Author: Mark Smith

Amilla Fushi Maldives

3 of the best barbers in tropical spas

Barbering in the spa has hit the big time and the most recent trend is barbers in tropical spas. From the bright city lights of London and New York and now to far-flung destinations in the Maldives and Mauritius, barbering is becoming as essential on the spa menu as massage and manicure. Guys like to look good – we know that and they also like a bit of spa-time too. Not so much for the pampering and preening, but for rest and relaxation. It was only natural that barber services would be introduced into the spa environment. The Spa Man spotted this about five years ago in Frankfurt and it’s a trend that has grown and grown from Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong to The Bulgari in London and even to country estates like Bovey Castle in Devon. A haircut and wet shave are essential grooming rituals for guys and accessing them on holidays in the tropics is now becoming as essential as a deep tissue or hot stone massage. Here are three of the best …

Banya No.1 London - The Spa Man

Win a Russian Spa Experience for Two at Banya No.1

The Spa Man has teamed up with Banya No.1 in London to offer readers the chance to win a Russian Spa Experience for Two. This includes a 3-hour Banya pass, Parenie for each person (see below for a description) and a pot of herbal tea. I have to say I love the Banya experience and Banya No.1 offers an authentic version right in the heart of London. It’s tucked away on a quiet little back street in Shoreditch and is a great way to relax using traditional Russian spa treatments built around the sauna. Entering is easy. See the link below in the competition box and follow it through to visit The Spa Man’s Facebook page or enter your email. Simples! Banya No.1 The Parenie treatment at Banya No.1 The Parenie treatment is specially designed sauna. You literally lay down on the sauna bench and get whipped with leaves until your body temperature rises.  It begins as a gentle therapy with light tapping of the leaves (mostly oak) across the body. The sauna master uses the leaves …

Best spa products - the Spa Man

The new spa products you need in your life right now

Every week there’s a new product or treatment launch in the spa market and I get to see most of them. These are the hot new spa products you need in your life right now from [comfort zone], Elemis, Natural Spa Factory, Sodashi, Voya, Dermalogica, Aromatherapy Associates, Murad and ila Apothecary. [comfort zone] introduces the revamped Skin Regimen [comfort zone] has relaunched its cutting-edge Skin Regimen range with a new focus: to meet the needs of modern multi-taskers and millennials. Clinically proven to reduce the effects of stress and lifestyle ageing on the skin and mind it works at the cellular level to improve the mind-skin stress-response. It addresses the common stress-related signs of urban life to improve dehydration, dullness, imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with highly concentrated botanicals, the products are enriched with the exclusive Longevity Complex, made from organic superfood extracts like anti-inflammatory wild indigo, modulating excess cortisol and boosting beta-endorphins. It also includes maqui berry, with powerful antioxidants anthocyanins and spinach for its anti-glycation effect. The collection comprises unisex products which …

Jonathan Wards Candles - The Spa Man

Insider story: Jonathan Ward Candles

This is a story about candles, Jonathan Ward Candles to be precise. Everyone loves a candle and we all like to ensure that are houses smell divine. Call it hyggye, Scandi chic or simply adding home comforts. There’s nothing that beats the warm golden glow of a candle. It’s comforting, cocooning and creates a spa-at-home effect in an instant. But not all candles are created equal. Peruse any department store shelf and you will come across the good, the bad and the ugly.  Sickly, sweet and cheap fragrances abound. Yes there are some glorious exceptions, but few appeal to this nose. When buying a candle, I tend to stick with tried and tested brands that combine aromatherapy blends in a very spa-like scent. It’s where I feel most comfortable.  Then I had the chance to meet Jonathan Ward, master candle maker with a warm heart and a gentle manner. He’s making a comeback on the candle scene (read more about his story over at The Times here). It’s been a long (and sometimes challenging) journey …

Villa Stephanie - the Spa Man

Villa Stephanie at Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa, Germany

Villa Stephanie is a modern medi-spa with wellness at its core. Part of the Oetker Collection, and adjoining Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa, it has a rich history of wellness and has now positioning itself as a unique entity, a ‘House of Wellness’ for the stressed, tired and over indulged amongst us. It’s partnership with Brenner’s Medical Wellness under the direction of Dr Harry F. Konig ensures that the programmes draw on the latest scientific advances and not only deliver targeted, personalised programme; these combine the perfect balance of exercise, medical knowledge with spa and wellness treatments which cocoon and care for the mind, body and soul. Think of it not as a hotel with a spa, but as a wellness retreat with rooms. Detox and weight loss are the two main focuses for treatment programmes, but everything is tailored to the guest and the new programme developed by Dr König ‘The Kings Way’ takes this to a whole new level. The accommodation at Villa Stephanie comprises 16 rooms and suites in the main building …

Five of the best face soaps for men - the Spa Man

Five of the best face soaps for men

The Spa Man has gone green with a round-up of five of the best face soaps for men. Ditching the plastic packaging, soaps are an eco-friendly way to cut down on excess packaging, whilst keeping your skin clean, fresh and refreshed. We have all seen Blue Planet and are (hopefully) well aware of the amount of plastic we simply discard on a daily basis. The fact list below is enough to make anyone want to ditch plastic in favour of green and eco options like soaps! FACTS:   About 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually. Of those, 236,000 tons are microplastics – tiny pieces of broken-down plastic smaller than your little fingernail   There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world. These huge concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean; the one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.   Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans.   The amount of …

National Spa Week 2018 - The Spa Man

National Spa Week 2018 in partnership with SpaBreaks

National Spa Week 2018 kicks off in September with Spabreaks.com collaborating with the UK Spa Association’s annual celebration of the spa industry and the benefits it provides the public. The week commences on 10 September and is a celebration of all things ‘spa’ and aims to encourage more people into more spas, more often. And I would add to that more men in more spas more often. With a focus on inclusivity, the week will also highlight spas which welcome visitors undergoing cancer treatment, who are blind or with other disabilities, while also showcasing spa packages for men, couples, groups and more at venues across the UK. Throughout the week participating spas will be offering discounts from 20% on treatments and packages and special ‘friend goes free’ deals. Abi Wright, founder of Spabreaks.com, said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with the UK Spa Association to become the official booking partner for National Spa Week. It’s an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of the spa industry as a whole and remove perceptions that …

Bodhi & Birch Superfood Series - the Spa Man

Bodhi & Birch Superfood Series launches

Bodhi & Birch has launched the Bodhi & Birch Superfoods Series, a capsule collection of five multi-use, natural and organic skincare products. I am a fan of Bodhi & Birch because of its straight forward approach to the use of herbal ingredients that have a real effect of the body and skin – but also create the most stunning blends of aromatics. I’m talking in particular about Ginger Brew Massage and Body Oil and the Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum. Each product in the Superfood Series utilises a specially selected range of superfood ingredients which are designed to nourish and nurture the skin. The new collection is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins to feed skin. Bodhi & Birch Superfoods Series is made with 100% natural and cold pressed ingredients from seeds, berries, herbs, fruit, nuts and roots, along with natural earth minerals and certified organic content ranging from 60% to 98%. Expect to find: Ginseng, Astragalus, Wild Yam and Turmeric, Plum Kernel oil, the super berries Blueberry, Cranberry and Green Coffee, to the vibrant citrus bursts of …

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra - The Spa Man

Review: Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

French elegance, colonial style and a warm Cambodian welcome ensures that any stay at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Phnom Penh will be a great one. It’s all rather glamorous arriving at the hotel and you feel like a celebrity as the staff rush to greet you from your car. You are instantly whisked inside and offered herbal tea or a cool glass of wine. It’s a great way to arrive and once oriented you can take in the surrounding view. The vast reception area captures the essence of the city’s colonial past with touches of carved wood, relaxing sofas, loungers and the most incredible chandelier as a centre piece. The front of house staff were fantastic and cocoon you in comfort during the check in process. It’s a big international hotel and the lobby is always buzzing with activity, with guests coming and going from their various sightseeing and shopping expeditions. The concierge team will expertly arrange a trip to discover the history of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, book a local speciality restaurant (crickets …

New spa treatments - The Spa Man

The hot new spa treatments you need to try right now

New spa treatments are launching every week and as trends and customer demands changes, so too does the nature and essence of the spa treatments on offer. In 2018 we are seeing a greater emphasis on spa treatments that enhances health, happiness and wellbeing. Sleep and mindfulness are two key themes running through new spa treatment launches this year as spas aim to improve our overall wellness. This is the Spa Man’s pick of the best new spa treatments. I can’t get no sleep: Voya Mindful Dreams We all need a bit of extra sleep and for many of us – it’s the most elusive thing in the world. So the clever people at Voya have developed Mindful Dreams, a spa treatment designed to promote a peaceful night’s sleep. Voya believes that good sleep is essential to wellbeing and the body’s inner balance (and I have to agree) and that the ability to relax both body and mind is essential to a healthy life (yep). The blissful sounding Mindful Dreams treatment combines a series of …

Phum Baitang - Siem Reap Cambodia - The Spa Man

Review: Phum Baitang, Cambodia

Designed to replicate a traditional Cambodian village, Phum Baitang is a luxury all-villa resort with traditional wooden houses built on stilts. Set in eight acres of lush tropical gardens, it’s a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap – the main tourist town for the temples of Angkor Wat. Complete with rice paddies (they harvest their own rice for their restaurants), swaying palm trees and resident water buffalo, all you can hear is the gentle sound of the breeze in the tree tops and the sweet sound of tropical birds. Apparently, Angelia Jolie is a regular guest, so it comes with the celebrity stamp of approval. The traditional private villas The 45 individual villas at Phum Baitang are modern, contemporary and chic with a rustic look and neutral colours throughout. It’s very chic, like something out of a designer magazine yet reminas understated, with bare wooden floors, crumpled linen, hand-picked antiques and polished walls. The bathrooms are worth the room rate alone with free standing baths, walk-in shower and double sinks. Each …

ANATOME Charlotte Road - The Spa Man

Anatomē launches new health and fitness concept in Shoreditch

Anatomē is hip, cool and casual new concept which embodies pretty much everything I love about wellness.  It’s a wellness concept built on the principle that nutritional and emotional balance is the pathway to a healthy, fulfilling life. Here, here! What is anatomē? Anatomē is the latest venture from Brendan Murdock (founder of Murdock London, the barbers) and is based on his personal quest to support his own health and wellbeing. Apparently, Brendan felt that many of the established health and fitness stores were short changing customers, offering too many unnecessary products without thought or care for the retail experience and failing to engage with the customer. The first anatomē store has an expertly highly curated edit of own-brand essential oil elixirs, vitamins and nutrients.  They tackle the major issues of our time – sleep, emotional balance, confidence, stress – you name it, the oils will help. The store also offers a range of sports wear (it’s the antithesis of Sports Direct) plus accessories alongside a health café, serving healthy freshly pressed juice blends, smoothies, …

Best spas for Father's Day

Six of the best spas for Father’s Day

It was hard to pick just six of the best spas for Father’s Day, but here you will find great spas that also offer Dad something else. It could be fantastic food like at The Vineyard at Stockcross or outdoor activities like at Bovey Castle. Naturally there are lots of golfing hotels and spas. But I’ve also added one for the total spa enthusiast – the recently launched Rudding Park. So if you are looking to treat Dad this year, check out the best spas for Father’s Day. For the country gent – Bovey Castle Set on a 275-acre site in Dartmoor National Park, this luxe golf and spa resort occupies a former manor house. It’s a refined option and an ideal country escape. On site there’s a gym, an indoor pool, a spa and an 18-hole golf course, plus a playroom, children’s programs and falconry displays. Fun for all the family. The spa features a men’s barbers (The Gentlemen’s Quarter) which has been developed in conjunction with Truefitt & Hill for expertly crafted hair cuts, …

Thalgomen - The Spa Man

Competition: Win with Thalgomen and The Spa Man

To celebrate Father’s Day 2018, The Spa Man has partnered with Thalgomen on a great giveaway. You have the chance to win one of 10 x Thalgomen Wake-Up Shower Gels, 200ml, worth £14.00 each. Perfect! It’s easy to enter. Simply follow The Spa Man on Instagram here: @markthespaman and you will instantly be entered into the competition to win. You have until 20th June to enter so get over to Instagram! About Thalgomen Wake-Up Shower Gel Thalgomen Wake-Up Shower Gel is a fresh-feeling all-over body and hair wash which instantly cleanses and purifies the skin and hair. Featuring an anti-fatigue formula, its effective, non-aggressive foaming system respects the hair fibres and the skins physiological balance. It is the ideal partner for use when travelling or after the gym. Find out more about Thalgomen here: www.thalgo.co.uk T’s & C’s The competition is only open to residents of the UK The competition closes on Monday 20th June. There is no cash alternative to the prize. Winners will be notified by Instagram message and then email to arrange delivery …

Global Wellness Day 2018 - The Spa Man

Join Global Wellness Day 2018 on 9th June

First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day 2018 is dedicated to living well, and has now become a world-wide annual event. This year it takes place on 9th June 2017 and joins people in the shared values of wanting to be healthier, to look better, and to live well both physically and spiritually. The thinking behind Global Wellness Day is to embrace and celebrate our health and wellbeing and to promote it to a wider audience globally. Highlighting the benefits of living well, there is a team of ambassadors who are the guiding lights of the event. Many spas are actively participating in the global day of celebration with events and activities promoting healthy eating, fitness, meditation and wellness in general. This year the focus is on kids and getting them more active and living a better, healthier life. Globally, there are more than 1.6 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them clinically obese. In just 10 years, the WHO projects that number will grow by 40%. Globally more than 41 million kids under the age of …