Winter is almost here, a perfect time of year to take stock of your life, lose weight, de-stress or just indulge yourself at a relaxing spa. We asked our pal Caroline Sylger Jones, editor of Queen of Retreats, to pick some of her favourite winter deals.
This perfectly private ayurveda retreat is set in a comfortable, 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside, where two expert ayurvedic practitioners offer bespoke retreats lasting 3, 5 or 7 days. Cleanse body and mind with daily treatments, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling and meditation techniques, cooking demos, simple meals – and total peace.
The Sanctuary Somerset is a stylish yet super-soulful retreat set in a gorgeous Georgian house. They run 5 or 7 day fasts using classic detox techniques - results are great and side effects are few thanks to a well-planned programme of grounding yoga, qi gong and meditation.
Great for a cosseting pamper break, Ockenden Manor is a country house hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant and a stunning modern spa set in the little village of Cuckfield, Sussex. Their soothing 2-night yoga retreats feature twice daily classes, healthy meals, smoothies, juices, a Nordic Walk in the surrounding countryside, use of the spa and eight treatments. They’re on set dates, so book ahead.
The Body Retreat runs small, immaculately planned retreats for busy, professional women who need to lose weight, get fit, de-stress, detox and/or rethink their lives. Expect full schedules with lots of varied exercise – they’ll stretch you but equally will adapt the programme to your health and needs. They’re effective and warm-hearted.
Raw Horizons runs a range of beautifully put together women-only holistic health retreats, including this on at Split Farthing Hall, combining yoga, meditation and life coaching with fabulously tasty raw food meals. Coaching activities come from a range of approaches and include visualisations, an assortment of written exercises designed to stimulate and challenge, and some creative activities.
Holistic holiday company Skyros has its relaxed HQ at The Grange by the Sea, a converted Georgian B&B where you can stay for short break or join a Skyros signature retreat, designed to restore both mental and physical health. Courses range from writing and painting, comedy and photography to a weekend of yoga or salsa, and you can pre-book massages and beauty treatments.
Set in a conservation area in the heart of the Kent countryside, Green Farm is home to a boutique spa, 15th-century farmhouse and luxurious converted barn, a small active farm and a community wildlife garden. But most importantly it's a place where you can completely switch off, with spa days and stays, and weekend retreats can be tailored to meet your individual needs with the addition of yoga, meditation and woodland walks
This lush Relais & Châteaux hotel in New Milton is a step away from both forest and beach and has a civilised and cosseting spa with all manner of treatments on tap. With 70 bedrooms attended to by a whopping 230 staff, you can expect impeccable service and an enriching, peaceful atmosphere. For a treat stay in the fantastically secluded tree houses in its grounds (ask for one with a hot tub).
This delightful seaside hotel in the peaceful village of St Mawes is a calm and understatedly stylish place to stay thanks to its owner Olga Polizzi. In one small and unassuming treatment room you can have an impressively wide range of treatments with local therapists, which include massage using organic Spiezia products and brilliant facial reflexology with Graham Sluter, and there are coastal walks from the door.
This is a very easy place to relax – as a B&B guest in one of two farmhouse rooms, or self-catering in a cottage, yurt or your own tent. We especially love the grounds, with their wild gardens and flowers, and that you can book relaxing hot stones treatments, massage, reflexology and various beauty treatments with capable local therapists.
This friendly, unfussy hang out is set high above the charming little beach of Greenaway in Cornwall with views out to the Atlantic Ocean. A great place to kick back for a weekend or longer with the kids, it has a well-run Cowshed spa, an indoor pool with a sauna and steam, a terrace restaurant and a large outdoor pool.
The Lakes by Yoo is a luxury gated eco-estate in the Cotswolds that offers gorgeous all-year-round self catering in a truly tranquil setting and 4 night retreats with yoga, meditation, nordic walking and a nutritionally balanced menu. The spa offers treatments and products by OSKIA and Bamford, and high-profile personal trainer Matt Roberts runs bootcamps here twice a year.
Read more at Queen of Retreats – the
leading independent healthy travel website for honest reviews on spas, retreats
and healthy holidays of all kinds worldwide.