Author: Mark Smith

ristmas spa gifts - The Spa Man

Best christmas gifts for women from the world of spa and wellness

The Spa Man picks the very best spa gifts for women from the world of spa and wellness to soothe, calm and cocooning this festive season. Gaia Skincare Sleep Set This is a wonder if you have trouble with slumber. Natural and handmade containing Gaia’s calming blend and bespoke elixir. Gaia’s gift of sleep, a trio of wellbeing aids; sleep balm, sleep body butter and sleep spray, infused with our calming blend of lavender, vertivert and marjoram. £40 www.gaiaskincare.com Aromatherapy Associates Winter Wind Down Collection The ultimate chill out. Release tension with every breath as your body responds to the calming aromas of Camomile, Lavender, and Frankincense. Calming mind, body and soul, these warming essential oils instil peacefulness. Includes: De-Stress Muscle Gel 150ml, De-Stress Mind Roller Ball 10ml, De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil 9ml £36 www.aromatherapyassociates.com Voya Glow Festive Scented Candle Made from non-petroleum renewable sources, this limited edition seasonal spiced candle will fragrance the home and fill it with Christmas cheer. Soybean and rapeseed oil base is lifted with sweet orange and spicy …

The Spa Man Christmas gift guide for men

Best spa Christmas gifts for men

Streamline your gift giving this year with The Spa Man’s guide to the best spa Christmas gifts for men. ESPA Ultimate Grooming Collection Cleanse, shave and soothe with these hard-working skin essentials. The Collection Contains: Triple-Action Grooming Oil 15ml, Invigorating Face Wash 50ml, Energising Shower Gel 70ml, The Hydrator 35ml £45 www.espaskincare.com ThalgoMen Christmas Cracker Regular readers of The Spa Man will know I’m a big fan of ThalgoMen. This Christmas Cracker set contains one of my favourite products – the Regenerating Cream (15ml). This high-performance formula works to reinforce and re-firm the skin in order to preserve its youthful appearance over time. The set also contains: Anti-Fatigue Eye Serum (10ml), After Shave Balm (20ml) and Wake-up Shower Gel (30ml) £18 www.thalgo.co.uk Elemis Grooming On The Go Gift Set Travel-friendly men’s grooming essentials to clean, hydrate and revive. Collection includes: Skin Soothe Shave Gel 100ml, Deep Cleanse Facial Wash 50ml, Daily Moisture Boost 50ml, Active Hair & Body Wash 100ml and a smart Travel Bag £55 www.elemis.com Temple Spa Travel Therapies Cleanse and condition from …

The Scarlet hot tub experience - The Spa Man

Review: The Scarlet, Cornwall

The Scarlet is an eco-friendly hotel and spa set on the wild Atlantic coast of Cornwall overlooking the sea at Mawgan Porth. Just along the coast from Newquay, The Scarlet is an adults-only hotel that has jumped into my top 10 favourite spas in the UK. Blending effortless charm with a casual, laid back vibe, the staff are friendly, warm and relaxed. You instantly feel at home (there’s no traditional reception desk) and you can kick off your shoes, jump in a robe and stay like that for the entire stay. The rooms all have sea views (which are stunning), every part of the hotel is designed to maximise the views and it does it with maximum impact. Gazing out over the ocean, your stress levels instantly drop a few notches and your senses are soothed. The 37 rooms over five levels are simple and comfortable with open plan bathrooms featuring the hotel’s own range of refillable bathroom amenities. The beds are positioned to look across the beach and sea. You could stay here all …

Moss of the Isles

The under the radar spa brands you really need to know about

Visiting over 30 spas a year, I come across some of the best brands that the spa and wellness industry has to offer. Whilst you may be very familiar with the likes of ESPA and Elemis, travel a little further afield and there’s a whole world of smaller, niche, boutique spa brands delivering exceptional treatments and the most delightful products. I have selected some of my favourite brands in this story, some you may have heard of, others, I am sure will become very familiar over the next year or so as they spread their wings across Europe and broaden their footprint in the UK. A fair few of these are from Australia – which is renowned for excellence in beauty and spa. Join me on a journey of discovery – as these are the brands you really need to know about. Sodashi Created by Megan Larsen in 1991, Sodashi is one of my favourite brands. A personal friend, Megan is an inspiration. Her heart and soul comes to life through the products. Sodashi is …

The Cottonmill Club at Sopwell House

Review: The Club at Cottonmill, Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

The Club at Cottonmill is the brand-new offering at Sopwell House and is a triumph of design. The beautifully constructed spa effortlessly combines contemporary design with a natural colour palette and rich textures to make this one of the UK’s most beautiful spa locations. The synergy between indoor and outdoor has been captured perfectly and is a testament to the vision of the Bejerano Family and the skill of spa designers Sparcstudio. Large panoramic windows offer guests great views of the estate. At almost every turn you can see the trees, look up to the wide open sky, and look down over the excellent spa garden created by award winning Anne Marie Powell. Set over three floors, The Club at Cottonmill is huge. What I loved is that there is space, plenty of space to simply be, to relax and chill and there are enough loungers, day beds and sun loungers to accommodate all guests with some to spare. On the top floor, the Whisper Room has large loungers in neutral tones, a fireplace and …

Morning yoga at Aiyanna Ibiza

Morning yoga at Aiyanna Ibiza

As the sun gently rises over the sea, there is no better place to start the day in Ibiza than with yoga session at Aiyanna Ibiza. The iconic restaurant runs yoga classes three mornings a week on its sun decks looking straight at the ocean. Under the guidance of Satya Morillas Mir, the introductory sessions will suit first timers and yoga fans alike. Combining mindfulness, movement and breathwork, it’s a calming, friendly vibe and absolutely ideal to welcome the day. Make sure you pick a spot under the shade of the umbrellas or palm trees, it can get mighty hot in full sunlight as you are striking a pose and holding it in full sun. You can also experience morning yoga sessions at Aiyanna’s sister property, Amante. Aiyanna has morning classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 9:00am. Amante has morning classes from Monday to Friday starting at 9:00am. Each class lasts one hour 15 minutes. Not only that, the yoga session is followed by a wholesome, organic breakfast buffet. I enjoyed freshly squeezed …

Grand Park Hotel Rovinj Albaro wellness & Spa indoor pool

Review: Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Croatia

Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is impressive on every level. It has a commanding position on the harbour at Rovinj, backed by a luscious green forest and each room has impressive city or sea views that are to die for. You can lie in bed and watch the old town changing throughout the day from dawn to dusk. Grand Park Hotel Rovinj The five-star plus hotel opened in April 2019 and is a sparkling addition to the hotel scene, not just in Istria but for the whole of Croatia. Part of the Maistra Collection, the rooms are modern, white and simple in design. The bathrooms feature travertine tiles from top to bottom, large free-standing bath, a shower you can run around in and Molton Brown amenities.  The big beds and super comfy pillows offer uninterrupted views (you could stay all day). Every part of the hotel has been designed to make the most of the views from reception to restaurants, including the spa and wellness centre on the top two floors. What’s for dinner? It’s a …

Anxiety tips for Men - The Spa Man

5 tips on how men can fight anxiety

Anxiety is a common issue, so freelance writer, Peter Minkoff takes a look at 5 tips on how men can fight anxiety. He explains: Every man who believes that the best way to deal with life’s challenges and negativity is to “suck it up and be a man” is setting himself up for a world of emotional and psychological hardship. Yes, you should stay calm and composed, you should uphold some healthy habits and try to make the best of every situation, but that doesn’t mean that you should swallow your emotions. Yes, men suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s time to accept it and move on to the next phase – treatment. Between your hectic daily schedule at the office and your busy life back home, it can be difficult to find the time to sleep properly, reconnect with your partner and loved ones, or spend some quality time with yourself. All of this leads to anxiety down the road, so let’s take a look at some great tips on how a modern man …

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa - The Spa Man

Review: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa, Switzerland

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa lives up to its name. It’s one of the grand dame hotels of Switzerland and an icon in the popular tourist town of Interlaken. The stop off for great hiking, sightseeing and some skiing, it’s an ideal base for a luxury weekend, a short wellness break or a more intense Better Aging programme from Swiss brand Nescens. The hotel has some great restaurants and you should definitely make time to eat at Sapori and La Terrasse. The spa at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa itself is vast. Based over two floors and two wings, the art deco inspired design of the main indoor pool is stunning. There are three hot tubs in this space with sauna and steam room, plus an indoor/outdoor brine hot tub. This leads out to an impressive spa terrace which is wonderful in the summer months – you can look out to the mountains and breath the fresh alpine air. The spa features a hair salon, a large gym and a dedicated beauty spa …

9 of the best face mists for cooling and hydrating the skin

Often overlooked and generally underrated in a skincare regime, the best face mists definitely come into their own in hot weather. They provide an added boost of moisture throughout the day (when you need it most) and the latest technology ensures that you are delivering high powered ingredients to the skin for a serum-like boost of energy. The Spa Man is an avid fan of the face mists and keeps a selection of three or four of the best face mists on the market on his desk each and every day. Here is my pick of the best face mists around today. Caudalie Grape Water Hydrating, 100% plant-based and extracted directly from grapes during the harvests, this hero product from Caudalie is a winner day or night. On long hot August nights I keep it by the bed to refresh the skin overnight.  It can also be used as a toner when used after cleansing. £16 www.caudalie.com Voya Ritzy Spritz Tones, cools and hydrates the skin with its potent seaweed formula and essential oils of …

Scarlet Hotel Natural rock pool - The Spa Man

The UK’s best spas with outdoor pools for a hot summer’s day

British spas have realised the appeal of bathing outside, and outdoor pools are becoming a standard fixture for new builds (where space and budget permit). The Spa Man loves to spa outside – the connection with nature while breathing fresh air is truly something special. Post-treatment, relaxing on a sun lounger (in any weather) is hard to beat. On a hot sunny, summer’s day – it’s even better. Here is the Spa Man’s pick of the UK’s best spas with outdoor pools for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, Cumbria This Lake District hotel on the shores of Derwentwater in Borrowdale is a new addition to the UK spa-scene. The setting is stunning and the spa focusses on pampering and celebrations. The view from the pool of the lake. Jaw-dropping. https://www.lakedistrictspa.co.uk Aqua Sana Center Parcs Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire It’s always high on my list of spas I recommend. The infinity edge pool that looks to the forest is pure heaven. The spa is spiffy with lots of heat and …

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 …