Five of the best relaxing spa getaways
Take a sound bath in Berkshire or learn Tai Chi and meditation in Kent at one of these five relaxing spa getaways.
A deep sleep in a stately home
At Cliveden House in Berkshire, a stately country home offering a new “OTO Sleep Experience”, the relaxation “begins with one foot over the threshold”, says Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times. “In the grand hall a fire crackles, guests are having tea,” low light beams in through the windows upon the lavish furnishings.
But this is only the start of the soothing you will experience once you are rubbed from head to toe in CBD oil and massaged into deep relaxation. A stay includes a complimentary bottle of Champagne, the opportunity to feast in the “splendid dining room with its fine chandeliers and fluted fold columns”, and a well-earned rest in a four-poster bed.
Those more spiritually inclined can also try a “sound bath”, in which you lie beneath a quilted duvet and are then immersed in the ringing sound of many Tibetan gongs.
Prices per stay from £995. See clivedenhouse.co.uk
The foundation for a healthier life
The Oxon Hoath Tai Chi and Meditation Retreat in Kent is a perfect place to realign your overworked chakras, says Rosie Fitzmaurice in the Evening Standard.
It offers beginners instruction in the ancient Chinese martial art, which promotes healthy living through guided breathing techniques and slow movement. Tai Chi helps to calm the body, then meditation classes work on calming the mind, helping to ease stress levels over the course of the two-day retreat.
The practices are ideal for working out knots from sitting hunched over your desk, and the retreat’s inclusive package will give you the perfect foundation for leading a fitter and healthier life. Two evening meals made using completely organic home-grown produce are included, which also help to flush out toxins and reduce stress.
Prices start from £375. See taichiway.co.uk
Walk with the alpacas in the Lakes
Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District is a countryside escape for nature lovers, says Susan d’Arcy in The Times. Set against a 400-acre backdrop of woodlands and with breathtaking views of Lake Bassenthwaite, this “unpretentious Victorian mansion” employs its own “forest-bathing” specialist to take guests on tours that show you how to turn a walk in the woods into a meditative experience. You can also enjoy some tree climbing, a swim in the nearby lake, or a walk among the resident alpaca population. The spa features an indoor infinity and hydrotherapy pool and a hot tub, says Jessica Gibb in The Sun. The formal Lake View Restaurant makes the most of local seasonal produce and has “fantastic views over the hotel’s grounds”.
Prices per night start at £265. See armathwaite-hall.com
Off-grid pottery and yoga
Luna Wilds, an “off-grid” spa just outside Brighton in East Sussex, is a new retreat built with reclaimed materials, says Jane Dunford in The Guardian. It’s run by local yoga teacher Laura Brown and its wellness camp offers daily spa treatments, a chance to sweat out some stress in a wood-fired sauna and outdoor bathtubs, and, of course, some guided yoga classes.
Luna Wilds’ “Wild Creativity Break” also offers guests the chance to learn pottery skills while mastering their yoga and meditation practices. The food is “plant-based and plentiful”, cooked in an outdoor kitchen and eaten around evening campfires, or on walks through the South Downs.
A basic pre-pitched tent and blow-up mattress costs £30, and prices for the course itself start at £325. See lunawilds.co.uk
Calming down among the llamas
Godshill Park Barn on the Isle of Wight is surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so it’s the “perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature”, says Izzie Deibe in the Daily Express. It also offers a number of retreats year-round, including ones offering yoga classes, “energy medicine” and even sewing escapes. The inclusive bed-and-breakfast retreat is on the south of the island and is host to a new course leader who can help guests practice everyday mindfulness.
Most days begin with recuperative meditation sessions, slow walks along incredible beaches, and feature a range of “pampering” treatments, including massages, reiki healing practices and facial cleanses. You can also take guided walks among the llamas and alpacas, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or practise clay-pigeon shooting and golf. The accommodation features furnishings made from the wool of local sheep, as well as luxuries such as Egyptian cotton sheets.
Double rooms start from £188 for two nights. See godshillparkbarn.co.uk