The world of wellness is ever evolving, especially at the moment with the travel industry starting to reemerge from lockdown. Last year it was all about IV infusions, goat yoga and CBD treatments, this year it’s immune-boosting therapies, private spa experiences and socially distanced loungers. With a constant flurry of new hotel openings, there’s always somewhere and something to get excited about.
We’ve created a guide to our favourites, so you can discover some of the world’s best places to escape to, whether for planning in destinations we can currently travel to, or dreaming for those where we can’t. Read our spa hotel reviews; keep up to date with the latest news; and relive the best experiences at home with our pick of the top products found in hotel spas. And… relax.
The (s)low down
News, openings and experiences
After a lengthy season of lockdown, hotels across the country (and elsewhere) are now open and spa services are almost back on track. If you’re wondering where to go for a cosy autumn weekend, Suzanne Duckett has rounded up some of the best spa breaks to soothe lockdown-ravaged souls, from spiritual wellbeing sessions in your room to eight-day Mayr fasting retreats. See our guides to how social distancing restrictions will affect your hotel stay in England and your spa trip for more information.
A bit of a boost
As people look to their general wellbeing more than ever before, many hotels across the word are now offering immune-boosting therapies. Maldives hotel Anantara Kihavah, which operates Cocoon Medi-spa, is extending its existing range of IV vitamin infusions; SHA is offering immunology boosters; and Longevity will be implementing new holistic practices within its wellness programmes. Back in the UK, The Coach House Spa at Beaverbrook has curated a series of new Wild Wellness experiences, including fire ceremonies and NADclinic drips.
Essence of agua
agua at Sea Containers London has reopened with stringent hygiene standards and a new treatment menu, Essence. The menu includes 10 core treatments, including Soveral Custom Hot Stone Massage, Natura Bissé Deep Cleanse Facial and Soveral Body Flax, and is designed to support immunity, mental and emotional health. In addition, guests can add on an Aromatherapy Blend Bar experience, which includes a personalised consultation and 15ml blend (£15).
Star Sign Spa
Those monitoring the astrological alignment of Jupiter’s moons this month will be pleased to know that The Royal Wellness Club at Nana Princess in Crete is offering spa treatments based on guests’ zodiac signs. The Star Sign Spa menu incorporates some of the club’s most popular and innovative treatments including Mediterranean Candlelight, Chocolate Temptation, and Ariadne’s Signature and is tailored to each guest’s “internal intricacies”.
Lou Pinet launches face gym
Face needing a spot of TLC? Spa therapists at Lou Pinet have been trained in Tata Harper techniques to release tension, restore original volumes and re-sculpt features to achieve a visible rejuvenating effect. Described as a “natural facelift” because of the anti-ageing, toning effect, the massage is taught to guests through personalised training sessions so they can continue the treatment at home for long-lasting effects. loupinet.com
Mark the autumn equinox
The autumn equinox (one of the two days a year when the sun shines directly on the equator) takes place on September 22 and to mark this Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland is offering a wellness package with a series of sensory experiences. The package includes foot rituals, hot Espa positivity oil experiences and an invigorating pumpkin enzyme facial. In addition, guests will be able to participate in yoga classes, enjoy a meal at the Catalina Restaurant, and stay in a lake view room (package from £205).
Spas of solitude
In an effort to entice customers and adhere to rigid health and safety protocols, hotels with the means to offer private access to the whole or parts of a spa are doing just that. Rockliffe Hall has a private ‘spa garden’ with facilities and infinity pool; Gilpin Hotel & Lake House will soon have five of their new ‘Spa Lodge 100’ (with hot tub, steam room, sauna and treatment room in the accommodation); and guests can book the thermal suite before or after a treatment at The Coach House Spa at Beaverbrook.
In the Netherlands, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam has unveiled The Mayor’s Residence, a private nine-bedroom house within the hotel. Among many stellar services, guests can book unlimited treatments throughout their stay and will have sole use of the spa, including its three treatment rooms, indoor pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation room (from €24,450 [£22,633]).
Feel Good Week
Feel Good Week at Hillside Beach Club in Turkey is about finding inner peace through exclusive experiences. Guests can enjoy more walking routes, wellbeing workshops, expert nutritional advice and healthy cuisine, whatever their goal. It’s a chance to take a meditative yoga lesson looking out into the turquoise Aegean or atop a dreamy sailing boat during sunset, in a holistic and mindful way. From Sept 27-Oct 3.
Limerick’s Adare Manor is launching a Padel Club. Guests will be able to use the indoor tennis courts, golf simulator, pool, yoga room (and more) with private instructors.
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa situated in Newcastle and Culloden Estate & Spa, which overlooks Belfast Lough and County Antrim Coastline, are both now open after full renovations of the shared wellness spaces and Espa treatment rooms.
Kagi Maldives Spa Island will be opening with what’s set to be an impressive 1,500-square-metre spa and wellness centre at its heart. The Baani Spa will offer “Release, Restore and Regain” programmes featuring reiki, crystal and sound healing, as well as wellness sabbaticals. kagimaldives.com
RAKxa, a new fully integrative wellness and medical retreat, is opening December 2020 in Bangkok. The property will offer tailored wellness programmes through science-led technology. rakxawellness.com
King’s Mansion is a brand-new Ayurvedic integrative wellness destination set on the shores of northern Goa. Programmes will cover sports science and movement, medical aesthetics, and weight management, by Moss Wellness (behind Aman Resorts and Four Seasons). kingsmansiongoa.com
Spa and Stay
Read our full reviews of the world’s best places to spa and stay
Organic treatments below the city streets at The Lanesborough Club & Spa, London
This sybaritic, subterranean spa in one of London’s gilded grand dames is one of the few exclusive wellness clubs in the city: the spa is only available to hotel guests or members (though day passes are available). It is the only spa in the country to offer treatments by Tata Harper aka ‘Queen of Green’, among other top-tier brands such as Anastasia Achilleos, La Prairie and ila. Be sure to treat yourself to a Tata Harper facial (£175 for 60 minutes).
Inside The Beaumont’s wellness space, where Twenties charm meets urban calm
Size is what sets The Beaumont’s spa apart. Tucked away in a polished hotel that’s right in the heart of Mayfair, within a taxi hail of Selfridges, it’s not one that the masses know about. In tune with the rest of the hotel, the spa is an Art Deco wonder, with curvy corners and gleaming surfaces. There’s a steam room, cold plunge pool and sauna, plus treatment rooms and a hammam. Go for the full two-hour hammam experience (£190), it’s incredibly invigorating.
By Charlotte Johnstone
Inside Lime Wood’s Herb House, the New Forest’s most refreshing retreat
Come here for a break at a contemporary, stylish country house hotel spa that makes the most of its peaceful setting, in the New Forest National Park. It’s also one of only three UK locations offering treatments by celebrity facialist Sarah Chapman (from £115 for 60 minutes). Go for a two-hour Bamford Body Signature Treatment for something special.
By Rachel Cranshaw