There’s nothing better than a weekend of pampering and relaxation at a health spa. Switch your phone, laptop and mind off and forget about everything apart from your own happiness and wellbeing for 24 hours…or longer if you’re lucky. A luxurious massage or facial is guaranteed to make you feel stress free and chilled out.
I recently wrote a regional spa guide feature for Wedding Ideas magazine (see below) and thought I’d share with you my Top 5 Spas to visit in the UK. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about these five fabulous retreats.
No. 1: Pennyhill Park, Surrey
Pennyhill Park is the Queen Bee of country retreats. Wonderfully located in 120 acres of Surrey parkland this spa oozes elegance, style and sophistication. The spa has eight pools including a indoor ballroom with underwater music, heated outdoor pool, numerous outdoor hot tubs, jacuzzi, hydrotherapy pools, herbal saunas, aromatic laconium, tepidarium, ice cave, schnapps steam room, a gym and many relaxation rooms including a fabulous sensory room. Stay for a week and you’d wish you could stay longer. It’s perfect in every way. This was by far the best spa I have ever visited, the England rugby team stay here too, so who knows who you might be sitting next to in one of the many outdoor hot tubs!
Spa day from £140 including 60-minute treatment and two-course lunch. Overnight from £247.50 including breakfast, 60-minute treatment and £25 towards dinner. Visit www.pennyhillpark.co.uk / 01276 471774
N0 2: Ragdale Hall Health Spa, Leicestershire
Without doubt one of the UK’s most luxurious and enjoyable spas. Everything about this country house in Leicestershire oozes opulence whether you’re relaxing in the lounge, zoning out in The Retreat or feasting in the dining room. Their Thermal Spa needs to be seen to be believed featuring 12 luxurious and unique heat and water experiences including a colourflow cave, candle pool, indoor/outdoor waterfall pool, heated thought zone, volcanic salt bath, rose sauna and 25-meter swimming pool and whirl spa. They also offer 18 fitness classes each day. Ragdale oozes old school glamour and has an air of elegance and grandeur. If you’re interested to know more you can read a previous review I wrote here.
Spa days from £133 including 50-minute treatment and three-course lunch. Overnight from £205 including breakfast, three-course lunch/ dinner and a 50-minute treatment. Visit www.ragdalehall.co.uk / 01664 434831
No 3: Coworth Park, Berkshire
A stylish and contemporary retreat just 45 minutes drive from London. However, city life is a mere memory at this eco spa hidden amongst 240 acres of rolling Berkshire parkland, surrounded by meadows of vibrant wild flowers. The glamorous spa, part of the Dorchester Collection, has a stream room, gym and Amethyst-lined swimming pool with underwater music and huge sliding glass doors opening onto a sun terrace. Coworth Park’s 17th-century mansion is magnificent making this a unique and elegant place to relax for the weekend and soak up the countryside. The treatments are quite pricey here but worth every penny, they really go that extra mile, so I highly recommend treating yourself and allowing one weekend of pure indulgence.
Spa days from £135 including two-course lunch and a 50-minute treatment. Overnight stay from £460 including breakfast and a 50-minute treatment. Visit www.dorchestercollection.com /01344 876 600
No 4: Carey Manor, New Forest
Located in the picturesque and battery recharging New Forest the SenSpa at Carey Manor has everything you could possible wish for. Ancient traditions of the Far East are at the heart of this retreat including Thai massages, incredible food in the Zen Garden restaurant and delicate aromas from their luxury organic Senspa products everywhere you walk. First class facilities include 14m swimming pool, jacuzzi, crystal steam room, herbal sauna, hydro pool, ice room, experience showers, Rhassoul mud room, hammam rooms and gym. This is the perfect way to relax and explore the New Forest national park in a luxurious country house hotel. I loved the feel of this spa, it was super chilled and laid back. We did a morning Tai Chi & Yoga session wearing traditional Thai pyjamas – I’ve never done Tai Chi before but loved it and thought it was the perfect, relaxing way to start the day!
Spa days from £139 including breakfast and two-course Thai lunch. Overnight from £164 including breakfast, 60-minute treatment and two Senspa body range products. Visit www.careysmanor.com / 01590 624467
No 5: Headland Hotel, Cornwall
Perched up high on a cliff top above Fistral Beach in Newquay the Headland Hotel spa is the perfect place to feel the energy of the ocean against the mindfulness of Cornish countryside. The spa has a superb heated indoor pool with jet stream and bubble seats, Swedish sauna, Cornish salt steam room, aromatherapy showers, hydrotherapy bath, Rhassoul mudroom and gym. The outdoor hot tub overlooks the beach and has stunning sea views. Combining a spa weekend and a beach break is a brilliant idea, we loved relaxing at the spa and then taking a leisurely stroll along the beach. The afternoon tea is amazing too.
Spa days from £65 including 50-minute treatment and a glass of champagne. Overnight from £99 including breakfast, three-course dinner and two 35 minute spa treatments, two night minimum stay. Visit www.headlandhotel.co.uk / 01637 872211
The above five heath retreats are my absolutely favourites, they all offer something a bit different from a normal spa break. I’m always looking for new and exciting places to visit so please get in touch if you’ve been to a brilliant spa and can share a recommendation.
There are spas dotted all around the country, so here’s my Regional Spa Guide 2015 for Wedding Ideas magazine – covering 16 spa resorts up and down the UK.