All posts filed under: Destinations

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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) …

Best news spas of 2019 - LUX North Male Atoll

The best new spas of 2019

There’s plenty of choice from this hot list of the best new spas of 2019. The spa and wellness industry continues to grow as the spend on luxury hotels, resorts and destination spas sky rockets. In the UK there continues to be huge investment in country house hotels and a few delayed projects are slated to open in Spring this year including The Langley in Buckinghamshire and South Lodge in Sussex (which I have had a sneak peak at and its stunning). You are already spoiled for choice, now there’s even more on offer as properties look to raise the bar for spa in the UK and abroad. LUX* North Male Atoll in The Maldives is one I am most excited about as it brings a total new look to the atolls. So here’s where to spa in 2019. The Spa Man’s annual guide to the best new spas of 2019 including: UK, Europe, North America, Asia and the Indian Ocean. Best new spas of 2019: United Kingdom Monkey Island Estate, UK Monkey Island Estate lies on …

Song Saa outdoor-massage-koh-bon

Review: Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

You arrive at Song Saa Private Island by speed boat and from the instant you step off the boat, you know you are somewhere very special. Situated 45 minutes from the south coast of Cambodia, the resort occupies two small islands and has created an exclusive environment with a laid-back feel.  Guests and staff walk around barefoot which makes you feel a castaway, but with the benefits of cutting-edge luxury at your fingertips. You feel like Robinson Crusoe most of the time and you can be as engaged or disconnected as you like. Many guests retreat to the privacy of their villas and stay put. You can indulge in spa and fitness or embrace your spiritual side with a monk blessing by the sea. It’s even possible to renew your vows in a commitment ceremony. This resort packs the punch of any resort in the Maldives, but gives it an Asian twist with a difference. Eco-chic sustainability at Song Saa Sustainability is at the heart of Song Saa Private Island, the buildings have been crafted …

Kohler Waters Spa at Old Course hotel St Andrews - Beach - the Spa Man

Review: Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel, Scotland

With its unique location on the world’s most famous golf course, Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews is iconic. A mecca for golf fans, the hotel borders the renowned 17thRoad Hole of the Old Course and is situated in a prime location overlooking the famous links courses. Just metres away from the Scottish coastline, the hotel has commanding views across West Sands Beach, the renowned location for the film Chariots of Fire. Built in 1968, The Old Course Hotel features 144 rooms including 35 suites. The hotel has recently undergone a complete refurbishment of its bedrooms which feature Kohler bathrooms suites and picture-postcard views of The Old Course and the university town of St. Andrews. New facilities for a healing spa journey   The Kohler Waters Spa has created a whole new spa journey, adding new treatment rooms, a fitness and health centre, spa café, reception area, lounge, relaxation space and beauty studio. The renovation work has also added a large extension featuring a new 20 m lap pool as …

ilapothecary London, Notting Hill - the Spa Man

Review: ilapothecary, London

ilapothecary is a delightful little store in London’s Notting Hill that promotes health, wellness and happiness.  A haven of peace, calm and tranquillity, you will find the full range of ilapothecary products, developed by the inspirational Denise Leicester as well as a concise menu of therapies for the mind, body and soul. The shop is a little townhouse with retail area in the front and centre. Up a few steps and you enter the lounge space which is both the pre and post treatment area and doubles as a wellness workshop space. There are some enlightened workshops on offer throughout the week including: 432 Sound Healing Breathing Class and Inner Relaxation Wellness Workshop (which often includes sleep talks) Yoga Nidra and Gong Bathing These are £15 – Redeemable against products in store. The treatment at ilapothecary Whilst drinking tea I completed the consultation questionnaire which is distinct. It doesn’t follow the traditional format you would find in a spa and focuses on energy, mood and draws on the concepts of the five elements to work …