On a mission to find the best places to relax, unwind and learn a little more about how to gain a better insight into improving her wellbeing, Kate Morfoot checked into some of the best spas in the UK to obtain some insider spa knowledge
Check into this deluxe Spa Village Bath within The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel on Beau Street. The opulent spa enables guests to ‘take to the waters’ in luxury as they go on a journey called the Bath House Circuit that includes dipping in three natural thermal pools of varying temperatures and using traditional and infra-red saunas and steam rooms. Guests are given small bags of Cornish salt infused with specifically made Neals Yard aromatherapy salts to suit your mood to take on your spa journey.
Opposite the hotel try The Thermae Bath Spa that offers you two hour sessions which cannot be pre-booked. You can indulge in the open-air roof top pool, day or night, float away in the Minerva Bath and enjoy the best steam rooms ever sampled with aromatic essences including eucalyptus, mint, lemongrass and ginger. Look out for the new wellness suite launching soon which will include saunas, a steam room and an ice room.
Tel: 01225 358 888 www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk. Rooms rates start from £285 per night, treatments are extra.
To book two hours at the New Royal Bath at Thermae Spa telephone 0844 888 0844. Cost £35 per person Monday to Friday, £38 per person Saturday and Sunday.
Best for Healthy Lifestyle, Detox & Weight Loss – DEVON
Whether detox, weight loss or complete abstinence of delicious temptations, the demand for a nutrition-conscious holiday combined with exercise is growing rapidly in the UK. However, I’m not so keen on a complete detox which is why I’m recommending Yeotown. Their focus is very much on encouragement to eating good food and improving your lifestyle. Your bad will be turned by them into good, but necessarily meaning having to go without!
It’s an idyllic retreat in the rolling hills of north Devon, their programmes of events range from coastal hiking to boxing.
Five day programme £1,870 for the five-day ‘Yeotox’ Treatment. Inclusive or transfers from train station, accommodation, food and juices. www.yeotown.com/yeotox/ Tel: 01271 343 803
Best for Indulgence – ESSEX
Down Hall Country House Hotel and Spa doesn’t fail to skimp on indulgence. Dating back to 1822, the impressive mansion offers lavish décor, gilded ceilings and stunning chandeliers. Eden Spa has ultra-modern facilities that include a hydrotherapy pool, a mood-lit sauna, a starry night stream room and relaxation area. Treatment products are from ESPA and this is where you can enjoy one of their signature oil massages.
The hotel is just finishing a £6 million refurbishment of their decadent bedrooms boasting two and four poster beds. The Grill Room has been awarded an AA Rosette and specialises in Anglo-French cuisine by Head Chef, Matthew Hill. The hotel also has an excellent gym with state-of-the-art treadmills, cross trainers and free-weights.
Cost: £294 per night in a standard room, Dinner, bed and breakfast with a bottle of champagne, two x 25 minute treatments and two hour use of the wet spa. www.downhall.co.uk / Tel: 01279 731441
Best for Chocolate Lovers – GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Hallmark Hotel, nestled in the gateway to the Cotswolds is the perfect location for beautiful walks in the nearby Forest of Dean. For those who are seeking a dose of R&R you can indulge your senses in a chocaholic experience with an all over chocolate body scrub finished with a chocolate orange body oil. The newly refurbished spa and leisure facilities can add to your experience. Whilst you enjoy being pampered and relaxing in the Jacuzzi or Steam room, the hotel’s chefs will prepare a chocolate inspired traditional afternoon tea for you and your partner to enjoy with a glass of pink bubbles in the hotel’s lounge (£79.00 for two).
Hallmark Hotel Gloucester’s Chocolate Delight Mini Break Package: From £139.00 per night (based on two persons sharing a twin or double room). Extend that chocolate experience for a little while longer and stay the night. Enjoy breakfast the following morning before you depart feeling relaxed, refreshed – and hopefully having satisfied those chocolate cravings.
Best for All Round Water Spa / Mindfulness – LECEISTERSHIRE
Holidaying in the UK and escaping the hectic everyday grind has become the aim of many travellers. Ragdale Hall Health and Thermal Spa is one of the most indulgent spas in the UK offering a special retreat with 11 thermal spa experiences. There are five pools, a 25 metre swimming pool together with the exclusive treatments available. The range of facilities are all under one roof, including the Thermal Spa, Mind Gym, Beauty Express and Pavilion.
New for 2017 Ragdale has created some innovative exercises and fitness breaks. One of the stand-out classes is the new Brainfit Workout which brings mindfulness to exercise conducted by leading trainer Dean Hodgkin. Described as ‘meditation in motion,’ the class combines mindful movement and breathing exercises which leads to help with stress and anxiety.
There are increasingly more retreats to find your inner balance again. Many facilities including Ragdale offer relaxation and meditation for both beginners and advanced yoga / pilates enthusiasts too. Or if this isn’t as active as you like, book one of their many exercise classes from Zumba to High Intensity Training (HIIT). Look out for their infinity rooftop swimming pool being launched later this year.
Cost: Two night mid-week break from £332 per person including all meals, inclusive treatments and use of facilities. Two night weekend breaks from £392 per person. www.ragdalehall.co.uk Tel: 01664 433059
Best for Couple Reviver Break – NORFOLK
Offering a lovely hotel, spa and golf course Sprowston Manor Marriott Golf & County Club in Norwich is the ideal hotel for a reviver break. Set in idyllic countryside overlooking landscaped grounds and of course it’s 18-hole golf course, this 16th Century English manor is luxurious and a perfect escape for you and your partner.
Overnight stays and spa days include complimentary entry into their spa area, swimming pool, steam room, sauna and fully equipped gym. La Fontana Spa offers a comprehensive range of Guinot and Decleor treatments, just perfect after a morning on the golf course. The restaurant serves delicious produce and every Wednesday; indulge in their themed buffet nights, offering Mexican, Indian, Chinese or Thai food.
Cost: £338 per room for two people per night sharing a double room with pre dinner cocktail, dinner, breakfast, check-out lunch.
One x 60 minute treatment each. April, May & June only, subject to availability. Golf not included.
Best for Relaxation and Digital Detox – SCOTLAND
Set in the beautiful area of Peebles in Scotland, Stobo Castle is the ultimate place to unwind, with the swimming pool looking out towards the hills and famous Scottish heather. There are lots of gorgeous relaxation areas with top-notch products and treatments to detoxify your body. The use of your mobile or tablet is not allowed, so prepare for catching up with your work when you get home. Look out for their holistic therapies with expert Shirley Kay.
Two nights start midweek at Castle Lodge at £345 per person. Evening meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner included on the day of your departure, full use of leisure facilities, two x Express Facials and one x 55 minute treatment per person from a set list of three. www.stobocastle.co.uk/ht Tel: 01721 760344
Yeotown by Guy Harrop
Stobo Castle by Kenny Martin