Fancy a cleanse, a pamper or a healing break? We fancied a fresh start in 2014, so who else would we turn to than our old friend, the Queen of Retreats, who obligingly picked out some of her favourite places around the country for a relaxing – and healing – break to kick off the New Year.
Take 3 hotels...
This sassy, eco-friendly hotel on the wide and wind-swept beach at Mawgan Porth has contemporary interiors, upmarket comfort food and laid-back, friendly staff. At the spa enjoy soothing Ayurvedic rituals using locally sourced ingredients and chemical-free swimming pools - a hot tub on the cliffs with a glass of champagne or something softer is a must. From £190 per room B&B based on two sharing.
This 17th century Cotswold stone house is the former village home of garden designer Rosemary Verey. It’s surrounded by her serene and pretty gardens, and has a thoroughly modern spa in the grounds with an outdoor hydrotherapy pool that’s especially good for hanging out in the evening under the stars. From £275 per room, per night.
This delightful hotel in the heart of the New Forest National Park is relaxed and unpretentious and has the elegant Herb House spa in the grounds with a gorgeous pool and outdoor hydro pool surrounded by lavender, a chic but healthy café and lots of hot and cold facilities and ayurveda-inspired treatments so you can sweat and pound away your cares. Rooms start at £245 per night midweek.
Take 3 retreats...
This family-run retreat in a homely, renovated farmhouse runs a range of holistic health programmes combining yoga, meditation, exercise and life coaching with fabulously tasty raw food meals. It’s hosted by Claire Maguire, an intuitive coach and yoga and meditation teacher who is also a whizz in the kitchen. From £295 for a 2-night retreat.
British ayurvedic practitioners Andy and Laura Shakeshaft offer bespoke retreats lasting 3, 5 or 7 days in a calm and comfortable, renovated 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside. Cleanse body and mind with daily oil massages and steam therapy, one to one yoga and qigong sessions, optional cranio-sacral sessions, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling, cooking demos, simple meals – and total peace. From £825 per person for a 3 day retreat.
The most civilised of the UK’s health spas, this peaceful place an hour’s drive from London offers pamper or holistic breaks with caring and professional staff. It’s set in 47 pretty acres and adjoins 700 acres of National Trust land too. Inside people wander about in white robes – you’ll get into it after an hour or so. From £330 per person for an all-inclusive 2 night à la Carte stay.
Caroline Sylger Jones is an author, journalist and the editor of www.queenofretreats.com, which offers honest, independent reviews of spas, retreats and healthy holidays written by journalists and an advisory and booking service for recommended retreats. You can like Queen of Retreats on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.