All posts filed under: Reviews

Rudding Park Rooftop Spa - the Spa Man

Review: Rudding Park Spa, Yorkshire, UK

The Spa at Rudding Park near Harrogate has raised the bar for the spa industry in the UK by creating an innovative spa with some real ‘wow’ moments (yes its totally instagrammable). It complements the smart, modern hotel and with the addition of the modern bistro Horto featuring seasonally inspired dishes by Chef Murray Wilson it makes Rudding Park the place to stay and spa in Yorkshire. The hotel at Rudding Park A privately-owned luxury hotel, Rudding Park has 90 bedrooms, the spa, two restaurants and a kitchen garden, private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space. Set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, it makes Rudding Park one of the most beautiful places to stay in Harrogate. I loved the use of colour throughout the hotel with perfectly placed pieces of art that attract the eye and give it a modern luxury feel. Rooms are spacious, contemporary and the Follifoot wing opposite the spa is where you want to be. Rudding Park Spa The spa is huge. It’s impressive Rooftop …

Les Source de Caudalie - The Spa Man

Review: Les Source de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Les Sources de Caudalie really is a unique spa that connects the brand with its origins in the vines of South Western France. Situated amongst the bucolic vineyards in picturesque countryside just 20 minutes from Bordeaux, it’s international reputation for food, wine and spa is unparalleled. The hotel at Les Sources de Caudalie The hotel features modern rooms that pay homage to traditional French design. Many of the original rooms are decorated with antique furniture, whilst the new suites, opened in 2014 retain the warm sense of charm, with a more contemporary colour palette and quirky design notes that work perfectly in the country setting. Cosy and comfortable, they are of the highest standard with well-appointed bathrooms that are (naturally) stocked full of Caudalie products. The property is the spiritual home of the Caudalie brand (and is the ideal escape for couples wanting to taste wine from the neighbouring Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte whilst dining in the two Michelin Star restaurant, La Grand Vigne. The food was exquisite. That’s not to dismiss the other restaurants. …

Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square - The Spa Man

Review: Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, London

Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square is the latest launch on the London spa scene and rounds off a big year of investment in the capital. It has made a big impact in terms of design and service provision, positioning itself as one of London’s best. Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square is housed in the former Port of London Authority Building and is both impressive and quite imposing from the street. The spa is situated in the subterranean levels and on entry you are greeted by a large, spacious reception decorated in gold tiles. Curved surfaces and a back lit retail wall make a dramatic statement on arrival, and there’s a warm, professional welcome from the reception team. Within minutes of arriving in the spa, you will be sipping a welcome tea and filling in the consultation. Marble is a theme throughout the spa and is continued to the pool area and through the changing rooms. The large fitness suite and studio are just off the main corridor then to the left is the indoor pool. …

Review: Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal

Six Senses Douro Valley is the new-ish 57-room spa resort in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley. It’s a world-class spa combining wine and wellness. Situated in picturesque vineyards overlooking the majestic River Douro, the property dates back to the late 19th century and is located around an hour from Porto in northern Portugal. The resort is the first venture of its kind for Six Senses in Europe and marks a period of rapid expansion for the company. Most of the guest rooms have impressive river views and the wine library and restaurants fully embrace the viticulture of the region. As well as the organic garden the 19-acre property offers a large outdoor pool, walking tracks through the vineyards to the river, and its own forest. The spa at Six Senses Douro Valley is vast and was the European launch pad for the brand’s new Integrated Wellness Programme. The spa reception area is a fresh, open space with minimalist surfaces, grey wooden floors and polished concrete walls, complemented by the light grey and sandy tones of the upholstered …

Eagles Villas Outdoor Pool

Review: Eagles Villas, Halkidiki, Greece

Eagles Palace and the new Eagles Villas form part of a family run resort in a stunning location just a few kilometres from Ouranoupolis, Halkidiki. In the shadow of Mount Athos, it’s the most incredible setting for one of Greece’s premier five-star resorts. Eagles Palace Hotel is where most of the action happens and sits right on the beach. Note, that the new Eagles Villas are slightly separated from the main hotel with an even more exclusive feel, situated up the hill with jaw-dropping views of the sea (more of that later). From water sports on the beach to the large pool and a host of fitness, cultural and relaxing activities, there’s plenty to do for everyone. The resort is family friendly (yes there are quite a few kids) but the kid’s club keeps them occupied most of the time. If you want to brush up on your Greek alphabet or Greek cooking skills, there’s a class. Take pilates or personal training too – it’s all covered in the daily activity schedule. The list is …

Banya No.1 London - The Spa Man

Review: Traditional Russian Banya at Banya No.1 London

Tucked away on a quiet little back street in Shoreditch is the traditional Russian Spa, Banya No. 1. Offering a truly authentic take on the Banya experience, it’s all about the sauna and you are assured of getting all hot and sweaty. Most guests come to try the Parenie treatment which is set in the specially designed sauna. You literally lay down on the sauna bench and get whipped with leaves until your blood boils. It’s much more pleasurable than it sounds and it is a gentle therapy (to start) with light tapping of the leaves (mostly oak) accords the body. The banchik uses the leaves the gather hot air from the sauna and wave this across the body. Focussing on the back, legs and then feet, it’s somewhat soothing and comforting to begin with, then your body temperature starts to rise. Resting your head on the beech with a pillow of eucalypt and birch branches, these have been dipped on cool water and give a little relief. It’s when the focus shifts to the …

Vair Spa at Borgo Egnazia - The Spa Man

Review: Vair Spa at Borgo Egnazia, Italy

Pioneering a psycho-emotional approach to spa, the team at Vair Spa at Borgo Egnazia has created an award-winning wellness offering that focusses on happiness, drawing on the culture and traditions of Puglia, Italy. Choosing to visit a wellness destination that bills itself as a psycho-emotional spa raises just as many questions as it does gives answers. I will guide you through my experiences. It was truly life-changing. Deeply rooted in the traditions of Puglia, the resort and hotel of Borgo Egnazia has been designed as a traditional local village constructed from tuff stone and is surrounded by millennia-old olive groves. It subtly blends old world charm with hidden contemporary touches that gives the property a true sense of place in the heart of the Italian countryside. You may have read about it in the press already. The hotel shot to fame in 2012 when Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose the property for their exclusive celebrity wedding. Beyond the notoriety of the celebrity press, the hotel and spa have received numerous international accolades. But its how it …

LUX* Belle Mare Pool - The Spa Man

Review: LUX* Belle Mare, Mauritius

Modern, light and airy, LUX* Belle Mare is a welcoming hotel, refurbished by designer Kelly Hoppen and is quite contemporary in its look, but remains comfortable and homely at the same time.  The taupe palette used throughout ensures that the decor has raised the bar for Mauritian hotels and will stand the test of time in the design stakes. The resort boasts the largest pool on the island which is at the heart of the hotel complex.  It has four stunning restaurants which not only offer plenty of choice for informal dining by the sea but they excel in more high cuisine at the Indian smart by Vincent or the fabulous modern Chinese Duck Laundry. The food was excellent. Staff are personable, friendly and efficient and always on hand to help. Highlights, like at any LUX* property include Café LUX*, ICI for delicious homemade ice creams in the afternoon and the Rolls Royce food cart in the gardens. It’s the unique touches that make LUX* resorts so special and truly memorable. The beach scene is more …

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Review: Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The famous waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland are rich in minerals and algae that are excellent for time out, relaxation, healing and skin conditions. Famed for its blue-tinged geothermal seawater (which hovers around 37-39 degrees Celsius), you can bath outside, breathing in the pure fresh air of the Arctic Circle. It is a most incredible experience, and one which was made more amazing for me when combined with an in-water massage. Positioned on a floating mattress and covered with a blanket (yes, in the water), I was expertly manipulated and massaged until I drifted into a state of pure bliss. It was snowing and zero degrees, but I was completely unaware of the outside elements. This really did set itself apart from any other treatment I have ever had. It only lasted 30 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. Afterwards I was left to float around the lagoon, experience the steam cabin, sauna rooms and the exhilarating waterfall massage. Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater is a part of a unique system where Iceland’s …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

House of Elemis - The Spa Man

Review: The House of Elemis, London

The House of Elemis is the showcase for Elemis, one of the spa industry’s great British success stories. The House of Elemis (on the site of its former flagship day spa) has totally reimagined the space creating a new iconic location for a brand that is aiming for the stars. Positioned as the creative heart of Elemis, the Mayfair townhouse retains the warmth and charm of the brand with a totally new look and feel. Modern, light, airy and contemporary, every element of the The House of Elemis has been thoroughly considered, designed and conceptualised for the client, ensuring that it matches the original brief to reflect the brand pillars: the very best that science and nature can offer. New ideas, new concept, new look From the treatment menu to the design, fixtures and fittings, nothing has been left untouched and The House of Elemis has introduced innovations including the Speed Spa, a new retail concept and the launch of the VIP Penthouse Suite which all provide a new vision for the Elemis brand. The …

Four Seasons Anahita - Mauritius - Spa Villa

Review: Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita

Situated on a quiet stretch of coast on the east coast of the island, Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita is a luxury personified. With its own private island, calm lagoon and pristine white beaches guest accommodation includes a range of secluded private pool or garden villas. The resort makes the most of its coastal setting offering water sports and diving activities for all ages. The pristine beaches with comfy loungers and attentive waiter service ensures that there’s little more to do than enjoy a cocktail or two. Dining is a relaxed affair in the main buildings looking across the fish ponds with a choice of Italian, modern grill, or the relaxed beach bar restaurant Bambou. THE SPA: FOUR SEASONS MAURITIUS AT ANAHITA: A highlight of any stay at Four Seasons is the spa and Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita doesn’t disappoint. The Spa is set amongst luscious tropical spa gardens with fragrant Frangipani trees, a host of Hibiscus trees in full bloom and stunning Bird of paradise flowers. The team makes full use of the …