All posts tagged: European spa

25 things I’ve learned as a spa writer

I’ve been writing about spas since 2007 and visit around 30 spas every year. I’ve been poked, prodded, pampered, bathed, scrubbed and dried more times than I can remember. And I’ve experienced the best and worst of spa around the world. I try to seek out the newest and most unusual men’s spa treatments and am always on the hunt for the best spa around. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve learned so far. 1. A therapist can make or break your spa experience 2. A spa needs, by definition, to have water 3. There nothing better than relaxing post treatment looking out across the sea 4. There’s nothing worse than being cold on a treatment bed 5. Every skincare brand thinks that their way is best 6. Expensive facilities do not mean you’ll have a good spa experience 7. A limp massage is worse than having no massage 8. I’ve never heard whale music in a spa 9. and, I actually quite like spa music 10. You can’t beat a proper Turkish hammam 11. …

Read all about it: spa culture from the Baltic to the Black Sea

Sophie Benge has teamed up with researcher Alla Sokolova to write a most impressive book that looks at the spa and wellness cultures of Eastern Europe. Beautifully presented with stunning photography,  Healing Sources: Spas and Wellbeing from the Baltic to the Black Sea is part travel guide and an historical reference book presented as a coffee table centrepiece. It takes the reader on a journey through the lesser known holistic cultures of Eastern Europe  from the Art Nouveau spas of Hungary to the traditional pirts sauna rituals of Latvia. Offering a glimpse of the spa culture in each country, it’s a fascinating way to see the role that spa has played in the country’s psyche and in its historical development. The architecture, the use of local ingredients and traditions reveals that spa is not a 20th Century fad that took hold in the 1990’s but is part of the way of life for so many people. And it really gets to grip with the holistic and natural approaches of each region such as respiratory healing …

The best lakeside spas

To spa by the sea is divine, but to spa by a lake – now that elevates the experience to a whole new level. Long established in Austria and the Italian Lakes, the past few years have seen rapid growth in the lakeside spa market, especially in the UK. Lakeside spas offer a unique experience to enjoy fabulous spa treatments and the scenic beauty of lakes and mountains. Here’s a round-up of some of the best from across Europe. Pictured right: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy.     Lake Garda, Italy Lefay Resort & Spa Lago Di Garda is a five star hotel and resort is located in the picturesque village of Gargnano, Lake Garda, inside an 11 hectares natural park. With commanding views across the lake and the surrounding hills, you can relax in your lounger or swim in the pool whilst looking across the lake. Focussing on health and wellness, The Lefay SPA is divided into three areas: the “World of Water and Fire”, which includes all areas connected to swimming pools, …