There are times, let’s admit it, when all we crave is the chance to shrug off the stress and tension of everyday life and succumb to the pleasures of a hot stone massage, an aromatherapy treatment, a sauna and a plunge pool, all in a calming environment. Whether you’re in search of a local spa or something more exotic, these five sites will help you find it.
Spa Seekers With 350 spas to choose from in the UK, this comprehensive if somewhat businesslike site offers deals on spa days, weekends and longer breaks. If you’re wanting to lose weight or tone up in time for summer, there’s also a health farm section. ABTA-affiliated.
Spa Finder Founded in the US in 1986, Spa Finder has been a global business since 2006 and was voted best website for spa travel by Forbes. As you would imagine, it’s a site of many options: as well as 828 spas in the UK, an extensive search facility helps you find destinations in every continent. It offers traditional spas and salons, but you can refine your search to display yoga and Pilates, wellness and fitness, special deals and medical cosmetic services.
The Spa Traveller If you’re looking for an extra special break and you relish splashing out, browse no further. Describing itself as a luxury lifestyle digital magazine that provides an objective guide to the world’s finest hotel and resort spas, The Spa Traveller offers an extensive choice. For those with only a day or two to spare, UK destinations include Gleneagles, Lucknam Park and The Dorchester.
Spa Contacts Prides itself as THE global portal for elite spas, though not quite as elegant a site as The Spa Traveller. Still, it does what it says on the tin. It’s pretty straightforward: first you choose a region (I typed in Caribbean), then select a location (I chose ‘all’), and finally spa type (I opted for ‘retreat’). Up come suggestions, their review and a link to the spa site. You can also filter by country, location and treatment.
The Retreat Company For those who want to take time out from a busy lifestyle, this site offers a choice of retreats. Options, apart from spa-and-hotel, include yoga, eco retreats, spiritual, health detox, creative, under the stars and more. You can choose from 70 different activities in 40 countries, from larger retreat centres to small and beautiful boutique hotels, and even hillside yurts.