All posts filed under: Inspiration

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 …

Postcard from Mauritius

Picture perfect views, idyllic beach retreats, green mountains and lush landscapes Mauritius really is the dream destination. Famed for honeymooners, it’s an ideal escape from the cool months of the Northern winter. But equally winter in Mauritius sees sunny days and fairly stable weather settling around an average of 20-24 degrees. Naturally, the beach is the main attraction and the myriad of resorts dotted along the coast make the most of the white sand, azure waters and swaying palm trees. Whilst staying in Mauritius we have enjoyed the hospitality of Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita, Angsana Balaclava and LUX* Belle Mare and LUX* Le Morne. All completely different in both setting, service and style of accommodation – but the one thing in common is the warm Mauritian welcome. This extends throughout the island. A warm smile and friendly people make any holiday to Mauritius that extra bit special. Whilst here, we swam with dolphins, have been blessed in a Hindu temple, walked in the nature park, paddle boarded, water skied, sampled the delights of the …

Postcard from Madeira

An emerald-green dot in the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is a nature lovers dream. Mountainous and picturesque, the island offers walks through the levadas, swimming in the ocean, diving, whale and dolphin watching, adventure activities and much more besides. It’s sub tropical climate and mild winters ensure that it’s gardens thrive so a visit to the botanic gardens or one of the various Quinta gardens is a must. There really are some spectacular plants to be seen. Just three and a half hours from the UK, served by many direct flights from TAP, easyjet, BA and Monarch, it’s possible to have a long weekend in the capital of Funchal, but a week or more will give you a real perspective on the magical moments the island has to offer. Marking it’s territory as a wellness destination, you can opt for an Ayurvedic retreat, yoga break or just indulge in some chill out time at one of the spa. In fact here are so many hotels with spas it’s hard to list them …

Spa in the sky: Dubai

Burj Al Arab, arguably, the world’s most luxurious hotel, has taken rejuvenation and wellness to new heights with the launch of male heat and steam spa lounges looking out to the World Islands and Downtown Dubai. Sleek, smart and sophisticated, the new panoramic spaces feature exceptional visibility at all times thanks to a rare fog-proof glass. The steam lounge also has a special crystal frame which, when heated, becomes covered in a veneer of ice, against the exquisite mosaic tiles designed exclusively for Burj Al Arab. It’s all part of the Burj Al Arab’s Talise Spa (formerly Assawan Spa) which provides bespoke treatments designed to match guests’ needs and desires. Located on the 18th floor with uninterrupted views over the Arabian Gulf, the spa offers 14 therapy rooms incorporating the traditional colours of the UAE. Talise Spa is open for both in-house guests and visitors. To further enhance guests’ experience, the steam and sauna lounges have chromotherapy colour light systems increasing energy and relaxation. These new additions further complement the spa’s exquisite panoramic infinity pools …

The Spa Man’s favourite spas – 2014

This year its been a privilege to visit some incredible spas around Europe and a little further afield. From banana body wraps to mango body scrubs and some pretty intensive facial massage – I’ve been poked, prodded, refined and renewed. It’s been one incredible year of spa. Here’s a snap shot of my favourite spas of 2014. The Dolder Grand – Zurich The Dolder Grand certainly lives up to its name and reputation. Positioned high on the hill with commanding views across Zurich.  It combines modern five-star luxury, with old world charm and was magical. The spa is modern, spacious and covers an area of 4,000 sqm with room to move . It  offers a grandeur that few spas achieve, combining wellness with world class luxury. I honestly didn’t want to leave. Read the review here www.thedoldergrand.com Sri panwa – Phuket Sri panwa is in a class of its own. Effortlessly cool, it is a mix of private residences and pool villas perched at the tip of Cape Panwa in Phuket. Set in lush tropical …

Where to spa in 2015

The spa market never stands still and 2015 is already shaping up to be an exciting one with spa resorts opening across Europe and some impressive locations abroad, it’s time to get booking ahead for the best opening deals. Portugal – Six Senses Douro Valley Overlooking the vineyards of the Douro Valley, this is the first European spa property for Six Senses. Taking over a 19th century manor house, it’s given a 21st century make-up bringing it bang up to date ensuring its ready to deliver some top notch spa treatments. www.sixsenses.com Italy – JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice This has recently opened on Sacca Sessola, a private island in the Venice lagoon, this new 266 room resort is set in 40 acres of olive groves and has an eight-room spa. Promising views of St Marks Square – this is the place to spa in style in 2015. www.marriott.co.uk Maldives – Amilla Fushi Minimalist lines, sea views and daily spa treatments – what could be better. Modern villas and infitity pools set the …

Postcard from Istanbul

Istanbul is many things to many people. And the cliches ring true.  In a city where East meets West, there is a convergence of cultures where two continents meet at the Bosphorus. Its a surprising city, steeped in history, yet vibrant, modern, hip and happening. And its busy. With over 14 million inhabitants and the heavy traffic that goes with it, you can find glimpses of old and new at almost every turn. The key tourist sights (of which they are many) are grouped around the old part of the city, notably the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar give a flavour of old. But its the new wave of restaurants, the flourishing art scene and growing coffee culture that demonstrates its confidence. It’s definitely going places. The luxury hotel market continues to grow each year, with Raffles making Istanbul its home in September 2014. It’s why I’m here – to review the spa (more of that to follow). For jaw-dropping views and magnificent memories. I heartily recommend you visit Istanbul.   Related …

SpaFinder Wellness Travel Awards

SpaFinder Wellness 365 has been busy judging its Wellness Travel Awards which honour spas, hotels, resorts and retreats around the globe on how they boost their guest health and wellness.  Awards are given to the top properties on six continents, in 41 countries/regions and in 18 special categories. A panel of Wellness Travel experts nominated 373 nominees for the awards and over 14,000 consumers voted for the winners. It’s a massive undertaking and you can see the full list of winners here: Spa Finder Wellness Travel Awards. I wanted to highlight a few outstanding spas which I have visited, and it shows, I have a long way to go before I get around all the winners. Crystal Award winner Europe: George V Paris Four Seasons, Paris, France Country Awards winners: Switzerland: The Dolder Grand, Zurich (read my review) Thailand: Banyan Tree Resort, Phuket (read my review) Nordic: Blue Lagoon, Iceland  

Spa on the wildside at Armathwaite Hall

It’s time to unleash your inner Bear Grylls with the ‘Wilderness Therapy’ break at Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa. Get back to nature and learn some wilderness survival skills on the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite in the Lake District surrounded by some of the UK’s most breathtaking scenery. Get back to nature with wilderness expert Ben Mcnutt who offers a gentle introduction to wilderness living, teaching skills such as creating fire by friction, using carving tools, building effective natural shelters, cooking on a camp-fire and re-connecting with nature as you forage for wild foods and track mammals. You will also be taught the art of barefoot running and ‘movement naturelle’ before ending the day spending the night in a ‘Wild Camp’. It’s not all about survival skills, there are some treats and luxury at the end. The next lunchtime you head to the spa for a soak in the outdoor hot-tub,  and then you can enjoy a 60 minute treatment and dine at the restaurant before retiring for the night in the luxury …

The best autumn spa escapes

A sunshine spa break always pops into my head as the night’s draw in and the Autumn chill hits the air.  Flights are cheaper in Autumn and it’s a great way to use those few extra days of holiday you have left. A spa break in Southern Europe is an easy option, and often much cheaper than in high season. Whether it’s a weekend spa break or a week long spa programme to sort you out. Look around, do a bit of research and you easily can secure a great package deal that includes accomodation, spa treatments and food. Here is the Spa Man’s top pic of Autumn’s sunshine spa escapes. ALGARVE Weather: Average temperature in November is 16 degrees, dropping to 14 degrees in December. Hours of sunshine around 6 (day light – 10). Spa: Situated in Quinta do Lago, around 20 minutes from Faro Airport, Conrad Algarve and the Spa & Health Club is one of the tops spas in Portugal. The Spa & Health Club is a haven providing holistic therapies, combining …

Best spas for Fitness - The Spa Man

Five of the best spas for fitness

Spas are turning high-tech when it comes to fitness, so now you can enjoy a fitness break, really working on your technique or taking time to hone your skills and then soothe any aching muscles with a relaxing, targeted massage in the spa. The Spa Man picks the best spas for fitness in the UK. * Picture credit above: courtesy of Champneys Champneys Tring Location: Wigginton, Hertfordshire Price per visit: Double bed and breakfast from £398, Single bed and breakfast from £224.  Sports performance analysis from £45 Fitness focus: Recovery and rehabilitation, movement and gait analysis A comprehensive sports treatment menu provides a rounded approach to sports injury rehabilitation. Integrated screening techniques like gait analysis and Tensiomyography (TMG) assessment (a diagnostic tool used by Barcelona FC) helps to identify muscular imbalances, asymmetries and weaknesses to pinpoint the root causes of injury. The team then design a corrective training programme and can incorporate traditional sports psychology, such as goal setting and the motivational aspects of NLP to maintain a positive approach to recovery. Added extras: FIFA sized football …

The best places to spa outside in the UK

Summer has turned all “scorchio” on us, so it was timely to round-up the best places to spa outside. What better way to enjoy our fabulous summer, than to enjoy relaxing spa treatments and the great outdoors. The UK has some brilliant spas and what’s more – lots of them have an outdoor pool or patio. Book it now. Aqua Sana, Center Parcs, Woburn Forest A woodland setting and infinity edge outdoor pool, this is a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. Powerful water jets help sooth aches and pains and all looking straight out to the trees. It’s a pure forest experience. www.aquasana.co.uk Pennyhill Park There’s a new spa’s decking area with additional seating for up to 200 guests around the outdoor pools.  Luxurious loungers and new dining tables and chairs have been introduced to take advantage of the revamped pool bar which now includes a Pimms pump to complement The Spa’s summer barbeque menu. www.pennyhill.co.uk The best places to spa outside continued Bamford Haybarn Spa at the Berkeley Unique among London hotels, …

The best places to spa outside in the UK

It’s been a great couple of weeks for summer sunshine and with temperatures soaring there are lots of UK spas that you can visit that extend the experience outside. Some have outside relaxation areas and spectacular outdoor pools where you can swim, sit, sleep or simply chill enjoying fresh air, a gentle breeze and the warm sunshine. Summer is here, so let’s spa outside! Thermae Bath Spa Famous the world over, Thermae Bath Spa was re-opened in 2006 and is Britain’s only natural thermal spa. It combines both historic and contemporary spa facilities. The roof top pool has a view that looks across Bath. In the late evening sun – it’s hard to beat. www.thermaebathspa.com St Brides Spa Hotel Perched on top of a cliff overlooking Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, the infinity pool is something to savour. I visited one January a few years back and took a dip in the pool (it was heated) – the views across the sea and beach below are spectacular. Imagine blue skies, relaxing spa treatments and a soothing dip …

To swim with a view

Everyone loves a pool with a view, especially if it’s an infinity pool. Here is a collection of inspiring images that will make you want to book a holiday right away. It’s not the definitive list of the very best, by any means. But spa lovers note, these hotels and resorts all have a spa. Overlooking the sea, the jungle, the desert or a river below, don’t delay, soak in the scenery and book a spa break right now. ALILA UBUD, BALI The infinity pool is suspended over the jungle high above the Ayung river below. The views stretch endlessly into Bali’s lush, tropical rainforest – with only the wildlife (including regular visits from the monkeys) for company. Alila Ubud is an enchanting hillside retreat located only minutes away from the ecentre of Ubud, Bali’s artistic cultural centre. Try: the Balinese Massage Rooms from £140 per night. www.alilahotels.com/ubud BAY OF ISLANDS –  RAHIMOANA, EAGLES NEST, NEW ZEALAND Eagles Nest offers five world-class luxury villas which have been awarded as one of the World’s10 Best Cliff Edge …

Postcard from Zurich

Zurich regularly tops the list of best places to live and rightly so. It has a great feel, the people are friendly, the transport is excellent, well integrated and inexpensive. But what makes this places so fabulous is the access to lake, forest and mountains. There’s even beach areas beside the lake. Within minutes you can be swimming in the lake or hiking through the forest. Winter obviously offers the chance to go skiing. I was really impressed with the city and how it offers a real balance between cosmopolitan cool and outdoor adventure. I was lucky enough to visit and stay at the Dolder Grand – a grand historic hotel build high on the hills overlooking Zurich in 1899. Remodelled and reimagined with two new wings – the hotel now boasts a spa wing and golf wing both designed by architect, Norman Foster. The views are to die for, the spa is modern and well equipped (more to follow later) and in seconds you can be cycling through the forest. and aside from the …