I don't know about you, but I could probably benefit from back-to-back spa breaks for the next ten years. Modern life is pretty stressful.
Spa breaks are a great way to combine a short break with some much-deserved TLC.
And with many hotel chains cottoning on to them, there is much more variety now than there ever has been.
What makes a spa break a spa break?
As a bare minimum, a spa break is simply a hotel stay with some form of spa access. In the chain hotels, this is usually their pool and sauna complex.
The better options include a variety of massage and spa treatments as part of the package. Some even include dinner.
For top notch luxury, head to a spa resort where you'll get pampered in a surrounding purpose-built for relaxation.
Hotel stays are usually overnight but consider two-night options instead as these give you more of a chance to relax. If you opt instead for the one-night stay, check-in as early as you can and check-out as late as you can to maximise your time at the hotel.
The low-down on spa breaks - What You Need To Know
- WHEN: Spa breaks are available all year round, making them ideal gifts for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and occasions like Mother's Day. Check the terms carefully as some charge a supplement for weekend breaks.
- WHERE: Expect to find a good variety of hotels available right across the country. Most hotels with on-site spa facilities will offer some sort of spa break package. The pricier packages typically include longer or more treatments, and perhaps an extra night or two.
- WHO: This experience suits couples of all ages. Whether it is to relax from a hectic day-to-day life, to rekindle some romance in the relationship, or simply as a lovely pampering treat, this getaway is a gift that keeps on giving. Enjoy a short break, and get some TLC too.
- OCCASIONS: This is one of those rare experiences that doesn't need an occassion to give. A stressful week is a good enough excuse. In terms of occasions, birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries are ideal, as is Mother's Day.
- PRICES: Budget upwards of £150 for an overnight stay for two, plus meals. Some of the more expensive packages include meals at the hotel, so these might be worth considering if you prefer to give a gift without requiring the recipient to fork out money on hotel meals (this can take the shine off what should be a really relaxing and trouble-free escape) (correct at the time of writing)
- QUESTIONS: Need help? Ask questions here and I'll try to help as best I can
- TRIED THIS?: Would you recommend it? Share your thoughts here
Top Spa Breaks
When it comes to spa breaks there is a baffling amount of choice. I've gone through oodles to pick out my favourites spa escapes.
Overnight spa break for two at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa
Book a night at the Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa near Southport in Merseyside for a mini break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
You'll enjoy a night in a comfortable room with two-course dinner in the L37 Restaurant which overlooks the golf course. A full English breakfast is also included in the morning. In the spa, you'll each get two 25-minute treatments from a list that includes massages, facials, and nail treatments. During your visit to the spa you'll get a Bento Box lunch. The 20% discount voucher for Espa products is a nice extra touch should you wish to take some products home with you.
Luxury spa break for couples at the Malvern Spa Hotel
Don't let looks deceive you on this one. The Malvern Spa Hotel is an unassuming building in a Worcestershire industrial estate, but inside, it is one of the most beautiful spa hotels I have seen.
Rooms are plush and the restaurant is elegant, but the spa facilities are the main focus and it shows. The inside-outside pool is beautiful, and there's also a gym, salt grotto, and crystal steam room to boot too.
This offer includes a dinner voucher and breakfast for the pair of you so that's your stomachs taken care of. Care of your body comes in the form of a 55 minute treatment each.
Spa weekend for two at Champneys Springs
Head to Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire for a couple of days of relaxation at Champneys Springs.
Champneys is a brand synonymous with luxury spa treatments, and their award-winning rural health farm is surrounded by acres of parkland. Book a short break here for two nights of sheer comfort. Dinner is included on the day of arrival, and breakfast and lunch is included on the day of departure.
The food is all good and well but the real reason you're here is for the spa facilities including a whirlpool, swimming pool, and steam room. Two massages each - a 55-minute lava shell massage and a 25-minute head massage - are included in the package. Ah, bliss!
Last minute spa breaks (DIY alternatives)
Planning a last minute spa break isn't necessarily difficult, but availability (or lack of) will be your biggest problem.
You can still put together your own spa break on a budget, but it will involve much more research and preparation.
For the most comfort, look for a hotel with an on-site pool and spa, book a fancy room, and book time in the spa for a massage or two. Most hotel chains will be happy to help as will independent hoteliers with on-site spa facilities.
For the best value, book a budget hotel that's close to a public swimming pool and beauty salon. Many salons also offer spa treatments. Clearly this is less glamorous but if you don't care about what type of hotel room you have, and you don't mind travelling to a swimming pool and beauty salon separately, this gives you maximum choice. Scrimp on the hotel and splurge on the spa elements.
If you want value without too much travelling around, pick up cheap day spa passes which offer access to spa facilities in a chain hotel (such as Marriott and Village Hotel) without needing to stay there. Pre-book spa treatments to elevate the experience.
(Photo credit to Pexels)