All posts tagged: spa

The Massage Company - The Spa Man review

Review: The Massage Company, Royal Tunbridge Wells

The Massage Company is a simple concept, it’s a wellbeing business that offers therapeutic massages for the masses. And there is beauty in this simplicity. Taking away the candles and tinkly bells (but keeping the soothing sounds reminiscent of spa music) this is the antithesis of a spa. I visited the location at Royal Tunbridge Wells which has 14 treatment rooms over two floors and includes one duo room. The reception area is simple, clean and modern, staff are friendly and welcoming, and the treatment rooms are fairly basic, featuring a treatment bed, chair for your stuff and a trolley for any equipment. It’s more wellness clinic than spa which is also evident in the experience. You are welcomed with a glass of water and a quick consultation. Post treatment there’s not a lot of time to linger. Once dressed it’s out to reception again (no post-treatment relaxation room). The treatment menu – keeping it simple The menu is straight forward, no nonsense and easy to understand.   There are four types of massage, explained in …

The Merrion Health Club and Spa Pool - The Spa Man

Review: The Merrion Health Club and Spa, Dublin

The Merrion Health Club and Spa in Dublin is delightful urban day spa that has everything you need for a weekend city spa break. Recently refurbished and rebranded, the health club really punches above its weight and is a welcome addition to the elegant hotel in the centre of Dublin. The hotel, part of the Leading Hotels of the World oozes old world charm without being cliched or stuffy. Every single member of the staff I met was warm and friendly and genuinely wanted to help, assist or have a chat.  The National Gallery and The Natural History Museum are just a few minutes’ walk as are the main shopping streets and Brown Thomas department store. The hotel’s design is classic and understated. Its contemporary take on traditional design give it a flavour of the past without being chintzy or old fashioned. There are two restaurants, The Garden Room (which also serves breakfast) and the Michelin star Patrick Guilbaud. THE MERRION HEALTH CLUB AND SPA The Merrion Health Club and Spa is small yet perfectly …

The Bath House London

Review: The Bath House, London

Situated in an old bank opposite Buckingham Palace, The Bath House brings authentic Russian Banya to the heart of London. Based on the centuries old traditional bathing culture, Banya involves a series of sauna experiences deeply rooted in history. Central to most villages in the past, the banya was a pace of cleansing and community and (whilst it never went away) is enjoying a revival in Russia and many of the former Soviet countries that line the Baltic. There are a couple of Russian banya’s in London and The Bath House, just a stone’s throw from Victoria station brings a touch of luxury while retaining a real sense of authenticity. A warm welcome greeted me as I walked through the door from busy Grosvenor Gardens. Given a locker band, I headed downstairs to change. On single sex days you can dispense with swimwear. I draped the cotton towel around me and began my visit with a pot of warming thyme tea. The secret to the sauna bathing is to do this in stages. 5-10 minutes …

The Spa Man

What I’ve learned about spas (from the man who visits over 30 a year)

I have been visiting spas for over a decade and am privileged to visit some of the world’s most incredible spa and wellness destinations. From medi-spas in Switzerland and holistic retreats in Thailand to the warm healing waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, it’s been an incredible journey. In my time as a spa writer I have visited over 300 spas and had well over 1000 treatments including countless massages, body scrubs, facials, reflexology, reiki, holistic healing, and trauma therapy. I’ve been scrubbed, soaked, stretched and starved, pampered, poked, prodded, and even pricked with an IV drip. I’ve had my chakras balanced in Greece, meditated on a mountain in the Seychelles, let go of guilt in Italy and had an out of body experience in Mauritius. But in all seriousness, I have come to learn that it’s possible to reboot and reset your mind, body and soul in the spa. Done correctly it can be truly lifechanging. I know, I have had a number of experiences that have brought me back from the brink …

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa - The Spa Man

Review: Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, France

The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa has set a new standard for contemporary luxury spa and wellness in the Champagne region of Northern France. Set on a hill overlooking the town of Epernay and the small villages of Champillon and Hautvillers, the hotel is within easy reach of Paris (around an hour) and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It offers a real retreat, a destination in itself. Yes it’s a great place to explore the region, but you could easily stay for a few days without leaving and feel totally and thoroughly at peace. Opened in mid 2018, the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa has just 47 rooms set over two floors with two dining delights sited on the top floor. You are in for a gastronomic treat over seen by two Michelin star executive chef Jean-Denis Rieubland. For fine dining reserve a table at the Michelin star Le Royal, and for a more casual, all-day restaurant, Le Bellevue is the pace to be. Champagne is the order of …

best new spas of 2020 - Six Senses New York

The best new spas of 2020

Looking for inspiration for where to spa this year? The Spa Man has compiled his annual list of the very best new spas of 2020. The new year (and new decade) will continue to see growth in spas and wellness destinations across the globe. In the UK there is a steady stream of investment in country house hotels and a very exciting project is due to open in January (Carden Park I’m heading your way soon). 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. It’s interesting to see two new One and Only properties debut the Chenot spa concept. So here’s where to spa in 2020. The Spa Man’s annual guide to the best new spas of 2020 including: UK, Europe, North America, Asia and the Indian Ocean. If I have missed any do drop me a line! BEST NEW SPAS OF 2020: UNITED KINGDOM Carden Park, Cheshire Carden Park, set within a 1,000 acre Cheshire country estate, will …

Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall

Review: Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall, Devon, UK

Gaia Spa is a luxury spa set within the grounds of Boringdon Hall, Devon; a Grade I listed 16th century country manor on the edge of Dartmoor, Plymouth. Modern, welcoming and expertly designed, the Gaia Spa has it all. The spa makes the most of its setting offering beautiful views to the gardens, field and moorland on the horizon. From the warm welcome at reception, you can indulge in a manicure, pedicure or make-over. However, step through the spa doors to find where the magic really happens. The large pool is perfect for swimming laps and there’s a hydrotherapy pool with lots of massaging jets which leads to a small, but perfectly formed outdoor jacuzzi. Lining the pool are a series of relaxation loungers and two heater loungers. On wet days – this area can get quite busy. But during balmy sunny days from spring to early autumn you can escape outside and really commune with nature. The thermal suite at Gaia Spa is very well designed, ensuring a seamless spa journey with two saunas, …

ristmas spa gifts - The Spa Man

Best christmas gifts for women from the world of spa and wellness

The Spa Man picks the very best spa gifts for women from the world of spa and wellness to soothe, calm and cocooning this festive season. Gaia Skincare Sleep Set This is a wonder if you have trouble with slumber. Natural and handmade containing Gaia’s calming blend and bespoke elixir. Gaia’s gift of sleep, a trio of wellbeing aids; sleep balm, sleep body butter and sleep spray, infused with our calming blend of lavender, vertivert and marjoram. £40 www.gaiaskincare.com Aromatherapy Associates Winter Wind Down Collection The ultimate chill out. Release tension with every breath as your body responds to the calming aromas of Camomile, Lavender, and Frankincense. Calming mind, body and soul, these warming essential oils instil peacefulness. Includes: De-Stress Muscle Gel 150ml, De-Stress Mind Roller Ball 10ml, De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil 9ml £36 www.aromatherapyassociates.com Voya Glow Festive Scented Candle Made from non-petroleum renewable sources, this limited edition seasonal spiced candle will fragrance the home and fill it with Christmas cheer. Soybean and rapeseed oil base is lifted with sweet orange and spicy …

The Spa Man Christmas gift guide for men

Best spa Christmas gifts for men

Streamline your gift giving this year with The Spa Man’s guide to the best spa Christmas gifts for men. ESPA Ultimate Grooming Collection Cleanse, shave and soothe with these hard-working skin essentials. The Collection Contains: Triple-Action Grooming Oil 15ml, Invigorating Face Wash 50ml, Energising Shower Gel 70ml, The Hydrator 35ml £45 www.espaskincare.com ThalgoMen Christmas Cracker Regular readers of The Spa Man will know I’m a big fan of ThalgoMen. This Christmas Cracker set contains one of my favourite products – the Regenerating Cream (15ml). This high-performance formula works to reinforce and re-firm the skin in order to preserve its youthful appearance over time. The set also contains: Anti-Fatigue Eye Serum (10ml), After Shave Balm (20ml) and Wake-up Shower Gel (30ml) £18 www.thalgo.co.uk Elemis Grooming On The Go Gift Set Travel-friendly men’s grooming essentials to clean, hydrate and revive. Collection includes: Skin Soothe Shave Gel 100ml, Deep Cleanse Facial Wash 50ml, Daily Moisture Boost 50ml, Active Hair & Body Wash 100ml and a smart Travel Bag £55 www.elemis.com Temple Spa Travel Therapies Cleanse and condition from …

The Scarlet hot tub experience - The Spa Man

Review: The Scarlet, Cornwall

The Scarlet is an eco-friendly hotel and spa set on the wild Atlantic coast of Cornwall overlooking the sea at Mawgan Porth. Just along the coast from Newquay, The Scarlet is an adults-only hotel that has jumped into my top 10 favourite spas in the UK. Blending effortless charm with a casual, laid back vibe, the staff are friendly, warm and relaxed. You instantly feel at home (there’s no traditional reception desk) and you can kick off your shoes, jump in a robe and stay like that for the entire stay. The rooms all have sea views (which are stunning), every part of the hotel is designed to maximise the views and it does it with maximum impact. Gazing out over the ocean, your stress levels instantly drop a few notches and your senses are soothed. The 37 rooms over five levels are simple and comfortable with open plan bathrooms featuring the hotel’s own range of refillable bathroom amenities. The beds are positioned to look across the beach and sea. You could stay here all …

Moss of the Isles

The under the radar spa brands you really need to know about

Visiting over 30 spas a year, I come across some of the best brands that the spa and wellness industry has to offer. Whilst you may be very familiar with the likes of ESPA and Elemis, travel a little further afield and there’s a whole world of smaller, niche, boutique spa brands delivering exceptional treatments and the most delightful products. I have selected some of my favourite brands in this story, some you may have heard of, others, I am sure will become very familiar over the next year or so as they spread their wings across Europe and broaden their footprint in the UK. A fair few of these are from Australia – which is renowned for excellence in beauty and spa. Join me on a journey of discovery – as these are the brands you really need to know about. Sodashi Created by Megan Larsen in 1991, Sodashi is one of my favourite brands. A personal friend, Megan is an inspiration. Her heart and soul comes to life through the products. Sodashi is …

The Cottonmill Club at Sopwell House

Review: The Club at Cottonmill, Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

The Club at Cottonmill is the brand-new offering at Sopwell House and is a triumph of design. The beautifully constructed spa effortlessly combines contemporary design with a natural colour palette and rich textures to make this one of the UK’s most beautiful spa locations. The synergy between indoor and outdoor has been captured perfectly and is a testament to the vision of the Bejerano Family and the skill of spa designers Sparcstudio. Large panoramic windows offer guests great views of the estate. At almost every turn you can see the trees, look up to the wide open sky, and look down over the excellent spa garden created by award winning Anne Marie Powell. Set over three floors, The Club at Cottonmill is huge. What I loved is that there is space, plenty of space to simply be, to relax and chill and there are enough loungers, day beds and sun loungers to accommodate all guests with some to spare. On the top floor, the Whisper Room has large loungers in neutral tones, a fireplace and …

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa - The Spa Man

Review: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa, Switzerland

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa lives up to its name. It’s one of the grand dame hotels of Switzerland and an icon in the popular tourist town of Interlaken. The stop off for great hiking, sightseeing and some skiing, it’s an ideal base for a luxury weekend, a short wellness break or a more intense Better Aging programme from Swiss brand Nescens. The hotel has some great restaurants and you should definitely make time to eat at Sapori and La Terrasse. The spa at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa itself is vast. Based over two floors and two wings, the art deco inspired design of the main indoor pool is stunning. There are three hot tubs in this space with sauna and steam room, plus an indoor/outdoor brine hot tub. This leads out to an impressive spa terrace which is wonderful in the summer months – you can look out to the mountains and breath the fresh alpine air. The spa features a hair salon, a large gym and a dedicated beauty spa …

9 of the best face mists for cooling and hydrating the skin

Often overlooked and generally underrated in a skincare regime, the best face mists definitely come into their own in hot weather. They provide an added boost of moisture throughout the day (when you need it most) and the latest technology ensures that you are delivering high powered ingredients to the skin for a serum-like boost of energy. The Spa Man is an avid fan of the face mists and keeps a selection of three or four of the best face mists on the market on his desk each and every day. Here is my pick of the best face mists around today. Caudalie Grape Water Hydrating, 100% plant-based and extracted directly from grapes during the harvests, this hero product from Caudalie is a winner day or night. On long hot August nights I keep it by the bed to refresh the skin overnight.  It can also be used as a toner when used after cleansing. £16 www.caudalie.com Voya Ritzy Spritz Tones, cools and hydrates the skin with its potent seaweed formula and essential oils of …

Scarlet Hotel Natural rock pool - The Spa Man

The UK’s best spas with outdoor pools for a hot summer’s day

British spas have realised the appeal of bathing outside, and outdoor pools are becoming a standard fixture for new builds (where space and budget permit). The Spa Man loves to spa outside – the connection with nature while breathing fresh air is truly something special. Post-treatment, relaxing on a sun lounger (in any weather) is hard to beat. On a hot sunny, summer’s day – it’s even better. Here is the Spa Man’s pick of the UK’s best spas with outdoor pools for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, Cumbria This Lake District hotel on the shores of Derwentwater in Borrowdale is a new addition to the UK spa-scene. The setting is stunning and the spa focusses on pampering and celebrations. The view from the pool of the lake. Jaw-dropping. https://www.lakedistrictspa.co.uk Aqua Sana Center Parcs Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire It’s always high on my list of spas I recommend. The infinity edge pool that looks to the forest is pure heaven. The spa is spiffy with lots of heat and …