It is just about this time of year that pockets are squeezed and we all long for a pampering spa break; enter the Paradores, home to a collection of fabulous, unique spas across Spain at affordable prices. With low-cost flights to Europe from across the UK, this alternative to a long-haul spa break couldn’t be easier.
Located in diverse regions from the Pyrenees in the North, through mainland Spain to the Canary Islands, each beautifully appointed Parador spa offers excellent facilities built around classic hydro spa principles. These are supplemented by a variety of indulgent treatments which reflect local ingredients and traditions to give a real sense of the place; from Wine Harvest Wraps to Gold and Diamond Therapy, the Paradores offer wellbeing in the most breathtaking surroundings. Dedicated children’s treatments and a selection especially designed for men are also available at selected Paradores.
Parador de Vielha, located in the Arán Valley in the Leridian Pyrenees, is set in an area of unparalleled natural beauty, ideal for skiers, ramblers and nature-lovers. The hotel’s rooms offer unbeatable views of the mountains, even more spectacular from the circular glazed restaurant. Signature treatments to complement the crystal clear air include their Wine Harvest Ritual, which invigorates and stimulates the veins, starting with a skin buff using an enzyme rich scrub made from grape pips, followed by a body wrap using in red vines. A circulation boosting massage is then carried out under the Vichy-shower.
Parador de Santo Estevo is housed in a 10th century Benedictine monastery in the middle of the Ribeira Sacra in Galiacia. Bedrooms are set around three ancient cloisters, with views over the valleys of the river Sil. The terraced restaurant sits beside a chestnut forest and magical gardens. The hotel’s Chestnut Program, using local products, is a nutritive body treatment to regenerate skin and give a youthful and healthy glow. It includes a peel, wrap and moisturising massage using chestnut based products. A special 20 minute Children’s Massage allows little ones to enjoy the benefits of massage.
The newly opened hotel Parador Alcalá de Henares, is only 26 kilometres from Madrid, housed in the magnificent seventeenth-century former Santo Tomás Dominican Convent and School. Spectacular spa facilities with cutting edge design offer 21st century treatments including the Wavy Foam Massage, which is carried out using delicious foam made from aromatic oils, leaving skin like silk and spirits sky-high. The aptly named and impressive Sunshine Code Ritual includes an extra-relaxing body massage and rejuvenating facial, all set to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls.
1,560m above sea level and 35 kilometres away from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda overlooks the large crater formed by volcanic activity and carved by water. It commands views of the unique and otherworldly landscape of the island, including volcanic hills, ravines and cliffs to the ocean beyond. Harnessing the natural elements, the Tejeda Stone Experience is a combination of Asian techniques using hot and cold local volcanic stones, combined with intense natural aromas. The Diamond Ritual utilises micronised diamond dust emulsion, applied to the entire body with an aroma of wild lavender to increase positive energy, remove stress and restore balance to the skin.
The Parador de la Granja is a converted royal palace located in the Casa de los Infantes, constructed in the 18th century by Charles III, and lies just 11 km from Segovia, a World Heritage City in the heart of the Guadarrama Mountains. Their luxurious Gold & Diamond Therapy combines caviar, gold, diamond dust and amber for the ultimate in indulgent skin nutrition. Sensation is a local olive-based treatment which renews and exfoliates with a wrap and relaxing hydrating massage carried out with pure olive oil.