No baggage allowance, no passport control, and no fuss. Sometimes, when you’re in need of a short break, ultimate relaxation comes with knowing that you don’t have to board a flight. These beautifully British spa hotels provide the perfect chilled-out setting for a spa-cation which will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for Spring – without the jetlag.
Bulgari and 111 SPA/CLINIC, London
For ultimate inner-city luxury, the Bulgari Hotel has it down pat. Just opposite Hyde Park, it’s a subterranean escape that houses one of London’s biggest hotel pools, will leave you feeling relaxed and glowing head-to-toe. SPA/CLINIC at Bulgari offers aesthetically-driven face and body treatments within the calming, regal surroundings (the reception desk is even made of Onyx!). Like visiting Harley Street in a bathrobe, there are 12 high-tech treatments to choose from. This is for those who really want results-driven R&R. Both face and body treatments use cutting-edge medical innovation, aesthetician-grade skincare, and are all approved by globally-renowned cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Yannis Alexandrides. There’s popular cryotherapy and LED light therapy on offer, but for something that’s both relaxing and revolutionary, try the 111SKIN Dramatic Healing Facial. The therapist uses 111Skin’s Y Theorem Repair Serum, deeply massaging muscles and using a cooling roller over the delicate eye area. You’ll see and feel the difference and the 60-minute treatment deeply enhances the skin’s ability to repair and re-strengthen itself. Skin feels smooth, taught and plump.
Brimstone Spa & Hotel, Lake District
There’s something so simplistically pleasing about a train journey. Coffee, snacks, a good book and the meditative whirr of passing views. Half the fun of visiting Brimstone Hotel is travelling by train and being collected from Windermere station in a black Landrover Defender. The innovative hotel has just 16 suites, all taken care of by a team of hosts. There’s no traditional reception, but they’re always just a phone call away. Rooms are modern but cosy with log fireplaces, private terraces overlooking the woodlands and side-by-side slipper baths just two steps away from a dreamy 2m x 2m bed. Upon arriving at the Brimstone Spa you’ll be handed a map of the 7-step thermal suite and asked to choose from three scented herbal salts before you begin the journey so that you can carry them with you to infuse each step, eventually taking them home to use as bath salts. Back at the main hotel building, Brimstone’s Reading Room is open around the clock with a complimentary spread of hot and cold drinks, wine, beer, pastries, sandwiches, afternoon tea and even cheese and biscuits come evening. Outdoor kit hire from the hotel’s Boot Room will save the day if you forget to pack walking socks or waterproofs. If you haven’t filled up on the snacks from The Reading Room, dinner at The Stove is delicious, with a surprisingly buzzy atmosphere and wonderful wine selection. The menu is full of local, seasonal fare and the sticky toffee bread pudding is a must!
The Lanesborough, London
The Lanesborough Club & Spa is a lifestyle club with wellness at the heart. It may be in the city but there’s no shortage of space; the spa sprawls across 18,000sq ft. There’s something truly grand and graceful about the place; resplendent in marble and silk wallpapers. Open to club members and hotel guests, it’s as much a place to socialise and enjoy a healthy bite to eat at the restaurant (which includes a private dining room) as it is to completely let go of the day and kick back for some me-time. There’s something for everyone, from craniosacral therapy to sound healing and even semi-permanent make-up and a mani-pedi salon if you’re after more of a beauty-focused pampering. Whichever you opt for, you’ll be in good hands, as resident experts are on hand to provide the best offering in their given fields. With all the bases covered, from fitness to wellbeing, nutrition, lifestyle and beauty, it’s easy to see why The Lanesborough was voted England’s Best Hotel Spa 2018 at the World Spa Awards!
Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa, West Sussex
Just 45 minutes from London by train, the Ockenden Manor Spa is a copper-colour haven that’s drenched in natural light and surrounded by nine acres of grounds. The latest offering added to Ockenden’s award-winning spa menu is Light Technique therapy, a treatment designed to directly address one of the most prominent ails in modern lives – stress. The spa has partnered with Holistic Wellness Coach and Facialist Katie Light to develop three different variations, all with the aim of bringing a sense of inner peace and calm to clients. More than your run-of-the-mill aromatherapy massage, the treatment looks at both the physical and emotional being – both of which are hit by the impact of stress in our lives. You’ll discover the effects of dynamic massage techniques – from Reiki to reflexology – and leave feeling a sense of clarity, and calm energy. The light therapy is also designed to improve focus. If you’re lucky enough to visit when the British weather is feeling cooperative, it’s worth taking a good book up to the sun terrace and soaking up some all-important vitamin D.
words by Eva Ramirez @evieramirez
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