Author: Mark Smith

Stoer Skincare for Men - The Spa Man

Stoer Skincare for Men is modern, no-fuss and really works

Stoer Skincare for Men is a bit of a revelation. A simple, effective, modern range of skincare for men that’s no-fuss, straight forward and really works. Born in the wilds of the North of Scotland, the range has been created by Marianne Morrison who has an interesting background, having worked in the oil industry and prior to that as a skin therapist. Combining her knowledge of skin and working closely with lots of blokes, she got to know the concerns and attitudes of men to skincare. So all-in-all she gained some very valuable insights. Many years later and after much research and development she launched Stoer to market, firstly in Harvey Nichols and soon to spread its wings to other retailers. Its key premise is to protect and defend skin against the elements. Stoer Skincare for Men has been developed with signature Clima5 Technology – a unique blend of five skin-saving plant actives from around the world, from four very challenging climates. Clima5 has been encapsulated in cutting-edge ‘cosmetic drone’ technology which is said to …

Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre

Reiki with Bernice Robinson

Bernice Robinson: Holistic Reiki Master & Crystal Healer There is a first time to experience everything in life and I headed to Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre at Hotel Café Royal to try Reiki for the first time. It’s a therapy I know little about and was perhaps a touch skeptical. What is Reiki? In lay terms, Reiki is a healing technique based on the idea that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch. It’s in part designed to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being. There is an element of healing, of being open to the energy of the earth and the universe. I met Bernice Robinson a year or so ago and felt an immediate connection with her. She is a trained therapist who practices elements of beauty and massage, but she prefers more holistic treatments and has been recognized for her skills with professional nominations and awards. Specialising in Reiki and crystal healing, Bernice harnesses her natural healing ability and intuitive expertise …

Jurlique Store London - The Spa Man

Review: Jurlique, London

Jurlique has opened a smart new concept store in the heart of London, right on Oxford Street. Walking through the door you are instantly transported to a place of calm and serenity. The heady scents of the natural products helps to lower the anxiety levels win an instant. For even greater calmness you can book in for a facial or spa treatment using Australia’s favourite natural brand – Jurlique. It should be high on your list of must-visit destinations. Especially as you traverse the crowds of Oxford Street. Treatment Review I booked in for a Best of Both Worlds Treatment which combines a back, neck and shoulder massage with a relaxing and revitalising facial. The treatment begins with a foot soak then a much-needed relaxing back and shoulder massage using Japanese Mint Oil. I was given a choice of three but this one really hit the spot. You then experience a thoroughly pampering facial using the natural products from the Jurlique range. Deep cleansing and light exfoliation prepare the skin for a fabulous mask and some …

Beast London male beauty store - The Spa Man

BEAST – the new retail store for male beauty in Covent Garden

BEAST, the new uber-cool store devoted to retailing male beauty products has opened its doors in the heart of Covent Garden. Stand alone male grooming shops have come and gone in the past. But maybe 2017 is the right time for a store like this to finally be a success. It has got the basics right – cool store design, great lighting, excellent location with high footfall. And what impressed me most was the curated range of interesting high-performance brands. You really need to check it out as you won’t find many of these male beauty brands in your typical high street department store. This is a good thing. The brands are eclectic and sourced from around the world from Vitaman in Australia to Verso in Sweden. There are 80 brands in total with newcomers and long-standing classic and cult items. Shopping has never been easier as the store is signposted by concern, skin condition or treatment type. It has the potential to shape up the men’s skincare market. Especially for retail. The products are displayed by category …

Four Seasons Park Lane - Mother's Day Spa - The Spa Man

10 of the best London spas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the most important woman in your world so why not send your Mum to one of the best London spas for Mother’s Day. Whether she is a spa novice or a spa savvy treatment fan, there’s no better way to say I love you Mum than by booking a spa treatment, half day package or even a whole day’s pampering. The spas I have selected for the Best London spas for Mother’s Day include locations where you can laze around all day or just pop in and out for a single treatment. Whether its champagne in hand for a pedicure or something more enlightening at ESPA Life at Corinthia. These are just a few ways of saying Happy Mother’s Day with The Spa Man’s pick of the best London spas for Mother’s Day.     Four Seasons Park Lane The gorgeous spa at Four Seasons Park Lane plays host to a pop up from Hungarian brand Omorovicza. The brand has teamed up with the Chelsea Physic Garden to offer a …

Best beard Oils - The Spa Man

Six of the Best Beard Oils

The Spa Man picks six of the best beard oils. Designed to smooth, nourish and condition the beard, this category in the men’s grooming market really is having a moment. Beards continue to be “on trend” and no, we haven’t reached peak beard yet. That’s just the shaving companies trying to create a story. Adding a fine sheen to the beard whilst conditioning the hair is an essential part of the beard grooming ritual. Oils give less shape and style (balms and much better for that) but they do also work to condition and hydrate the skin if you work them through the hair. With all of these oils you will need to wash your hands afterwards. Some are really stubborn and take a while to remove. So here’s The Spa Man’s tried and tested selection of the Best Beard Oils. Brisk Cedarwood Beard Oil Apparently one Brisk grooming product is sold every minute. This beard oil contains a blend of natural and essential oils harnessing the earthy properties of cedarwood for its spicy, woody notes. …

Banyan Tree Lang Co., Vietnam - The Spa Man

Review: Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam

Banyan Tree Lang Co is situated in a quiet, remote stretch of coastline in central Vietnam about an hour north of Danang. Isolated and peaceful the all-pool villa resort is a tranquil retreat from the crazy daily life in Vietnam’s main cities and tourist hot spots. It provides the perfect getaway for a few days or even longer. There’s plenty to do for the active traveller, with watersports, cycling and day trips to the imperial city of Hue and the heritage town of Hoi an. For a more leisurely break you can laze by the main pool, sun bathe on the beach or retreat to your private pool villa for total harmony. Take a cooking class, yoga, archery or more, there are over 140 activities on site available, or take some time out in the spa. With the sister property, Angsana just next door, it increases the choices for food and daily activities. The service is friendly, warm and attentive and remains faithful to the Banyan Tree concept. The main buildings are modern and a little …

'Dermot O'Leary for M&S - men's skincare

You heard it right: 24.hr Grooming for Men by Dermot O’Leary launches

Dermot O’Leary, has created a skincare range exclusively for M&S launching in store and online in time for Father’s Day this June. It’s not the first time a TV celebrity has moved into the male grooming or men’s skincare market. It will be interesting to see how it’s received. the price point is affordable and appeals to the widest possible market. Prices for the 24.hr Grooming for Men by Dermot O’Leary for M&S start at £5 for a Body Wash, £6 for Face Wash up to £15 for a Moisturiser. I’m looking forward to trying the products to see if they live up to the hype. The press info tells me that Dermot has tested a huge variety of products and wanted to apply his learnings to create a hassle-free, affordable grooming collection of his own. Fair enough. 24.hr Grooming for Men by Dermot O’Leary has taken over a year to create and will launch with six products initially, fragrances and gifting packages will also be available pre Christmas. 24.hr Grooming for Men by Dermot O’Leary Dermot explains:“This …

Happiness Conscious Water - The Spa Man

Conscious Water really is a thing

Conscious Water is a 100% natural flower essence water enhancer, that when added to water, makes a refreshing drink that adds a bit of aspiration to your day. So says the introduction on the website. We all know we need water and we all know that we should be drinking lots more of it. This could well be the answer we are looking for. In the spa post-treatment you will find jugs of water, often flavoured with slices of cucumber, lemon or lime. Conscious Water has come along to shake up the way we consume water, both in the spa and at home. It is based on the idea of flower essences, which some people believe are potent agents of change. About flower essences Flower essences are said to provide us with a natural way to adjust our body’s flow of energy. Flower essences are made by floating flowers in water and allowing the light of the sun to help the water absorb their energy. Modern flower remedies were first developed in the early 1930’s by Dr.Edward …

Thai Square Spa London - The Spa Man

Review: Thai Square Spa, London

Thai Square Spa brings a touch of Thailand to a new location in Northumberland Avenue. Situated in the beating heart of London, it’s a great day spa where you can spend a few hours relaxing and revitalising mind, body and soul. Housed within a beautifully converted Victorian Turkish bath, it’s more spacious than its former site in Covent Garden and gives a great sense of space for relaxation post-treatment. The decor evokes visions of modern style Thai spa. It’s not a cliche with heavy wood and fake artefacts. In some places it is lively and vibrant with bright tiles in hues of copper and red. There are a few traditional wood carvings, gilt-hued murals and a well placed buddha or two. The facilities include five Thai Massage treatment rooms, six Ritual Massage rooms and one vast VIP Suite Treatment Room with private relaxation zone and steam room form just part of this restorative haven. Other standout highlights include a Vichy Shower Treatment Room, Himalayan Salt House and Ice Fountain. Signature treatments include the Temple of Jade Hot Stone Body …

Belmond Royal Scotsman - The Spa Man

Belmond launches spa carriage on Belmond Royal Scotsman

Move over Southern Rail, Belmond has announced the launch of a new spa carriage aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman. The service begins on 17th April, the start of the 2017 season and sees a new partnership with The Bamford Haybarn Spa. It’s the first spa carriage to feature aboard Belmond’s portfolio of luxury trains and features bespoke Bamford treatments for passengers travelling on overnight rail journeys throughout Scotland and Great Britain. The British wellness brand Bamford was established in 2006 and is inspired by nature, with botanical skincare collections and holistic treatments that are made using organic ingredients certified by the Soil Association. Its Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint Botanical collection has also been selected by Belmond as the amenity range for each cabin. Individually crafted wellbeing treatments are devoted to connecting the mind, body and soul with the natural world. The Bamford Bespoke Facial is a 55-minute ritual that aims to restore, rejuvenate and repair the skin. The treatment features facial reflexology, lymphatic drainage, stimulating lifting and ancient yogic breathing. The treatment is finished with a deep tissue …

Niche Tea Sleep - The Spa Man

Niche Tea radiates wellness from within

The Niche Co has launched a range of premium wellness teas – simply called Niche Tea. The distinctive packaging is modern and smart although the gold embossed branding is sometimes lost a bit. However its what’s inside that counts. I really love these teas – and despite the cost. I believe its worth paying for quality tea. Niche has researched global herbal techniques and explored over 130 tea estates to create the sophisticated collection with specially designed formulas of medicinal natural herbs. With a choice of six, including teas created specifically to enhance the Mind, Body, Skin, Hair, Cleansing and Sleep, the tea tubes are packed with a healing and soothing blend of herbs that create a sense of wellness from within. Niche Tea radiates wellness from within Niche Tea products are ethically sourced and the production promises that there are no hidden ingredients or flavourings in the tea, and only 100% natural herbs. This for me is essential, as so many tea blends are really bad imitation flavours that are saccharine to taste and really rather horrible. Niche Tea is full of …

Angsana Balaclava Mauritius - the Spa Man

Review: Angsana Balaclava Mauritius

Angsana Balaclava Mauritius occupies a stunning spot on the scenic northwest coast of Mauritius on the tranquil shores of Turtle Bay. The all-suite resort is a romantic getaway emulating a traditional Mauritian style with thatched roofs and natural stone. Rooms have sea or mountain views and showcase the sunset every evening.  Owing a great deal of design inspiration to its Asian heritage, Angsana Balaclava is a bright and breezy boutique resort that’s a perfect sunshine escape. With a small beach and a selection of sun beds and a boat house for water sports, you could easily spend your whole holiday here, but just beyond the gates are some of the major sights including the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, Grand Baie, La Bourdonnais and the capital Port Louis. The central feature of the Angsana Balaclava Mauritius resort is the main pool. The rooms benefit from large sitting areas, terraces, a huge comfy bed, spacious bathroom and large bath. There are a couple of restaurants (one for lunch by the pool and Oryza for breakfast and evening meals). It’s …

Dormy House House Spa

Dormy House launches Wellness Day

Dormy House has launched a brand-new Wellness Day, designed specifically for those looking to escape the big smoke and spend the day recharging the batteries. The spacious spa complements this country house retreat with its relaxing treatment rooms, heated outdoor Jacuzzi, large indoor infinity pool, Rasul mud room and thermal suite. It is a lovely escape from the city and the spa is a multi-award winning location that really impresses with its modern and tasteful design. The spa team has put together a great package for this Wellness Day with treatments morning and afternoon and you get lunch too! The treatments start with a body exfoliation of choice – a vitamin C busting Citrus Scrub by Natura Bissé or a rejuvenating Temple Spa Outer Glow treatment which is followed by a Glorious Mud Wrap designed to encourage lymphatic drainage and purify the body. Next up is a healthy lunch in the Spa Lounge from the new 2017 menu. Inspired by the stunning Cotswolds countryside, the Spa Lounge has been designed to cleverly bring the outside in. The …

The Lanesborough, Oetker Collection. - The Spa Man

Hot new spa openings in London 2017

There are some really hot new spa openings in London 2017 and I for one am very excited. The London spa market operates in a bit of a bubble, and it continues to boom. Although, having said that, across the UK there are some very big  projects set to launch this year too. From day spas and urban retreats to the the uber-luxury of five-star properties it appears that our desire for new spa experiences in the capital has not been satisfied. 2017 marks a year of new developments, investment and openings. The City of London is a central focus with the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square and The Ned bringing spa luxury to the city. Whilst near Hyde Park, The Lanesborough is opening its Club & Spa. Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square (March 2017) From mid-March 2017, Four Seasons is set to open in the City of London. The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square will boast 1,680 square metres and eight spacious treatment rooms, including a spacious Spa Suite for couples and …