thermal Village featuring indoor pool, sauna and snow cave plus cafe and relaxation room. This …

7th Heaven Pamper Camper - The Spa Man

Pamper Camper hits the festival circuit with mobile spa

Now the 7th Heaven Pamper Camper ticks all the right boxes for a summer of fun. Multi-award-winning beauty brand 7th Heaven is hitting the festival circuit with its Pamper Camper mobile spa, providing free treatments to lucky revellers. The cruelty-free, vegetarian and natural face mask brand has transformed a beautiful VW Campervan into a pop-up beauty haven. It made its UK debut at the last ever Secret Garden Party from July 20-23 and was a huge hit (naturally). see pic below. Most recently you may have spotted it at London’s ExCel Centre for Summer in the City, the UK’s largest gathering of bloggers and online influencers from August 4-6. Were you there? This weekend the summer roadtrip closes with a massive celebration in the VIP area of Cornwall’s Boardmasters Festival, from August 9-13. I only hope they have some good weather. the forecast is looking mixed. 7th Heaven’s expert beauty therapists will provide Indian head massages, shoulder, neck, hand and arm massages. Festival goers opting to treat themselves to a walk-up massage can kick off …

Beast London male beauty store - The Spa Man

Male beauty counters a reality within five years, says L’Oréal MD

Male beauty counters and male specific make-up counters could be just around the corner, according to Vismay Sharma, L’Oréal UK Managing Director. *image inset courtesy of BEAST which is setting the tone for men’s grooming with its stand alone store in Covent Garden According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, Vismay Sharma predicts that male beauty counters could be a reality within five years appearing first of all in department stores. Now the subject of men’s make-up appears on a semi-regular basis. I have been writing about beauty and men’s grooming for around 18 years. Over that time many men’s make-up ranges have launched to varying degrees of success. Few have lasted. Tom Ford’s line is probably the most successful. and its true, that the concept of make-up for men is at a point where it is more accepted than ever before. but are we actually at the tipping point yet? Men definitely do purchase skincare, fragrance and a variety of grooming products. and they buy big. It’s not such a big jump from …