It's National Spa Week in Britain (3 - 7 November) - a destination where visitors can drift off in a state of bliss at a luxury spa in the beautiful countryside, or take some time out from urban exploration with a spa in the city, year-round.
Luckman Park Hotel and Spa, Bath, south-west England
While the staff remain discreet about their celebrity clientele, it’s hard for Lucknam Hotel not to boast about its spa with indoor hydrotherapy pool, saltwater plunge pool, thermal cabins and nine high-tech treatment rooms offering a selection of treatments from Carita Paris and Anne Semonin (their signature de-stress Botanical Oil and Herbal Back Therapy is a must-try). To top it off, the recently added Wellbeing House specializes in alternative therapies, from Haslauer Sunlight Therapy sessions, yoga and dry flotation to sleep and nutrition clinics.
Ruthin Castle Moat Spa, north Wales
What’s unusual about the spa at Ruthin Castle is its location resting in the rustic woodland grounds of the ancient castle’s moat. Bringing together nature and luxury in a unique set-up, as well as ESPA facials, scrubs and wraps, there are plenty of hidden surprises too, including a sauna tent and a cocoon seat hanging from the trees outside. Their signature treatment, the Sunset Sparkle Gold Body Scrub, is a regenerating, luxurious body wrap featuring a blend of cane sugar, caviar, golden jojoba oil and grape seed oil.
Bulgari Spa, London
While the Bulgari underground spa may look dark and moody it is, of course, extremely stylish. A glass and onyx haven in the middle of bustling central London, the spa is set over two floors and comprises 11 treatment rooms, a thermal room, ice fountain and a 25m pool (the largest in London). The spa suite can be hired for complete privacy in which to indulge in treatments such as the gold naturalift anti-aging treatment, which combines the power of acupuncture with the luxurious beautifying properties of 24 Carat gold for a natural alternative to Botox.
Dorchester Hotel Spa, London
Combining old-world glamour with cutting-edge treatments, the nine sound-proofed rooms at The Dorchester Spa offer Vaishaly's famous facials (loved by the likes of Elle Macpherson, Nigella Lawson and Sophie Dahl), and acclaimed products from Carol Joy London, who uses some of the world's most precious beauty ingredients such as authentic diamond dust and golden millet oil. Dressing rooms exude elegance, thanks to experience showers, state-of-the-art aromatic steam rooms lined with white glass mosaics, mood lighting, and lockers finished in hand-produced shell lacquer.
The Scarlet Spa, Cornwall, south-west England
A ‘grown ups only’ hotel with a state-of-the-art eco-spa, the highlight of The Scarlet is the cliff-top outdoor pool and hot tubs with panoramic views across the sea. The focus is on holistic wellbeing and every treatment begins with a consultation with a Tri-Dosha qualified practitioner, including an ayurvedic diagnosis to determine body type. Try ‘The Journey’: a three hour super-treatment, including a bathing ritual, body scrub and massage, then relax in the serene tented treatment zone or meditation room.
Vineyard Spa, Berkshire, south-east England
Wine is very much the focus at the five-star Vineyard Hotel which combines five-star dining, an impressive wine collection and luxury accommodation in a countryside setting. It comes as no surprise that the spa follows the hotel’s lead, offering a number of signature services incorporating own brand grape-based products, such as a Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap. As well as pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, there’s an impressive treatment list exclusively using Darphin products, numerous grooming services, and an extensive list of treatments for men.
Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland
The ultimate countryside retreat, Gleneagles spa is as famous as its world-class golfing greens. As well as the impressive 20 treatment rooms, there are crystal steam rooms, tropical showers, chilling ice rubs, saunas and a vitality pool. Their signature treatment, The Source, takes ingredients from the fresh waters and rolling hills of Perthshire and involves two hours of complete bliss, including a footbath, exfoliation, full body and head massage.
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh
The Sheraton’s rooftop hydro-therapy pool, which is accessed by swimming from an indoor pool, is the perfect spot to luxuriate in 35C bubbling mineral water which evaporates into mist in the air above as you gaze out over Edinburgh. Inside, the contemporary city spa has 11 treatment rooms, a fitness studio with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and Thermal Suite with holistic heat experiences including an aroma grotto, rock sauna, bio sauna, tepidarium, laconium and hammam.
ESPA Life Spa at the Corinthia Hotel, London
An in-depth analysis and sensory test means ESPA Life Spa is the place to go for personalised treatments. As well as facials and massages, therapists carry out intensive detox programmes, fertility treatments, marathon training and orthopaedic rehabilitation. Boasting the world's first glass sauna that never steams up, a giant marble ice station, targeted water jet jacuzzi, dramatic onyx glossy pool, sleep pods with plump cushions and super-soft blankets, state-of-the-art gym, nail studio and a Daniel Galvin hair salon, the spa, all towering black marble, stainless steel and flickering fires, is perfect for unisex indulgence.
St Brides Hotel, Saundersfoot, Wales
The sea plays a central role at Pembrokeshire’s only spa hotel. Gazing out from its outdoor infinity pool onto the sandy beaches of the charming seaside resort, Saundersfoot, with a press of a button you can turn the water into a bubbling hot tub. Marine products - clay, mud and seaweed are used in treatments and the soothing thermal suite with aroma steam room scented with lemongrass, rock sauna, jungle and mountain mist-themed showers complete the relaxation.