All posts tagged: travel

Galgorm Resort and Spa - the Spa Man

Good Spa Guide Awards 2017

The Good Spa Guide – the UK’s leading authority on the spa industry – has unveiled the winners in its annual Good Spa Guide Awards 2017. The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA, Scotland was named best UK spa, while further awards were given for customer service and design, through to best country retreat and top newcomer. A total of 12 awards were also given for the best spas in each UK region. Winners of the 2017 Good Spa Guide Awards – in association with Spabreaks.com – were announced at a glittering gala dinner sponsored by Temple Spa on 14th November 2017 at Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. Over 101,000 consumers voted in the Readers’ Choice National Awards, while the Best UK Spa and the Regional Awards were based on audit scores from annual reviews conducted by The Good Spa Guide’s own ‘Spa Spies’. THE RESULTS IN FULL Good Spa Guide Awards 2017: Regional Awards Best UK Spa (sponsored by Temple Spa): The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA, Scotland Best Spa in London: The Bulgari Spa Best Spa …

Iceland Beer Spa - The Spa Man

New beer spa opens at Bjórböðin in Iceland

Iceland has launched a new beer spa at Bjórböðin, located on the north coast of the island. The new beer spa (which is a Beerspa & Restaurant) offers spa treatments in Kambala wood hot tubs filled with beer, water, hops and yeast.  I’m told that each of the tubs comes with its own beer tap with ales provided by the associated Bruggsmiðjan microbrewery. As it’s International Beer Day today (4th August) I thought it was the perfect time to post this story. Beer spas seem to be growing in number. There are a number in Prague and the Czech Republic and a few spas in the UK tried to jump on the trend by launching beer-lite spa treatments. These were ‘inspired’ by brewing and hops. you didn’t actually soak int eh beer though – but could enjoy a pint before or afterwards. The new beer spa on the block is called Bjórböðin, and is located on the northern tip of Iceland in the village of Árskógssandur. Guests can take a relaxing soak in giant tubs of beer, which is …

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 …

Nordic sauna Center Parcs Sherwood Forest

The best saunas with a view in the UK

Saunas have been popular for years and saunas with a view really are something special. Much more preferable than a closed, dark box room, now the trend in sauna design is to open them up, add windows and provide stunning views across the rest of the spa area and to the landscape beyond. Saunas with a view of natures, the forest, rivers or the seaside make the whole experience much more enjoyable. The Finnish discovered that pouring water over heated rocks in a small enclosed room created a very hot, dry heat – the sauna. An essential component of any good spa, saunas come with a variety of benefits for the guest.   Saunas can cleanse the skin, increase circulation, open up the airways and sinuses, ease muscle and rheumatic pain, strengthen the immune system, improve joint movement and act as a great stress release for tension. Sweating opens up the pores, lets out toxins and impurities and increases circulation. A sauna can also speed recovery time for injuries such as strains, sprains, arthritis and muscular pain. Here is The Spa …

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 …

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 …

Sha Wellness Clinic - The Spa Man

Spafinder Wellness Travel Awards 2016

Spafinder Wellness has announced the global winners of the Spafinder Wellness Travel Awards 2016. Inaugurated in 2014, the Awards recognise hotels, resorts, destination spas and retreats offering the best wellness vacations and experiences on six continents and in 41 countries, along with the top 10 properties in each of 20 categories. This year, 388 finalists competed for top honours, and consumers cast over 130,000 ballots for their favorite properties, more than twice as many as were cast in 2015. All Wellness Travel Award nominees, finalists and winners can be seen at www.wellnesstravelawards.com. Spafinder Wellness CEO John Bevan presented WTA Crystal Awards to the top properties on six continents and Country Awards to the top properties in 41 countries and regions. Category Awards were given to the top 10 properties that offer exceptional wellness experiences in each of 20 categories. New categories in 2016 include “Hidden Gems” and “Ahead-of-the-Curve.” Wellness Travel Award finalists were selected by a panel of 39 travel and wellness industry editors and experts, who first nominated 605 properties for consideration before narrowing the …

Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London - the Spa Man

Four Seasons to open new London hotel and spa

It’s not long to wait. From mid-March 2017, Four Seasons is promising to open the most lavish spa sanctuary in the City of London. Reflecting the architecture of London’s ancient Roman history, the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square features classical columns and clean lines. Colours and materials are inspired by the precious minerals mined by the Romans, lending an atmosphere of timeless serenity. With 1,680 square metres (18,083 square feet) of luxe relaxation, the London day spa features eight spacious treatment rooms, including a spacious Spa Suite for couples and a special Hammam Suite for steam treatments. Shared relaxation amenities include an indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, steam room and sauna. RELAXATION ZONE Conceived as private dressing rooms, the men’s and women’s changing rooms feature relaxation areas and individual showers. The women’s facility also includes its own steam room. FINISHING TOUCHES The spa’s elegant London nail salon is set within a circular chamber with marble floors. Four manicure stations and two pedicure stations are each placed in a separate niche for added privacy. COUPLE’S …

LUX* Le Morne Le Brabant, Mauritius - The Spa Man

Review: LUX* Le Morne, Mauritius

LUX* Le Morne is a relaxing resort tucked away in a quiet corner of Mauritius. Hugging the coast with a stretch of private beach, it’s tranquil lagoon setting ensures a chilled vibe and relaxed atmosphere for spa fans and beach lovers. It has the most dramatic setting of any property on the island, backed by the dramatic peak of Le Morne Brabant, a breath taking UNESCO World Heritage site and makes for a picturesque stay in this magical corner of Mauritius. Landscaped gardens, four pools and 600 metres of white sandy beaches give LUX* Le Morne a true sense of a tropical escape. All rooms are sea facing with a mix of superior rooms and suites are just a few steps away from the beach. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. The boat house offers everything from paddle boarding to water skiing or you can head out to sea to go swimming with the Dolphins in the early morning sunshine. The food at all three restaurants is fabulous and in particular the Thai …

Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof - The Spa Man

Review: Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof, Austria

Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is a very calm and tranquil resort in Austria just near the border with Germany. Set in a stunning position high in the Austrian Tyrol, Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is a unique retreat offering holistic health, wellness and healing. Pioneering the concept of European Ayurveda, they blend the best of traditional practice with modern principles, in a manner and style that suits both its European location and clientele. Comprehensive detox and health programmes sit alongside meditation, yoga and treatments to help clients rest, recuperate and regenerate, whilst escaping the rigours of modern life, all without the need for long-haul travel that traditional Ayurvedic programmes require. A vibrant spiritual energy and a dedicated team of practitioners helps to distinguish the resort from its competition. Part of the Healing Hotels of the World and Niche Destinations groups, the design concept is Tyrol meets India where local and recycled timber blend seamlessly with vibrant colour schemes to create a calm and serene ambiance.   EUROPEAN AYURVEDA Recognising that the nature and flow of our seasons and diet …

ThalgoMen Grooming Kit - The Spa Man

The ThalgoMen Grooming Kit

Thalgo has launched the  ThalgoMen Grooming Kit. Presented in a smart dark blue travel wash bag, it contains two of my favourite products from the Thalgo range: Wake-Up Shower Gel and Regenerating Cream. These two hero products both contain Algue Bleue Vitale™. Algue Bleue Vitale™ formula stimulates cell renewal and features scientifically proven anti- ageing properties. It’s also perfect for sensitive of skins. The ThalgoMen Grooming Kit – what’s in it? ThalgoMen Wake-Up Shower Gel is a fresh-feeling all-over body wash/shampoo that instantly cleanses and purifies your skin and hair. I have taken this on holiday many times, and when I use it at home it reminds me of open skies, sunny beaches and totally chilling out. I also keep a mini sized one in my gym kit. Its effective, non-aggressive foaming system respects the hair fibre and the skin’s physiological balance – the ideal product to take when travelling or after exercising. ThalgoMen Regenerating Cream is an excellent addition to the ThalgoMen Grooming Kit as it has a creamy consistency to help rehydrate and strengthen skin suffering …