If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and are in need of some TLC, National Spa Week, from 16 – 22 September, provides the perfect excuse. Here, VisitEngland looks at the best ways to wash away your worries with a little pampering at one of England’s spas or wellbeing centres.
This autumn the award winning Headland Hotel, which overlooks the golden sands and crashing Atlantic waves of Cornwall’s Fistral Beach, opens its new spa. This true spa-on-sea has treatment rooms, a Spa Lounge dining room and relaxation area, alongside the existing spa pool, Rhassoul, Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna and aromatherapy showers. The Headland Spa’s signature treatment “The Dreaming” is inspired by Cornwall’s coastline and uses Cornish SPIEZIA products.
Just down the coast, the Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa in Devon has recently undergone a major revamp, and now offers a costal spa retreat, cinema room, and a waterside restaurant that overlooks one of the most dramatic coastlines in England. The hotel’s Harbour Spa offers a combination of ancient and modern therapies using the finest quality ingredients and experienced therapists. The hotel also has a new destination restaurant ‘The Jetty’, with menus created by award-winning Chef Patron Alex Aitken and top local chefs delivering fresh and seasonal dishes. Taking centre stage at The Jetty will be the Crustacean Bar, serving the freshest catch.
The Garage Spa in County Durham is housed in a building with history, transformed from an ancient stopping station into a first-class spa. But this is no ordinary spa. Want your nails done? Step into the paint shop. Not firing on all cylinders? A full body MOT might be just what you need. Those that need to put the brakes on after exploring the gorgeous rolling Teesdale hills should make The Garage their next destination. Relax in the Shepherd’s Hut log sauna and hot tubs set in beautiful gardens, nibble on some homemade snacks in between treatments and feel the warmth in beautiful Romanesque steam rooms.
Last month, the award-winning Gilpin Hotel & Lake House unveiled a luxurious new ‘Jetty Spa Trail’. Set near Lake Windermere, the hotel’s new spa features two cosy treatment rooms with roaring fires and floor to ceiling windows overlooking a private lake. Couples then enjoy a private swim in the 30-foot heated indoor pool, unwind in the warm salt snug with an aroma spritzer and exfoliate with a salt scrub shower. Then follow a trail through the woods to the private couples’ suite, to enjoy a couples’ massage amongst lit fires and spectacular views. Afterwards, chill out in the Boat House with a warming speciality tea and nibbles, before indulging in a glass of Champagne in the Japanese Ofura hot tub, surrounded by candles, to complete the Spa Trail.
Soothe your mind, pamper your body and lift your spirits in the heart of Chester’s historic city centre this autumn at The Grosvenor Spa. This boutique sanctuary has been designed to evoke a state of relaxation, vitality and total wellbeing. The spa offers a menu of rituals and treatments delivered by the skilful hands of experienced therapists using the finest lotions and potions from Darphin and REN. This year, the spa celebrates its 10th anniversary and to mark the occasion they have created a celebratory birthday package that includes a 30 minute body exfoliation, 30 minute massage and 30 minute facial with an expert therapist.
For private types, there may be nothing worse than sneaking back to your hotel room after a spa treatment, hair dripping in oil and no makeup. In the capital, the InterContintental London Park Lane hotel has come up with a solution by opening London’s first spa bedroom. For a £2,000 overnight stay, guests get a junior suite that opens onto an adjoining spa suite set up with a massage table, wet room and space to relax. Therapists from the hotel’s Elemis spare on hand to administer massages and manicures.
Previous winner of VisitEngland’s Sustainable Tourism Award, the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall takes the phrase “eco-chic” to a whole new level. The hotel’s spa has luxury tented rooms lit by lanterns and cocoon-like pods swinging from the relaxation room ceiling, where you can drift away following your treatment. Outside, a clifftop hot tub invites you to stargaze or storm watch and there’s a chemical-free pool, naturally cleaned by reeds. The Scarlett Hotel is now offering made-to-measure wellbeing escapes, with everything from yoga and Nordic walking to singing lessons on the menu – it all depends on you, your dosha type and goal for the stay.
Further north, Huddersfield’s Titanic Spa, the UK’s first eco-spa, has been designed within a traditional textile mill. Favoured for its seclusion on the edge of the Pennines, this intimate spa has gone beyond the organic philosophy, offering exceptional results-driven spa treatments and products by Decléor, Elemis Carita and Pinks Boutique. Water is at the heart of the spa, which has its own natural water source, found 100m below the site. Today, it provides fresh drinking water and bathing water for the plunge pool, salt regulated swimming pool, showers and ice experience.
The Twilight Package offered by Bath Thermae Spa is one of the country’s most romantic spa experiences. As the sun sets over historic Bath, try out the whirlpools, the neck massage jets and the airbeds, soak in the mineral-rich waters and indulge in a delicious platter and a glass of wine. Once you’re revitalised, take a stroll through Bath’s honey-coloured Georgian streets before sitting down for an intimate dinner at historic The Pump Room Restaurant, with its sparkling chandeliers and grand Georgian pillars.
Congham Hall in Norfolk is a hotel with strong historical links with the royal family thanks to its position on the edge of the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. The late Queen Mother often took Sunday lunch at the hotel and its restaurant currently features Red Poll Beef from the Queen’s own herd, which is reared at Sandringham. The hotel also has a renowned Herb Garden, with more than 400 plants – many of which feature in the dishes on the seasonally changing menu and even in the signature spa treatments. The hotel’s Secret Garden Spa recently launched a range of day packages for non-guests. The Full Day Devine package includes welcome drinks, a 120 minute Garden Spa Ritual and lunch.