From massage technique to customer service, there are many things that can make or break a spa experience. That’s why it’s always nice to have a recommendation from a seasoned expert. After voting closed on the 31st October, the Good Spa Guide have announced the best national and regional spas of 2013 as voted by you spa-goers and their team of Spa Spies. Whether you’re planning a winter getaway or just fancy getting away from whatever you’re doing for a few moments, take a look at some of this year’s gorgeous winners…
Set amid 123 acres of parkland, Pennyhill Park Hotel (pictured above) is home to an astonishing 45,000 sq ft devoted entirely to relaxation. With an impressive eight different pools (including a 25m Ballroom Pool complete with fibre optic lighting and underwater music), a Thermal Heaven heat experience, golf course, 21 private treatment rooms, a highly trained team and extensive treatment menu (which changes with the seasons), it’s little wonder it was given the award for excellence. One of our favourite places to while away a weekend, it’s also a former spa of the week - read more about it here.
As well as its award-winning Signature Rose Ritual, this luxury Hertfordshire health spa offers guests a host or extravagant treatments by skincare experts ESPA and a selection of tempting spa packages. Sequoia Spa's lavish facilities include a crystal steam room, relaxation lounge, vitality pool, mosaic-lined swimming pool, gym and exercise studio. What really sets this spa apart from other health spas, however, is its 300 acres of parkland and woodland which guests are free to explore by foot or one of the spa’s bikes. Visit between May and September and there’s also the opportunity to play croquet or giant chess in the garden.
Situated in Darlington, in the heart of County Durham, Rockliffe Hall is a luxurious five star hotel that houses 50,000 square feet of indulgent spa facilities within its gothic walls. This year the Good Spa Guide recognised Rockliffe Hall’s first class customer service, which with a team of highly experienced therapists, fitness advisors and holistic practitioners dedicated to helping guests reach their goals (be they beauty, anti-ageing, fitness or relaxation), is hardly surprising. As well as award winning service, the spa offers guests an extensive treatment menu (using products from Comfort Zone and Dr Murad) and facilities including a tepidarium, caldarium, tropicarium, hydropool, ice fountain, sound wave therapy beds and a state of the art gym. Phew.
2010 winner of the Good Spa Guide's Most Marvellous Massage, SenSpa in Hampshire, is truly one of a kind. Located in the New Forest but with a heavy Thai influence, this luxury spa offers guests the ultimate relaxation experience. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, soothing thermal rooms, an array of water-based experiences (including experience showers with thunder and lightening effects), a bohemian amethyst crystal steam room, Thai pyjamas and some of the most exquisite Thai food in the country. The team of Thai trained therapists are on hand to offer more than 40 treatments using organic products and body oils from SenSpa's own Soil Association accredited Organic Therapy Range.
Covent Garden’s iconic Sanctuary Spa first opened its doors in 1977, and has been helping women (about 60,000 a year) to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy time together ever since. This week the women only spa very sadly announced it would be closing it’s doors next May, so we’re delighted that it was voted this year’s Readers’ Spa of the Year. The perfect place to indulge with friends, Sanctuary Spa counts among its unique and luxurious facilities an atrium pool and swing, a relaxing koi carp lounge, an exercise pool, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, a ‘sleep retreat’, an infrared experience and a manicure and pedicure suite. Sound to good to be true? It almost is, so be sure to pay it a visit before it’s too late.
We’d love to tell you about all the winners in detail, but unfortunately we have a word count to stick to. Here are the other worthy winners, congratulations everyone:
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