All posts tagged: spa review

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 …

Best spa in New Forest - SenSpa at Careys Manor - The Spa Man

Review: Senspa at Careys Manor in the New Forest

THE HOTEL REVIEW Careys Manor is home to one of the UK’s best loved and well-know spas – SenSpa. Reputed to be the best spa in the New Forest, its one of the best in the UK. Built around an historical property in the village of Brockenhurst in New Forest, Careys Manor has a number of specially built accommodation wings with good sized rooms that look out across the manicured gardens. Well appointed, with very comfy big beds, it’s a great base for walking in the forest or taking a weekend away for rest and relaxation. Cosy lounges and wood fires set the scene and the staff are welcoming and friendly. There are a number of places to eat at Carey’s Manor, I dined at the Zen Garden restaurant which is Thai through and through. Whilst it might seem a bit incongruous in the heart of the English countryside, when it’s paired with the Thai spa, it all works. Serving healthy breakfast and heartier options, plus lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, this is where guests …

Review: Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

THE BEST LUXURY RESORT IN TASMANIA Saffire Freycinet has raised the bar for luxury accommodation in Tasmania. The fully inclusive resort creates a relaxed air of exclusivity for guests with just 20 suites on site. Architecturally impressive, the main building has been crafted in the shape of a string ray and is the first space to welcome for guests. Concierge greet all guests on arrival to valet park the car, swapping car keys for a glass of champagne, whilst inviting you to enjoy the view. And what a view it is – of the Hazards, Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park. It has to the best luxury resort in Tasmania as it offers a luxury escape like no other – each suite has uninterrupted views of the bush, sea and Hazards. Everything is designed with the view in mind. Contemporary suites feature every mod con and more, including a fully stocked complimentary mini-bar, which showcases Tasmania’s best wine, beers and snacks. Dining is a joy, breakfast is an a la carte affair with a changing menu …

Neom Organics Wimbledon Village Store The Spa Man

Review: Neom Organics Treatment Rooms, Wimbledon

THE TREATMENT ROOMS: Neom Organics launched its flagship store (complete with treatment rooms) in Wimbledon Village last year. Bringing the brand to a wider audience and introducing the treatments, the store is light, bright, inviting and a sensorial adventure. From candles to room mists and oils to room diffusers, the range is vast and attends to the ills and troubles of mood, energy, sleep and stress. Neom has captured a unique place in the wellness market and specialises in scent, if you are looking to soothe or boost your mood, then this is the place. THE TREATMENT: A recent innovation, Neom has created a number of wellbeing treatments which take a different approach to therapy. Instead of choosing what treatment you are having, you experience the Science of Scent ritual combined with a therapist consultation to determine what your body needs, which, according the Neom is often different from what your mind tells you. After the scent test (you smell one of four candles for each ritual) I needed sleep as Tranquillity is the scent …

Review: Hotel URSO and Spa, Madrid

BEST HOTEL IN MADRID? Mixing contemporary style, decor and a warm welcome, hotel urso and spa, on the edge of edgy Chueca district is considered by many to be the best hotel in Madrid. The reception, bar and lounge areas evoke memories of the Firmdale group in London, think Soho Hotel or Charlotte Street Hotel. Warm colours, book cases, yellows mixed with gentle patterns make this a great place to relax. The rooms are more neutral with modern greys mixed with semi industrial furniture pieces and comfy sofas (in the junior suites). THE SPA: Subterranean but making use of filtered daylight from the pavement above, the spa is compact with just a few treatment rooms. Natura Bisse is the featured brand and all treatments and protocols are designed around the products and philosophy. The treatment rooms are small and functional. Throughout the spa there’s patterned wallpaper with orange print made from a textured seagrass matting making it very modern and chic. The star of the show is the pool which at first glance looks like …

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. …

Review: Face Gym, London

THE CONCEPT: FaceGym was created by Inge Theron, aka the Spa Junkie, who in her role as spa reviewer for the Financial Times visited 57 spas, sweated through 32 types of fitness class, experimented with 25 anti-ageing treatments and endured 15 detoxes. She developed FaceGym: a four stage facial massage that is like a mini workout for your facial muscles. It follows the same rituals of the gym Warm-Up, Cardio, Strength and Cooldown – but all focussing on the face. And it makes sense. THE TREATMENT: It begins gently with a deep cleanse using knuckling movements – this was amazing. I loved the sensation of being knuckled.  Stretching and warming the muscles – pulling them and manipulating them into positions they probably haven’t been before (unless you are a gurning champion). From here, a detailed protocol follows that works each area of the face paying particular attention to the eyes, eye bags and jowls. It’s vigorous but not painful. Pinching, pulling and stretching – but totally enlivening at the same time. Invigorating, it stimulates circulation …

Good Spa Guide Awards - The Spa Man

Five of the best spas for fitness

Spas are turning high-tech when it comes to fitness, so now you can enjoy a fitness break, really working on your technique or taking time to hone your skills and then soothe any aching muscles with a relaxing, targeted massage in the spa. The Spa Man picks the best spas for fitness in the UK. * Picture credit above: courtesy of Champneys Champneys Tring Location: Wigginton, Hertfordshire Price per visit: Double bed and breakfast from £398, Single bed and breakfast from £224.  Sports performance analysis from £45 Fitness focus: Recovery and rehabilitation, movement and gait analysis A comprehensive sports treatment menu provides a rounded approach to sports injury rehabilitation. Integrated screening techniques like gait analysis and Tensiomyography (TMG) assessment (a diagnostic tool used by Barcelona FC) helps to identify muscular imbalances, asymmetries and weaknesses to pinpoint the root causes of injury. The team then design a corrective training programme and can incorporate traditional sports psychology, such as goal setting and the motivational aspects of NLP to maintain a positive approach to recovery. Added extras: FIFA sized football …

Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa, Marrakech Morocco the Spa Man

Review: Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa, Marrakech

THE HOTEL: Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa is an oasis of calm in the semi-desert, sitting happily on the outskirts of Marrakech. Unpretentious, polished and really very relaxing, it’s a self-contained resort of 28 rooms and suites with private gardens and pools that’s popular with British and French guests. A warm, hospitable welcome greets you on arrival, the transfer is seamless. There’s no standing awkwardly at a check-in desk; you are invited to relax on the sofa enjoy some mint tea whilst the check-in is completed. Done. Rooms are modern and contemporary, safely decorated in neutral tones with a splash of colour from a throw and Moroccan weave. The bathroom is huge; it’s big enough to have a party. Book a room with a garden terrace facing the pool and relax in seclusion in the warmth of the Moroccan sun. The restaurant serves fabulous food in the evening, western and Moroccan menu. Funky beats, Buddha Bar-style, mixes a variety of chill-out sounds with an obvious eastern influence.  It was excellent. THE SPA: The spa at …

Review: Re:SPA, London

THE SPA: A tranquil space, situated in the heart of a prestigious sports club. There’s no denying that Re: SPA at the Reebok Sports Club at Canary Wharf is high end. It’s modern, smart, welcoming and the perfect setting to indulge in a pampering treatment or resolve the niggling injuries or muscle and skeletal issues  from working out in the gym. The spa appreciates it location and its treatment menu reflects that. For those in the know, the spa was designed by Sparcstudio. There’s a well-rounded men’s treatment menu, a manicure station in reception and even a relaxation area (this was unexpected). The only drawback – you can hear the bangs and crashes of the gym in the relaxation area, but this sounds isn’t heard in the treatment rooms. There is an incredible array of facial treatments – too many in my humble opinion. Potentially confusing for the customer, but I suppose it does offer choice for the spa-savvy guest. There’s a real focus on express treatments and you can have everything done from waxing …

Review: The Spa Frankfurter Hof, Frankfurt

THE SPA: Reflecting a touch of Arabian elegance, The Spa at Frankfurter Hof has a little something special for everyone. I was really impressed with the space, facilities and fabulous staff. The spa boasts a hammam, rhassoul, heated relaxation beds and a colour therapy mood room along with experience showers, sauna and steam. Whilst there’s no pool in the main spa, the couple’s treatment room has a private plunge pool and shower experience and for the price, is well-worth the upgrade. A new addition to the hotel, the finish and look are fantastic with plenty of treatment rooms, so you won’t have trouble booking an appointment. What I loved was the men’s barber. It’s part of the spa, but has its own unique identity. Featuring four barber’s chairs and under the guidance of barber, Mounir Damlkhi, distinguished gents are treated to fine tuning for hair, wet shave and mini facials. THE TREATMENTS: Hammam The spa has its own purpose built hammam tiled with black and gold arabesque designs and motifs. Within minutes of entering the …

Review: Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan

THE HOTEL: Principe di Savoia is a member of the prestigious Dorchester Collection and places service and guest satisfaction with excellence and innovation at the heart of its spa offering. It’s refined, elegant and welcoming. A magnet for celebrity clientele, it is the destination of choice for the likes of Lady Gaga, Madonna, George Clooney, Woody Allen, David Beckham and One Direction. Firmly on the party circuit during Milan Fashion Week, the hotel has been a landmark in the city since it was built in 1927. The spa shares the top floor with the presidential suite, which also has its own private indoor pool and spa facilities. THE SPA: The spa facilities in Club 10 include male and female changing rooms, five treatments rooms, a manicure area and retail space within reception. What I loved is the outdoor wraparound terrace and relaxation area with views across Milan. On a sunny day (and there are many in Mialn) this is definitely the place to be. The pool and thermal area is again, on the top floor …

Review: The Lowry Spa, Manchester

THE SPA: The spa at The Lowry Hotel is very functional and works perfectly as a city hotel day spa. It doesn’t go overboard on luxury or opulence, but I really liked the space and it was welcoming and friendly. There’s lots of natural daylight throughout the reception, seating and relaxation areas and even on a grey cloudy day – it was light and bright. What struck me were the unusually large corridors – it gives the spa a clean, bright, airy, spacious feel, which you could say was a little sparse. However, this was broken up with bright and colourful artworks which added a touch of warmth to the space. Any other hotel might have used the space to squeeze in another treatment room or two. The gym room as part of the complex – it has one of everything you need with enough CV and resistance weights to give a decent workout. I’m told it doesn’t get too busy. The gym is situated next to the relaxation room and there is a sauna …

Review: Terre Blanche, Provence

THE SPA: The Spa at Terre Blanche is a rather magnificent building set in the grounds of the hotel and golf resort, in the picturesque countryside of Provence. Featuring a 20 metre indoor pool connected to an outdoor vitality pool with great water jets and water massage beds, the water facilities connect the indoor and outdoor space with style. I loved the outdoor relaxation space and sun loungers where you can enjoy the warmth and scent of the spacious herb gardens. Sauna, steam room, laconium, ice fountain and experience showers can be found poolside and also in both the men’s and women’s changing rooms. Complete with 12 treatment rooms, two fabulous couples treatment rooms (with private terrace) hair salon, boutique, gym and yoga studio – you could spend a day here and never be bored. THE BRANDS: Ivo Pitanguy Sodashi THE TREATMENT: A full head to toe body massage is one of life’s great pleasures and this was no disappointment at Terre Blanche. You choose your essential oil combination at reception, prior to your treatment …

Postcard from Manchester

Manchester is one of my favourite cities in the UK. It’s got heart and soul and I love the urban environment. The grand old warehouses, the canals, Chinatown and the shoppings pretty damn good too. For me, growing up, Manchester was all about New Order, The Smiths and the Happy Mondays. Today is about beauty and spa. I’m visiting for the Professional Beauty exhibition and staying at The Lowry Hotel to review the spa. It’s often grey when I drop in and likely to rain. But I love it. I could live here. Yes I could.