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Wellness | Spring/Summer 2018

Making the most of your spa time





FACE MISTS Do you spritz?


Steps to summer legs


Spring/Summer 2018 | issue 8

CONTENTS Editorial Editor-at-large

Daphne Metland (Sybaritic Spy) Editor

Caitlin Dalton (Summer Spy)



From eco spas to veganism, we celebrate all things green U P F RO N T/AT BAC K

Spa trends


Contributing Editor

Your letters



The debate


Deputy Editor

Lucy Etherington (Savant Spy) Jo Gardner (Stylish Spy) Shelley Hazlewood (Scarlet Spy) Anna Ramsay (Supreme Spy) Design

Michelle State-Tomlinson David Browne

Published by Good Spa Guide Rouen House Rouen Road Norwich, NR1 1RB +44 (0)1603 692296

Follow Good Spa Guide online Good Spa Guide @GoodSpaGuide


Come home inspired Express yourself Ayurveda 10 ways to treat back pain The vegan diaries

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For advertising enquiries email:



7 Steps to summer legs Tried & tested: facial elixirs The product bible

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@GoodSpaGuide The Good Spa Guide




New opening Green spas Spotlight on Cambodia On location: Mauritius

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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK New spa hotel openings to admire (and book)





The Greek Island of Corfu will become home to a new adult-only spa hotel due to open in May. Inspired by the natural environment, and facing its own stretch of private beach, each of the property’s 70 suites and villas feature sea views, sleek design and modern amenities. The 80-sq metre spa includes a relaxation room, two treatment rooms, a sauna and a hammam, with massages, scrubs and facials on the treatment menu.

Overlooking the beach at St Andrews, The Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel has re-opened after a multi-million pound refurbishment. The spa’s hydrotherapy pool, cold plunge pool, ice fountain and experience showers embrace the healing powers of water. A new 20-metre lap pool and fully-equipped gym are also part of the refurbishment, as well as a rooftop garden with hot tub, a Finnish sauna and 13 treatment rooms.





The much-anticipated Retreat at The Blue Lagoon is now open, with an underground, mineral-rich spa and 62 guest suites circling the lagoon. Inside, spa-goers move through lava sanctuaries to find dry heat, steam and warming fires. Treatments include The Blue Lagoon Ritual, a ‘wellbeing cycle’ using mineral salt, silica and algae, as well as several different massages. Climb inside a hanging pod and watch steam rise directly up from the lagoon.

One look at Silversands’ sleek website and you know you’re in the lap of luxury. Set on a two-mile strip of pristine white sand, Silversands is both a five-star hotel and series of self-contained villas in one resort, with accommodation dotted along the beach and amid the hillside. The hotel itself has an enormous 100-metre infinity pool, as well as a spa with several calming treatment rooms decked out in marble and light oak.



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'The hydrotherapy pool embraces the healing powers of water.'





Azerbaijan may not be the first place you think of when it comes to wellness but the Chenot Group – which specialises in preventative health and regenerative treatments – has opened its first dedicated cure facility in a purpose-built property. Opened at the end of 2017, the Chenot Palace Gabala, Baku, offers 72 rooms, a 6,000sq metre medical clinic and a wellness spa. It combines the principles of Chinese healing with advances in Western medicine.

A new members’ club has opened in swanky West London, encompassing a spa, hair salon, wellness clinic, brasserie serving up nutritious dishes, and a ‘play and learn’ area for children. Cloud Twelve aims to be all things to all people – simply come and sip a cup of herbal tea in the spa’s relaxation zone or stay longer and undergo an entire personalised reconditioning programme devised by resident experts.




OCEAN WAVE A state-of-the-art Champneys spa will open on board the latest ship in the Marella Cruises fleet, part of a collaboration between the UK’s third largest cruise line and the UK’s original health spa. From May 2018, customers on board the Marella Explorer will be able to use the luxurious Champneys spa. They will be able to enjoy a full treatment menu of facials, wraps, massages, manicures and acupuncture, as well as a hair salon, wellness centre and several relaxation room. Champneys co-owner Stephen Purdew said: “I can’t wait to hear what guests think.” Based in Palma, Majorca, the Marbella Explorer ship will be the company’s biggest yet, with two new cabin types, ten dining options – including an ice-cream parlour with bicycle-themed seating – several bars and high-end entertainment.;




new products

FINE WINES Caudalie has added an anti-ageing serum to its Premier Cru range, containing their patented Grape-seed Polyphenols and the brand new Vinergy® complex. Developed jointly with a Harvard genetics professor, the serum is said to be seven times more effective than Premier Cru cream.

FACE FOOD A new facial wash, day cream and night cream join the award-winning Elemis Superfood range this season, packed with Supergreen and Supergrain complexes containing anti-oxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.


Temple Spa has added an elixir to its Truffle range, combining gold, silk and Champagne extracts with retinol, black diamonds and black orchids to support the skin, help tackle fine lines and give the skin a glow.

Skin Regimen, a sister brand to Comfort Zone, has launched with a selection of unisex products designed to combat the effects of stress and pollution on the skin of urban dwellers. The range includes a cleansing cream, targeted boosters and a day and night cream. There’s a brand new urban longevity facial to complement the products, too.


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HELLO SAILOR Voya has launched Voya Man. The dedicated men’s range contains an invigorating Facial Wash, Cooling Shaving Gel and Rejuvenating Moisturiser. Ingredients include wild Irish seaweed and active sea heather to soothe, hydrate and protect the skin against the elements. All products are 69% organic or higher.

modern plant chemistryTM


GOING UP UK RETREATS More UK spas are offering ‘retreat’ packages, meaning that you no longer have to fly to India for a punishing fortnight of self-deprivation. From yoga and mindfulness to packages aimed at reducing stress or improving your general wellbeing, you won’t have to go far. You can stay for a day or up to a week, depending on how much time-out you need.


SPAS FOR TEENS UK Spas have tapped into the teen market, dropping their adult-only policy to meet the upward trend for family spa-time and mother-and-daughter spa visits. Some spas, such as Lucknam Park and The Headland, are even offering treatments for children as young as eight. On average, one in five young people have anxiety, and research by charity Young Minds has shown that exams are a significant stress trigger. Spas are the perfect places to de-stress, have fun or – hopefully – celebrate exam results, as well as learn about skincare and self-care. Carden Park in Chester, Donnington Valley in Berkshire, Stobo Castle in Scotland and The Runnymede on Thames in Surrey offer spa days for teens.

There are some things to be aware of: will need to go with your under-18s as not all staff members hold the required certification to work with children. • Teenage brains are wired to be super self-conscious – find a spa with a private spa suite (i.e. Aqua Sana Longleat Forest) or arrange to take them with some close friends. To find your nearest spa for teens, go to and read our feature on The Best Spas for Teenagers. Look out for the games console icon at the top of each spa review. • You

'On average, one in five young people have anxiety.'

New spas are ditching the usual Buddhas and orchids in favour of a British theme. Rudding Park celebrates British Gardens; Swinton Park is all about natural elements; Gaia Spa in Dartmoor encourages ‘being at one with nature’. Aqua Sana’s new Forest Spas allow you to commune with the treetops, while Brimstone uses the Lake District as its inspiration, and Elan Spa at Mallory Court is as quintessentially English as Miss Marple. We hope this shift is more about sustainability than Brexit!

CRYOTHERAPY Said to alleviate skin conditions and pain, as well as increase the body’s metabolic rate, Cryotherapy is the latest craze amongst athletes and celebs alike. Stand in a chamber of up to -90 degrees for a couple of minutes (any longer and you’d die) and your body will yield a huge rush of endorphins.


IN THE DRINK Alcohol in spas is a very British thing – Prosecco with your lunch or in the hot tub is as commonplace as a little tipple with your afternoon tea. But rarely do you see alcohol being served in a strict wellbeing facility. Until now… Vodka and beer are on the Spa menu of Russian-owned Banya No 1 in London, while Iceland’s first beer spa opened last year. Guests can soak in barrel tubs filled with warm beer and yeast, which are said to be extremely good for the skin (remember beer shampoo?), while supping a pint. More recently, the creators of Gin71 in Glasgow have opened a delightfully decadent Gin Spa, with treatments combining JustBeBotanicals products and gin cocktails. A spa day includes a complementary G&T. Cheers.

There’s nothing worse than stepping into a poolside puddle to feel water seep through your foam slippers. Soggy toes for the rest of the day? Hell, no. So why do spas insist on providing absorbent slippers rather than non-absorbent, non-slip flip flops? Ditch the plastic bag they come in (hessian draw-string anyone?) and spas will be making better strides towards a greener future.

CHLORINE OVERLOAD If you can smell chlorine as soon as you enter the thermal facilities of your spa, turn around and leave. Yes, we need chlorine to clean pools, steam rooms and other facilities that get used regularly, but there really is no need to make guests’ eyes water.






Good Spa Guide was invited to Switzerland to review the brand new Bürgenstock Hotel & Spa; once there, Savant Spy found 10 reasons to stay. he Bürgenstock is a legendary Swiss resort perched high on a cliff 500m above Lake Lucerne. There are four hotels, but we’re here to review the newest two: the Bürgenstock and its Alpine Spa are dramatically modern, while the Waldhotel wellbeing centre is a nine-storey eco lodge designed by award-winning Italian architect Matteo Thun.



After a quick flight from London and a soothing train journey though mountains from Geneva, we arrived in Lucerne – think Gothic spires and romantic Belle Epoque buildings. From here, board the Bürgenstock’s boat and glide across the lake fringed with forests and snowcapped Alpine foothills. Hop into the red funicular – a cross between a train and cable car – and trundle up though tall pines high above the water to the hotel lobby: a magical way to arrive.


Built in 1871, the Bürgestock has a rich history. Sophia Loren was a regular; Audrey Hepburn lived here for 17 years and married in the resort chapel. In summer, you can swim in the kidneyshaped Hollywood Pool, now listed, and pose on the panoramic sundeck.


Our bedroom in the Bürgenstock was chic, neutral and minimalist with its own glassencased fire. However, your eye is drawn to the glass fourth wall, filled with sky and scenery. Wallow in your sunken bath or recline on your window seat and gaze at clouds drifting over the glinting lake. At night you can see the twinkling lights of Lucerne across the water.


Lake Lucerne isn’t just a pretty face. Thanks to innovative engineering, the resort uses it as an essential resource for generating electricity and cooling the 10 | Wellness |


aircon. Much of the new resort was built using excavated material; wood used in the rebuild came from the forest. You will be happy to know that the spa pools are filled with lake water, too.


From its lofty position, the 17m swimming pool is encased in high-ceilinged glass, filled with ever-changing sky, lake and mountains that reflect onto the pool’s surface. From here, swim though doors to the L-shaped outdoor pool, bathe in the warm water with its various bubble-jet stations and feel the fresh air on your face; its infinity edge appears to spill into the lake below.


Head down steps by a dramatic wall of water to a spacious and serene area; its glass sides bringing the beautiful outdoors in. Here you’ll find saunas, steam rooms and baths – too many to list. The highlight for us was heating up in the panoramic sauna (the view obliges you stay longer), then popping outside to dunk in the brisk lake water eco-pool – freezing, but what a buzz. We also blissed out in the salt-water floatation pool and nearly fell asleep in our sound pod recliners as they vibrated to soothing music. If you want your relaxation rooms to look like chic Penthouse suites – with cosy fires, water beds, plush sofas and glass walls with todie-for views – then you’re in luck.


The Waldhotel is a wellness clinic, with on-call doctors for patients in recovery and medi-spa treatments for those on a wellness retreat – we saw a certain Vogue editor trying the anti-ageing package. The spa here is small but exclusive, with gleaming indoor and outdoor pools and mountain views. They also have a cryogenic chamber, which is supposed to freeze the years off you. The Verbena restaurant here offers an innovative, healthy and delicious menu for all to enjoy, as well as colour-coded diet plans.


We had two very different treatments: a relaxing yet deep massage at the more decadent Alpine Spa, and a targeted facial at the Waldhotel. Both had austere, white treatment rooms but with glass walls framing Alpine scenes. My massage was the perfect indulgence after my journey – knots simply melted away. My 50minute Oxygen facial was performed by a trained dermatologist and used Swiss Line products: expensive, but you can instantly see smoothing results.


There are many restaurants and bars here, but we loved The Spice which juts dramatically over the cliff face like a Bond villain’s lair and serves a huge range of Asian-inspired dishes, which you can see being cooked in the open kitchen. We shared deliciously-fresh Sushi, followed by Pad Thai and glass noodles. Our favourite was the Middle Eastern Sharq restaurant, which had a more funky, friendly vibe – we loved their hot and cold mezze dishes so much, we kept going back for more.


The tennis courts are works of art: intricate wooden-beamed domes with glass walls framing the mountains. There is also a golf course, skating/curling rink, hiking and biking trails and a private lido on the lake.


Modernist design, inspiring scenery, a variety of food and a perfectly thoughtout spa. If we won the lottery, we would totally do 'an Audrey' and make the Bürgenstock our home. Rates at the 5* superior Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa start from CHF 650 (approximately £491) per room per night and include spa access. For more information and to book, visit or email

a Reason

to celebrate Choosing the ’Towelling Experts’ means you can trust us to deliver the best looking, softest and the most long lasting bathrobes, and that helps make happy guests. Call: 0845 210 4000 Email:

Courtesy of Headland Hotel and Spa, Newquay



The Spa Spies Savant Spy

Got a burning question for our Spa Spies? Tweet us at @GoodSpaGuide or email: Q. Should I tip my therapist?

A. Would you tip your hairdresser? If so, then a spa therapist is similar: 10-20 percent is the norm for a great treatment. If you don’t want to carry notes in your robe pocket, ask if you can leave a tip at reception when you leave. Just make sure you remember your therapist’s name.

Likes: Clever, inspiring design; sublime views; a vast, clean and empty pool; solitary relaxation areas to read, write or commune with my muse. Dislikes: Small talk, discussions about spirituality or astrology, any products containing tea tree oil or aloe (am sadly allergic), busy pools where you can’t do laps.

Scarlet Spy

Q. What is the best time to book a treatment?

A. I would always try and use the spa facilities before I have my treatment – it would be a terrible waste to have lots of lovely massage oils rinsed off in the pool. Steam rooms prepare your body and face perfectly by cleansing your pores, while jets in hydra therapy pools relax your muscles so you can get the most out of your massage. Ideally my spa day would be: spa, lunch, treatment, relax, home.

Savant Spy

Q. What should I bring to a spa?

A. It depends on the Bubble Rating. Five and up, you shouldn’t need to bring anything but swimming attire (two sets of bottoms if you don’t want to sit in a damp pool at lunch) and perhaps a hairbrush, which you can pack in a simple tote. Four and below, throw in some make-up remover and moisturiser, just in case. Products are invariably supplied for showering and moisturising; towels and robes should be supplied, and often slippers or flip-flops, too. We usually take our own flip-flops – it’s greener and cleaner. Spa websites and the information they send out on your booking should tell you everything you need to know.

Stylish Spy

Scarlet Spy

Likes: Beautiful interiors, luxurious swimming pools, being pampered, long massages, quality food. Dislikes: Noisy echoes, overlooking facilities, thin walls in treatment rooms, cramped spa layout.

Stylish Spy

Likes: Minimalist lines, organic products, facial massages, tranquillity, interesting people-watching. Dislikes: Discarded towels on loungers, steam rooms that aren't steamy, mobile phones.


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Get social Don’t be shy… come and say hello

Your Insta-gram

Post your spa pics on Instagram using the #goodspaday hashtag and tagging @goodspaguide and we’ll print the best in the next issue of Wellness.

Tweet Tweet Ditch the diet; this year we're joining @GoodSpaGuide and investing in mindful self-awareness and compassion. Be kind to yourself. @SHhotelandspa Fabulous day at the Spa and afternoon T in the restaurant at Seaham Hall Hotel. Many thanks for looking after us on our well-earned break. I understand why you achieved Best Spa in the North East – well done. @charlotta27



I’m forever dreaming of @heritageresorts Mauritius. I’d have much rather been sitting on a swing at the coco shack than going on an unsuccessful shopping trip. #takemeback #visitmauritius #heritageresorts #goodspaday

@buergenstockresort rooftop lake pool, Switzerland. Can't believe I swam in a cold water pool in January. #spa #lake #pool #wellness #goodspaday



Tasty views at the tasty @carbisbayhotel (the food isn't bad either). @goodspaguide #cbayspa #carbisbay #cornwall #outdoorpool #beachviews #canistayforever

Pool to myself this morning. Perfect temperature for a leisurely swim. @ruddingparkhotel #waterbaby #newspa #goodspaday

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Have you read the @GoodSpaGuide article on Wellness? Simply put 'it encompasses all aspects of our lives: emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social and environment, not just physical.' @katehtemplespa


professional skin care brand

At Dermalogica we believe that professional treatments must be a memorable experience, feel amazing and deliver incredible results, every time.

COME HOME... inspired

Come home


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COME HOME... inspired


A spa day can provide inspiration in many forms, from smart ways to improve your wellbeing to allowing you space and time to think. But if you really want to tap into your creative potential, read on: you could have your own personal 'Eureka' moment in the hot tub. WHAT IS INSPIRATION?

Inspiration can be a solution to a problem, or a brilliant idea that you can’t wait to get working on. When you are inspired, you feel a mental clarity as the idea forms in your mind, and excitement in your body, igniting the energy that propels you to make it happen.


Jack London the writer said. “You cannot wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club!” While rather macho, London has a good point: there is an element of the hunt in seeking inspiration. It is not a passive state but an active pursuit. Some artists and poets have given Inspiration a mystical quality, referring to muses or using mind-altering substances to open the ‘doors of perception’. Others simply surround themselves with creative types, hoping inspiration will rub off. But according to neuroscience, inspiration is a process. Studies have shown that in creativity, we use an ‘Imagination Network’ that links various parts of our brain, including the emotional limbic system, the hippocampus which processes our long- and short-term memories and the observing, intelligent pre-frontal cortex. It is a looping system of feeling, observation and reflection that deepens awareness, creating the conditions for inspiration to emerge.


To stimulate inspiration, scientists believe we should activate the ‘Imagination Network’ and quieten the ‘Executive Network’, with its critical voice, control issues and to-do lists. In preparation, declutter your head. Make a list of things that don’t serve you, and maybe control you, be it FOMO (fear

of missing out), fast food, to-do lists, certain people or situations. Leave that list in your spa locker, or outside in your car. Symbolic acts are powerful.

activity ignites mental processes. Engage in robust physical activity such as walking, running, aerobics, yoga, cycling or swimming, and fresh ideas will spring forth.



We often go through life with blinkers on, closed to each new experience. Imagine you are an alien who has just arrived on our planet – do you notice anything unusual or special in your surroundings? How does it make you feel? How would you describe it to your fellow aliens?


“If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us,” wrote Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda. At a spa, as in life, we may become impatient with other spa-goers, seeing them as objects that are in our way. Instead, be curious about them: wonder what has brought them here, what are their life stories? Invent an entire movie around them and spark up your Imagination Network.

STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE “Do one thing every day that scares you,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. Ever tried a plunge pool or an ice bucket shower? Or what about a Thai massage or acupuncture? Each new experience creates a new neural pathway, and a new learning opportunity. Fear awakens your senses and challenges your beliefs about your own limitations.


“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. Studies have shown that exercise stimulates the brain by creating new neurons in the hippocampus. Physical

When an idea strikes, you need to write it down – whether it’s at 4am or after a swim or a stroll. A little A5 notebook will slip nicely into a spa robe. Write down anything that interests you: you might find it useful later.


The unconscious contains your own unique well of ideas. Freud used dreams to tap into it and keeping a dream journal can be a good source for inspiration. Free-flow writing is another way – write whatever comes into your head allowing the sentences to flow without thinking, however strange they seem. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or nice handwriting, just let it all out.


You can discover your own unique way of looking at the world by doing more creative activities. Join a workshop and learn printmaking, pottery, poetry or song writing – whatever grabs your fancy. Creative groups tend to provide support and encouragement, allowing you to explore your creative process and push you that little bit further.


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to reach that transformation,” wrote Maya Angelou. You may not come up with the answer today, but having a fresh perspective will impact on tomorrow, or even later tonight – so keep that notebook handy.


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You don’t have to fake confidence in order to speak out. Savant Spy gives us some tips on finding our inner voice

Express yourself

“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” said Oprah Winfrey in her inspiring Golden Globe 2018 acceptance speech, citing women who had spoken against injustice in the #MeToo campaign. But for some, speaking out, even in everyday situations, can be hard, if not excruciating. Perhaps we want to avoid conflict or feel being liked is more important than being heard. Keeping your head below the parapet may feel safe, but it comes at a price – sometimes the literal

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price of not being able to ask for a pay rise or challenge an unfair deal. While others may see you as easy-going, your self-esteem will suffer and any feelings of outrage or hurt that you may feel unable to express will turn inward. In the long-term, this may well lead to a breakdown, burn-out, panic attacks, selfharming behaviour or feelings of worthlessness. Not fun, basically. If this sounds like you, get a pen and an A4 notepad at the ready, and read on…



Carl Jung divided personality types into extrovert, who project their personalities onto the world, and quieter introverts, who are more inward looking and sensitive. You are probably an introvert. That is not the same as being weak; indeed it can become your power. Famous introverts include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, JK Rowling, Mark Zuckerberg and Isaac Newton. Mahatma Ghandi, also an introvert, once said: “In a gentle way, you can change the world.” Remember Rosa Parks, the woman who in 1955 refused to give up her seat on a bus reserved for white people? She was said to be ‘timid and shy’, yet her quiet protest was so powerful it kickstarted the Civil Rights Movement. In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain notes that society, especially our workplaces, is geared towards extroverts, resulting in “a colossal waste of energy, talent and happiness.” Being loud is not the same as being right.


You don’t do small talk, you value words, you are a deep thinker, you have no interest in stealing the limelight, you love walking in nature, you are good at observing, your voice is gentle and soothing – that kind of thing.


Sometimes it’s hard to say what you mean: maybe it comes out all wrong, your mind goes blank or you blush. This is because you associate speaking with danger, triggering a fight or flight response. Adrenalin and blood are pumped around your body (hence the blushing) and your pre-frontal cortex (where you think) shuts down. Practise breathing exercises at a meditation group or on Count three breaths in and five out: longer out breaths slow your heart rate, alerting your body that the danger has passed.

'Keeping a journal is like having a friend or therapist that you can pour your heart out to. If someone drives you mad, write them an unsent letter.'


What makes you feel passionate, inspired or angry? What would you be prepared to defend or make sacrifices for? Make a list of your values and include things that are important to you, as well as the skills and talents that you possess. Values, and awareness of your own value, provide you with inner strength and feed your courage.


Carry yourself with dignity. A lot introverts hunch over – protecting their hearts. Sit upright, put your shoulders back, lift your head high, open your chest and remember to keep breathing slowly and deeply. It will change your outlook, and save on chiropractor bills.


It’s a common and often very productive union. Think of the Roosevelts, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Team up with louder vessels. They can do the talking; you do the deep thinking. It could be the perfect partnership, so long as you respect each other.


You don’t have to share everything you feel (tell that to the extroverts). Keeping a journal is like having a friend or therapist that you can pour your heart out to. If someone drives you mad, write them an unsent letter. Unlike a journal, this will be destroyed so you can let rip.


Practise saying no. Recognise that it’s hard – what if people won’t like us? – but if we don’t say no when we really want to, it can lead to stress, burn-out, low self-esteem, resentment, you name it… Practise putting your point across reasonably: show that you have listened before making your own suggestion.


This should be point one, really, but you could spend a lot of time here – it’s an ongoing process. Begin to respect who you are and what you feel and believe in, and people will sense that about you. Now go forth and speak your truth. Quietly, politely, whatever feels right to you. Just be yourself. WM


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7 steps to

SUMMER LEGS 20 | Wellness |



One day you’re wrapped up warm and cosy, then suddenly the sun is out – time to bare those legs. But after months of estrangement from regular waxing and sunshine, your pins won’t necessarily be a pretty sight. Which is why you need to get summer ready. Here’s how: Don’t compare Don't expect to see the generically skinny airbrushed limbs of a Swedish supermodel emerging from their winter cocoon. These are your lovely, unique legs, inherited from your ancestors, who used them to hike across wildernesses and run from lions rather than prance around town in sandals. They have supported you since you first toddled across the carpet, so be nice. Treat them kindly, and aim to pamper and preen, rather than perfect.

Deforest The best time to shave is after exfoliating your legs with a body brush or scrub. Wet your legs first and use a decent shaving cream (steal your partner’s) rather than soap. Waxing is best left for a few days after exfoliating; leave 24 hours before you swim or spa.

Get that golden glow A spot of colour can hide a multitude of sins. Opt for a gradual tan like ESPA Gradual Tan Body Moisturiser (£35); the results will be subtle, and you can gradually build up to your perfect colour. If it’s an emergency, Temple Spa's Lovely Day Immediate Response Bronzing Gel (£25) could be your new best friend. This odourless gel absorbs quickly, gives a sun-kissed glow and you can wash it off after the big event.


Get brushing

Body brushing is the new scrub, although we have enjoyed both as part of scrub and wrap treatments – and boy, did our skin feel good. While it’s heavenly to have a therapist brush and scrub your skin for you (and the perfect pre-holiday treat), you can do it yourself every day before you shower. Brushing with firm bristles on dry skin stimulates circulation. Invest in a good brush (try ESPA or Neal’s Yard) then start from the soles of the feet and work your way up with swift upward strokes. Pay attention to the lymph node areas – neck, armpits and groin, the backs of your knees and insides of your elbows.

3 4 5 6 7

Hydrate Use a rich moisturising oil after brushing, shaving and showering. Pure coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, as well as a great moisturiser. If heading out in the sun, make sure your moisturiser has an SPF factor; exfoliating makes your skin extra sensitive to sunburn. Drink lots of water, eat more fruit and veg and reduce your salt intake – this will also help reduce water retention.

Make them up If you don’t want to tan but would like an even colour, treat your legs like your face. MAC’s Face and Body foundation (£23.50) is famous for instant coverage, but any foundation in your shade should work. You could also apply a dusting of bronzer all over your legs, or a touch of highlighter along your shin bone for an extra glow.

Quick Tone

Toned legs don’t happen overnight – they take a lot of squats, lunges, sweat and tears. For an emergency firm-up, opt for a body wrap. These can often lead to temporary inch loss as well as baby-soft skin. Longer term, simply walking more can help tone your legs and bum, so don’t take the lift, and leave the car at home. It’s summer, you have no excuses.



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A Ayurveda is for

Wellness influencers love Ayurveda, whether it’s jetting off to the Indian subcontinent for a retreat, tweeting turmeric lattes or posing for purifying yoga asanas. But there is more to this ancient health regime than meets the eye. If you don’t know your Vata from your Pitta, read on…

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he word Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit word ‘ayur’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning to know. It is a philosophical and spiritual health tradition that has been practised in India for at least 5,000 years, and is still part of their healthcare system today. A holistic approach, with the focus on preventative health through lifestyle, exercise, treatments and nutrition, its ideas have been absorbed by our wellness industry in the West. In spas, you can experience blissfully relaxing or energising Ayurveda-based treatments, such as four-handed massages and head massages, or enjoy healthy Ayurveda-inspired dishes. If you want to join the rich and famous on an Ayurvedic retreat, be prepared to live simply rather than luxuriously, with strict diets, challenging health drinks, yoga and spiritual practices such as meditation.


The teachings of Ayurveda are believed to have been passed from the gods to sages, seers and teachers in hymn form 10,000 years ago, then spread from generation to generation of physicians in the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda flourished in the Vedic period (1500 to 600 BC) and Buddha (550 BC) was a follower. It is said that Ayurveda influenced Western medicine when Alexander the Great took Indian doctors back to Greece with him. Ayurveda went into decline after the invasion of the Muslims which began around the 8th century. In 1947, when India gained its independence from British rule, Ayurveda saw a revival. It is now recognised as a complementary medicine, although there is no criterion training or regulation of Ayurvedic practitioners, and research around it is largely considered pseudoscientific.

predominant – and prescribe lifestyle and diet routines that will keep you happy, healthy and balanced.


Slender, lively Vata types are active, busy and creative. When in balance, they are inspired and energetic, full of joy and enthusiasm. When out of balance they can be anxious, impulsive and prone to burn-out. Diet: The key is warming up and slowing down, so slow-cooked food, warming herbs such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Choose meals that are nourishing and easy to digest. Berries, fruits, rice, nuts and dairy products are good for pacifying Vatas. Lifestyle: Maintain regular habits and routines, get plenty of rest and sleep, play soothing music and favour warm colours. Exercise intensity should be moderate, so go for meditative yoga, Tai Chi, walking and swimming.


Fiery Pitta types are entrepreneurial, smart and organised, but can be domineering and touchy. Body type is medium sized, with fair skin. When all is harmonious, Pittas feel content, orderly and focused. When off kilter, they are prone to tantrums. Diet: Stress and fiery temperaments can lead to upset stomachs. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, tobacco and fried food. Eat fresh green and orange vegetables, and watery, sweet fruits. Lifestyle: Moderation is key. Aim to achieve a good work/life balance. Go easy on yourself and others and find time to meditate. Wear cool colours and connect with nature, either through walking, gardening or keeping indoor plants.

'The teachings of Ayurveda are believed to have been passed from the gods to sages, seers and teachers in hymn form 10,000 years ago.'


Ayurvedic theory is based on three mind/ body types or doshas, each a dynamic system of personality, energy, attitude, and lifestyle choices, as well as physical and emotional strengths and weaknesses. Your Ayurvedic practitioner will determine your dosha type – most people have one


Easy-going, sensual Kapha types are compassionate and relaxed, if a tad possessive and lazy. Body type is hourglass, usually with large, soft eyes and a low, gentle voice. When the energies are aligned, Kapha types feel peace, love and stability. Out of balance, they can be insecure, jealous and take longer to cool right down. Diet: Go for spicy and light dishes instead of sweet or oily ones to kickstart your sluggish energies. Drink ginger and lemon tea, and use lots of spices with heat when

you cook, such as black pepper, ginger, cumin and chilli. Lifestyle: Be more active, give yourself plenty of challenges and new experiences. Use warm scents, and surround yourself with yellows, oranges and reds.


Marma Points were traditionally called bindu, and each opens a channel to the body’s biochemistry. The focus of a marma point massage is to manipulate subtle energy or ‘prana’ to boost circulation, promote lymph flow and soothe muscles. There are said to be 107 marma points on the body.


Chakras are wheels of energy located on specific areas of the body (see below). Yogic practises, meditation and treatments in Ayurveda aim to keep the chakras open or unblocked.

The Chakras of Matter Crown:

The Sahasrara, 7th Chakra, enlightenment

Third Eye:

The Ajna, 6th Chakra, intuition


The Vishuddha, 5th Chakra, verbal expression


Anahata, 4th Chakra, love and connection

Solar Plexus: The Manipura, 3rd Chakra, personal power


The Svadhisthana, 2nd Chakra, sexuality and creativity


The Muladhara, 1st Chakra, stability and security


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While there are hardcore retreats in Southern India, Ayurveda is becoming more popular, and available, in the UK.

Ayurveda in the


The Clover Mill, Worcestershire Billed as ‘the UK’s first boutique Ayurveda spa retreat’ and set in a rustic rural idyll with its own borehole. Stay in one of three eco-lodges overlooking a lake and enjoy Ayurveda-inspired meals, traditional and TriDosha treatments, talks, cookery sessions, yoga, gong sound baths and meditation classes. From £550.

Essential Ayurveda, Lincolnshire A peaceful rural retreat surrounded by fields and wildlife. Andy gives a daily indepth consultation, Ayurvedic Creative Counselling and healing sessions; Laura is the massage expert and cook. From £850

'A peaceful rural retreat surrounded by fields and wildlife.' Ayush Wellness Spa, Hotel du France, Jersey This Five Bubble spa is run by an Ayurvedic doctor. Stay in the minimalist spa wing, attached to the opulent hotel. Food, treatments and consultations are entirely traditional, while the spa and rooms are strikingly modern. From £370

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Bulgari Spa, Knightsbridge, London offers Surrender By Mauli (120 minutes, £330) with Ayurvedic oils, a Himalayan salt scrub and marma pressure point massage.

Luckham Park, Wiltshire offers an ESPA

Uplifting Marma Ritual (90 minutes, £155) inspired by Ayurvedic techniques, and aimed at combatting insomnia and stress. Or a Personalised Dosha Ritual (120 minutes, £204) with exfoliation, wrap and doshaspecific massage.

The Scarlet, Cornwall uses ‘Ayurveda as a

lens’ to help shape your Journey (4 hours, £220), which includes a choice of bathing rituals (hot tub on a Cornish cliff anyone?), guided meditation, therapy and relaxation. They also offer lots of traditional Ayurvedic treatments from £125. WM

Lotions and Potions Tri Dosha was created by Ayurvedic therapist Sunita Passi, whose grandparents ran an Ayureda clinic in the Punjab. Products and treatments are based on the three (Tri) dosha philosophy, while ingredients are safe, natural, therapeutic and ethically made. Mauli Rituals was founded by husband-and-wife team Anita and Bittu Kaushal (Bittu’s father was an Ayurvedic doctor). Products are natural, organic and divine; many come with a traditional ‘mauli’, a red thread given to friends and family in India as a symbol of protection.

AYURVEDIC TREATMENTS • Ayurvedic Indian head massage • Pizhichil: a two-therapist massage that is utterly indulgent • Shiro-Abhyanga: deep head, neck and shoulder massage, facial lymphatic massage followed by an aromatic steam • Shirodhara: a treatment using oil poured on the forehead which puts you into a dream-like state and utterly relaxes you • Udwarthanam: a slimming treatment involving deep massage with herbal powders

Stimulate, revitalise and moisturise your skin with our collection of organic seaweed bodycare.

An award winning skincare range blending hand-harvested Scottish seaweed along with pure Hebridean water, renowned for being one of the cleanest water sources in the world.


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Suffering from back pain? You’re not alone. Before you reach for the Asprin, why not consider a visit to a spa? Stylish Spa discovers a host of treatments, practices and exercises that can help

10 ways to combat

back pain ccording to, back pain is the biggest cause of work-related absence in the UK. A large, complex region of our bodies containing bones, disks, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, it’s little wonder pain strikes from time-to-time. But whether you’re struggling with a nagging sporting injury, dealing with a long-term condition or simply feeling the aches and pains of old age, back pain can be really debilitating. We’ve got 10 ideas to help ease the agony, all taking place in a spa.


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Treatments MASSAGE The most common treatment found on the spa menu, most of us will have enjoyed a massage at one time or another. But with as many types available as there are types of back pain, how can you guarantee results – not to mention value-for-money? This is where your spa therapist comes in: tell them where the pain is, how long you’ve sustained it and what’s causing it (if you know). Then let them suggest a massage to suit. Shiatsu, where strategic pressure is applied to muscles and connective tissue, is particularly good for lower back pain, while lymphatic drainage can ease chronic pain in the short term by ridding the body of toxins. If you’ve sustained a sporting injury, a Swedish massage is good for releasing tight muscles or, for a heat targeted massage, opt instead for a hot stones or hot poultice treatment.



ACUPUNCTURE Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine which uses small, thin needles to encourage the nerves in your muscles and tissues to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. The result is increased blood flow which may help alleviate shortterm back pain associated with conditions like kidney infections. It might also help pregnancy-related back pain, as well as give short-term relief for unexplained or chronic lower back spasms. If you have ever fancied acupuncture but are worried about being in pain, ask your acupuncturist to show you the needles they use to put your mind at ease – they are as thin as a strand of cotton.

Moderate lower back pain can sometimes be eased through reiki, an ancient Japanese spiritual healing practice that helps your system find balance. When our nervous systems are out of whack, we can feel emotional and anxious, often resulting in unexplained pain. One session of reiki may slow your heart rate down, making you feel more relaxed. Sessions usually last an hour and take place on a chair or a comfortable couch. You remain clothed while your practitioner lays his or her hands on your head before moving them to the area where pain is prevalent. Ask your practitioner to teach you some important breathing techniques to use when you return home.




The Ayurvedic treatment kati-basti targets sciatica, leg pain that originates in the lower back and travels through the sciatic nerve. Here, flour is used to create a well on the lower back which is then filled with a soothing hot oil. This penetrates the skin and increases blood circulation in the area, reducing stiffness and relieving pain. If the pain is severe, you can opt for a Therapeutic Enema, a last resort where hot oil is inserted into the colon to reach the source of the pain faster. Check your nearest Ayurveda centre to see if they offer kati-basti.


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Spa facilities SAUNA/STEAM ROOM We often reach for the hot water bottle to apply heat to specific parts of our body during bouts of pain; a visit to the sauna or steam room works in a similar way. The hot, dry heat of a sauna is particularly good for alleviating muscle ache in the back – perhaps brought on by a challenging game of squash – or the pain associated with arthritis, as it encourages blood flow. In the steam room, moist heat penetrates quickly into the muscles helping those aches and pains that are associated with being ‘under the weather’. Both rooms will work to relax your muscles – and your mind.


Exercise MEDITATION Long-term pain can affect our ability to sleep, focus and get around, as well as putting a dark cloud on our mood. Meditation focuses the mind away from the pain by concentrating on breathing. At a spa, you’re likely to be asked to sit or lie down in a quiet, darkened room and told to visualise a colour or recall a happy memory. If you can ‘stay in the moment’ (and not let your mind wander), you’ll feel the benefits. Meditation has been proven to work particularly well in sufferers of osteoporosis and other diseases where symptoms aren’t likely to improve. A good amount of practice is often needed to master the art of meditation but, once ingrained, it can adopted almost anywhere, making it a very useful tool.




PILATES Pilates is a combination of abdominal stretching, postural awareness and breathing designed to strengthen core muscles and improve posture – slouching at a desk being one of the most common sources of lower back pain. Specific exercises for lower back pain include the Pelvic Tint, the Chest Lift and the Hamstring Stretch. Patients with twinges stemming from excessive movement or disc/joint degeneration are particularly likely to benefit from Pilates. The Roll Back movement (lying on the floor and moving your torso up until you are in the upright position; arms outstretched) can relieve tension in back muscles creating a greater sense of movement in the spine.


Yoga has the potential to alleviate lower back pain, with certain positions good for stretching hard-to-reach muscles. Before beginning a class, however, tell the instructor where your particular pain is so that you can sit out of positions that are likely to do more harm than good. Yoga poses that are specifically recommended for back pain include the Supine Twist (twisting can be an instant pain reliever), the Sphinx (which stimulates the sacral-lumbar arch), the Thread the Needle (which concentrates on movement in the hips), the Cat and Cow pose (which stretches the spine) and, everyone’s favourite, the Downward Facing Dog (which slowly lengthens and decompresses the spine).

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Ahh the hydro pool: hot, bubbly water with powerful jets to pummel away your aches and pains. Sitting in the warm water for 20 minutes or more is a gentle form of massage. Some spa pools have swan-necks – tall metal pipes from which water cascades in powerful jets. Stand under one and position your back so the jets are aimed at your sore spots. This is particularly good for pain stemming in the upper back, perhaps caused by lifting boxes or overdoing it at the gym. Wider pipes that are more like strong waterfalls can be good for shoulder pain. If your ache is lower down, turn the bubbles on and sit on top of the jets until they are working the correct point.


Emulating the motions and ideas behind the ancient Chinese martial art Tai Chi Quan, Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise which can help ease the pain associated with arthritis. Deliberate, flowing movements are used to create and hold shapes. Once in position, practitioners use focused, rhythmical breathing to enter a meditative state. Training the body to avoid slouching through better posture and spinal alignment reduces stress on the spine, which may help alleviate back pain. Tai Chi is also gentle, making it safe for people of all ages to practice.



VEGAN diaries How hard is it to go vegan? And is it worth it? The Spa Spy gives up her beloved cheese for a month with interesting results. This is her story.


oing vegan has never seemed so sexy. J Lo, Alicia Silverstone and Brad Pitt have turned; vegan cookbooks and restaurants are now more hipster than hippie, and you can even get vegan Doc Martins. So, yes, I am shamelessly jumping on that plantbased bandwagon. Partly because it’s easier now than ever, especially here in the UK where there are at least half a million vegans (in parts of France, they still think ham is vegetarian). But also, for the following three reasons: 1. I watched a Netflix documentary with scenes that capture animal suffering that I cannot un-watch. I wish I could enjoy a guilt-free latte, but there it is. 2. I’d like to see if giving up dairy improves my energy, digestion and (let’s be honest) makes me thinner. Research has shown that vegans have a lower BMI than meat eaters. 3. On a less selfish level, going vegan could save the planet. The U.N. believes that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to saving the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.

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They say you should ease yourself in slowly, but as a pescatarian, I feel I am already there. So, I binge on cheese for a month then go fully vegan. At first, it all seems ridiculously easy. Avocado on toast is delicious, marmite without butter is fine – and even better with nut butter. You can have baked beans, chips, hummus, falafel, lots of soups, delicious vegan curries and Oreos. There are thousands of recipes online, all beautiful and delightfully colourful as I scroll through. If I’m feeling lazy, most major supermarkets have vegan labelled meals, too. Some shops stock vegan wines (wine is made with grapes, but animal parts are used in the filtering process. I know, right…). On the downside, vegan cheese tastes like rubber; soy and Almond milks taste bitter in coffee (but are OK on cereal and in tea). Midweek, I start

'There are thousands of recipes online, all beautiful and delightfully colourful' exploring sites like The Vegan Society and PETA and realise, with horror – I haven’t been strictly vegan. Why? Because I’ve been eating granola with honey (see The Honey Debate below).


The food part is surprisingly easy, although eating a plant-based diet, which is very fibrous, has an impact on my digestion – I’ll spare you the details. Vegan websites and books advise cutting down slowly to give your gut time to adjust: wise advice. I’m so impressed with The Vegan Diner from a stall on Norwich's market but, while queuing for my burrito with fellow vegans, feeling proud and trendy all at once, I become aware that I am wearing leather boots. And have a leather handbag. And a leather belt. Is my cashmere sweater okay? (I check it out on PETA. Apparently not: none of it is). While online, I am sucked into a vegan black hole and, on the way down, read that silkworms are boiled alive in their silk cocoons. Not long after, my head starts to explode.


I have lost five pounds. My colleague has just told me that my skin looks ‘luminous’, but I do feel tired. A vegan diet, I learn, is lacking vital nutrients like calcium, iron, B12, Zinc, selenium, magnesium and Vitamin D. Also, protein, Omega 3 and iodine. Vitamin Supplements are a bit of a minefield: a) they’re not all vegetarian and b) scientists say we can’t absorb them properly. I decide to try and eat my nutrients though foods listed on the Vegan Society website, but also take carefully-researched supplements as back-up. Call me shallow, but I don’t want my teeth to fall out.


I break the vegan diet because my friend cooked me a risotto (with parmesan) and I’m too polite and embarrassed to tell her I’m vegan. That night, my stomach bloats horribly and I can’t sleep. Slightly concerning for an ageing Spa Spy, I discover collagen is made from skin, bones and tissues of pigs and cows. There are some fantastic vegan skincare brands out there: it won’t be too hard to change. However, for work I can't always have treatments with non-vegan brands. Oh dear.


After a month of going vegan – badly – I have a great deal of respect for proper vegans. Sticking to your principles when even your friends treat you like an inconvenient bore takes guts. I feel so much healthier, but on a deeper level, it has raised my awareness of important and urgent issues. I’m going to carry on quitting milk, eggs and meat, occasionally have fish in restaurants, and the odd nibble of cheese… we’ll see. WM

THE HONEY DEBATE The PETA rule is anything from an animal is off limits to vegans. While bees aren’t animals, I don't want them to suffer, so I rush out and buy some Agave and maple syrup. Then I discover some vegans are okay with honey. I do some research, and find many beekeepers have a respectful relationship with their bees. And if you buy locally, you reduce the carbon footprint.;


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THERE’S HIGH PERFORMANCE AND THERE’S STAR PERFORMANCE Our multi-award-winning skincare and treatments combine luxurious natural actives with super powered results driven technology to deliver instant radiance, deep hydration and round-the-clock rejuvenation. Outstanding performance.




Mists of Time Whether you're setting make-up, giving yourself a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or smoothing out lines, facial mists are big business. Our Spa Spies put six market leaders to the test CRÈME DE LA MER MIST 100ML | £60


DOES IT WORK? The Mist lives up to

containing sea kelp and other marine

its promises of hydration and revitalisation.

botanical extracts; live internal magnets (to

I even started spraying it into my palms so I

continually charge the ingredients).

could slather my face with it in the morning.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Despite the big

VERDICT: As well as incorporating it into

name, the clear bottle is understated and

a regular routine, The Mist is a lovely way of

stylishly packaged in the trademark sage

giving your skin a pick-me-up during the day.

green Crème de la Mer box.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? My skin is fairly dry, so I couldn’t see this working, but I take my cynicism back. This prettily-scented mist made my skin feel soothed and hydrated,

'The Mist lives up to its promises of hydration and revitalisation.'

while seriously perking it up.


KEY INGREDIENTS: Lemon, melon, lime, lavender and basil.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The Temple Spa box with flash of emerald green down the side looks smart; the spritz comes in a clear plastic pump with removable cap.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? Light to the

pH balance of your skin, antiinflammatory, anti-itch, calming and soothing.” I agree that it is calming and soothing, and it certainly refreshes and hydrates the skin, too.

VERDICT: I am a spritz user and would buy this Toning Essence over my usual one.

touch and zesty in aroma. It’s a great pick-me-up, ideal for use after cleansing and before moisturising.

DOES IT WORK? Temple Spa says that it “cools, refreshes, refines and tones, restores the natural

'It’s a great pick-me-up, ideal for use after cleansing and before moisturiser.' SPRING/SUMMER 2018

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KEY INGREDIENTS: Water, sea water,

DOES IT WORK? It’s certainly uplifting

sea salt extract, yeast extract and copper

and the smell is very pleasant. I found it


moisturised the thin skin around my eyelids

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The pale blue canister with aerosol spray top is simple and pleasing on the eye

WHAT'S IT LIKE? One spritz on the face delivers a lovely, fresh scent that doesn’t smell too strongly of salt, as some Thalgo products do. The mist feels quite damp at first, but is instantly cooling, and it dries in a rapid 30 seconds.

well, without leaving any stickiness.

VERDICT: With its refreshing blast and rapid absorption, this spritz definitely does the trick. It’s good value, too, and comes in handbag and desk sizes.

'With its refreshing blast and rapid absorption, this spritz definitely does the trick.'



KEY INGREDIENTS: Natural Moisturising Factor (amino and lactic acids), Tripeptide-1 (mimics healing

'Cooling and wonderfully refreshing.'

and the synthesis of collagen), other ingredients of 99 percent natural origin.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: My first impression was suspicion, even though I love Comfort Zone. It comes in an austere glass bottle with information folded in the box like you get with medication.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? This is a clear lotion with no scent at all; like water but slightly thicker so it doesn’t just roll off your skin. It feels cooling and wonderfully refreshing.

DOES IT WORK? Surprisingly, yes. My skin feels so much more hydrated throughout the day when I use this product. It's supposed to make your serum and moisturiser more effective, too.

VERDICT: I didn’t expect to, but I’ve become rather reliant on this new elixir. My skin feels notably better when I use it and the extra hydration makes it look plumper and firmer. Clever Comfort Zone.

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100ML | £50

KEY INGREDIENTS: Hungarian thermal water, orange blossom, rose & sage water, apple pectin.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The frosted, weighty glass bottle looks and feels expensive. It’s the kind of product that you want to leave out on show and it’s easy to see why it has gained a cult beauty following.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? The mist feels refreshing and hydrating and is so fine, you can use it on top of your make-up. The rose, sage and orange notes are divine. A blend used by the Queen of Hungary, it was the world’s first recorded perfume.

DOES IT WORK? When used as a toner the mist is really hydrating and settles into the skin quickly; it works well as a 3pm pick-me-up, too.

VERDICT: At £50 this is definitely a treat but I would like to try the travel version (£15, 30ml) and see how good it is during a flight.

'A blend used by the Queen of Hungary, it was the world’s first recorded perfume.'


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Best for…

Nature Lovers N

ature is the key ingredient for these brands, but by no means at the expense of effective skincare. Botanical ingredients are wielded with the same targeted and resultsdriven intent as manufactured ingredients. The point is to do it with love and respect for the natural world, for the planet and for our skins. Not all ingredients are completely organic: it’s not easy, or cheap, to receive Soil Association certification. Instead, these brands wear their ethical hearts on their sleeves, assuring us that they do not

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use petro-chemicals, PEGS, Silicone, microbeads, or synthetic fragrances and other chemical nasties. Essential oils used in aromatherapy are extracted from raw plant material, including flowers, berries, bark, wood, roots, leaves, resin, peel or seeds. Aromatherapy works on the basis that the smell of the essential oil triggers the limbic system, the part of the brain linked with emotion. Smell is a very powerful sense that can also work with your memory. ‘Luxury artisanal’ products are often hand-made, or have ‘hand-plucked’ ingredients, hence the content of each bottle or jar may be subject to the whims of the seasons.


THE PRODUCT BIBLE The ultimate guide to the most luxurious skincare products used by the best UK spas, divided by ingredients and ethos. Whether you want natural or science-driven (or both) we’re here to help you through the product maze.


Aromatherapy Associates Hero products: Hydrating Nourishing Face Oil (15ml, £49), Anti-Ageing Overnight Repair Mask (50ml, £62), Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil (55ml, £49), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa, Cornwall; The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, Cheshire. Founded in 1985 by aromatherapists, the products are made in the UK using natural plants and herbs that have been ethically sourced from around the world. Each ingredient has a role to play, with Damask rosewater replacing ordinary H2O. Sybaritic Spy says: “Damask rosewater is my favourite smell, and the overnight repair mask is a pre-party prep I’d swear by.”

Bee Good Hero products: Honey and Proplis 2-in-1 Cleanser (100ml, £11.50), Hydrate Smooth and Prime Serum (30ml, £25), NectaPerfecta Beautifying Mask (100ml, £39.95), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: The Hilton Bankside, London; Y Spa at The Waterfront Hotel, Bedfordshire. British bee ingredients honey, propolis and beeswax are at the heart of this product range, but they don’t use Royal Jelly or Bee Venom – the health of their bees is paramount. Income from each product supports bees, their environment and the beekeepers. Savant Spy says: “Bee propolis and beeswax are great at holding in moisture and screening against pollutants. These products give me a youthful glow and a happy conscience.”

Decléor Hero products: Aromessence Neroli Oil Serum (15ml, £48), Hydra Floral Hydrating Light Cream (50ml, £43), Phytopeel Exfoliating Cream (50ml, £30), available at

'...the overnight repair mask is a pre-party prep I’d swear by'

cutting-edge in 1970s Paris. Their Aromessence Oil serums remain at the heart of the brand today, but the range has grown.

The Spa Spies tried them at: Aqua Sana Spas, nationwide; The Woodland Spa, Lancashire. Decléor is one of the earliest aromatherapy skincare companies – its holistic philosophy of plant-based energy treatments was very

Shy Spy loves the fragrances and says: “Their Aroma Cleanse with neroli is my favourite daily cleanser and is perfect for my sensitive skin.”

ila Hero products: Orange Blossom Candle for Higher Energy (200g, £40), Face Oil for Glowing Radiance (30ml, £75), Bath Salts for Inner Peace (500g, £49), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Elan Spa at Mallory Court, Worcestershire; Stanley House Hotel and Spa, Lancashire. ila means ‘earth’ in Sanskrit. The company was founded by nurse, aromatherapist and yoga teacher Denise Leicester, and products are made in the Cotswolds. Most ingredients are certified organic or sourced from plants and minerals from remote, unpolluted parts of the world. Scarlet Spy loves that ila treatments are truly holistic and special, involving music, the seasons and emotions. “The products feel luxurious on my skin and smell divine.”


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Spa Experiences from ÂŁ25pp

Contact us : 0800 043 6600


Made for Life Organics Hero products: Daily Radiance Facial Cleansing Balm (50ml, £29), Daily Rejuvenating Face Oil (50ml, £39), Restorative Body Balm (100ml, £45), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Agua at Mondrian, Agua at Sanderson, London; Y Spa at the Waterfront Hotel, Bedfordshire. Made For Life, formerly Spiezia, was the first UK company to achieve 100 per cent organic certification across the entire collection. Treatments for those recovering from cancer have been developed with the Made for Life Foundation. Shy Spy says: “The products look and smell good enough to eat; my sensitive skin laps up the delicious oils and I love the funky coloured jars.”

Natural Spa Factory Hero products: Gentle Rose Gel Cleanser (50ml, £22.50), Honey Massage Tin Candle (£24 for 3), Fig & Vanilla Body Lotion (250ml, £15) available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, Essex; The Headland Hotel and Spa, Cornwall. Natural Spa Factory is a family-run British brand using ethically- and botanicallysourced ingredients from the UK. Ranges target very real concerns — menopause, pregnancy, hangovers — and the muds are packed with skin-glowing goodies. Stylish Spy says: “Their scrub and mud mixes, such as chocolate, vanilla and orange, or gold, are some of the best out there. Their amazing Regeneration Face Wrap is a quick face-lift.”

Neom Hero products: Tranquillity Scented Candle (420g, £45), Daily De-stress Face, Body and Hair Oil (100ml, £32), Great Day™ Body Scrub (332ml, £34), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Moddershall Oaks, Staffordshire; The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, Lancashire. Journalist Nicola Elliott created her own unique aromatherapy oil blends, then turned it into a business with partner Oliver Mennell – their initials form the name. Neom is a great British brand, which offers beautiful aromatherapy products and treatments. The candles make gorgeous gifts… if you can bear to part with them. Single Spy says that after her Revive treatment, she felt her energy levels lift. “Neom candles are on my wish list every birthday, Christmas... even Easter.”

Temple Spa Hero products: Skin Truffle Total Face Rejuvenation (50ml, £85), Repose Aromatherapy Resting Cream (50ml, £40), Be Strong Skin Serum (30ml, £40), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Dormy House Hotel and Spa, Worcestershire; Weavers’ House Spa at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel, Suffolk. A deeply sensuous English brand inspired by the Mediterranean healthy lifestyle, developed in laboratories on the lakes of Geneva and Italy, and seasoned with herbs from Suffolk. Ingredients are cruelty-free and mostly vegan, while products are targeted using derma-science and technology. Temple Spa products are great for luxury lovers: they look sophisticated and smell deeply, but not overpoweringly, of fresh herbs and essential oils. Sybaritic Spy loves the Skin Truffle Total Face Rejuvenation for its visible smoothing and firming effects; Supreme Spy swears by the Repose Aromatherapy Resting Cream.

Tri Dosha Hero products: Calm Face Cream (60ml, £36), Skin Softening Wash (250ml, £16.50), Skin Cleanser (200ml, £21), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: The Scarlett Spa, Cornwall. Ayurveda is deeply entwined with this holistic skincare brand, which uses natural and organic ingredients with many wild crafted and therapeutic herbs. Treatments and products are tailored to your ‘dosha’, or body type. The products are fresh, soothing and as good for the environment as your skin. If you want to adopt a more holistic change to your skincare routine, Tri Dosha is the way forward. Super Spy is a big fan of Ayurveda treatments in spas but points out the strong herby scents might not be for everyone. “The philosophy is about healing and balance, but the products are also very effective.”

'A deeply sensuous English brand inspired by the Mediterranean healthy lifestyle...' SPRING/SUMMER 2018

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Best for…

Mermaids & Green Goddesses


erhaps you don’t want to put chemicals on your skin, but still want results? Then go for brands that use plant ‘actives’. The idea is that plants are tough little blighters, often living in hostile conditions. To thrive and regenerate, they deploy active elements that we can harness to improve our skin. The evergreen succulent Aloe Vera has been used for centuries to treat sunburn; anti-bacterial tea tree oil is often used to treat acne. Other useful natural extracts are fruit enzymes that dissolve dead skin cells in skin peels, fruit acids that provide a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and

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plant-based proteins, vitamins and amino acids, said to stimulate collagen production. Our seas also have a rich and diverse array of plant-life, from microscopic algae to giant fronds of kelp and seaweed. Sailors used to wrap seaweed around their wounds to aid healing: now you are more likely to find it as an ingredient in high-end anti-ageing products or thalassotherapy treatments, along with nutrient-rich algae. As with bio-actives, marine actives are often isolated and developed in laboratories, although some brands such as Ishga and Voya use older techniques, hand-harvesting their seaweed from remote and unpolluted waters.





Hero products:

Hero products:

Beauty Elixir (100ml, £32), Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (30ml, £45), VinoSource Moisturising Sorbet (40ml, £23), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Les Sources De Caudalie, Martillac, France; St Brides Spa Hotel, Pembrokeshire. Vineyard owners Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas created Caudalie after being inspired by the antioxidant qualities of grapes. Their first ‘Vinothérapie’ spa opened in 1999, with ethics – or ‘Cosm’ethics’ as Mathilde says – at the heart of the brand. Caudalie is an affordable luxury: elegant, ethical and très chic, ideal gifts for the discerning Francophiles in your life.

The Spa Spies tried them at:

Parisian kinesiotherapist Pierre Darphin launched the first line in 1958. Fast forward 60 years and Darphin is now part of the Estée Lauder Group. Its essential oil elixirs are formulated with high quantities of plant extracts. Supreme Spy tells us that Darphin is a classic French brand that feels divine on her skin. “The products are slightly harder to find in the UK so if you see them, snap them up.”

The Spa Spies tried them at: Ragdale Hall Spa, Leicestershire; The Spa at Sopwell House, Hertfordshire. Family-owned Clarins favours plant-based extracts, ethically sourced where possible, combined with innovation and scientific research. Clarins has its own laboratories, collaborates with leading ethnobotanists and works with research centres and universities. Scarlet Spy says Clarins is her go-to, failsafe beauty product. “Their cleansers and toners are comfortingly reliable, like a good friend. And if that good friend happened to buy us some Beauty Flash Balm (Clarins’ cult creation) for Christmas, I would be very happy...”

The Spa Spies tried them at: Ockenden Manor Spa, Sussex; Rudding Park, North Yorkshire. Founder Kristy Cimesa has a background in Chinese medicine; her vision was a range that balanced seasonal, lifestyle and hormonal changes. Products are created with patented, bio-active ingredients, along with essential oils, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Summer Spy rates their seasonal treatments and concentrated skin serums. “The products smell gorgeous – if you have a massage with Elemental Herbology oils, you won’t want to shower afterwards.”

Hero products:

Beauty Flash Balm (50ml, £32), Huile Tonic (100ml, £40), Double Serum (50ml, £75), available at

Cool and Clear Facial Cleanser (30ml, £29), Hand Nutrition Intensive Hand and Nail Repair Cream (75ml, £18), Tree Of Life Multi-Purpose Balm (100ml, £22), available at

Stobo Castle Health Spa, Peebleshire; The Vineyard Spa, Berkshire.

[ comfort zone ]

Hero products:

Hero products:

INTRAL Toner (500ml, £58), 8-Flower Nectar (15ml, £98), Aromatic Cleansing Balm (40ml, £35), available at

Savant Spy was enchanted by the Beauty Elixir and Radiance Serum. “The eye cream felt really nourishing on my dehydrated eyes. I noticed instant results. The products feel as good as a glass of fine wine tastes.”


Elemental Herbology

Skin Regimen Juvenate-Pro Booster (30ml, £70), Body Strategist Scrub (200ml, £36), Sublime Skin Cream (60ml, £78), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Rockliffe Hall, County Durham. Launched in 1996, this Italian company is committed to technological innovation and research, and uses natural ingredients where possible. Renewable energy is used in its labs and the brand has invested in reforestation projects. Their eco range is called Sacred Nature. Savant Spy likes the stylishlyunderstated fragrances and packaging. “It’s not showy, so I am always surprised by how effective and innovative their products are. I recommend the Sublime Skin Essence for dehydrated skin.”

Elemis Hero products: Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (105g, £41), Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (50ml, £82), Frangipani Monoi Body Oil (100ml, £37), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Moddershall Oaks, Staffordshire; St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Guernsey. Elemis uses ethicallysourced, natural ingredients and plant-based botanicals. Creating a natural aroma is also an important part of the brand ethos. Their Pro-Collagen range uses rich marine and plant actives, while BIOTEC combines actives with technology. Single Spy swears by the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, a face-lift in a jar. “You can’t go wrong with a Frangipani Monoi body oil massage. It smells heavenly and is my go-to treatment.”




ESPA Hero products: 24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser (55ml, £45), Restorative Body Oil (100ml, £34), Optimal Skin Pro-Serum (30ml, £51), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: ESPA at Luckham Park, Wiltshire; The Spa at Gleneagles, Scotland. ESPA takes an East-meets-West holistic approach to skincare, combining science with aromatherapy, mindfulness and nutrition. Ingredients are 99-100 per cent natural, using the purest extracts and actives. This is a classy, respected beauty product house, perfect for anyone who wants a spa experience every day in their bathroom cabinet. The active ingredients produce great results while the products themselves feel and smell luxurious. Savant Spy says: “The Optimal Skin Pro Serum is a godsend for tired or dehydrated skin: and the smell is one of my all-time favourites. They should think about bottling it as perfume.”

ishga Hero products: Anti-oxidant Marine Face Cream (50ml, £70), Regenerating Face Serum (50ml, £60), Invigorating Body Lotion (100ml, £35), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall, Durham; The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, Lancashire. The Hebrides has some of the cleanest waters in the world and this is where ishga hand harvests the seaweed for their skincare range. Ishga feels as Scottish as Fairisle jumpers and single malts. Products are creamy without being too oily and great for combination skin. The ingredients can be very active, but you should be left with a robustly healthy Hebridean glow. Scottish Spy says: “Scotland’s answer to Crème de La Mer. I apply the body oil to my damp skin and it stays beautifully moisturised all day.”

Oskia Hero products: Renaissance Cleansing Gel (100ml, £31), Super 16 Pro-Collagen Super Serum (30ml, £85), Renaissance Mask (50ml, £51), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Grayshott Health Spa, Surrey; The Cliveden Spa, Berkshire. Founder Georgie Cleeve discovered the benefits of MSM (Methyl Sulphonyl Methane) aka ‘The Beauty Mineral’ on her skin when taking it as a supplement. Oskia (Greek for ‘delivering beauty’) uses bio-available nutrients, anti-pollutants and patented actives in their product range. Stylish Spy says: “I usually take skincare ‘science’ with a pinch of organic sodium but the lovely effects of Oskia products are hard to argue with. My skin really did look years younger.”

Thalgo Hero products: Deeply Nourishing Body Cream (200ml, £42), Hydra-Marine 24h Cream (50ml, £43), Refreshing Spa Exfoliator (50ml, £28), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Stoke Park Spa, Buckinghamshire. Thalgo Laboratories has been creating marine products since 1964 and works closely with renowned phycologists (algae experts) conducting marine exploration and research. Each product targets specific concerns, including anti-ageing, slimming, anti-cellulite, sun protection and detoxifying. Super Spy thinks the HyrdaMarine Cream is perfect for ageing skins. “And it’s ever so chic, something we imagine Isabelle Huppert would have on her dressing table.”

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Voya Hero products: Get Glowing Illuminating Clay Face Mask (50ml, £33.60), Me Time Soothing Moisturiser (50ml, £55), Lazy Days Seaweed Bath (400g, £17), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: PH2o at Park House, Sussex; St Brides Spa Hotel, Pembrokeshire. Voya’s big selling point is the use of organic, hand-harvested Irish seaweed and algae in its products and treatments. Being family owned, and proud of its local and green credentials, adds to its charm. Voya is perfect for those with dry or ageing skin and lovers of organic, sustainable products. Scarlet Spy was brave enough to try the Seaweed Bath and noticed an improvement to her dry skin patches. “Bathing in seaweed may be for the adventurous, but I have found their everyday skincare is supersoothing for my somewhat volatile skin.”


For over 10 years, VOYA has set the bar for results-driven, certified organic skincare, worldwide. VOYA is the original seaweed skincare brand that specialises uniquely in using hand-picked wild Irish seaweed to improve your health, skin and beauty. The wild Atlantic way is from one of the cleanest coastlines in the world. Available exclusively at luxury spas & stockists worldwide. To become a VOYA partner or for more information: Call: +353 (0)71 916 1872 Email:

W H AT W E O F F E R : • • • • •

Outstanding On-Site Training Flexible and Bespoke Treatment Menus Marketing and PR Support Business Development Courses Hotel Amenities


Best for…

Classic Beauties L

uxurious and results-driven, dermaceutical skincare products attempt to straddle the gap between dermatology and beauty. Whether you are acne-prone or want to turn back the wheels of time, these are brands that promise immediate and dramatic effects – without having to go under the knife or undergo any surgical procedure (as far as we are concerned, this includes needles and anything that breaks the skin). Products will feel gentle and divine but have at least one strong active ingredient to target specific skincare concerns. We’re talking about hyaluronic

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acid, retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, peptides, BHAs, AHAs and collagen, but also sunscreens, a vital yet oft-overlooked factor in anti-ageing. The active ingredients in these products are strong, but not so powerful they can’t be sold over the counter. Brands may embrace wellness theories alongside their results-driven products, but above all will feel utterly luxurious. Treatments do not need to be performed by medically trained professionals: they are generally non-painful but may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin. Many use machines that use galvanic currents, ionisation, thermic energy, oxygen or LED lights to enhance, they say, the efficacy of the product.




Germaine de Cappuccini

Hero products: Fluide de Beauté 14 (100ml, £48), Diamond of Beauty (50ml, £470), Carita Eau de Parfum (50ml, £65), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: ESPA at Lucknam Park, Wiltshire; The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, Cheshire. This luxurious brand, started by two French sisters, is over 60 years’ old yet remains at the forefront of non-surgical, anti-ageing skincare. The CINETIC™ Lift Expert Facial, a favourite amongst celebs, uses microcurrents, ultrasound and LED technologies to lift and tone. A lot of research, expertise and technology has been packed into each jar, and there's absolutely no animal testing — hence the price. Sybaritic spy finds results are noticeable, especially on her mature and dry skin. “Check first if you have sensitive skin or are prone to break-outs as it can be quite strong.”

Dermalogica Hero products: Special Cleansing Gel (250ml, £32), Daily Microfoliant (75g, £48), Super Rich Repair (50ml, £69), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Dermalogica, Duke of York Square, London. The brand launched in 1986 as a product line free from common irritants and ingredients that could cause break-outs. The ingredients it does use – natural actives – produce results. The statement no-nonsense packaging says it all. Scarlet Spy says: "If you have specific skin concerns, this is an intelligent, practical and trustworthy brand that offers visible results. Their ProSkin-60 facial is one of my favourite treatments."

Hero products: Multi Regenerating Rosehip Oil (30ml, £39.60), Illuminating Detox Eye Formula (15ml, £55), X.Cel Retinage Filler (50ml, £110), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Inside Spa, Lancashire; Spa at Ye Olde Bell, Nottinghamshire. The Spanish skincare company specialises in anti-ageing but covers all skin types using the latest technology and ethicallysourced plants, vitamins and minerals. Formed by Carmen Vidal in 1964 at her kitchen table, it now launches 40 new cutting-edge products a year. Stylish Spy admires the brands boundless creativity and nourishing, luxurious products. “I always want to try the latest Germaine de Capuccini product or treatment, especially as my skin gets older. The results are instant and visible.”

Linda Meredith Hero products: V-Tox (50ml, £99), Q3 (50g £79), Hydrating Mist (40ml, £29), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Chewton Glen Spa, Hampshire; Linda Meredith, Knightsbridge. Legendary celeb facialist Meredith created the concept of layering to target specific concerns rather than skin type. The range is designed so that each product can be overlapped, thus problem areas are both treated and brought into harmony. Sybaritic Spy takes the wonderful Hydrating Mist on long haul flights. “At 50ml it fits easily in hand luggage, so you can land ready for the day ahead – and glowing.”

Murad Hero products: Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (50ml, £60), Invisiblur Perfecting Shield (30ml, £60), AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (200ml, £35), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: Spa Experience, Nationwide; Y Spa at The Waterfront Hotel, Bedfordshire. Since launching in 1989, Murad has been at the cutting edge of skincare science, and was one of the first to use glycolic acid and dietary supplements. The company’s founder Dr Howard Murad has a holistic approach that he calls Connected Beauty. Summer Spy swears by Murad to help control blemishes. “There are so many products for anti-ageing but Murad is the best I’ve found for my stressed-out skin and I’ll grab them whenever I can. Their cleanser is legendary.”

Natura Bissé Hero products: The Cure Sheer Cream (50ml, £153), Glycoline Extreme Peel (30ml, £208), Diamond Extreme Eye Cream (25ml, £167), available at The Spa Spies tried them at: The Spa Spies tried them at: Sequoia Spa at The Grove, Hertfordshire; The Coniston Spa, North Yorkshire. This glam, Barcelona-based brand, launched in 1979, is rooted firmly in science and research, using pharmaceutical grade ingredients for targeted results. Latest innovations to enhance an already spectacular facial include the Oxygen Bubble and Virtual Reality Headsets. Natura Bissé products and treatments are an investment but they are worth it. This is Sybaritic Spy’s go-to range. “The Diamond Expert Eye Cream makes my eyes look like I’ve had a full eight hours' sleep, even when I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. The Sheer Cure Cream is a god-send when I want beautiful skin without having to wear full make-up.”

[Disclaimer: We have listed spas where the Spa Spies have tried these products. You may also find them in other spas. Prices are correct at the time of going to print].


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Cambodia With ancient temples, idyllic beaches, tropical jungles and flowing waterfalls, Cambodia impresses on several levels. But what about its spas? We sent Mark Smith on a spa hunt, Asian style.

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ocated right in the middle of Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia has been a natural stopover for backpackers heading between the two countries for decades. But new boutique hotels, funky bars and reputable restaurants have altered the lay of the land, attracting a different type of holidaymaker, with an appetite for Cambodia – and Cambodia alone. More and more visitors are coming

to admire the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat, getting lost in its creative ambition and spiritual devotion, with hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes opening as a result. From large heritage properties with royal connections to boutique places with quirk and charm, you’ll find it all here. Twin Angkor Wat or Phnom Penh with The Southern Islands and you’ve got a recipe for a holiday of a lifetime. Endless stretches of soft white sand, hammocks swaying in the breeze, the pitter-patter of

raindrops on the roof of your thatch bungalow as you enjoy a Cambodian massage… But it’s the country’s capital, Phnom Penh that has received the lion’s share of investment, leading the way with increased air routes, International restaurants (some with Michelin stars) and luxury hotels from prestigious brands like Raffles and Sofitel. And where you find a luxury hotel, you’ll also find a decent spa. How decent, though? Read on...


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Phum Baitang

Siem Reap

First impressions

After a 15-hour flight, the sight of green rice paddies coming into view as we neared Phum Baitang was exactly what the doctor ordered. Designed to replicate a traditional Cambodian village, this luxury all-villa resort is made up of a series of traditional wooden houses built on stilts. Set in eight acres of lush tropical gardens, all you can hear is the gentle sound of the breeze rustling through the trees and the tuneful hum of tropical birds.

'After a day wandering around the nearby temples of Angkor Wat, Phum Baitang is a stylish retreat worth returning to again and again.' Look up and marvel at those lush paddies (the resort harvests its own rice for the restaurants), sit under a swaying palm tree or say hello to the resident water buffalo. After a day wandering around the nearby temples of Angkor Wat, Phum Baitang is a stylish retreat worth returning to again and again. Did we mention that Angelia Jolie is a regular guest? If it’s good enough for her…

What’s on offer

All 45 individual villas are as chic as accommodation gets. Handcrafted in local wood, interiors are calming and neutral, with bare-wood floors, soft linens and hand-selected antiques. Bathrooms require a special mention with free standing baths,

walk-in showers, double sinks and organic, hand-made Phum Baitang toiletries. Modern touches include flat screen TVs, fully-stocked minibars and Nespresso machines. Take your first cup of coffee of the day out onto the terrace and watch as resident geckos scale the walls. You can borrow bikes to get around the resort – we used them to reach the refreshing 50-metre infinity edge pool whenever the tropical heat got too much. After a swim, relax on a sun lounger, cocktail in hand, or grab a spot at the Bay Phsar restaurant, which is where breakfast is also served. The spa, aptly named Spa Temple, has been designed in keeping with Angkor Wat – the same motifs from the façade of the main temple can be seen replicated here. Inside, the spa has muted tones, polished floors and walls, antique furniture and soft lighting.

Tell us about your treatment(s)

I tried the Touch of Cambodia Massage (80 minutes, £50) in a modern and spacious treatment room, where I remained fully clothed throughout. In this massage, deep, rhythmic pressure is used to ease tension in the legs, back, shoulders and arms. The treatment began with a refreshing foot cleanse and scrub using salt and fresh lime. Lying face down, my therapist then applied warm compresses filled with lime leaves and lemongrass through my clothes to relax the muscles in preparation for a vigorous massage. At different stages of the treatment, my therapist would sit or kneel directly on the bed to apply more pressure where needed.

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The massage on my back and legs was sturdy and effective, and the procedure was repeated on my front after half an hour. A blissful head massage and a ginger tea in reception ended this glorious treatment, which made me feel lighter than air.

Food facts

Dining is a delight at Phum Baitang –breakfast like the locals and try the noodle soup (which is more refreshing in the tropical heat than it sounds). Chefs cook individual dishes for guests at Bay Phsar in the evenings, while Hang Bay features top international cuisine, as well as local favourites. Don’t leave without sampling the local speciality Fish Amok, a dish made with fresh water fish from nearby Tonle Sap. Baked in coconut milk and spices, it’s both light and fragrant. There’s a good wine menu on offer, too – and even better cocktails.

Who do you think would like it?

Foodies will love the cooking classes which include a trip to a local market and a wander around the garden to select ingredients to cook in the resort’s kitchen. Design fans: Phum Baitang will appeal to modern design aficionados.

Don’t miss

The boutique: exclusively-designed products and signature homewares are on sale here. Sunsets from the cocktail lounge: these are almost as impressive as the sunrise at Angkor Wat but without the crowds.



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Siem Reap First impressions

The first thing you’ll notice on arriving at Amansara is the striking Mod design – something that will make you feel like extra in a James Bond film (from the Sean Connery days). Originally built in 1962 as the guest residence of King Sihanouk, by French architect Laurent Mondet, the property once accommodated visitors unable to stay at the royal residence nearby. Dignitaries such as former French President Charles de Gaulle, Jacqueline Kennedy and actor Peter O’Toole have all stayed here during its heyday, meaning it has real star appeal. Re-imagined as a resort by the Aman Group in 2002, the property celebrates sixties design through low-slung chalets; extra guest rooms have since been added, each retaining that retro-chic appeal. Cleverly-designed exterior walls and well-located guest rooms shield the property from unwanted noise, making it a peaceful oasis despite being in the busy city of Siem Reap.

What’s on offer

Amansara has 24 suites, all similar and open-plan in design, with terrazzo and timber finishes. Colours are muted and earthy with off-white, dark wood and rough-cut stone throughout. Comfy king size beds and large writing desks give way to spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers, while pool villas feature private terraces with day beds and private plunge pools. Help yourself to the mini-bar (included in your stay) or use the iPad provided to play music or learn more about the property and the area. The absence of a television was very welcome. The Instagram-worthy curved slate pool, with its shady pergola and loungers, is a great spot for a quick dip and an afternoon snooze, or head to the newer

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25-metre lap pool and do some serious lengths before lunch. Doused in dark wood, and with an impressive concrete reception desk, the hotel’s spa is a must-visit. Take tea on a comfy sofa in the reception area and gaze out at the immaculate spa garden before following your charming therapist down the emerald-tiled corridor to one of four treatment rooms. Daily excursions to the temples of Angkor Wat, complete with driver and English-speaking guides, are also included in the room rate.

'We tried Temple Walk, a foot and leg treatment especially designed to soothe tired, aching legs after a day exploring Angkor Wat... ' Food facts

A former cinema in the King’s residence, the dining area is housed in a circular building overlooking the pool. A daily changing menu of local dishes features organic produce bought directly from the nearby market; emphasis is on simple flavours – and the food is exceptional. There’s a well-stocked walk-in cellar, too. Don’t leave without sampling the afternoon tea either, which is as pretty as it is tasty. Each dining experience is complemented by live, traditional Khmer music with the occasional solo singer creating a haunting melody.

Tell us about your treatment(s)

We tried Temple Walk (60 minutes, £92), a foot and leg treatment especially

designed to soothe tired, aching legs after a day exploring Angkor Wat, followed by Teap Bourn (60 minutes, £92), a massage with a blind therapist. My first treatment began with a foot and leg scrub using crushed Himalayan salt and jasmine. My therapist then massaged reflexology points on the soles of my feet before moving up to perform a soothing leg massage using Aman’s own Cooling Foot and Leg Lotion. This felt slightly tingly and smelt of fresh mint. The Teap Bourn massage was a true highlight of my stay. Asked to slip into Asian pyjamas, my therapist relied purely on the sense of touch to perform one of the most intuitive massages I have ever encountered. There are four blind therapists employed at The Aman Spa, each expertly trained by the Spa Director. This treatment is an absolute must for fans of unique massages. End your treatment with a small flapjack in the spa garden.

Who do you think would like it?

Wellness junkies: Aman really knows how to do deliver the perfect spa experience and is taking wellness to a new level. History buffs: The all-inclusive packages make it easy to explore the ancient temples of Angkor Wat.

Don’t miss

Sunset cocktails on the roof terrace: Relax on a day bed while a mixologist conjures up something tasty from a tuk-tuk converted into a bar. The Cambodian noodle breakfast at Amansara’s traditional wooden Khmer Village House overlooking the ancient royal bathing pool of Srah Srang.


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Song Saaa Private Island Koh Rong Archipelago First impressions

Arriving at Song Saa Private Island by speed boat makes you feel special. Located 45 minutes from the south coast of Cambodia, the resort occupies two small islands and is exclusive and laid-back in equal measure. Guests and staff may walk around barefoot but cutting-edge luxury is at your fingertips. Many guests retreat to the privacy of their villas and stay put; others indulge in spa treatments or fitness sessions. You can even embrace your spiritual side and participate in a monk blessing by the sea. Sustainability is at the heart of Song Saa Private Island. All the buildings have been crafted from local materials, including recycled and reclaimed wood. The Song Saa Foundation supports the local community with health and education projects, while the marine programme includes the protection and rehabilitation of coral reefs, as well as the conservation of sea turtles and mangrove forests.

What’s on offer

All 24 villas on the island are built from timber with rustic thatched roofs, and have their own private infinity-edged pools. Jungle villas are hidden amongst the trees and offer impressive ocean views. Upgrade to a water villa and you can really be at one with nature. Each villa has stone walls, wooden floors and the most gorgeous bathrooms – we loved the outdoor shower and the large bath tub for two. Linen-draped canopy beds, and repurposed furniture built from driftwood and salvaged wood creates a distinct look. On the deck, by your private pool, you’ll find a day bed to watch the sun set over the main island of Koh Rong.

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Little shacks dotted across the island house the Song Saa Foundation, a boutique shop and guest services. Here you can organise a trip to the main island or arrange to visit to local villages. There’s the large infinity pool and private beach in between, where water sports such as scuba diving, kayaking and snorkelling can be organised. Time on your hands? Take a stroll across a wooden board walkway and enter the larger jungle island of Koh Bong. Left largely wild, a small path takes you on a nature walk to see a variety of bird including the hornbill and kingfisher, as well as a family of flying foxes. The spa at Song Saaa is a simple affair, with an open-sided reception hut crafted out of bamboo and thatch; treatments take place in separate wooden villas.

'Watch fish swimming as you feast on home-baked breads, tropical fruit, Cambodian noodles or hearty eggs and bacon.' Food facts

Local fish and Khmer cuisine (think rice, fresh fish, herbs and vegetables) take centre stage at Song Saa. The Vista Bar and Restaurant occupies the best site on the island with its bright and breezy overwater position and uninterrupted views of the ocean. The seafood, all locally caught, is highly recommended, and the tasting menus are excellent. Breakfast is served at Vista. Watch fish swimming as you feast on home-baked breads, tropical fruit, Cambodian noodles

or hearty eggs and bacon. For more casual dining or a drink, head to Driftwood Bar. Destination dining is a big deal at Song Saa and a must for anyone visiting. There’s no better way to experience Khmer cuisine than by candle light, with your feet in the soft sand while the waves gently lap against the shore.

Tell us about the reatments

We tried the Khmer Reflexology treatment (60 minutes, £50), a combination of pressure-point massage and flowing strokes on the feet. The arch of the foot gets most of the attention as this is the area that feels your footsteps; focus then shifts to the toes and back of the heel. My therapist then applied a fresh, light massage oil to each calf and treated them in turn to a fantastic massage – welcome relief after an afternoon in the gym. The mesmerising soundtrack of Hindu chants had me on the brink of sleep.

Who do you think would like it?

Honeymooners: Song Saaa is as romantic as any property in The Maldives. Green goddesses: the charitable side of the Foundation, together with, the resort’s green credentials, will appeal to the eco-conscious.

Don’t miss

Yoga at sunrise: expertly guided by the spa manager, this is the best way to welcome the new day. The stars: with little light pollution (you are on a remote island), the stars on a clear night are magnificent.



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Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Phnom Penh

First impressions

French elegance, colonial style and a warm Cambodian welcome come together to ensure any stay at the Sofitel Phnom Penh is an exceptional experience. We felt like celebrities as we were met in the car park, whisked inside and offered a cool glass of wine, which we sipped while drinking in beautiful views. The vast reception area captures the essence of the capital city’s colonial past with carved wood, relaxing sofas and the most incredible chandelier as a centre piece. The front of house staff are fantastic and cocoon you in comfort during the check in process. This is a big international hotel, and the lobby is always buzzing with guests coming and going from various sightseeing and shopping expeditions. The concierge team will expertly arrange a trip to discover the history of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, book a local speciality restaurant (crickets anyone?) or hire a tuk-tuk for sightseeing around the city. A top tip: mix it up with some high-end retail therapy at the large Aeon shopping centre right next door. The hotel is fairly central, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the Royal Palace and Central Market.

What’s on offer

The high-rise hotel boasts 200 rooms and suites. The city view from our Club Luxury room was fantastic, particularly at night; the large bath and super comfy bed perfect after a long day of sightseeing. Rooms are simply designed with hard wood floors, pale cream walls and locally-inspired prints. As well as the mod cons you would expect to find, there’s a Nespresso machine and bathroom amenities from Lanvin.

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The hotel also has a large outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, a gym, tennis and squash courts and a kids’ club, perfect for families wishing to relax. La Boutique on the ground floor offers a collection of exclusive souvenirs, arts and crafts. Check out the Artisans’ D’Angkor concept store showcasing Cambodia’s finest handcrafts from silk fabric to incredible sculpted pieces of art. You’ll be impressed by the size and friendliness of the hotel’s So Spa which has 10 treatment suites, several with showers that double up as steam rooms. Despite its size, there are no central thermal facilities, however, and the only pool is on the ground floor of the hotel. Dark wood dominates the reception area and the relaxation room, which has comfy lounge chairs and mood lighting. It is also here where manicures and pedicures take place. The treatment menu is as varied as it is interesting, with some even dedicated to children.

'A must-visit is Chocolat, a delightful patisserie and chocolate café – we dare you to resist.' Food facts

Combining French and Cambodian influences, food is a big story at Sofitel Phnom Penh – and it doesn’t disappoint. Traverse the four corners of the globe each evening, with Western and Asian cuisine served at La Couple, Italian at Do Forni, Japanese at Hachi and Cantonese at Fu Lu Zu. A must-visit is Chocolat, a

delightful patisserie and chocolate café – we dare you to resist. For a night cap, Le Bar in the lobby is always busy with live music and the occasional Karaoke session (this is Asia, after all).

Tell us about your treatment(s)

We tried the Ethnic Fusion Massage (90 minutes, £60) and loved sipping a glass of lemongrass water and using a cold towel while waiting in the spa’s reception area, which was also scented with lemongrass. My treatment began with a scent test from a trio of fragrances: lemongrass (relaxing), Chinese orange (detoxing) and ginger (energising) followed by a relaxing foot wash. Lying on the bed, the massage that followed was long and flowing, with a blend of medium and deep pressure. After my back, neck, shoulders and legs were sufficiently supple, I turned over so that the front of my legs and arms could receive the same treatment. A wonderful way to spend 90 minutes.

Who do you think would like it?

Families: There’s a kids’ club and a dedicated spa menu for children.

Solo travellers: This hotel is great for those travelling alone, as it’s both lively and centrally-located.

Don’t miss

Breakfast is a smorgasbord of flavours from around the world. Relaxing by the pool: Phnom Penh is a crowded city, so the pool is the perfect spot to relax after a day sightseeing.



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It’s not being

Stylish Spy looks at the UK-based spas that are leading the green race.

From large swimming pools to smaller hydro-pools, hot tubs to steam rooms, no spa can exist without water – gallons of it in some cases. Add to that the mountain of white towels and robes that need to go through the wash each week, and a spa really has its work cut out when it comes to being green. But, with more environmentally conscious spa-goers, especially among the millennials, more UK spas are trying to reduce their footprint. A spa may have a rooftop infinity pool with an incredible view, but if it’s not ozone-friendly or solar-heated, then its picturesque landscape will suffer. From a total ban on the use of plastic to pools cleansed by lowdosage bromide, and by employing local labour to creating vegan menus, there are plenty of ways spas can be greener. Here’s six UK spas to watch.

56 | Wellness |




This adult-only, dog-friendly luxury eco retreat overlooks a pristine Cornish beach. With its ‘Cherish the World’ ethos and coveted gold status in the Green Tourism awards, The Scarlet leads the way in environmental consciousness – one scan of its ‘101 Sustainable Ways’ document online and you can’t fail to be impressed. From recycling waste water to flush the toilets to making pencils out of recycled

newspaper, The Scarlet is certainly doing its bit. In its Ayurveda-inspired spa, the chemical-free outdoor pool is cleaned by reeds, while the indoor pool is treated using low-dosage bromide as opposed to harsher alternatives. The property has also developed its own range of products to be used in treatments, using local sea salt, Cornish clay and indigenous herbs.

1 & 2: The Scarlet 3: Coworth Park 4: Bamford Haybarn











8 5: Bamford Haybarn 6: Titantic Spa 7 & 8: Herb House at Lime Wood


Built in 1776, and set within 240 acres of glorious Berkshire Parkland, Coworth Park takes its eco credentials very seriously. This classic Georgian, glass-fronted hotel, restaurant and spa has its own underground energy centre incorporating a Bio Mass Heating Plant, making it the only hotel in the UK to grow fuel by cultivating willow on the estate. Quite something. For cooling, there’s a system of underground pipes known as ‘slinky’s’ which chill recycled water before redistributing it, while the building itself was created using natural materials, solar panels and thermal glazing.

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Partially submerged into a hill, the twostorey eco-luxury spa was built using heatretaining timber to give it a carbon neutral footprint. There’s also a ‘living roof’ where St John’s Wort, thyme, camomile and lavender are grown for use in treatments.

BAMFORD HAYBARN Gloucestershire

Part of Daylesford Organic Farm, Bamford Haybarn is a family-run sustainable farm, restaurant and shop that grows, produces, cooks, serves and sells organic and locallysourced food. The Haybarn Spa has compensated for the fact there are no wet facilities

(hence top eco marks) through a natural, light-filled design that immerses you in the surrounding landscape. Here, yoga and Pilates sit beside a holistic menu of treatments based around Ayurveda. Choose from facials or massages using the Bamford Bath & Body range, made especially for the spa using natural, organic ingredients found in England. Certified by the Soil Association, and free from parabens and genetically modified ingredients, they are as clean as they are green – even the packaging is white. Staying a few days? Sign up for a cookery or floristry class and get even closer to nature.


How does your garden grow? The facilities in the spa and health-club of Foxhill’s Club and Resort, Surrey, are admittedly from another, pre-eco conscious era, but you can see the tide turning in their newly added – and rather beautiful – spa garden. At the centre of the garden is the UK’s first outdoor natural swimming pool, with chemicalfree water purified by plants and minerals. It is, as nature dictates, bracingly chilly, although the dark lining will absorb heat during the summer months. We applaud the thought that has gone into the garden, and hope they will go further, reducing the use of plastic and think about building a sustainable future.

TITANTIC SPA West Yorkshire

The multi award-winning Titanic Spa was recognised as the UK’s first official eco-spa when it opened back in 2005. Set within a former working Edwardian textiles mill, visitors to this stylish, Huddersfield-based property can stay in elegant, airy and carbonneutral apartments where photovoltaic roof panels convert light directly into electricity. The spa’s eco credentials are just as impressive with its own dedicated water source set 100 metres below the ground. Not only does this provide fresh drinking water (no plastic water bottles here) but it fills the hydro-pool and solar-heated, saltregulated swimming pool. Spa treatments are both organic and results-driven, while spa menus are printed using recycled paper and ink made from vegetable dye. Even the towels are washed using the same laundry system adopted by most hospitals, with cooler washing temperatures and eco-friendly detergent.


Do your bit:

4 WAYS TO SPA GREENLY It's not just the spas that need to up the ante in the green stakes, you can do your bit for the environment, too:


Say no to plastic cups and straws Chlorinated plastic contaminates the ecosystem, causes harm to species and releases harmful chemicals into the soil. Many spas have disposable paper cups. If you want to take your own re-usable water bottle, be aware that glass is not allowed in spa wet areas


Bring your own flip-flops Slippers and flip-flops are often wrapped in non-environmentally friendly plastic. If not, they are recycled or washed using unnecessary quantities of water


Bring a bag for your wet swimsuit Spas get through a lot of plastic swimsuit bags. has stylish, reusable bags in various colours and sizes. Or just take your own shopping 'bag for life'


Talk to your spa Open a positive discussion on how to reduce plastic in the spa – ask them if they have any plans to improve sustainability, or why not show them this feature? WM


A fitness retreat, restaurant, festival venue, event space, cookery school, hotel and spa, Lime Wood is as big as it is all-encompassing. The Herb House Spa got its name from the quantity of herbs found here, including 15 varieties of mint growing on the large sun deck, a camomile lawn and a roof-based living herb garden, where the smell of lavender fills the air. Inspired by its setting in the beautiful New Forest, The threestorey Herb House spa offers a larger-than-average hydro-pool with forest views, a 16-metre, indoor ozone-treated pool, a Mud House using 100% natural mud, and a restaurant – Raw & Cured – which serves seasonal, sustainable dishes created using resident herbs. Holistic treatments use organic brands such as Pai, Voya and Bamford.



INHIBIT FACE-LIFT Lifting and expression line correcting treatment Discover this state-of-the-art facial masterfully designed by Natura BissÊ. An extraordinarily effective protocol, conceived with a clinical approach to be the perfect alternative to medi-aesthetic procedures, as well as the ideal option to enhance and prolong their effects. This exquisite blend of the iconic INHIBIT COLLECTION and the most advanced energizing massage techniques marks the dawn of a new era in beauty and skin care. Created to make the guest feel the real power of a therapist’s hands, and crafted to flawlessly transform the appearance of the skin, INHIBIT FACE-LIFT makes the skin glow and dazzle in high definition.

Enjoy the ultimate rejuvenating experience UK Launch in May at the most luxurious Spas For more information contact


The Bubble


From jaw-droppingly fabulous VIP treatments and facilities to good value spas that are perfect for a regular drop in, here are the best UK spas listed by type and Bubble Rating.

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5 5 4 3

e award Bubbles rather than stars, and we won’t allow anything less than three bubbles on The Good Spa Guide. Our Bubble Rating is an overall score, but our three and four bubble spas may still offer outstanding treatments, have a beautiful pool or a divine relaxation space, indoors or outdoors. Sometimes, a spa’s overall rating will be lower simply because they have less facilities or a break in the spa journey: perhaps you will need to leave the spa and get dressed for lunch. That’s why it’s worth reading our in-depth reviews on individual spas at to find out more. Meanwhile, here is a breakdown of our Bubble Ratings.

Bubble Luxury – the peak of spa sophistication. “Shut the door I'm not leaving!”

Bubble – extra special. “I'll be back next weekend.”

Bubble - excellent, but perhaps have a break in the spa journey. “Mmm, take me back…”

Bubble - perfect for a day out with good treatments but may not have quite as many facilities. “Nice, will go there again.”


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Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest

Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Eden Hall Day Spa

Part of Centre Parcs, The Forest Spa celebrates its surroundings with spectacular new outdoor facilities, including outdoor hot springs, Volcanic and Nordic zones, and the star of the show: The Treetop Escape with its glass-sided treetop sauna and forest balcony.

This modern glass and timber building in the Centre Parcs village has six differently-themed spas in one, including Blossom, Sensory, Fire and Ice, and Herbal spas. Swim into the forest in the warm bubbly hyrdotherapy pool then, on sunny days, relax on the sundeck.

Eden Hall is a grand mansion with lavenderfilled gardens; its huge conservatory now a bright relaxation area. Bask in several thermal rooms spanning inside and out; try the salt-water pool or watch the sunset from the outdoor hot tubs.

0344 826 6205

0344 826 6205

01636 525 555

Hale Country Club and Spa

The Spa in Dolphin Square

The Woodland Spa

The day spa has a thermal suite with a hemlock wood sauna, salt cave, Zen steam room, and fire and ice room. Lower yourself into the main indoor pool and, after relaxing on the bubble-jet beds, drift outside and gaze over the lawns.

A small but beautifully formed day spa with Moroccan themed dĂŠcor and treatments. Heat facilities include a hammam, rasul and a salt steam room. Relax on warm tepidarium beds nibbling dates and sipping tea.

A contemporary day spa backing onto 100 acres of Lancashire countryside. The Thermal Experience Journey has heat rooms, a serenity pool, a hydrotherapy pool, and an outdoor infinity pool. DĂŠcor is sleek but natural.

0161 904 5930

020 7798 6767

01282 471 913








Aqua Sana Elveden Forest Suffolk


Aqua Sana Longleat Forest

Aqua Sana Whinfell Forest

Head into the Centre Parcs complex in a beautiful forest. Enjoy a fabulous thermal journey, bubble in the courtyard spa pool, then relax on a four-poster bed in the Zen garden, or on waterbeds on an outdoor balcony.

World of Spa offers a huge array of thermal facilities and experience rooms. Soak in the warm, circular outdoor spa pool at night and gaze at the twinkling stars peeking out between the giant Redwood treetops.

This impressive spa is set within Lake District woodland. Outside is a small swimming pool, a large hydrotherapy pool and a Zen garden. Inside, your spa journey takes you around the world via country-themed experience rooms.

0344 826 6205

0344 826 6205

0344 826 6205

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Beau Monde Salon and Spa

Imagine Spa at Blofield Heath

Inside Spa

A stylish, modern day spa and hair salon, part of the Stablewood Leisure complex. The 11-metre pool, with its gleaming aquamarine mosaic tiles, is set in a double-storey barn. The relaxation room has a faux fire and fake fur rugs.

A homely day spa with gorgeous food, a delightful thermal area and a lovely spa garden. After bubbling in the hot-tub, and popping in and out of the heat facilities, curl up in a cosy outdoor relaxation cabin.

This small day spa in a leisure centre is a hidden gem full of Eastern promise. The reception area doubles as a café and glitters with lanterns, while thermal facilities are softly lit. Relax in the Asian-inspired relaxation room.

01668 212 250

01603 712 550

01282 661 735

Smallshaw Farm Cottages and Spa

Thai Square Spa London

The Gainsborough Health Club and Spa

Smallshaw is a sumptuous self-catering country retreat with its day spa in a converted cowshed. Sample the Himalayan, herbal and panoramic saunas, then try the aroma steam room and rasul before exploring the grounds.

A luxurious day spa that offers a genuine Thai experience in the heart of Westminster. Divine treatments are performed by expertly-trained Thai therapists in opulent surroundings. There’s a sauna, gold-tiled Jacuzzi, Himalayan salt room, rasul and relaxation area.

Enjoy country views from a pool and Jacuzzi set in a 15th Century Barn before heading to the exclusive spa area. This has a lovely café with local food, a quiet relaxation room, an outdoor terrace and a rasul.

01226 767 506

020 7839 7990

01787 279 009

Thermae Bath Spa

Wildmoor Spa and Health Club

In the centre of historic Bath, Thermae is a tourist attraction but also a rather special spa, with its famous rooftop pool overlooking the city. The New Royal Bath is an award-winning blend of modern glass and classic Bath stone.

Wildmoor is a rather swanky but welcoming health club in historic Stratford-Upon-Avon. Its spa facilities include a 20-metre pool, a bubbly hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, caldarium and experience showers.

01225 331 234

01789 299 666









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Spa Experience Kensington

Spa Experience Wimbledon

An affordable day spa in Kensington Leisure Centre, Spa Experience aims to be inclusive and friendly. The thermal facilities include an aroma steam room, sauna, ice fountain, a hydrotherapy pool and monsoon shower.

A bright and modern day spa in the red brick 1901 building of Wimbledon Leisure Centre. The thermal area is set in the historic bath house, with high ceilings and windows letting in lots of light.

020 3793 8220

020 8540 9419




Champneys Forest Mere

Champneys Tring

Lifehouse Spa and Hotel

A large destination spa set within enchanting grounds. Don't miss bathing in the thalassotherapy pool, trying rejuvenating rasul treatments or stepping outside to the Cedar wood hot tub. There are plenty of health classes to keep you busy, too.

Tring is Champneys flagship spa –a combination of glamorous stately home and holistic wellbeing retreat. The extensive spa facilities and classes are complemented by the Marine and Wellness Spa, which offers guests a range of water-based treatments.

A modern spa set in English Heritage Listed Thorpe Hall Gardens. As well as traditional spa treatments, Lifehouse offers health and wellbeing consultations from resident specialists including fitness, life coaching, nutrition, weight loss and holistic therapies.

01428 726 000

01442 291 000

01255 860 050

Stobo Castle Health Spa

The original dedicated spa retreat, Ragdale is a comfortable country house set in attractive gardens and grounds. The spa has quite a cult following; the huge array of facilities on offer will have you visiting your favourites again.

Set in the low hills of the Scottish borders, Stobo Castle is Scotland’s only destination spa. Guests sleep and eat in an historic crenelated castle, while the spectacular spa, with its ozone treated pool, is in a modern extension.

01664 434 831

01721 725 300


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Champneys Henlow

Champneys Springs

Champneys Henlow is surrounded by 150 acres of parkland next to a flowing river, gushing weir and romantic gardens. Highlights include the huge range of classes, the creative restaurant buffet and the bright pool area.

Springs is surrounded by water walkways and open parklands. Facilities include a 25-metre indoor swimming pool with sauna and steam room. You can book the thalassotherapy pool for up to 12 people and chill out in the quiet zone.

01462 811 111

01530 273 873




Chewton Glen Spa

Dormy House Hotel and Spa

ESPA at Lucknam Park

This charming country house hotel is famed for its customer service, plush rooms including treehouse suites and divine food. The swimming and hydrotherapy pools in the spa are expansive, elegant and filled with light. Take a path through the forest to the beach.

The modern spa attached to this farmhouse hotel contrasts clean Scandinavian design with cosy Cotswold stone, while facilities include a 16-metre infinity pool, thermal experiences, a Champagne nail parlour and a fully-equipped gym.

A country mansion set in 500 acres of Wiltshire countryside. Facilities include stunning indoor and outdoor pools, a Japanese salt room and salt-water pool. If you’re looking for a holistic experience, book into the Well-being House.

01425 275 341

01386 859 910

01225 742 777

Galgorm Resort and Spa County Antrim

The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA

Pennyhill Park an Exclusive Hotel and Spa

A spectacular spa attached to a Georgian country house. The outdoor Thermal Village has a Beltane hot tub with an open fire and sofas, hot tubs on the riverside and a glass-sided Celtic sauna – all set in pretty landscaped gardens.

Gleneagles is famed for its hospitality, dramatic scenery and impeccable design. Inside the spa, the gold and bronze wet facilities are separated into journeys for men and women – re-join your companion in the unisex vitality pool.

This five-star hotel has award-winning food and a stunning spa. Head outside for a Hollywood-style pool and various bubbly hydro pools. Inside is a huge swimming pool with underwater music and lots of heat facilities.

028 2588 2550

01764 694 332

01276 471 774







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Sequoia Spa at The Grove

Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall

The Bulgari Spa

A chic country hotel with a boldly-designed spa. It’s a Scandi maze with dashes of eccentric charm, such as the plant filled relaxation atrium with its hanging wicker chair, room-sized hydro pool and black-tiled swimming pool.

Set on the exhilarating North East coast, the hotel is romantic, while the spa is an adventure. Head though an underground walkway to find an ozone treated pool, hydrotherapy pool, thermal rooms and outdoor hot tubs.

01923 294 294

0191 640 7950

Beneath the über-stylish hotel, you’ll find a stunning 25-metre swimming pool, golden vitality pool, thermal facilities and divine treatments. Escape to a poolside cabana and be transported to a place of serenity.

The Vineyard Spa

The Scarlet Spa Cornwall

Utopia Spa at Alexander House Hotel

The Vineyard is a luxury hotel with a famous wine cellar. The spa is compact but elegant with a circular pool area and café serving delicious food. The customer service and attention-todetail is second-to-none.

This luxury eco hotel has an adult-only holistic spa with a freshwater outdoor pool and cliff-top baths that look out over the bay. Try an Ayurvedic treatment or swim in the 13-metre pool while gazing at the sea.

01635 528 770

01637 861 800

Set in 120 acres of gardens, woods and Sussex parkland, Utopia Spa has a deep-blue swimming pool surrounded by pillars. Relax in the outdoor hot tub and enjoy the peaceful spa garden.



County Durham


020 7151 1055

West Sussex

01342 885 483


Agua at Mondrian London

Agua at Sanderson

Aquarias Spa at Whatley Manor

In the basement of the Mondrian hotel on the Southbank you will find a glamorous and sleek spa. There’s a large Art Deco steam room, a Glamour Room for beautifying and a futuristic spa lounge.

The Sanderson is an über-stylish hotel just off Oxford Street. The all-white Agua spa is a celestial retreat. Try the eucalyptus steam room, one of the tailored treatments and then curl up in your private relaxation pod.

Tucked away at the end of a long driveway is this historic Manor with its bright and modern spa. Warm up in the four thermal rooms, drift in the large hydro-pool then swim outside to the sun-trap spa garden.

020 3747 1000

0207 300 1400

01666 827 070


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Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa

Bailiffscourt Spa

Brimstone Spa

This grand country-house hotel and spa makes the most of its surroundings. Drink in the mountain and lake views from the indoor pool, outdoor hot tub and even the sauna. We love the Hush Room with its woodland views.

The spa is set in a large Sussex barn, with huge windows by the indoor pool overlooking the gardens and warm outdoor pool. You may glimpse an ostentation of peacocks while bubbling in the hot tub.

Nature meets striking modern design in this spa. Long windows in the al fresco sauna bring the woodland in. Swim from the indoor hydro pool to the large outdoor pool, with its wood burning stove, and gaze at the trees.

01768 788 900

01903 723 511

01539 438 062

Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa

Cliveden House

C-Side at Cowley Manor

With pebble-lined walls and white-wash woods, C-Bay Spa is set over two levels with views over the Atlantic Ocean. There's an outdoor pool and hot tub, sauna pod, relaxation lounge and a private treatment suite on the beach.

This neoclassical mansion with a glamorous, and occasionally scandalous, history is now a luxurious hotel. The spa is set in a walled garden brimming with roses and lavender. Drape decadently around the hot tubs and pools.

Glass-fronted C-Side Spa is sunk into the hill to one side of the hotel. The slate-lined indoor pool and outdoor heated pool are a real treat. Make time to check out the art work scattered around the grounds.

01736 792 810

01628 668 561

01242 870 900

Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa

Eastwell Manor at Champneys Spa Hotel

Eforea Spa at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Liverpool

Enjoy the 18-metre pool, steam room, sauna and aroma room, where the modern white design complements the bold artwork on the walls. Upstairs is a much more relaxed spa area in cool, earthy tones.

The Old Pavilion in the grounds of this 450-year-old mansion houses a spa with a 20-metre indoor pool, sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool. Curl up in the relaxation room with views of the North Downs.

Eforea Spa in the heart of this vibrant city is small but packs a lot in. Try the 10-metre relaxation pool, the bubbly vitality pool and the berry-scented steam room. We love the cocooning ‘transition room’, too.

01635 551 188

01233 227 138

0151 556 1222




West Sussex







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Elan Spa at Mallory Court

K Spa at K West Hotel and Spa

Moddershall Oaks

The spa, restaurant and bedrooms are in a large house next to the hotel, along with a hydro pool, heat rooms, gym, outdoor whirlpool and sauna – so you can eat, sleep and live ‘spa’ without having to leave.

K Spa is a busy hipster haven near Shepherd’s Bush. Explore the thermal facilities with a group of friends; bubble in the hydro pool, then kick back in the Relaks Room and have a snooze on a sunken bed in the Sun Meadow.

A spa delight within a red-brick exterior – the facilities include two swimming pools (one indoor, one outdoor) saunas, a steam room, a deli and a cosy relaxation lounge with open fireplace. The outdoor spaces are divine.

01926 330 214

020 8008 6600

01782 399 000

Mottram Hall

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Ockenden Manor Spa

This country house hotel has an impressive spa and gym. There’s a huge indoor pool area with hot tubs, but head outside to the quirky heat facilities – a mineral Stonebath and a Brechelbath – and sunny Scandi-style garden.

An elegant Georgian country-house hotel just outside Edinburgh with a separate modern spa. Swim in the pool, brave the bucket shower then bubble in the hot tub. On a sunny day, the Zen garden is a lovely suntrap.

01625 828 135

0131 333 6479

This dramatic modern spa sits in a walled garden next to an Elizabethan hotel. Enjoy indoor/outdoor pools with a glamorous poolside sundeck and huge thermal rooms. Don't miss the views of the South Downs from the rooftop terrace.

PH2O at Park House

Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa Cheshire

Rudding Park

West Sussex

PH2O is a small but stylish spa in a tranquil countryside setting. Try the elegant 15-metre pool, sauna and steam room before drifting outside to the heated pool and courtyard. Order food and drinks from the quirky shed café.

Set in converted stables, the spa has a glass-roofed pool – perfect for enjoying the elements while swimming – heat facilities, a rasul and two relaxation rooms. The nail bar overlooks the pretty gardens and lake.

The new spa in this Regency hotel is split over three levels, with modern heat facilities and glass walls looking over the lovely gardens. Visit the Roof Top Spa and Garden with its hydrotherapy infinity edge pool.

01270 615 604

01423 844 840



01730 819 020

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West Sussex

01444 449 191

North Yorkshire



SenSpa at Careys Manor

Sofitel So SPA

Spa Sirene

With Zen gardens, Thai food, treatments and décor, this luxurious spa offers a slice of Thailand in the New Forest. The thermal experiences are extensive and there’s a huge spa pool, an ozonetreated swimming pool and whirlpool.

Set over three floors, the So Spa is a haven of French pampering set in a former banking hall. Décor is sumptuous deep pinks and purples; facilities include a private hammam, Jacuzzi, hydro pool and chromotherapy bath.

The petite and stylish Spa Sirène can be found in the basement of the sociable Royal Yacht Hotel. The shimmering pools, warming facilities, delicious food and utterly charming staff make it a popular place to recharge.

01590 624 467

020 7747 2200

01534 615 425

Spa at Ye Olde Bell

St Brides Spa Hotel Pembrokeshire

St Pierre Park Hotel Spa and Golf Resort

The quirky spa in this 17th Century inn is split over two levels. Thermal facilities include a sauna, stonebath, laconium, steam bath, salt inhalation room, 10-metre indoor/outdoor pool, snowstorm experience and Sabbia Med light therapy room.

This stylish hotel makes the most of its clifftop location: the facilities, rooms and restaurant offer stunning views all year round. But the jewel in St Brides' crown is the outdoor infinity hydro-pool – bask in warm water while looking out over the bay.

Swim a couple of lengths in the outdoor pool, soak up the award-winning gardens from the hot tub or eat lunch on the spa terrace. Inside, there’s a marbled steam room and volcanic sauna. Feeling active? Head to the lakeside gym.

01777 705 121

01834 812 304

01481 722 341

Stanley House Hotel and Spa

Stoke Park Spa

Swinton Country Club and Spa

Deep in the heart of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, The Spa offers peaceful country views from most of its strikingly well-designed facilities. There’s a hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna, salt steam room and tepidarium beds. Expect a warm welcome.

A white-washed Palladian mansion set in an immaculate 300-acre estate. The beautiful garden is the star of the spa with its outside hydro-pool and Scandinavian sauna. We loved the Bond-style relax room with fish tank wall overlooking the indoor pool.

A stylish new spa in a glorious location. There’s an 18-metre indoor pool with windows overlooking the spa garden, a hydrotherapy pool, an aroma steam room and a Finnish sauna. Outside you’ll find a 10-metre pool with eco-friendly bio-filter waters.

01254 769 229

01753 717 172

01765 680950








North Yorkshire


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The Belfry Spa

The Coniston Spa

The Headland Spa

This luxurious golf resort is set in 500 acres of countryside near Birmingham city. The stylish spa offers ESPA treatments, a decadent relaxation room and beauty studio. Head down to the ‘fire and ice’ experiences and large, bright pool.

The highlight of this modern spa is the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the lake and rolling Yorkshire dales. The indoor swimming pool and modern facilities also offer countryside views. Healthy eating is on the cards in the spa cafe.

The spa in this dramatic hotel is below the first-floor reception; its pretty café lined with silver birch trees spills onto the beachside terrace. There is an attractive thermal space with a heated pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.

01675 238 600

01756 748 080

01637 872 211

The Kinmel and Kinspa

The Mere Golf Resort and Spa

The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel

Kinspa, a few steps away from the hotel and set in acres of parkland, has a petit swimming pool, a big hydrotherapy pool with a swim-through waterfall overlooking a water garden. Head to the quiet relaxation room with its stunning panoramic views for a delicious sorbet.

This elegant hotel and spa is a beautiful mix of old and new. There’s a 25-metre pool with a vitality area and lots of heat rooms. Relax on the sun-drenched terrace or snuggle up in the relaxation rooms.

Set in the grounds of a Georgian hotel, this tasteful spa has a dramatic glass structure housing the lovely hydrotherapy pool, glassfronted sauna and steam room. The decked roof terrace with hot tub overlooks Newmarket’s race tracks.

West Midlands

Conway County

01745 822 659

North Yorkshire


01565 830 155



01638 676 130

The Spa at Ramside

The Spa @ Suites Hotel

The Spa at the Midland

Embrace your inner mermaid as you dip in and out of the 25-metre swimming pool, a balcony infinity pool, a hydro-pool, and indoor and outdoor whirlpools. Curl up in funky soundwave therapy pods or relax in the spa garden.

The hotel and spacious spa have a design concept – suites instead of ‘rooms’. The Thermal Suite has a heat and ice journey; The Grand Relaxation Suite vast beds with duvets where you can enjoy cakes and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Escape the city in this elegant spa with shimmering décor. The highlight is the sumptuous relaxation room with four hanging pods, cocooning chairs and three beds with duvets. Facilities include a 9-metre pool, hot tub, alderwood sauna and steam room.

0151 549 5400

0845 074 0064

Country Durham

0191 375 3088

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The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village Lancashire

Utopia Spa at Rowhill Grange West Sussex

The thermal space in the adult-only Spa Hotel is stunning — a vast glass structure with a bubbling hydrotherapy pool and seven heat experiences. It overlooks the decked spa garden with its outdoor hot tub, sauna and Zen garden.

Rowhill Grange is a manor house, and its Spa has a Romanesque interior, complete with templelike pillars and frescos of Italian landscapes around the therapeutic pools. Try the new nail bar and relaxation room with its waterfall wall.

0800 085 1717

01322 517 438

Weavers’ House Spa at The Swan at Lavenham

Y Spa at The Waterfront Hotel

An ancient hotel with a beautiful modern spa set in a delightful secret garden. Small but perfectly formed, it manages to pack in a sauna, steam room, garden room and outdoor vitality pool on a pretty terrace.

This stunning, modern spa with clean lines and bold colours is set in a leisure complex. It has spacious, quirky thermal facilities; the sauna is called Some Like it Hot, and there are fish tanks in the café walls.

01787 246 246

0333 7007 667


Verbena Spa North Yorkshire

This former coaching inn-turned-boutique hotel, has an Italian-style outdoor pool and raised hot tub in its courtyard. The spa has a stylish café, a hexagonal thermal area and a homely lounge with cosy sofas, blankets and bookshelves.

01439 772 930



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Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa Kent

An elegant mansion with a modern spa and health club near the race course. There’s a gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, heat rooms, and funky chill-out areas. On a sunny day, visit the rooftop terrace and soak up the sun.

01474 875 040

Carden Park

Chuan Spa

Carden Park is a golfers’ paradise set in beautiful Chester countryside. The 20-metre swimming pool is the hub of the light and spacious spa with a sauna, steam room and warm hydrotherapy pool with swan fountain.

A classy spa in the basement of the five-star Langham Hilton hotel with a spectacular swimming pool set in what used to be a bank vault. The glamorous fittings suggests guests here expect the very best.

01829 731 007

020 7973 3550



ESYA Spa at Rettalack Resort

Fawsley Hall



Esya (Cornish for ‘with ease’) is within a family-friendly Cornish holiday village. There’s a 15-metre indoor pool and hydro-pool, while doors open onto a decked area with hot tubs and a surfing machine called The Flow Rider.

The historic hotel overlooks a peaceful lake, while its spa is in a renovated coach house. Guests can enjoy a quiet relaxation room with snuggly blankets, a 17-metre pool, steam room, sauna, gorgeous outdoor hot tub where you can soak up the fresh air.

The spa in this huge resort has its own romantic walled garden with an outdoor sauna, Jacuzzi and natural freshwater plunge pool. Escape the golfers with a luxurious treatment, then lounge on sofas by the bright indoor pool.


01637 882 400

01327 892 020

Foxhills Club and Resort

01932 704 555

Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa

Headlam Hall

Holm House Hotel and Spa

A classic hotel on the Esplanade in St Helier. Its basement spa has a 15-metre pool, heat facilities and a sumptuous relaxation room – help yourself to home-made cakes. Enjoy lunch in the Champagne Bar with sea views.

Set in four acres of romantic walled gardens, this 17th Century house has a separate modern spa. There’s a 15-metre indoor pool and a steamy outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Curl up in the spa lounge with its cosy log-burning stove.

01542 288 459

01325 730 238

This former arts-and-crafts-style mansion on a clifftop has views over the Bristol Channel. The spa is small but pretty with a 15-metre hydro-pool, an aromatherapy steam room and a relaxation lounge with French doors opening onto a sun terrace.


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County Durham


02920 713 502



L’Horizon Hotel and Spa

Lion Quays Hotel and Spa

Lygon Arms Hotel

The hotel's swimming pool and jacuzzi overlook beautiful St Brelade’s Bay. Head upstairs to the shiny Elemis spa, with its chic little nail bar, treatment rooms, dark posttreatment sleep room and a large, stylish chill-out space.

Lion Quays is a modern resort on the Welsh border with a large spa. There’s a pebble-edged hydro-pool, emerald steam room, sauna, snow cave, 25-metre pool and Jacuzzi. In summer, lunch outside to watch barges and ducks drift by.

Surrounded by idyllic Cotswold countryside, this former coaching inn has a pretty spa. Head to the decked roof terrace and snuggle up in a hanging cocoon chair. There’s a 13-metre indoor pool with a retractable roof for summer.

01691 684 300

01386 852 255

New Hall

Nutfield Priory

In the heart of touristic London, this subterranean Asian-inspired spa has an orange-lit bamboo and glass forest, and Japanese Shoji screens in the relaxation room. The star is the perfectly-heated 15-metre swimming pool.

New Hall is believed to be the oldest moated house in England, with a beautifully-preserved medieval tower and covered drawbridge. The redbricked spa has a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a 14-metre swimming pool with southwest facing latticed windows.

A warm and friendly Elemis spa in the grounds of the grand Victorian priory. There’s a 14-metre pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, plus a spacious mosaic steam room and pretty spa garden. At lunch, enjoy views of the Surrey Downs.

020 7620 7300

01213 354 741

Salcombe Harbour Hotel and Spa

Santai Spa Resorts World

Spa 15 at No.15 Great Pulteney

A stylish, cosy hotel with a basement spa. The 15-metre pool is tiled in blue and gold, with five cabanas and huge windows that open onto a pretty garden – you can see the beautiful Kingsbridge estuary as you swim.

The Santai Spa is within the chic Genting Hotel. Think dark shimmering colours and floor-toceiling windows showcasing cityscape views. Float around the 15-metre pool, try the salt cave then head to the outdoor hot tub overlooking Pendigo lake.

A quirky spa in the atmospheric vaults of an elegant Bath hotel. Each of the four delightful treatment rooms has been designed by local art students. There’s a cedar wood hot tub, a barrel sauna and a cosy relaxation room with a roaring fire.

01548 844 444

0121 273 1000

01225 807 015


01534 494 433

Mandara Spa at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London



West Midlands

West Midlands



01737 824 434



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Spa by Kasia at The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel

Spa Verta

Spread Eagle Spa

A stylish spa set within the super-chic Crowne Plaza Hotel in Battersea. Facilities include a sauna, steam room and large hydrotherapy pool to bubble away any post-work tension. Enjoy a gastro-pub style lunch overlooking the Thames and hotel heliport.

This historic hotel has bags of charm. Its modern spa has a bright pool area with doors opening onto a pretty spa garden. There’s a secluded whirlpool, plus steam and sauna rooms, too. Enjoy lunch in robes in the beautiful conservatory.

01244 572 199

020 7801 3500

01730 819 829

The Club and Spa at Cadbury House

The Day Spa at Whittlebury Hall

The Malvern View Spa at The Bank House

Set in woodland, Cadbury House has panoramic views over the Bristol Channel. The Club and Spa is glass-fronted with curved cream walls. There’s an outdoor hot tub, indoor pool with thermal facilities and relaxation zone with hanging pods.

If fun is what you’re looking for, head to this day spa in a separate wing from the popular hotel. The main attraction is the heat and ice experience with hydrotherapy pool, hot and cold thermal rooms and experience showers.

Lounge by the indoor pool, pamper in the Champagne nail bar, relax around the wet facilities, or feel the sun on your face on the panoramic terrace. Treatment rooms overlook the landscaped gardens and the Malvern Hills.

01934 834 343

01327 850 489

01886 833 551

The Runnymede on Thames

The Spa at Cotswold House Hotel

The Vaulted Spa at Kings Head

A charming Spa is set in a converted coach house at the end of a pretty hotel garden. Try the bright thermal space with its large, warm hydrotherapy pool. Relax on comfortable loungers and order poolside smoothies.

In the heart of historic Cirencester, this spa is in the vaulted cellars of a boutique hotel. There is a delightful wet zone with colourchanging Jacuzzi, infra-red sauna and emerald-hued steam room. Relax on air-beds with blankets and cushions.

01386 848 934

01285 702 900


Within beautifully landscaped grounds, the spa is hushed and calming with a 15-metre indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and three tranquil relaxation rooms. Head to the stunning Asian Sensory Garden with its summerhouse.





Water babies will love this bright, contemporary spa attached to a modern hotel on the banks of the River Thames. Inside there’s an 18-metre indoor pool and whirlpool; outside is a large swimming pool, open all summer. Great for spa-ing with friends.

01784 220 990 76 | Wellness |



West Sussex





The Spa at Roe Park

The Spa at Sopwell House

Wynyard Hall

The spa and leisure club are in converted stables behind this Georgian country-house hotel on the dramatic Inishowen Penisular. Downstairs is a large, bright 20-metre pool and thermal facilities, while treatments and meditation rooms are upstairs.

The spa in this stylish whitewashed Georgian manor has a Zen-like pool area with floor-toceiling windows overlooking the delightful grounds. Head up steps to the thermal area or grab some sun in the spa garden.

Wynyard Hall is a rather grand affair, its spa in a converted boathouse on the shores of the lake. Unwind in the thermal suite then head to the spa terrace which has two steamy hot tubs on the edge of the lake.

01727 864 477

01740 644 811

St Ives Harbour Hotel and Spa

Ufford Park

Wood Hall Hotel and Spa

A traditional seaside hotel overlooking St. Ives Bay. The 10-metre pool is the star of the spa with a glass wall making the space very light. Doors lead onto a terrace: relax and drink in the picturesque sea view.

A 15-metre pool, sauna, steam and hot tub are for all guests, but the spa area is exclusive and has peaceful facilities. These include a white-mosaic hydro-pool, mineral grotto, steam, sauna and an ice bowl for the brave.

A tranquil country house set on top of a hill with countryside views. The compact spa has a pool, steam room and two treatment rooms. Enjoy strolls through the 100-acre grounds and dine in the 2 AA rosette restaurant.

01736 795 221

01394 385 555

01937 544 644


028 7776 292


County Durham






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OCEAN COLOUR Scarlet Spy was a wellness sceptic, until a visit to the five-star Heritage Le Telfair resort in Mauritius opened her eyes, and her mind. "You're all goddesses," whispers our yoga teacher Karine Kleb as we strike another pose. If anyone called me a Goddess at home I’d laugh out loud, but with the sun setting over the horizon and the waves gently licking the shore, I have to admit that I did feel rather divine. I’m staying at the Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Wellness Resort in Bel Ombre, Mauritius, and this mindfulness yoga session is part of my Wellness Bliss package. As someone who is allergic to hardcore exercise (why would anyone want to sweat on purpose?), I’ve been looking for a more gentle approach to improving my health for a while. I can’t imagine a more luxurious place to start.


Heritage Le Telfair stretches along a glistening Indian Ocean coastline with a river running through the centre. Palm tree-lined paths lead to large colonial-style apartments – I felt like I’d stepped onto a movie set. Three pools look across the sand to the clear waters of the reef surrounding the resort. There’s also a 27-hole championship golf course, 12 restaurants and bars, a host of water sports, a teens and kids’ club and – the piece de resistance – The Seven Colours Spa. This serene space is surrounded by palm trees and tropical plants. The sound of flowing water greets you as you walk across a small bridge over a pool strewn with petals. It’s instantly calming. The petit sauna and steam room can be found in the light, airy changing rooms which open out into a small conservatory overlooking a bubbling hydro pool. Private cabanas surround this sunny area. The spa also features a yoga space and a private couple’s suite, complete with its own pool and stone bath.


My wellness experience began with a consultation with Mattheau, the resident osteopath. We discussed my aims as well as any health and wellbeing issues, and came up with a tailored plan for my stay and beyond. I was thrilled to discover 78 | Wellness |


that my partciular plan included three spa treatments, several yoga classes and even breathing exercises to practice once I returned home. As with all the activities at this luxury resort, I was encouraged to delve in as much, or as little, as I wanted: it's not about punishing yourself. Unusually for me, I was ready to dive in head first.


Treatments are based around Chromotherapy (colour therapy). Before each treatment, I was asked to look at seven coloured cards and choose the colour that stood out the most. They say colour has a vibrational value and works with your own energy – you naturally hone in on the colour that strikes a chord with you. The lighting, sound and scents of the large, cool treatment rooms were then customised to our choice. I transitioned from sceptic to convert after just one treatment. The Jet Lag Massage relaxed my aching

'Wellbeing has never felt so good' body and made me feel human again after a 12-hour flight, while the Coco Body Ritual – an indulgent full body scrub, massage and Indian head massage with coconut-based products – felt decedent, and was much needed after piling on the sun cream. My final treatment, the Digestion Massage, was surprisingly relaxing despite being designed to unblock my solar plexus and facilitate deeper, more restorative breathing. Post treatment, I decamped to a private poolside cabana to sip a glass of tea infused with ginger, lemon and rosemary. Wellbeing has never felt so good.


Heritage Le Talfair has a staggering 12 restaurants and bars to choose from, meaning you’ll never go hungry – or be without a glass of fizz. Healthy options

are labelled with the Seven Colours Spa logo, and the chefs will accommodate any dietary requirements. Start each morning with a buffet-style breakfast at Annabella’s; come evening, the Chef’s Degustation menu – a private dining experience and the cooking class – is not to be missed. For lunch or dinner overlooking the beach, make a beeline for Le Palmier and tuck into smoked marlin and palm heart carpaccio. Fancy easting beachside? Gin’ja’s serves Asian fusion food by the water – if you’re lucky you can watch the fishermen reeling in their catch. Don’t leave without dining at the Le Chateau, a French-style 19th century chateau where a live pianist will serenade you as you dine.


Sunset yoga on the beach: Breathing, stretching and being in the moment as waves lap against the shore... Sunset Safari: Become at one with nature by hiking through the nature reserve and practicing Ashtanga yoga on a hill overlooking fields of sugar cane. Chakra Balancing Session: This life-changing session is said to restore and unblock energy across the body; I left feeling more positive, informed and mindful about myself. As the sun set over the shoreline on our final evening, I realised how right they have things here. Heritage Le Telfair combines wellness and luxury with the island’s ethos of hospitality and care, arming guests with the knowledge and power to create their own version of wellness. The only downside? Having to leave this little slice of heaven in the Indian Ocean. Good Spa Guide flew from London Heathrow with Air Mauritius. Prices for the wellness packages start at £53 per day. A suite at Heritage Le Telfair starts at £342 per night on a B&B basis. Find out more at, Tel +230 266 9768.



Should you bring your phone into a spa?

SAVANT SPY: Once, while enjoying an outdoor hot-tub – musing on nature, savouring the sensation of warm bubbles on my skin and forgetting my worries – a thoroughly-plucked and Botoxed millennial lowered herself into the water and began pouting for selfies. It kind of ruined the meditative experience. Normally, I’m a live-and-let-live type. Bringing a book into the tub would not have bothered me. But other people’s phones are intrusive: they bring the whole world of Instagram followers with them. It’s attention grabbing, slightly narcissistic and shows little respect for the awareness of others. Call me old fashioned but a spa should offer sanctuary; somewhere to escape from the world and relax. If you are constantly thinking about photos and how to stage-manage them, how can you fully immerse yourself in the spa experience? Or allow others to do so? It’s also a rare chance to reconnect to yourself and your body; to detox from the stresses of the world, to not have to care what you look like, and to discover that you can exist – happily – without your phone. Having said that, when spa-ing solo, I might want to look at something other than the snoring person on the opposite lounger. My favourite spa relaxation room ever had an amazing library of wonderful books. But when stuck in a relax room with only an outdated, soggy copy of Hello! Magazine for company, I may end up reaching for my phone...

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'I don’t fancy leaving my phone in the pocket of my robe. Who knows who might pick up my robe by mistake or otherwise?' 'Other people’s phones are intrusive: It’s attention grabbing, slightly narcissistic and shows little respect for the awareness of others.'

Illustrations: David Browne

The Spa Spies argue for and against leaving your Smartphone in your spa locker

SCARLETT SPY: We Millennials love to splash out on experiences rather than material objects. But documenting the experience is the most important part – how else are we going to remember a great spa day or spread the word to our friends and followers? Spas themselves are on social media and our shared pics are gold dust in terms of marketing for them. Bubbling hot tubs make the perfect boomerangs, while serene outdoor spaces are a calming reminder to look back on when we return to the normal world again. Also, let’s not devalue the thrill of the #humblebrag. However, I have rules around my own phone etiquette. You’ll find me snapping away when I first arrive to capture the vibe, but there’s no way you’ll be seeing my post-sauna or facial selfie on the internet. After a few snaps and scrolls on the ‘gram I often put my phone back in the locker. First, it’s important to switch off to fully relax; second, I don’t fancy leaving my phone in the pocket of my robe as I head into the steam room. Who knows who might pick up my robe by mistake or otherwise? My precious phone could be swiped never to be seen again. Most importantly, we need to respect other spa users and not post pictures of them without their permission. Oh and no phones in dark and silent relaxation rooms either – that’s as rude as taking a phone call in the middle of a movie. WM

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Wellness Magazine Spring/Summer 2018  

Welcome to the Spring/Summer issue of Wellness magazine presenting an exciting range of features, news and expert articles on all things spa...

Wellness Magazine Spring/Summer 2018  

Welcome to the Spring/Summer issue of Wellness magazine presenting an exciting range of features, news and expert articles on all things spa...