Luxury spa? But I’m needed at’ mill!


Time was when the very idea of beauty treatments | hotel spa breaks or a luxury spa weekend would have seemed just a bit…well…odd.

It wasn’t a very British thing to do.

It involved revealing more flesh than any third party should ever be exposed to. It involved relaxing. It involved taking care of yourself, taking time for yourself and, God forbid, enjoying yourself.

In old Britain it was only ever the aristocracy that embraced such concepts. Everyone else was far too busy scrubbing the front step, having babies and heading down the mine. Sometimes all three at the same time.

The very concept of taking time out for yourself with a revitalising spa package was as alien as suggesting that one day we’d use mobile phones, surf the Internet and have an unhealthy obsession with Pete Docherty.

Be Kind. Unwind.


Of course times have changed – and whilst not all the changes may have been good, some certainly are.

We have more free time than ever before and more disposable income than any generation before us (despite the fact that it may not feel like it).

We understand more about our bodies, about what’s good for us, and about the million and one things that can harm us: saturated fats, salt, Noel Edmonds, to name but three.

More of us appreciate more of the finer things in life than ever before – which is fortunate since more of us lead more frantic lives than ever before; lives that demand that every now and again we get off the treadmill and allow ourselves time to unwind.

There are many ways to unwind, of course.

Some enjoy the peace and solitude of a walk in the fresh air. Others will uncork a bottle of wine and sit back with a good book or fine music. Some will tackle something more extreme and bungee of a bridge or go white water rafting.

Whichever form of relaxation appeals to you, and however you choose to enjoy your free time, a luxury health spa break can meet your needs – whatever they are.

A hotel spa break – pleasing all of the people all of the time.


If you’ve never indulged in a luxury spa break then you may have certain preconceptions. You may think that every spa retreat is populated solely by ladies who lunch – the sort who smell of money and carry their pocket-sized dogs around with them instead of letting them walk.

You may believe that such a luxury weekend break can only be afforded by those who own Swiss bank accounts or Premiership football clubs. Or both.

You may think that the only people who attend "spa retreats" are those people whose lives are already infinitely more relaxed than your own. And you may be terrified by the prospect of forced colonic irrigation performed by a seventeen year old with a second rate diploma from a third rate college and an interest in texting her mates whilst ignoring you.

But it really isn’t like that at all. Ever.

Health spa breaks are for everyone.

A spa break will benefit everyone.

And luxury spa packages can be afforded by just about anyone – at least once in a while.

It can appeal to and benefit men and women alike. It can be as energetic or as laid back as you like. You can take advantage of the myriad treatments on offer – or not. It’s entirely down to you. A hotel spa break carries with it connotations of health and fitness. And it certainly can be that if you wish it to be.

Many hotel spas have gyms, most have pools and many have steam rooms, saunas etc. But your luxury spa weekend can be the exact opposite of energetic if you wish it to be. You could, if the mood so took you, simply relax on a lounger by the pool, sipping cappuccino and reading the morning newspaper in swish surroundings.

You may take the occasional break from this to do something as madly energetic as having your hair or nails done, but aside from that you could take an entire day to do precisely nothing if you so wished.

Think about it: when was the last time you had a day to do exactly nothing?

And then, of course there’s the middle ground. Not exactly burning the calories, but not permanently prone either. This is the hotel spa break forte: total relaxation of mind, body and soul.

• Consider a shoulder massage, a foot massage, a head rub. You’ll end your session feeling light as a feather and so relaxed you could sleep for a week.

• Enjoy treatments ranging from a shimmering body polish to a refreshing eye treatment, from nourishing wraps to cleansing detox packages.

• Tailored spa packages or beauty treatments can be designed to meet your specific circumstances. Many spas offer specialist packages for mums to be, or for hen nights and brides to be.

Do nothing by doing something.


A day, a night, a whole weekend of luxurious, relaxing nothingness awaits you.

You just have to find a luxury spa that appeals to you and book it.

Of course, the whole point about health spa breaks is that you enjoy wall to wall pampering with minimal effort so if booking your spa beak is asking just a little too much then here’s a tip: hens on their hen weekends are frequent buyers of spa packages, so those sites that specialise in arranging hen and stag weekends will often carry spa packages as part of their activities bundles.

The best hen and stag weekend organisers will also be able to help you and your friends enjoy hotel spa breaks with a minimum of effort, whether it’s actually your hen night or not.

Make sure you choose a reputable site. Use the following as a guide. Your organiser should offer:

• A professional, appealing website.

• The opportunity to talk to a human being, not a machine.

• A range of positive customer reviews.