Alexander House in West Sussex sits within 120 acres of beautiful grounds, and inside, “guests float through the grand, but unstuffy manor house in soft robes and slippers”, says Julia Richardson in The Times. Grecian columns and marble statues line the underground swimming pool, along with hydrotherapy baths and monsoon showers, “but it’s the outdoor area that really steals the show”, with its wooden barrel sauna that “looks like it’s been lifted straight out of Hobbiton”. There is also a huge range of scrubs, mud therapies and massages on offer. Suites are spacious and quiet and the food in the hotel’s three-Rosette restaurant is “absolutely delicious”.
From £149 a night – see AlexanderHotels.co.uk.
Relaxing by the Med
In a prime location overlooking Majorca’s mountains, forests and the Mediterranean, the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa “has all the luxury dining and leisure options you might need for a fly-and-flop stay”, says Alice Revel in The Daily Telegraph. With three restaurants, an expansive spa and numerous pools, including an adults-only infinity pool, “it’s one of the island’s most inviting destinations for some indulgent relaxation”. The hotel has 120 bedrooms and suites and its rooftop sun terrace is positioned to take advantage of the views. The Jumeirah’s Talise spa “is a destination in itself”. It features a sauna, steam room, sensation showers, ice fountain, relaxation rooms, fitness centre and an outdoor hydrotherapy pool. There is also a broad selection of massages and complementary therapies on offer.
From €349 a night – see Jumeirah.com.
A 1,000-year-old thermal cave
Grotta Giusti in Tuscany is “something of an antidote to our brain overload”, says Heather Saul in “i” newspaper. The spa, which is located in Monsummano Terme, focuses on anti-ageing therapies and programmes designed with the goal of helping us to “live better” through a combination of diet, exercise and anti-stress and mindfulness techniques. A big draw for many guests is the 1,000-year-old natural thermal cave, where you can enjoy a hot spring lake, a floating massage in the dark waters, or a scuba-diving lesson. Guests begin in the coolest part of the cave, called Paradise, then make their way to Purgatory, where the temperature gradually rises, and finally arrive in Hell, the hottest part of the caves at 34°C. Here, you are asked to relax silently on sun loungers and “it’s a surreal experience”.
From €270 a night – see GrottaGiustispa.com.
The epitome of uber luxury
The Shangri-La Le Touessrok on Mauritius, an island bristling with five-star hotels, is “the epitome of uber-luxury”, says Tom Laing on MailOnline. Here waiters deliver fruit platters and cocktails on Segways, while the spa showcases the island’s botanical produce, growing its own herbs to use in massage treatments. Guests can choose between various “pampering extravaganzas”, such as Amazonian mud masks, seaweed and bio-plasma face masks as well as sugar-cane baton massages. The room in the Frangipani Wing, “flung across a wooden bridge over a dry sandy creek”, features “an enormous bed”, a balcony facing a quiet beach and “a huge egg-shaped bath”. With four different restaurants and the Sega rum bar dotted across the hotel, “you’re spoiled for choice”.
Seven nights cost from £1,500, including flights; SusieFreemanTravel.com.
Sweden’s new floating spa hotel
The Arctic Bath hotel and spa “might be the most unique way yet” of experiencing Swedish Lapland, says Annabel Fenwick Elliott on MailOnline. The spa hotel, which is due to open in early 2018, will float on the river Lule in summer and freeze into place in winter. The star attraction is the bath that sits in the centre of its circular complex – “heated to a ‘refreshing’ 4˚C for those partial to an icy dip”. Those less brave can lounge around the deck and gaze at the Northern Lights, or find warmth in the accompanying spa and saunas, the roofs topped with an “artful array” of local timber logs. Visitors can then stay overnight in one of the six minimalist cabins dotted around.