showcasing the best of the south west

Top 10 Spas in the South West

Pictured above: Clifftop hot-tub at The Scarlet Hotel

The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, Somerset
New levels of luxury at this Georgian hotel with supremely high end spa known
as the Spa Village which has 3 thermal pools, sauna and steam room. Bathe in the
hallowed natural thermal waters, rub down with lavender ice before hitting the sauna. It's invigorating stuff, a high tech version of the Roman Baths which gave this town its name.
Exquiste indoor pool complete with Doric columns enhance that ancient vibe. Treatments are equally deluxe, this place has January written all over it.

, Devon

For a remote corner of North Devon this   yoga and hiking retreat wins the kind of accolades you'd expect for somewhere much more famous like Thailand's Chiva Som  (Yeotown was Conde Naste Traveller's Spa of the Year UK 2012). A relaxed and wholesome but stylish rural spa which aims to simultaneously stress-bust and boost your sense of wellbeing. Vinyasa-flow yoga star Mercedes takes you through intense yoga works outs, there are three hours hikes around the spectacular coastline and serious circuit training. You'll lose weight but more importantly regain a sense of balance and a blueprint for good living. Food is delicious yet healthy and many come for the four day Yeotox (a fab dairy, caffeine and wheat free diet plus intensive exercise and relaxation treatments). Love the fact that they call this an 'adventure' - these guys have put the fun back into detox.

Lime Wood Hotel, New Forest

The spa of this mega (and mega bucks) hotel is legendary and the good news is you can rock up for a not so wallet busting day retreat to take full advantage of truly amazing facilities (Bamford face and shoulder massage, full use of spa and lunch from £145). No expense has been spared to make this the ultimate pampering experience - stunning infinity pool with every kind of hydrotherapy experience, a mud house, an outdoor hot-pool and vast forest sauna, the perfect blend of old and new. We're loving the Forest Fit Boot Camp - a 3 day reinvigoration package which combines intense exercise hiking and cycling in the New Forest, sand dune and hill running, zumba, spinning and aqua fitness with ultimate pampering - soaking in the hot-pool, de-stress massages and luxury facials (yours for £1750 pp). Most popular treatment is the Bamford De-Stress Massage using Daylesford's organic plant products and featuring a foot bath followed by a groan-inducing full body massage.

Chewton Glen, Hampshire  

Long-established, award winning spa, a favourite with Country Calling readers and the experts in catering to every conceivable wellbeing whim. The personalised kundalini body massage is the most popular treatment, but you'll also find cult Linda Meredith facials here and the facilities include a 17m pool, hydrotherapy spa pool, outdoor whirlpool, saunas and steam rooms. We'll be checking in for Detox in the Trees - sleep in luxurious treetop bedrooms overlooking the forest while a team of therapists oversee your detox - a body wrap, lymphatic drainage massage and colonic irrigation, daily yoga classes, relaxing treatments in your room and long, hot soaks with Ila detoxifying Himalayan bath salts. At night you'll keep a journal to help you understand your goals and Emotional Freedom Technique is used to tap pyschological acupressure points and clear emotional blocks. Day breaks at the spa from £138 (including full use of facilites, back, scalp and neck massage or body treatment and lunch).

Bishopstrow House  

We love the Halycon Spa at this trad country house hotel in Wiltshire which has a heated outdoor pool for year-round swimming and every kind of treatment imaginable including the prosaically named 'Boot Camp for Bums' a detoxifying massage and scrub which reduces cellulite and water retention. Reiki and reflexology are specialities here alongside Elemis facials and massages or the more exotic - Devils Mint Full Body Exfoliation, Exotic Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap (a Balinese treatment to polish skin and stimulate the senses). The Frangipani Body Wrap and the Lime & Ginger Salt Scrub (fresh lime and ginger, smells amazing) are among most popular treatments. For locals the day spa packages are hard to beat. Try the Body Treat Spa Day which includes full use of the spa, a detoxifying wrap with facial (1hr), complimentary Rasul Mud Ritual, 2 course lunch for a wallet-friendly £85 (normally £170).

The Scarlet Hotel, North Cornwall  

This totally unique eco spa makes the most of its stunning clifftop location overlooking the beach. It's a cool and laid-back space with tented, lantern lit treatment rooms and space age pods swinging from the ceiling for post-treatment relaxation. There's a natural, outdoor chemical free pool, a rhassoul for mineral rich mud baths and a hamman for salt scrubs. Treatments here are Ayurvedic and tailor-made according to your dosha type, the emphasis on wellbeing and regaining a sense of life balance. The thing to have (and most popular treatment) is the Scarlet Journey (£195) where a holistic Ayurvedic therapist works with you for 3 hours tailoring various treatments to suit your needs. Not very detoxy, perhaps, but you should finish your spa experience watching the sun go down with a glass of champagne in the cliff top hot tub (main image). Or put the oomph back in your relationship with the Spend Time Together day spa £75 pp which includes a clifftop seaweed bath and a joint hamman. A wow factor spa.

Cowshed Spa, St Moritz Hotel

The Cowshed Spa at the St Moritz Hotel in North Cornwall has all the luxury you'd expect from a Babington House spin off including hand-blended plant products derived from Babington's organic garden.  Most popular treatment is the Ultimate Cowshed Pedicure (£50) which features a foot and leg massage, a foot hydration mask, scalp and shoulder massage and finally a polish. Book in for the Sun & Sea Signature Treatment £100 - full body brushing, deep exfoliation using sea salt and peppermint oil, deep sea detoxifying body wrap, express facial and full body massage. Half day package £130 includes facial, massage and pedicure or manicure. Pic credit: Paul Kikby

The Hay Barn Spa, Daylesford, Cotswolds  

A peaceful and sensory haven (next to the infamous farm shop, so you can load up on goodies on the way out) which specialises in yoga, pilates. meditation, reflexology, full body massages and facials. The emphasis is on Ayurvedic, holistic healing. Treatments feature Bamford organic plant products blended on the estate - try the signature the Bamford Body Treatment £100 which features a foot soak, full body massage, heated foot compress and head massage. We're loving the Hay Barn Bliss Day which includes the 90 minute Bamford Body treatment, lunch in the organic cafe and a Japanese REN facial to lift and rejuvenate £195.  





Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

One of our favourite hotels of all time - a place of luxury and comfort from bygone ages - with a spa to match. It's a beautiful space, dip in and out of the heated pool, hot-tubs, sauna and feel the stress seep away. Regulars come for the Comfort Touch full body Swedish massage and made-to-measure facials which combine deep cleansing, exfoliation and lymphatic drainage to get rid of toxins in the skin. Many treatments are designed by French therapist Anne Semomin such as the Eternal Youth “Ice” Cryotherapie Facial (£90) which uses cryo-therapy ice cubes to firm and combat signs of ageing or the Bubbling Mud Body Massage. Half day retreats £99 including Comfort Zone Glorious Skin Facial, Comfort Touch 30 Min back, neck and shoulder massage, 2 course lunch and full use of spa facilities.

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
A very treat-y kind of spa, this one, with a beautiful pool, thermal cabins including Japanese salt, aromatic steam and amethyst room. Endless high-tech treatments such as dry flotation where you float above water on a thin membrane and Hauslauer Reflective Sunlight Therapy, just what the doctor ordered come January, recreating the warmth and light of a summer's day. With the traditional New Year detox in mind try the Amethyst Wrap which removes toxins and stimulates lymphatic circulation. It's the full luxury package here and prices are steep. We like the sound of the Ultimate Beauty Spa  Day which includes lunch, a facial, manicure and salt scrub (£326).



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