It’s been pretty cold and damp over the festive period in many places and January is perhaps the least favourite month for a lot of people. So, with winter well and truly settled in and the nights at their darkest and coldest, it’s likely you’re in need of some relaxation and pampering. And why not – we’ve all had a hard year. The answer is a long weekend at one of Europe’s best spa breaks, offering sanctuary, excellent treatments, sea air and lots more, they’re the perfect place to visit if you need a New Year’s detox. In need of some urgent R&R? Say sayonara to those winter blues with five of the best spa resorts in Europe.
Four Seasons Spa, Budapest
Named by travel experts Expedia as one of the best spa resorts in Europe, the Four Seasons Spa is in Budapest – known as the International Spa City – so the folks there must be doing something right. The city is known for its thermal water spas by virtue of the fact it’s situated on the Carpathian Basin. The earth’s crust is thinner here, meaning mineral-rich waters are able to rise closer to the surface. A stay at the Four Seasons will remedy any stresses and strains; we’d highly recommend its sugar scrub. Enriched with ylang-ylang oil and gold particles, it’ll leave your skin feeling as fresh as a daisy and your mind as clear as a warm summer’s day.
L’AND Vineyards, Lisbon, Portugal
While Lisbon is more associated with art and culture than putting your feet up for a pampering session, there’s a lot more to this Portuguese city than first meets the eye. The prestigious L’AND Vineyards is sited in Alentejo, an out-of-the-way region on the south-west coast, so you won’t find the usual tourist crowds here. The resort itself is a marvel – there are 22 suites made of natural stone and locally-sourced wood. Ten of them have retractable roofs, so you can sleep quite literally under the stars. Opt for a grape-infused treatment using ingredients picked fresh from the vineyard.
Antara Destination Spa and Resort, Polis, Cyprus
The self-styled “world’s most luxurious wellness villa” is a private estate on the beachfront in Polis Chrysochous, a small town at the north-west end of beautiful Cyprus, where the Mediterranean sun shines most of the year round. While it certainly isn’t cheap (it costs €12,000 a night to stay here during peak season), this is one of the best spa resorts in the entire world. It offers some of the most bespoke packages going, from personal butlers and exclusive yacht tours to healing therapies using organic ingredients, specifically designed with you in mind.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England
Combine relaxation with history as you take a trip to Thermae Bath Spa. Fed by the same mineral-rich water used by the Romans 2,000 years ago, a soak in the soothing hot pools will leave your skin feeling rejuvenated in no time. As well as invigorating waterfalls and steam rooms with different aromas, an open-air pool sits on top of the building, with views across the spectacular ancient city of Bath.
Rudding Park Spa, Harrogate, England
Rudding Park Spa is one place not to miss – it has been named the Best New Spa in the UK by the Good Spa Guide 2017, which described it as “three floors of spa heaven”. A brand-new building that only opened in June 2017 after a multi-million-pound investment, the spa is connected to the main hotel through an internal corridor. There’s pretty much everything a spa-lover could want: a 17-metre pool, foot spas, steam rooms, a sauna, a spa garden and a whole lot more. The Good Spa Guide said: “The relaxation area is innovative and caters for every mind-set, whether you wish to be stimulated or lulled into a hypnotic state.”