All posts tagged: The Spa Man

Goodbye 2015

Wow, what an amazing year 2015 has been. More travel, lots more spas and some fabulous adventures across the globe. I’ve been lucky enough to travel home to Australia visiting two impressive properties in my homestate, Tasmania. Saffire Freycinet was outstanding and Cradle Mountain Lodge was homely and really takes you back to nature. Both have compact spas, with the latter offering views from the private outdoor hydro pool to the native forest. Heavenly. En-route to Australia I stopped off at Banyan Tree Bintan. The second of the Banyan Tree Resorts to open and picture perfect. It’s exactly how you would imagine a tropical getaway to be and only 45 minutes from Singapore. It’s my top tip for a stopover en-route to Australia. But it’s not all been overseas and this year I checked out the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath, Spreadeagle Hotel and Spa in Sussex and also the Park House Hotel in Sussex. Each unique in its own right, they are great places for a weekend away and highly recommended. Now …

Review: Banyan Tree Bintan, Indonesia

THE RESORT AT BANYAN TREE BINTAN Banyan Tree Bintan is just 45 minutes from Singapore (by high speed catamaran) and is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Private villas make the most of terrific sea views looking across the South China Sea, many have private infinity pools and the resort has played host to luminaries such as Tony Blair and Kofi Annan. Bintan was the second resort in the Banyan Tree portfolio to open its doors and remains true to the company’s ethos – with the same high standard of personalised service and authentic Asian spa experience. Read about Banyan Tree Phuket Set amongst tropical gardens, you could hide away for a day or a week and not see anyone else. The resort has a beach, spa, fitness facilities and golf course on site. Whether it’s a wedding, honeymoon or a tropical spa escape, Banyan Tree has it all. With activities for nature lovers, the adventurous or lounge lizards, the resort caters to all tastes. The same can be said …

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. …

Review: Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania

THE HOTEL: Set in the alpine forests in the highlands of Tasmania, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is surrounded by bush, native trees and crystal clear air. Private cabins set amongst the trees are homely with a few creature comforts, but not five-star, but this adds to their rustic charm. On entering the cabins you are met with a heady scent of pine wood and the embers of the wood fire. You could hide away for days and simple gaze at the surrounding trees and wild roaming animals; we were visited by wallabies, wombats and possums during our stay. There’s no TV (a good thing) iPod dock, but the best soundtrack is to open the door and let the sounds of the bird drift in. It’s magical. The bathroom was modern and recently renovated and you will love the large bedroom with sofa in front of the fire and a verandah/terrace to read or enjoy the scenery. Most people visit Cradle Mountain for bush walking and I highly recommend a walk to Marion’s lookout or Crater …

The Spa Man’s Great Big Giveaway

The Spa Man has teamed up with some of the world’s greatest spa, skincare and wellbeing brands to celebrate its redesign. With a new clear and easy to navigate format, The Spa Man brings news, spa reviews and product stories from around the world. There are 12 prizes which means 12 winners. To enter The Spa Man’s Great Big Giveaway simply subscribe by email to The Spa Man posts. It’s that simple. You can of course share the love on Facebook and Twitter to double your chances of winning. Join the conversation and get your friends to sign up and most importantly good luck! Entries close Friday 24th July 2015 The prizes: Elemis Men’s Jet Set Collection Elemis has curated a great travel set of high performance skincare products specifically formulated for men’s skin. Ice Cool Foam Shave gel, Deep Cleanse Facial Wash, Aching Muscle Super Soak and Energising Skin Scrub. RRP £38 (worth £60) Dr Hauschka Gift set Boosting energy and refreshing the mind, soul and body, Dr Hauschka has its Freshness and Energy …

30 Days to a Better Brain: a step-by-step programme

So, a book that promises you will have a better brain in 30 days. That’s exactly what the iconic wellness resort, Canyon Ranch is proposing in its new (ish) book 30 Days to a Better Brain. Issues of forgetfulness and brain degeneration are high on my list of concerns and I supplement my diet to maintain brain function and am very keen on brain training, so this is perfectly pitched. It begins with an overview of how the brain actually functions – it’s in these first few chapters, which set the scene for the rest of the book that most people might get lost. It’s a touch heavy on the science, but it is necessary, and the chapters are well written and accessible, which makes it interesting and informative. You begin to realise what an amazing organ the brain actually is. This is followed by a practical step by step programme for improving memory, concentration, mood and overall wellbeing. I read the book in stages and found it fascinating. It addresses the gap between increased …

Spa Trends 2015 – Spafinder Wellness 365 report

Spafinder Wellness 365™ has its finger on the pulse of everything to do with spa and wellness. Every year it compiled a comprehensive report on spa trends and makes very interesting reading. It’s 12th report is a definitive guide to the key spa trends 2015, so it covers what’s happending in the world of wellness—including spa experiences, fitness, beauty, travel, nutrition and corporate wellness. SPA TRENDS 2015 The top global spa and wellness trends for 2015 are: FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature CANNABIS: New Spa & Wellness Connections WELLNESS TRADITIONS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD: Beyond Hammams and Argan Oil INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: BLUE COLLAR WELLNESS WELLNESS HOMES, COMMUNITIES & CITIES MY FITNESS. MY TRIBE. MY LIFE: Super-Social Fitness SPA ON ARRIVAL (& EN ROUTE): The New Travel Ritual HYPER-PERSONALISED BEAUTY: Made-for-Me Will Matter More GUT REACTION BEYOND THE STARS: Luxury Redefined FOREST BATHING: Mindfulness Meets Nature The Japanese concept of forest bathing (“shinrin-yoku’) has nothing to do with water. It revolves around a deceptively simple practice: quietly walking, with a mind intent on the sounds, scents, …

What a BRYT idea

A new addition to the skincare and grooming scene is great little British brand called BRYT Skincare. It’s a bright, fresh concept which has just launched in Waitrose. The basic premise is a simple 3-step process of Cleansing, Nourishing and Protecting to maintain an uncomplicated  regime. It embraces skincare as part of a healthy lifestyle, along with the basics of exercising, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and drinking lots of water. Aromatherapy meets Phytoscience is the USP,  utilising botanical ingredients which make it a sensory pleasure to use, but deliver some great results. The range consists of eight products for Her and four for Him. Each features the innovative Advanced Phytoscience System (APS), which includes pure aloe vera, healing allantoin and rich ‘super antioxidants’ extracted from organic Australian wild-harvested plums Kakadu, Burdekin and Illawarra – these superfruits contain up to five times more antioxidant power than blueberries. I am a sucker for a great smelling shower gel and BRYT didn’t disappoint. There’s four products in the men’s range and this would suit a …

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 …

A man’s world: over 60% of men visited a spa in the last year

A new report by Spa Guide suggests there is a growing number of men visiting the spa. You simply need to visit any spa and you see it’s true. I have witnessed a growing army of guys in robes since I started The Spa Man and it’s set to grow. I know of some spas in London where the ratio of men to women is 50/50. Spa Guide has named this new group of men ‘Spa-rtans’, which sees the modern man happily donning white cotton bath robes in spa, ready for a whole range of relaxing and grooming treatments. The study also found: Almost two-thirds of men surveyed (61%) had visited a spa, by choice, in the last 12 months to make use of its facilities and enjoy a treatment. And, nearly a third (28%) said they would choose a spa day over watching a sports match or going to the pub with their mates (I certainly would). Interestingly the report revealed that some ‘spa-rtans’ want to remain a ‘man’s man’ in the eyes of …

Review: 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’s renowned across Europe for its history and service. A total overhaul taking four years saw architect, Norman Foster create two new wings, with his signature style, which modernised the resort, yet manage to complement the original look and feel of the main hotel building (which dates back to 1899). Surrounded by woodland with the most incredible views, it combines modern five-star luxury, with old world charm. It was magical. The spa occupies the ground floor of the spa wing, with accommodation suites above. I stayed in the spa wing and had magnificent vistas of the lake and the forest. In total there are 176 rooms and suites, two restaurants (the food is exquisite and I tried Swiss wine for the first time). Breakfast is taken on the terrace in summer months. The hotel manages to create a welcome feel, combining wellness resort with world class luxury. I honestly didn’t want to leave. THE …

Spa in the city with Caudalie

Caudalie brings its unique style and traditional French charm (not to mention its fabulous products and treatments) to the heart of Covent Garden. Confirming the area as a must-visit beauty destination, Caudalie has opened the doors to its day spa experience in the heart of London. Offering treatments and a floor of interactive retail space, the design is inspired by the iconic Vinotherapie Spa, Les Sources de Caudalie, and Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux. The store window is a reflection of the natural surroundings of Bordeaux, the place where it all began, with grapevines welcoming you in to the world of Caudalie. In the centre of the store, the Barrel Beauty Bar gives you the chance to touch, fell and play – experiencing the products for yourself, or with the help of a Vinotherapist (the Caudalie expert), who can offer you personalised consultations. For a complete sensory experience, several exclusive services will be available to complement your visit: Create your own bespoke fresh Crushed Cabernet Scrub with your choice of 100% natural ingredients (grape-seeds, …

The best places to spa outside in the UK

Summer has turned all “scorchio” on us, so it was timely to round-up the best places to spa outside. What better way to enjoy our fabulous summer, than to enjoy relaxing spa treatments and the great outdoors. The UK has some brilliant spas and what’s more – lots of them have an outdoor pool or patio. Book it now. Aqua Sana, Center Parcs, Woburn Forest A woodland setting and infinity edge outdoor pool, this is a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. Powerful water jets help sooth aches and pains and all looking straight out to the trees. It’s a pure forest experience. www.aquasana.co.uk Pennyhill Park There’s a new spa’s decking area with additional seating for up to 200 guests around the outdoor pools.  Luxurious loungers and new dining tables and chairs have been introduced to take advantage of the revamped pool bar which now includes a Pimms pump to complement The Spa’s summer barbeque menu. www.pennyhill.co.uk The best places to spa outside continued Bamford Haybarn Spa at the Berkeley Unique among London hotels, …

Spa upgrade at Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill Park, in Bagshot, Surrey, has re-launched its 45,000sq ft luxury spa, following an investment of over £500,000.  The award-winning country house hotel has completely transformed the spa’s decking area, re-landscaping the space to provide additional seating for up to 200 guests around the outdoor pools.  Luxurious loungers and new dining tables and chairs have been introduced to take advantage of the revamped pool bar which now includes a Pimms pump to complement The Spa’s summer barbeque menu. Nice! In addition, the outdoor decking now includes new planting, mood lighting, feature sun sails and parasols for a complete dawn-to-dusk Spa Day experience. The entrance and lobby areas have been upgraded with enw furniture, lighting and colour palette to enhance the arrival experience for hotel guests and members of the spa. Pennyhill Park is famous across the UK and indeed, around the world. An adult-only destination spa with a huge range of spa facilities. It’s big and now has a fresh new look. 21 Treatment Rooms (including 3 double rooms and 1 wet room) Private VIP …

Korres Santorini Vine

Korres is quintessentially Greek to me. The ingredients, the collections and the inspiration. Popular right across the country, it’s widely available around the world and this year the brand launched two partner products inspired by the icon of the Greek islands, Santorini. If you have ever been to this beautiful island in the Aegean, you will know it’s famous for the white Cycladic architecture,  a breathtaking landscape and the huge caldera (and some eye watering prices in bars with a view). What you may not know is that the island is also famous for wine, particularly the white grape, Assyrtiko, from which this collection takes its inspiration. The range itself has a fruity note and grape extract which creates a distinct, naturally sweet aroma. Influenced by the volcanic soil in which it grows and the sea air, this collection is enhanced by additional notes of green apple, floral, citrus, peach and minerals – all reminiscent of green fresh blossoming vineyards…the scent of Santorini in the Summer. SANTORINI VINE SHOWERGEL RRP: £8.00 (250ml) It’s fresh, light …