We’ve perfected the art of spa at home, and it’s a lockdown lesson that we fully plan to continue enjoying, but now we’re in need of a real break. With flights overseas looking few and far between for a bit longer, lots of us are rethinking our summer holiday plans with a view to exploring more of the UK. The wonderful news is that you don’t need to go far to discover something exceptional when it comes to rest and relaxation. Whether you’re in the mood for a couple of weekends of supercharged downtime without having to go that far, or you want a week of pampering in the countryside, a UK spa staycation could offer everything you need to recharge and get all the benefits of a really good holiday. Here’s how to make the most of a spa staycation this summer….
We always think that a holiday means needing to get as far away from home as possible, but the beauty of a spa staycation is that it can transport you to another world without having to spend six hours on the motorway to get there. Keep that carbon footprint low and get to know the spa gems nearby whether it’s for a day, a night or a weekend. Explore your local spas for a getaway without the travel hassle.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to a spa day. Number one – go with the flow or number two – make a plan in advance. Somewhere in between the two you will probably find the sweet spot, but in our experience a little planning goes a long way to making the most of your spa escape. Few things other than your treatment times need be set in stone, but spend a little time thinking about how you want to enjoy your break so that on the day itself you can waft seamlessly from one experience to the next.
For example, you might plan to arrive late morning and start with a drink or light lunch; perhaps a stroll around the grounds. Then spend some time in the pool, sauna and steam room before showering and drying off so you’re relaxed and comfortable for your treatment. After your therapy, spend time in the relaxation lounge, and as you’ve already showered you can keep those beautiful products on your skin to work their magic for a while. Then tuck into afternoon tea, and if you’re staying overnight, enjoy some quiet time before dressing and feeling your best for dinner.
If you’re at a hotel spa, you might also want to plan your day around things like children’s swim times if you want to avoid them (a good time to have your treatment). Or you may want to look at the classes schedule to see if there’s a yoga session you want to join as well.
Brunch has to be one of the hallmarks of relaxation. We think it’s the sheer indulgence of having woken up too late to have a regular breakfast (or perhaps like us you like to have both), and the knowledge that you can afford to spend the time stretching out the enjoyment to and through lunch. Brunch also has the best foodie combinations of breakfast and lunch. Needless to say, we see this joyful part of the spa experience as something to savour on a spa staycation.
At this beautiful time of the year, many UK spas are blessed with blooming spa gardens. So often we spend the holidays overseas and don’t get to experience enough time enjoying the beauty on our doorstep. Providing peace, tranquility and the healing powers of the great outdoors, a summer spa staycation is a good opportunity to explore the grounds and spa gardens of some of the best spa escapes as part of the experience.
Sleep is such a big part of our wellbeing, and something so many of us struggle with, but a spa has all the tools to really help us get a good kip. For one, spa treatments, including massage, are an excellent way to relax the body and calm the mind, bringing you back into the moment and preparing you for a good sleep. We have definitely been known to nod off on the treatment table, which is just one of the reasons the soporific ambience of a good relaxation room holds so much appeal. Doze without a care in the world in the afternoon, and if you’re staying overnight, embrace the quiet and calm of a spa retreat knowing there’s no alarm to wake you in the morning.
Spas are not just about the spa treatments and spa facilities themselves. Many offer activities and experiences that we don’t always associate with a typical spa break. Some destinations include adventure activities such as Go Ape, but some extend the wellbeing experience in ways you might not have thought of before. Forest bathing or Nordic walking might be worth a try while you’re in an environment that offers it. Or perhaps there’s a new sport that they offer that you have been wanting to have a go at. Maybe they even have a golf course and you have never tried your hand at it. Depending on where you go, there’s so much available to experience on a spa break. So why not take the opportunity while you’re there!
Dressing up for dinner after a day of sun, sea and sand is often a joyful part of a holiday. Feeling sun kissed and blissfully mellow at the end of the day, a spritz of perfume/cologne and an outfit that makes you feel like the best version of yourself is a wonderful way to end the day along with a sumptuous dinner of seasonal fare. On a spa break you can do just the same – even if the weather is less guaranteed. Whether you’re after Michelin Star style or a relaxed pub-style atmosphere, many of the UK’s spas include exceptional restaurants as part of the experience. So you can have all that feel good factor of the ritual of dressing up after a day of rest and relaxation, and be treated to outstanding food as well.
Many spas have boutiques where you can purchase the products used in your treatments or find little gifts for yourself or your loved ones to continue the feel good factor at home. No luggage weight restrictions, no having to put your liquids in plastic bags to get through customs. Just pop those aromatherapy candles or a large bottle of your favourite body lotion in that bag of yours and take the self care experience home with you, hassle free.
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