Is There Life in Spas? The Best Spa Hotels In Britain

We’ll take any opportunity to get a Bowie reference in, but the obvious answer is yes – more life than an Attenborough documentary.  However, as luxury relaxation booms, which spa hotels should the discerning traveller indulge in?  Mark Southern donned his robe and slippers to find out.

As first published in The Exchange Magazine, 2011

Marylebone Hotel, London

Whilst the Capital is chock full of spa facilities, very few capture the essence of total relaxation.  Fortunately, the Marylebone does, and how.

Situated in a great location for a quick Friday dash from work, the hotel whisks its guests away from the buzzing streets outside into a hazy wonderland of gentle breezes on foreign shores.

With a cool, contemporary edge, the hotel drips with money, but pitches its spa offering just right, with complete emphasis on calm relaxation.

For a perfect weekend of indulgence get a ‘One For All’ spa experience, and follow up the half-day treatment with dinner in the award-winning restaurant.

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

Nestled neatly into the Chippenham countryside lies a stunning country retreat, Lucknam Park.

Set into 500 glorious acres of sculptured gardens, the house shines like the palace of decadence it really is.

If you’re getting there late on a Friday, the real treat you’ll experience is the sunlight streaming through your windows in the morning, and the breath-taking vista that opens up for you.

To truly make the most of this exceptional hotel you should take a horse out for a hack around the grounds, before coming back and sinking into relaxed bliss in the super-modern spa.

For the ultimate experience try the herbal pumice stone treatment and let the stresses of work drift away, (although if you can stay awake for more than ten minutes of total relaxation then you’ll do better than us).

Hotel Verta, London

For a spa treatment with a difference, Hotel Verta in Battersea offers a genuinely different detox option; fasting.

Before you stop reading there, it’s completely controlled by the trained team, who’ll be there to help you leave solid food behind for a few days, and instead drink a formulated lemon syrup drink to provide nutrients and wash out the toxins from your body.

Meanwhile, as the bad stuff leaves you, you can lie back and enjoy the good stuff as the spa treatments take over and relax you completely.

The best treatment is the black sand scrub, which sees sand oils from Tahiti sweep away dead skin, before a phyto-aromatic body massage awakens your senses again.

Once you rejoin the world of the food-eaters, you’ll be toxin-free, and feeling on top of the world.

Titanic Spa, Yorkshire

For relaxation-hunters willing to go further for quality, you can find a gem nestled deep within the natural landscape of Pennine Yorkshire.

A beautifully restored textile mill offering state-of-the-art health and well-being facilities, Titanic Spa possesses a wealth of renewable energy sources, employed at an additional cost of £1.5 million to ensure a genuine eco-offering.

For something a little bit different, not to mention a little more sociable than individual treatments, book a two person mud chamber where you’ll both be covered in organic mud to exfoliate your skin before herbal steam fills your own private chamber before a tropical rain shower washes away your worries (and muddy second skin).

Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

A country club within easy commute of London, Stoke Park is a pantheon of prosaic pleasure.

Set in beautifully manicured gardens, the hotel offers a genuine five star experience from start to finish, complete with excellent golf course to work up a reason to relax.

Once you’ve finished in the nineteenth though, it’s down to the invigorating spa where you’ll immediately be lulled into a sense of relaxed fulfillment.

It’s worth indulging in a couple of treatments, but make sure you include the algae wrap where seaweeds and essential oils cocoon you to a very warm and fuzzy state of serenity.


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