Three spas for health nuts

For those who prefer to be reinvigorated in more unusual ways, Chris Carter looks at some of the odder spa treatments on offer.


Homer's paradise: beer is literally on tap at the Bernard Beer Spa in Prague

Beer baths

If you thought beer was for drinking, think again. At the Bernard Beer Spa in Prague guests are invited to take "a dip in a bath filled with the all-natural ingredients used for beer brewing", says the Daily Mail's Michael Gadd, a practice proven since the Middle Ages to be good for you, at least according to the spa. Barley, hops and yeast are kept "at a steady 37C and continuously bubbling", releasing vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins.

And if you get thirsty, you can pour yourself as much of the house Beer Bernard as you like from a bath-side tap during a bar-and-bath session. Then it's off to a heated bed or a 20-minute massage. To compound the stickily relaxing mess, the spa advises guests not to shower for 12 hours to achieve the treatment's full benefits.

£80 per person per session. Contact:

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Choco therapy

You don't have to eat chocolate to feel its health benefits, says the Birmingham Mail's Sanjeeta Bains. The "high caffeine content stimulates your circulation" if you rub it on the skin, while the natural oils found in cocoa butter are great for moisturising. "It smells gorgeous too." So why not slather yourself in the stuff? Birmingham, original home of Cadbury, is just the place.

The Amala Spa at the Hyatt Regency "offers the most amazing chocolate experience we've ever come across", says Bains. It's "75 minutes of pure heaven". The Co-Co2 Chocolate BodyEnvelopment involves a massage with warm chocolate and coconut. A body wrap of melted Swiss chocolate and oxygen is then applied to leave your skin "energised and silky smooth". And if you get peckish, you can always eat it too.

Price: £65. Contact: 0121-643 1234,


Mental workout

We're used to spas making grand claims about body and soul, says Susan D'Arcy in The Sunday Times. But the SHA Wellness Clinic (pictured above) in Benidorm, Spain, takes a more scientific approach. "Top-notch pampering" atthe new Cognitive Development Unit involves a series of on-screen tests to first ascertain your mental state. Then come a series of exercises.

One involved being wired up to sensors then looking intently at a barrel on a big screen. If you produce enough "beta waves" in the brain, ie, are focused enough, it bursts into flames. If you become sufficiently composed, you can even lift and "fly" an imaginary drone over countryside. The clinic claims such exercises can increase cognitive capacity by between 10% and 20%.

From £3,095 per person for a week, full-board, including flights, transfers and treatments. Contact:


Plus one for the potheads

If it weren't for the "enshrined JerryGarcia memorabilia" and blown-glassbongs, the Adagio Bud + Breakfast inDenver, Colorado, would feel "almostdisappointingly normal", says KellyMacLean in The Guardian. But it is in facta haven for potheads. It's no drug den it's a "gorgeous Victorian home" andcan't sell marijuana. But due to Colorado's"complicated" laws, guests are welcometo smoke their own in the common area.It's like being at "an immaculate house party".

The owners see further opportunitiesto profit from the "green rush" and are planning a network of resorts, including a spawhere pot will "enhance massage and take the edge off your bikini wax".

Rooms from $179 per night. Contact:

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.