Pamper me, please!
Got an out of control RSVP list, 12 missed calls from your meddling mother-in-law and a flustered florist who cant find the freesias she promised you six months ago? Then take a deep breath bride-to-be and step away from the stress-inducing wedmin. Its time to spa away those wedding-woes.
Whether youve got a few hastily snatched hours or a whole week to spend chilling out, weve got the top 10 places to grab some well deserved me-time.
Image: The Spatisserie at The Dorchester
Herb House at Limewood
If you go down to the woods today, youre in for a big surprise! Nestled in the heart of the beautiful New Forest in Hampshire, Herb House is the last word in luxury. With a steaming hot pool and sauna with breathtaking forest views, the day packages are nothing short of decadent. As well as full use of the facilities (including pre-loaded i-Pods with relaxing tunes!), you get a two course lunch in the lavish spa restaurant and a Herb House gift to take home.
But its the formidable treatments for two packages, that make this the place to escape with your husband-to-be. On top of the already mentioned treats, most of the his and hers packages include a private session in the Mud House where youll experience a traditional Arabian steam and mud therapy, plus time in your very own hot tub and steam room.
For more information about Herb House and the Limewood Hotel, visit limewoodhotel.co.uk
Urban Retreat at Harrods
Shopping and a five star spa experience? Whats not to love! Urban Retreat has long been the go-to-spa of the coolest superstars and trendiest style setters and its easy to see why its the perfect place to give yourself a complete beauty overhaul. Stop off in the salon for an essential cut and colour, go to a blow dry class or book a bridal hair trial.
Step in to the Shavata Brow Studio to have your brows shaped into the perfect arch or drop in to the glittering perfumery and get them to whip you up your very own signature scent. And save the best till last with an uber-luxurious treat of a Crème de la Mer facial. Phew! But if you still have time to spare, you can while away a few more hours with a Minx manicure, Margaret Dabbs pedicure, Laura Mercier make-over or a Sienna X spray tan. With so many bridal-beauty essentials in one place, youre never too busy to be beautiful!
For more information about Urban Retreat at Harrods, visit urbanretreat.co.uk/Harrods
On the edge of the picturesque Pennines, the Titanic spa was the UKs first eco-spa. The building is carbon-neutral and the water comes from the spas own natural source so you can be sure of its environmentally-friendly credentials. On offer are the best big-brand treatments from the likes of Decleor and Caritia as well as alternative therapies like Reiki and reflexology. The spas must-try is the ancient Egyptian inspired mud chamber. Just slather on the mineral-rich exfoliating mud and sit back as herbal steam warms the treatment room, before a warm shower of water gently washes it away. If you cant tear yourself away from the treats, stay a few days in the beautifully refurnished apartments of this imposing ex-textile mill.
For more information about the Titantic spa, visit titanicspa.com
The Sanctuary Spa
With over 30 years experience, youre in expert hands if you head to The Sanctuary. The flagship spa is tucked away in the capital’s Covent Garden area and started life as a place for dancers from the nearby Royal Opera House to rest between performances. It has since thrown its doors open to everyone so now we can all be spoilt like prima donna stage stars!
There are a huge array of treatments on offer too, including brightening facials and detoxing massages, as well as look-good pre-wedding essentials like waxing. Take your maids and mum with you and enjoy the truly English tradition of afternoon tea, although youll have to leave your man at home, this is an only-girls-allowed environment.
For more information about The Sanctuary Spa and to discover their other UK locations, visit thesanctuary.co.uk
The Dorchester Spa at The Dorchester
Overflowing with Art Deco decadence, as soon as you step into the opulent Dorchester Spa youll be given the A-list treatment. Boasting double suites for his and hers treats and an aromatic steam room, luxury treatments from Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates are available and theres even a dedicated mani-pedi suite. And once your spa experience is over, pop in to the Spatisserie where deliciously decadent light lunch, bite-size cakes, champagne and cocktails are served to reflect the spa’s ethos that a little of what you love is good for you!
For more information about The Dorchester Spa, visit thedorchester.com
Elemis Day Spa
Tucked away in a super-sweet cobbled courtyard, just off one of Londons swankiest shopping streets, the Elemis Day Spa is a hidden gem. Soothe away planning stress with the face and body sensation, a wedding-worthy package that combines a tension-busting massage and skin-boosting facial. Theres also an indulgent range of mani and pedi treatments and carefully thought out couples’ rituals so you and your groom can get gorgeous together.
For more information about the day spa, visit elemis.com/dayspa. Elemis spa treatments are available nationwide, visit elemis.com/locations for a location near you
With four stately rural retreats dotted about the English countryside, Champneys has long been the bolthole of the rich and famous looking for a little relaxation. Check in and experience a range of face and body treatments and also take advantage of the fantastic facilities, like the daily fitness and wellbeing classes and Olympic-sized swimming pools. Make sure you try out the mouth-watering menu too, they cook some of the yummiest good-for-you food around.
They also have a string of city spas and theres even a Champneys planned for the playboy paradise of Marbella!
For more information about Champneys retreats and day spas, visit champneys.co.uk
For a fun spa experience that doesnt take itself too seriously (but still scores full-marks on the pampering scale), take a trip to Cowshed. English garden-inspired home comforts make you feel instantly at ease and the organic skincare goodies they use in their treatments are divine. From a central London hotspot on Carnaby Street to palatial Somerset country pile, Babington House, Cowshed offers everything from salt scrubs to skin peels. And if you fancy going with a gaggle of your favourite girls, check out their Pretty Parties package.
For more information about Cowshead and to explore the spa locations, visit cowshedonline.com
The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA
Pack your other half off round the famous golf course and grab some me-time at this sumptuous Scottish getaway. Every little detail has been thought of in this luxe hotel spa, from the healing Tiger eye gem-stone-locker-bracelets (said to boost the wearer’s wellbeing) to the reclining chairs in the relaxation room which have individual reading lamps and six-station music channels.
Try the heat experience, where you start off by warming your skin in the crystal steam room or hot sauna cabin, before a brisk cool down with a refreshing ice rub or an Arctic mist shower great for stimulating your circulation and cleansing your skin for a sparkling complexion come wedding day. And when it comes to the extensive ESPA treatments, the Ayurvedic-influenced Purva Karma Four Handed massage is the ultimate way to unwind.
For more information on the hotel and spa, visit gleneagles.com
Hay Barn Spa
If total escapism is what youre looking for before you tie the knot, a trip to Hay Barn Spa is the place for you. Part of the Daylesford Organic empire, the Gloucestershire barn buildings have been given a chic-over and are now home to this Ayurvedic-inspired spa and yoga retreat. Treatments have been tailored to restore tranquility to your body and mind (great if wedmin is leaving you feeling frazzled) and be sure you try one that uses the incredible Bamford Body products, specially formulated for the spa using organic ingredients like natural essential oils. Once youve sampled the spa, sign yourself up for a yoga or pilates session theres a class on offer to suit everyone, whether youre a novice or seasoned pro and stock up on organic goodies from the swanky neighbouring farm shop.
For more information about Hay Barn Spa, visit daylesfordorganic.com