All posts tagged: luxury

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 …

Cliveden House Spa - The Spa Man

The hot new spa openings across the UK in 2017

Every year brings a range of new spa openings and 2017 has been no exception. London has certainly created a flurry of media attention with three stunning multi-million pound properties. But when you take a closer look you will see that the lion’s share of investment has taken place beyond the capital, where there are some excellent spa projects which have launched to critical acclaim. And these really offer some of the best spa experiences in the UK today. Read about the hot new spa openings in London here Champneys has expanded south, renovating the hotel at Eastwell Manor to offer its unique blend of spa and health resort to a new audience. Ye Olde Bell in Nottinghamshire combines modern build in the spa with old world charm in the 17th century  coachouse hotel. Whilst in Berkshire the famous Cliveden House has redeveloped its spa with impressive results. Then further North in Yorkshire, Rudding Park has opened to great fanfare with a roof top spa and a huge range of thermal and hydrotherapy options to satisfy the most jaded spa-goer. …

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 …

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 …

Belmond Royal Scotsman - The Spa Man

Spa carriage debuts on Belmond Royal Scotsman

Move over Southern Rail, Belmond has announced the launch of a new spa carriage aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman. The service began in April, at the start of the 2017 season and welcomes a new partnership with The Bamford Haybarn Spa. It’s the first spa carriage to feature aboard Belmond’s portfolio of luxury trains and features bespoke Bamford treatments for passengers travelling on overnight rail journeys throughout Scotland and Great Britain. The British wellness brand Bamford was established in 2006 and is inspired by nature, with botanical skincare collections and holistic treatments that are made using organic ingredients certified by the Soil Association. Its Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint Botanical collection has also been selected by Belmond as the amenity range for each cabin. Individually crafted wellbeing treatments are devoted to connecting the mind, body and soul with the natural world. The Bamford Bespoke Facial is a 55-minute ritual that aims to restore, rejuvenate and repair the skin. The treatment features facial reflexology, lymphatic drainage, stimulating lifting and ancient yogic breathing. The treatment is finished with a deep tissue …

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 …

The Lanesborough, Oetker Collection. - The Spa Man

Hot new spa openings in London 2017

There are some really hot new spa openings in London 2017 and I for one am very excited. The London spa market operates in a bit of a bubble, and it continues to boom. Although, having said that, across the UK there are some very big  projects set to launch this year too. From day spas and urban retreats to the the uber-luxury of five-star properties it appears that our desire for new spa experiences in the capital has not been satisfied. 2017 marks a year of new developments, investment and openings. The City of London is a central focus with the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square and The Ned bringing spa luxury to the city. Whilst near Hyde Park, The Lanesborough is opening its Club & Spa. Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square (March 2017) From mid-March 2017, Four Seasons is set to open in the City of London. The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square will boast 1,680 square metres and eight spacious treatment rooms, including a spacious Spa Suite for couples and …

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 …

Elemental Herbology at Ockenden Manor

Elemental Herbology at Ockenden Manor reviewed

Ockenden Manor has launched a new spa menu featuring a range of treatments from Elemental Herbology and it’s a match made in spa heaven. Ockenden Manor is a cosy Elizabethan manor house with exposed wooden beams and low ceilings situated in the picturesque village of Cuckfield, East Sussex. The spa is built inside a 19th century walled garden and the modern design of the building is a complete contrast to the main hotel building. And as a stand-alone spa it’s is one of the South East’s most impressive. It’s a true countryside setting which benefits from nine acres of parklands and gardens plus all the mod cons you would expect from a contemporary spa. I visited in November 2016 to experience the new partnership with Elemental Herbology. The team at Elemental Herbology has developed a brand new treatment menu, connecting guests with the five elements through a series of bespoke treatments which feature its award-winning products and unique rituals. Elemental Herbology at Ockenden Manor The crowing glory on the spa menu is the bespoke new …

Finca Cortesin - The Spa Man

Review: Finca Cortesin, Spain

THE HOTEL Opened in 2008, Finca Cortesin is an elegant, refined country house hotel that’s both relaxed and welcoming, offering five-star service in a subtle, personal style. A world away from the typical Costa del Sol hotel, it offers a modern mix of hacienda style retreat with a definite nod to its Andalusian roots. Boasting beautiful landscapes gardens, magnificent views to the mountains and sea and a causal air of exclusivity, it’s a perfect escape for a few days – or even longer. The hotel has 60 suites which are tastefully decorated with calming neutral palettes. The junior suites experiment a little more with splashes of colour and patterned wallpaper. Each with its own terrace, complete with table chairs and sun loungers. You could easily stay in the confines of your room, but with lots of activities (including golf) plus five pools and a beach club you will never be bored. The beach club had a great causal beach side dining restaurant. Pool and sun lounges it’s the best of both worlds and the shuttle …

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Review: Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls, Austria

Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls has a global reputation for delivering quality and excellence in the field of Modern Mayr medicine. Situated just outside of Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol, the medical retreat has adapted the traditional Mayr cure for the modern age, combining the best of western and complementary medicine. Cutting edge technology and medical expertise are complement more traditional therapies like massage, yoga and Kniepp treatments for the targeted regeneration of the digestive system. Blending detox, cure and escape, the team at Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls have developed a programme that balances diagnostic medicine, with a professional approach and caring attitude. Managing director, Andrea Gnägi explains the philosophy, “We are not a wellness centre or medical hospital, but are very specific medical health centre combining both quality and a commitment to find solutions to the problems that people have.  It’s a perfect combination between medical expertise and the comforts of a resort. We are the best at giving people friendliness whilst attending to their individual needs.” The medical team consists of a select group …