Nothing is too much trouble, dear readers, when it comes to brining you the world’s latest pampering treats. How do Cabernet Sauvignon soaks, tea baths and hair spas sound?
Patios de Cafayate Hotel and wine spa
Not been to Argentina yet? There’s never been better time: the exchange rate is good for UK travelers and there are plenty of interesting new places to stay – like the country’s first wine spa. Yes, you heard right, wine spa. It opened last summer at the hear of the El Esteco winery estate in one of the country’s most important wine-producing areas, so you get plenty of opportunity to sample the local vino as well as being treated with it. ‘Bath in a Barrel’, a soak in bubbling water and Cabernet Sauvignon, £20, is one of the specialties, but others also make use of locally grown carob, cactus and quinoa – Dr Gillian McKeith’s favorite super grain. Can’t say fairer than that.
Double rooms start from US$229 (£128): 00800-325 45454: www.luxurycollection.com/cafayate.
AZIA RESORT AND SPA
The past few years have seen chic new hotels taking Cyprus more up market. Latest to open is this new three-in-one resort – three hotels on adjacent grounds, all with access to luxurious Asphodel Spa. They’ve chosen Elemis as their spa partner, so blissfully relaxing treatments are guaranteed. Pamper sun-soaked skin with an Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap, £78, or talk your man into sharing a two-and-a-half-hour ritual of renewal, £193 for two – it starts with Elemis Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow to cleanse and soften skin and end with a Deep Tissue Muscle Massage.
Essential Escapes has seven nights from £900 p.p. including return flights and transfers. 020 7284 3344.
CAMERON HIGHLANDS RESORT
With two of Malaysia’s most luxurious resorts (pangkor Laut and Tanjong Jara) as siblings, you just know this new resort, set in a cook, colonial hill station, is going to be a winner too. Like its sister properties, it includes traditional Maly therapies on its spa menu, and makes good use of indigenous ingredients – there’s the signature tea bath before each treatment, while Campur_Camput, a blend of Malay and Thai massage involves a pouch of steamed lemongrass and pandan leaves being gently rubbed along the body, £61.
The Malaysian Experience has seven nights, room only, from £999 p.p., including flights and transfers. 020 8424 9547: www.malaysiaexperience.co.uk.
KEMPINSKI HOTEL ISHTAR
With its prime location on the shores of the Dead Sea, it’s not surprising that the Anantara Spa at this brand new Kempinski Hotel makes the most of the natural salts and muds of the area. This time next year, it will be the largest spa in the region; for now, they’re starting small, with just five treatment rooms, but the full range of therapies on offer. That includes their signature package, the Dead Sea Retreat, which lasts just over there hours and takes in Floral Foot Bath, Dead Sea Salt Scrub, Mud Weap, Herbal Steam Shower and Dead Sea Massage £92.
Abercrombie & Kent has three nights B&B from £769 p.p. including Royal Jordanian flights and transfers. 08450700 612; www.aberkrombiekent.co.uk
MONTE CARLO BAY HOTEL AND RESORT
The very chick Cinq Mondes day spa in Paris has just opened a new branch at the ritzy Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, right on the Monaco seafront. Like the original, the Monaco spa cherry-picks its treatments from around the globe – from Japanese baths to Balinese massage and North African hammam. With the bikini season in mind, you might want to opt for their Brazilian Crème de Café slimming and firming treatment, £66 for a one-hour treatment. Post-spa, the hotel’s Blue Gin Bar is the cocktail-sipping venue of choice.
Cresta Holidays £495 p.p. including return flights to Nice and helicopter transfers to Monte Carlo. 0870 161 0900: www.crestaholidays.co.uk
A hotel spa that offers you a cake menu as well as a treatments menu? Now we’re talking! Better yet, you can expect gateaux that are a cut above – because the hotel in question is Alain Ducasse’s Tuscany outpost, L’Andana. The French uber-chef opened this Italian inn in spring 2004, but the spa was only added last month. Its theme is pure indulgence – so as well as cakes, you also get an open fire to relax by, two indoor pools (one a mineral pool), and an outdoor Jacuzzi with vineyard views. Oh, and treatments – they’ve paired up with E’SPA to provide suitably pampering therapies, such as the divine Holistic Back, Face and Scalp Massage with Hot Stone, £180. After which, they suggest, a thin slice of lavender tart would go down very nicely.
Scott Dunn has seven nights from £1,320 p.p. including return BA flights and a week’s car hire. 020 8682 5989; www.scottdunn.co.uk
After a revamp, what used to be a health farm is a glamorous spa, with two new pools and a fitness centre. Its pared-down style means it’s a stylish as any boutique hotel. But Grayshott isn’t just a pretty face. As well as a huge range of spa treatments – many of them using oils by Aromatherapy Associates – you can expect great complementary therapists as well, who really know their way round a body. It’s also no problem if you’re on a diet, as they serve delicious fresh spa food on clever portion plates in the new restaurant, making it simple to eat the right amount.
Spa days start at £100 and two-night packages from £395. 01428 602020: www.grayshottspa.com
8. COUNTY DURHAM
At Seajam Hall they don’t believe in resting on their laurels. The Serenity Spa here might have been a huge hit since it opened a few years back, but they’re always looking for new ideas. Latest innovation is the UK’s first hair spa, which opened this spring, with salon stylists Hooker & Young drawing up a programme of Hair Indulgence Rituals. The It Takes Two Baby package, from £300 for two people, includes a private VIP suite for half a day, champagne on arrival, colour, cut and blow dry (with take-home tips on getting it right yourself), lunch and access to the spa. Though you probably wouldn’t be making much use of the pool, what with just having had your hair done …
Double rooms at Seaham Hall start from £195. 0191 516 1400: www.seaham-ball.com
THE G HOTEL
When the g opened at the end of last year, it wowed all comers with its string Philip Tracey-designed interiors – and now its added a beautiful new spa every bit as stunning. In contrast to the all-out glamour of the rest of the hotel, the spa is more tranquil in feel, inspired by a Japanese theme and decked out in natural material such as stone, wood and linen. As well as beauty and treatment rooms, the spa features a wet area and heat experience with vitality pool, heated tepidariums, rock sayna, steam room, ice fountain and ‘lifestyle showers’ with half-metre diameter heads. Treatments come courtesy of E’SPA.
Double rooms start from Euro450 per night including breakfast: 00353 91 865 200: www.monogramhotels.ie
At first glance, the new Earth Spa looks as if it should be buried in the African jungle. IN fact, it’s set back from the beach in Hua Hin on Thailand’s east cost. The domed buildings are cool and airy – a relaxing setting for Six Senses treatments like the Sensory Spa Journey, a four-handed massage and facial. £110. Like all Six Senses treatments they’re based on the concept of Skin Food: not putting anything on the skin that couldn’t be eaten. With coconut, avocado, lime and ginger among the ingredients expect to come out smelling pretty tasty.
Carrier has seven nights from £1, 299 p.p. including flights, transfers and a 50-minute spa session (valid until 31 October 2006). 0161 491 7600: www.carrier.co.uk