All posts filed under: Reviews

8 of the best spas for Mum on Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day fast approaching the Spa Man suggests 8 of the best spas for Mum on Mother’s Day from across the UK. Rockliffe Hall, Durham In the heart of County Durham, the award-winning Rockliffe Hall is a five-star hotel, golf and spa retreat specialising in health and wellness and is the perfect weekend retreat for Mum. The spa is huge and at 50,000 square feet, it guarantees the luxury of space to relax, unwind and indulge without feeling cramped or overcrowded.  It’s a real spa experience that takes you on a journey. There’s a 20-metre pool, thermal bathing pools, tepidarium, caldarium, roman and heat saunas, tropicarium, hydropool and ice fountain. The Spa garden is impressive too. With Caudalie, Neom and Comfort Zone on the treatment menu, you will be spoiled for choice. Try: Caudalie Wine Makers Massage – £90 for 60 minutes Read The Spa Man’s review of Rockliffe Hall HERE www.rockliffehall.com Ragdale Hall, Melton Mowbray Ragdale Hall is one of the UK’s best-loved spas. It’s recently added a rooftop infinity pool and is …

Four Seasons Seychelles - The Spa Man

Four Seasons Seychelles

Four Seasons Seychelles is a picture of paradise personified. Occupying one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles, the villas (most with private pools) are discreetly built into the surrounding hillside and seamlessly blend into the trees offering an air of exclusivity and privacy for guests. From one room villas to four bedroom residences, the villas are designed with dark wood and modern fixtures and make the most of the views. A highlight is the outdoor shower, terrace and decking area. The beach is where the main action happens with sun loungers set amongst the palms along the shore. There’s guided snorkelling with Wise Oceans marine conservation which has a partnership with the resort and is working to restore the reef. Sipping cocktails on the beach, a spot of lunch by the pool or lazy walks along the shore, it’s a heavenly location and most definitely Instagram ready. There’s a large gym on site, just below the lobby and breakfast is served at Zen which also doubles as a great evening restaurant. There’s a …

Cliveden House Spa - The Spa Man

Review: The Cliveden Spa at Cliveden House, UK

The Cliveden Spa at Cliveden House offers a quintessential spa experience in the English country side. Situated in the grounds of the renowned Cliveden House estate, the spa has created a unique proposition with its newly renovated spa. Partnering with truly British brands that aren’t the usual names you would find in a spa setting, it’s reaching out to a new audience, whilst catering perfectly to its current clientele. Cliveden House really is one of the great names when it comes to English country estates. And with this comes much expectation. A five-star luxury hotel; the building is owned by the National Trust and operated under a long lease arrangement by the owners of Chewton Glen, Iconic Luxury Hotels. Sumptuous interiors, dark wood panelling throughout and the use of rich textures and warm colours including red and purples creates a cosy, welcoming environment. The staff are exceptional, greeting you by name and the food is impressive – especially the tasting menu at the André Garrett Restaurant. For more relaxed dining, head to the Astor Grill. …

Hotel Metropole Hanoi

Review: Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi is situated in the Old French Quarter of the city, and you are right amongst the hustle and bustle of what is a frenetic city. The hotel harks back to the colonial era in ethos and design. Behind its classical white façade with green shutters and original wrought iron details, it gives way to a plush interior with neo-classical references and lots of stately wood paneling. Most rooms look to the streets or to the internal courtyard with garden and pool. When booking check whether you are reserving a room in the historic Metropole wing or the newer Opera wing. rooms in the Opera wing are larger and a touch more modern in style. Guests over the year have included the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham and it still attract prominent politicians and celebrities when the are in town. It is the number one address. It’s all very elegant with butlers and doormen on hand at every turn. Dining experiences are many and varied. Breakfast is a …

LUX* Grande Gaube - The Spa Man

The best new spa openings in 2018

The spa industry is set for a big year in 2018 with great places to escape to for health, wellness and relaxation. In the UK there continues to be huge investment in country house hotels and we will see the unique partnership between Champneys and Marella Cruises from May 2018. Angsana (renowned throughout Asia) makes it European debut in Corfu in Greece. It really is a big year. 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. The first opening is LUX* Grande Gaube which just sneaks onto this list (opening late December 2017). So, it’s hot off the press and benefiting from a total overhaul. Here’s where to spa in 2018! The best new spa openings in 2018 including: UK, Europe, Asia and the Indian Ocean. The best new spa openings in 2018: UNITED KINGDOM   Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel, Scotland Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel has relaunched its spa and fitness offering …

Ye Olde Bell Spa - The Spa Man

Review: The Spa at Ye Olde Bell, Retford, UK

The Spa at Ye Olde Bell combines warm and friendly service in a brand-new spa that really knows how to treat its guests. With a great range of innovative thermal facilities and welcoming, knowledgeable staff, it exceeded my expectations (and some). Located on the borders of Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and the market town of Retford, the spa is situated adjacent to the historic Ye Olde Bell which is an independently owned 59 room country hotel, dating back to the 17th Century. The Hotel at Ye Olde Bell The hotel is basically an old-style coaching inn that really plays to its historical past. Expect dark oak paneling, plush fabrics, red walls, period features and art from the 17th and 18th centuries. You may even find a four-poster bed in your room. The hotel is of a particular style and the AA Four-Star Rosette hotel has 59 rooms which have all been recently refurbished. Book a room with a roll top bath for the full spa experience. Expect hearty fare in the restaurants and look out …

Seaham Hall in the snow - The Spa Man

10 of the best British winter spa breaks

A cosy fireside, a snug rug and a hot sauna are the key elements of a great winter spa break. These are three sure-fire ways to warm the cockles of your heart (and your cold fingers and toes) this autumn and winter. Heading off to a countryside spa will give you the chance to get away from it all, plus the opportunity to take a bracing walk through the countryside or along the coast. No winter spa break is complete without kicking a few leaves around (if there’s any left) or meandering across frosty fields, ensuring you are back in time to indulge in a big Sunday lunch. Then to complete the experience (it is a winter spa break after all) make some time to chill out in the spa during the afternoon. The Spa Man has rounded-up his 10 of the best winter spa breaks. 1. Dormy House – Cotswolds Book here (if you can). The hotel and spa keep winning awards – a testament to the quality of the hotel, spa and service. The Scandi-chic House …

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 Sources 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) across 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 eucalyptus 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 …