All posts tagged: spa break

Six Senses Douro Valley - The Spa Man

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 …

Gentleman massage - Thai Square Spa

Six best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day

Suggesting a list of the best spas for men is courting trouble as I’m sure to miss out some very, very good ones. Apologies now! and email me if I have missed out a great spa that you think is perfect for guys. I visit lots of spas and most serve men fairly well. However, there is always room for improvement. I’ve made this selection based on a few things: range of treatment options on the spa menu, choice of fitness facilities and how welcome men feel. They are also spas that I have personally been to. I can recommend that they are great spas for men. Either alone or with a friend or partner. So here’s the best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day. Galgorm Resort and Spa Galgorm Resort and Spa is just over half an hour from Belfast and its a great place for guys, and excellent for couples (I’m thinking romantic weekend away). The new Thermal Village featuring indoor pool, sauna and snow cave plus cafe and relaxation room. This …

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. …

Dormy House House Spa

Dormy House launches Wellness Day

Dormy House has launched a brand-new Wellness Day, designed specifically for those looking to escape the big smoke and spend the day recharging the batteries. The spacious spa complements this country house retreat with its relaxing treatment rooms, heated outdoor Jacuzzi, large indoor infinity pool, Rasul mud room and thermal suite. It is a lovely escape from the city and the spa is a multi-award winning location that really impresses with its modern and tasteful design. The spa team has put together a great package for this Wellness Day with treatments morning and afternoon and you get lunch too! The treatments start with a body exfoliation of choice – a vitamin C busting Citrus Scrub by Natura Bissé or a rejuvenating Temple Spa Outer Glow treatment which is followed by a Glorious Mud Wrap designed to encourage lymphatic drainage and purify the body. Next up is a healthy lunch in the Spa Lounge from the new 2017 menu. Inspired by the stunning Cotswolds countryside, the Spa Lounge has been designed to cleverly bring the outside in. The …

Escape to Bath for an early spa break

Bath is renowned for its spa history and has been a centre of well-being since Roman times.  The main attraction is the Thermae Bath Spa and of course a huge number of fabulous spa hotels to choose – it makes a perfect wellness break. There’s much excitement this year about the Spring opening of the GainsboroughBath Spa which will see that thermal waters pumped into the hotel’s spa. If you can’t wait that long, Bath Tourism Plus is launching a new series of detox spa packages which include four hours for the price of two at the world-famous Thermae Bath Spa. It’s a whole package where you can escape for a night in one of Bath’s top hotels, then relax and unwind in the Aroma steam rooms or the open-air rooftop swimming pool at the Thermae Bath Spa. David James, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, explains: “Home to Britain’s only natural thermal waters, Bath has been renowned for relaxation for almost 2000 years. From the Romans who built a bathhouse, to the Georgians who …

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 …

Review: Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa

THE HOTEL: Set in 123 acres of rolling Surrey parkland, this elegant 19th century manor house features 123 luxury bedrooms, a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant, a 9 hole golf course and of course – the spa. Dating from 1849, the vine covered main building is the centre piece of the property. Most of the rooms are in the newer wings and have free WiFi, four-poster beds, quality linens and even a pillow menu. They are cosy and have an olde world feel. It’s a nice country retreat around an hour or so from London. THE SPA: Renowned for its huge facilities, the Spa at Pennyhill Park scores highly in reviews online and with 45,000 sq. ft. of facilities – there’s lots of everyone. The water and thermal suite includes eight indoor and outdoor pools (one with underwater music), laconium, ice cave, plunge pools, hot tubs, experience showers, massage chairs, rasoul and 21 treatment rooms. This is spa on a grand scale. The reception is massive and includes a large retail space and spa café. …

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  

It’s National Spa Week: 3rd to 7th November

It’s that time of year again! It’s National Spa Week from 3rd to 7th November 2014. UK spas and salons will be taking part in the nationwide campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the mental and physical benefits regular spa treatments can bring. Organised by the UK Spa Association spas and salons across the country will be offering new spa packages, exclusive deals and competitions to win a whole host of spa prizes. This year there is an added focus on fundraising events in aid of this year’s partnered charity, the Macmillan Cancer Trust.  This year’s theme is ‘Meet and Treat’, an opportunity for spa visitors to discover and treat themselves to new spa experiences and take advantage of some spectacular special offers at great prices. There will also be opportunities to win a number of £500 plus luxury spa hampers courtesy of leading spa skincare companies including [ comfort zone ], Elemis, Germaine de Capuccini, Murad and Thalgo. You can find all of the information about National Spa Week through the Good Spa Guide …

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 …

Review: Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket

  Situated on a remote cape on the busy island of Phuket, Point Yamu by COMO is a true escape and a design buffs dream. Its minimalist design, created by Paola Navone is truly impressive, whilst more European than Thai (which won’t suit everyone) it raises the bar for luxury holidays in Thailand. There are 79 guest rooms and 27 private pool villas all with magnificent views across Phang Nga Bay. The COMO Shambhala spa is a definite star attraction – but it’s the food that takes centre stage with two modern dining options. Nahmyaa offers a modern take on traditional Thai food and was exceptional. Equally fabulous is the Italian restaurant La Sirena – which offers pool side dining, including breakfast (the main event) and fabulous wood fired pizzas. It’s all rather glamorous and jet set, but occasionally you forget you are in Thailand. The rooms are pure white, including the sofa with furniture crafted from distressed wood. It’s very coastal-chic with blue signature fabrics and the unique Point Yamu pattern print seamlessly connecting …

Postcard from the Costa del Sol

Think you know the Costa del Sol? Then think again. Bypassing the large resorts of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, the Costa del Sol has some impressive and rather surprising gems to be found. Starting off past Marbella (the glitzy costal resort) I began my first taste of the costa near Estapona at Kempinski Hotel Bahia. Situated right on the sea with commanding views of the coast, it’s a smart five star property with restaurants, bars, art, a spa (of course) and a touch of class. Next stop is the all-too-often, overlooked city of Malaga. Neglected in that most tourists get off the plane at Malaga airport and head to the big seaside resorts. Malaga is a working port town with a big heart. The old town is delightful to stroll around, day or night. Tapas bars abound and the residents love to promenade in the early evening as the sun goes down. Birthplace of Picasso, there’s plenty for the art buff to enjoy (art museum and childhood home) and historically the Alcabazar, Cathedral and Castilo de …

Luxury hotel trends: free Wi-fi and Nespresso top the list

It appears that free Wi-fi and Nespresso coffee machines are now the key elements travellers look for in a luxury hotel. A new survey by Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™ (SLH) completed by over 13,000 SLH customers worldwide reveals new trends within the luxury market.  Italy has been identified as the most luxurious holiday destination, Chanel as the most popular luxury brand and free Wi-Fi was favoured over free breakfast in the majority of core markets*. *photo courtesy of Nespresso The survey carried out in May and June 2014 reveals significant trends in the luxury sector highlighting luxury travel habits, identifying favourite luxury brands and delving deeper into the demands of luxury travel with pets. For the second year running, French brands topped the list of favourite luxury brands with Chanel identified as the number one luxury brand overall followed by Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ and Hermés. Other top brands included Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Luxury travel preferences When asked to specify their favourite luxury holiday destination, Italy and destinations …

Mandarin Oriental Bodrum opens

Mandarin Oriental has expanded its portfolio to include a new luxury resort, Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum and to celebrate, guests can book a fabulous spa break with an opening deal: Discover Paradise Bay offer, which provides three nights’ accommodation and includes a daily dining or spa credit of up to EUR 300. Located on a 60 hectare waterfront site on the northern side of the peninsula, at Cennet Koyu (Paradise Bay), with panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. The resort’s 109 guestrooms and suites provide the largest accommodation in the area, all with stunning sun-decks, terraces or balconies, and many with private gardens and infinity edged pools. Ten restaurants and bars showcase innovative and gastronomic cuisine, in addition, the diverse event spaces, two sandy beaches and extensive leisure facilities will bring a level of sophistication and elegance, making this the perfect luxurious hideaway retreat for discerning travellers. Naturally, there’s a spa! The 2.700 sq m Spa will introduce the Group’s awarding-winning spa concepts together with holistic signature treatments and a range of wellness programmes. The Discover …