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Turn Mother’s Day into a Spa Day

Posted by The powder room
The powder room
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on Wednesday, 06 March 2013
Perhaps the biggest thing about being a mum isn’t the years of perpetual tiredness, hollering up the stairs to question why the day’s activities are now decorating the living room, and a never ending stream of questions that can be summed up by the phrase ‘I want something’, but simply the sheer weight of responsibility it involves.

For this reason, it seems that the great benefit of being a ‘grown up’ child, so to speak, is that rather than simply buying a gift for our mums on Mother’s Day, arranging something special for her to do without her having to worry about the organizational details is likely to be the best gift of all. So naturally, being the spa fan that I am, I can see no finer option than to do this in the form of a spa day (or break if you’re feeling flash).

This is a conclusion I come to, not just as the Editor of you understand, but also because, with that privilege, comes the knowledge that in 2013, a spa day can encompass a whole catalogue of different things to suit all manner of mums. So I thought I would share a little selection with you …

Sofitel So SPA
Sofitel So SPA, London

For a really decadent treat, you would be hard pushed to find somewhere as beautiful and well located as Sofitel So SPA St James. Practically next door to St James’s Palace, it was once a Lloyds Bank subsidiary and owned by The Crown Estate, so the layout of the spa is anything but what you would expect. The ceiling in the reception area, where there is also a long marble table to sit at with a glass of Kir Royale, is impossibly high, and above you can see the stuccoed ceiling that has been retained. Detail is key here, and the part I particularly like about their So Mumnifique spa package, is the inclusion of a Rose Kir Royal, and rose macaroon to match.

Amida Spa Farnham, Surrey

If you plan on making your mum’s spa day a group occasion, Amida Spa Farnham has a wealth of facilities to occupy you from morning ‘till night, and enough space to make you feel as though you pretty much have the place to yourself, despite its popularity. We are talking saunas for 20, multiple pools, underwater speakers, and five relaxation rooms!

Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, Essex

With an on-site naturopath who works tirelessly to create spa experiences where everything from the food to the treatment complements one another, this is the place that makes being healthy fun. It is an ultra modern building that’s all white and slate grays peppered with modern art, but it is constructed around the remains of a 19th century manor house and 130 acres of gardens, which pay homage to historic visitors including Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling. If you want to address a particular health issue and treat it as a day of detox and fitness, this is your chance, but if you would rather, Prosecco and organic cakes are also on the menu.

Lighthouse spa and hotel

Danesfield House Hotel, Buckinghamshire

A converted Victorian country mansion with views across the Buckinghamshire countryside, the spa and hotel at Danesfield House Hotel are in separate buildings and have contrasting vibes – one being modern, the other historic, and it is definitely a place to stay overnight. The last time I visited it was snowing, and the hotel looked like a fairytale castle, all white against the pristine backdrop. Suites have four-poster beds, and living areas are fit for a Tudor queen, so when visiting you need to leave enough time to simply luxuriate in the different spaces – from sitting by the fire, to a swim with a view, and a stroll around the grounds.

The Garage, County Durham

It’s a bit of an unusual one for Mother’s Day, but The Garage is a day spa that’s wonderfully characterful and homely without compromising on style. Its name comes from the site’s history as a resting place for travelers to stop and refuel their various modes of transport – depending on which era you look back to that could be a horse or a car – they have seen it all. These days, they keep the history alive with a slightly different sort of MOT, in the form of rest, recuperation and lots of spa treatments using locally sourced ingredients such as honey and rose petals. I think it is particularly charming that the spa packages have been thoughtfully named as well, including The Coastal Path, and The Scenic Route.

Ruthin Castle, Wales

A fusion of Finnish, Russian and Siberian spa experiences, Ruthin Castle is unique for its indoor/outdoor elements in the grounds of a medieval castle, so there is definitely something of the earth mother about this one. It also provides a fascination for history buffs as the castle itself was built by Edward I in 1277 with later owners including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Completing the picture, they also use Welsh mud, and bespoke treatments featuring ingredients such as ginger, argan oil and tea tree, many of which are locally sourced – which for all its old fashioned charm is really the ultimate in contemporary escapism!

Words by Bonnie Friend

Ageing Spa-fully

Posted by The powder room
The powder room
The powder room has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 27 February 2013
It isn’t hard to see the enjoyable side of spa; the word is synonymous with relaxation, indulgence and the more enjoyable side of health. What is perhaps a little lesser known however is the practical impact it can have, particularly as we get a little older.

A spa isn’t necessarily the first port of call for most of us when we are looking for a solution to a health problem, or even something we would seriously consider incorporating into our wider health routine. However, choose the right venue and you will find a wealth of expertise and practical advice available for everything from coping with the menopause to help with insomnia, eczema and psoriasis, rheumatism, nutrition, and general health and fitness...

Greyshott spa


For some women it’s a life event that has very little impact, while for others menopause leaves an indelible and often intolerable mark on their day-to-day lives. However, while it often remains a somewhat unspoken trauma, an increasing number of experts are working on holistic methods and lifestyle solutions with long term effects. At Grayshott Hotel Spa, Maryon Stewart, who started the Women’s Natural Advisory Service, has implemented her specialised programmes to advise women both during and after they reach the menopause, to make the transition as seamless as possible, or even to improve your health afterwards!


Sulphur water is known for its healing properties in terms of many different health concerns, thanks to both the temperatures and the natural mineral content. At Ayii Anargyri in Cyprus, the springs in the hillsides fill the spa’s hydrotherapy pools, and prove particularly soothing when it comes to rheumatic diseases and chronic joint inflammation. It has been known to improve mobility, as well as ease pain.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Anyone who has a skin condition whether it’s severe dry skill, eczema, or psoriasis, will know that skin conditions can be a problem for any of us at any stage in our lives, and treating them is an ongoing battle. Often creams, lotions and potions seem to initially treat the surface but don’t have a long lasting effect either on discomfort or appearance. At Donnington Valley, they offer an Aqua Sun Mineral Treatment, which sees you soak under a UV canopy, in a bath containing 21 minerals and organic plant extracts from the Dead Sea. As a source of Vitamin D, it has a particularly positive effect on soothing skin conditions, while also countering Seasonal Affected Disorder, acne, and aiding detox.


Again, insomnia, and sleep problems can affect us at any age, but often when we are changing routines, perhaps as a result of retirement, or going through life changes such as menopause or a bereavement we are more susceptible. It is common practice to believe that most sleeping problems are the result of an overactive mind. According to sleep specialist, Tej Samani, however, there is a whole catalogue of reasons as to why people can struggle to sleep, many of them physical. Another specialist now running his clinics through Grayshott Hotel and Spa, Samani’s programmes are accessible with the wider support of the venue’s health and fitness facilities, adding a concentrated healing dimension, and a kick start to change.


Nutrition can have an impact on all areas of health, from digestion to skin conditions, weight, and overall wellbeing. However, trying to decipher the good, the bad, and the just-plain-ridiculous from one another with so much information flying around, can be confusing at best. As the basis of all their spa packages, Longevity Wellness Resort in Portugal offers guests both a nutritional evaluation and a biophysical evaluation, which give personal, in depth nutritional and fitness guidance based on your current fitness, age, and particular health concerns, in what is nothing short of a beautiful environment (think walks in the Monchique hinterland, swimming with a view of the treetops – you get the picture). What is also particularly nice about Longevity Wellness Resort’s approach to nutrition is that they explain the ingredients and benefits of the meals they offer in the restaurant and put any belief that healthy living is about taste deprivation and unsatisfactory portions to rest, with positively mouth-watering spreads.


As an offshoot of insomnia, stress, or dietary imbalances, chronic fatigue can really have an impact on your quality of life. Osteopathy, and in particular, cranial osteopathy can not only help to induce a better nights sleep, but also provide a prescriptive element, helping to identify concerns across the body that might be causing fatigue or contributing to it without you realising. Again, Grayshott Hotel Spa is on hand, and also Gleneagles, thanks to their recent introduction of ESPA Life, with specialist therapists. The advantage of these treatments being delivered at a spa is that there are so many other surrounding therapies and advice available in the same place to add support to the treatment. At Gleneagles in particular, the on-site naturopath, who oversees ESPA Life, is able to offer lifestyle and nutritional advice to help ensure that the effects of the treatment are ongoing.

Visit any of these spas and more by visiting or contacting 0800 043 6600.

Words by Bonnie Friend

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