Spa hen do

Unusual hen ideas for pampering instead of partying

Your hen do doesn't have to end up with everyone dancing on the table, so if you want something a little more sophisticated try a wellbeing retreat.

Looking to host a hen party with a difference? It doesn’t have to be all about L-plates, novelty straws and gallons of fizz.

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If you’re just not into bar hopping and party games or you’re seeing your hen do as the chance to kick back and relax ahead of the day rather than let loose, there’s a host of alternative options out there.

We get it, while some brides love the idea of popping a cork or several and getting down to some hen party games, others would much rather use it as an opportunity to try new activities or indulge in some favourite hobbies.

Taking place around a month before the wedding, the hen do is also ideal for unwinding and getting down to some serious pampering. You can kick start your wedding day beauty preparations with facials, body care and nail care – you’ll want to get those hands ring-ready!

Whether you want to tone up with Pilates classes, get active with some surfing, cleanse your mind with meditation or simply relax with a daily massage, there’s a number of lovely hen-friendly retreats across the UK and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites.

You’ll enjoy plenty of privacy, particularly if you go self-catering, and you’ll have the freedom to build your ideal break by choosing the activities that best suit you. And – bonus – you’ll have the chance to get your skin, body and mind in top condition ahead of the wedding and holiday of a lifetime!

Fire up the hen party Whatsapp group, you’re going to want to share these with your girls!

The Clover Mill, Worcestershire

The Clover Mill, Worcestershire

Best for: The ultimate chill out

Stay here
This boutique retreat in the rolling hills of Malvern is an impeccably restored 17th-century water mill. Up to six hens can stay in stylish eco-lodges in the grounds for a weekend, and there’s room for four more at a local B&B.

Things to do
Enjoy an authentic Ayurvedic consultation and a specially tailored programme of daily yoga, holistic facials or other treatments. You can relax by the fire in the homely dining room, have a sweat in the steam room or put on your walking boots for a stomp around the weir and walking trails. You can also choose a group activity – learn a massage technique together, for example, or go for a walking meditation in nature.

Book
Fully inclusive breaks start from £695 per person for a 2-night retreat.

Yeotown, Devon

Yeotown, Devon

Best for: Fitness fun

Stay here
Tucked away in the North Devon countryside, this retreat comprises a clutch of beautifully converted farm buildings with calming, wood-panelled rooms and exquisitely designed interiors. There’s a gorgeous sauna and plenty of spaces to simply hang out together.

Things to do
Get busy with a daily programme – pick from yoga, hiking, surfing, meditation, cooking lessons or nutritional talks, and be sure to include some massages and facials. You could detox on fresh juices if you so desire, but it’s best not to miss the chefs’ sensational dishes using fresh, organic ingredients sourced from local suppliers – they’ll cook you up a (healthy) feast.

Book
£1950 per person for the all-inclusive 5 day programme.

Platinum Healing, Sussex

Platinum Healing, Sussex

Best for: For glow-getters

Stay here
Based in comfy, converted barns in beautiful countryside, this rural retreat is a short drive from the beach – and there’s an indoor pool if sea swimming’s not your thing.

Things to do
A four-night mind and body detox. Be brave – you’ll look and feel fantastic at the wedding. This retreat offers a private juice fast supervised by a life coach, nutritionist and medical herbalist, hand-picked by owner and clinical hypnotherapist Kate Tyler. There’s daily yoga, meditation and guided relaxation classes, and you’ll each have hypnotherapy, NLP and a spot of life coaching so you get the emotional support you might need. After fun group fitness sessions, guided country walks or a cycle, everyone gets a complimentary deep tissue detox massage, and the bride-to-be has two extra body treatments!

Book
From £799 per person for 4 nights (up to 14 can be accommodated)

St Mawes Retreats, Cornwall

St Mawes Retreats, Cornwall

Best for: For seaside chic

Stay here
Go shell-seeking in style and stay at one of these delicious self-catering houses in the quaint village of St Mawes. Dreamcatchers cottage has a huge living space, with floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to a balcony and overlooking the endless sea.

Things to do
You can hire a private chef for full Cornish breakfasts, post-walk picnic hampers and celebratory feasts. Excellent local therapists offer in-room massages, facials and holistic rituals – try Sarah Greenhalgh if you need to de-stress. Activities to try include private fitness, yoga and Pilates sessions; sailing, kayaking, fishing and paddle boarding instruction; and maybe organic floral arranging or drawing lessons to release your inner artist. Be sure to make time for a cocktail on the terrace at Hotel Tresanton while you’re here too.

Book
Price dependent on house and season, visit the website for more details.

Titanic Spa, Yorkshire

Titanic Spa, Yorkshire

Best for: For pamper perfection

Stay here
This rather funky converted textile mill on the banks of a serene canal makes a cool place for a sociable hen weekend for up to eight people. Stay in their two-bedroom, minimalist apartments, which have a spacious communal sitting and dining area. The spa has its own natural water resource, a 15-metre saltwater swimming pool with a hydrozone and hot rooms.

Things to do
Your stay includes a mud chamber session – these can take up to four people and are a fun treatment to have together. There are oodles of other facials, massage and body treatments to be booked as extras (the Pinks Boutique Organic Massage is an aromatic toxin-free delight), and for those who want to get out, there’s some great hiking in the bordering Peak District.

Book
The spa’s most popular overnight package – the Time to Indulge – starts at £219 per person per night and includes two 55 minute treatments.

Middle Piccadilly, Dorset

Middle Piccadilly, Dorset

Best for: For veggie cuisine

Stay here
This isn’t your average spa – you’re welcomed at the country cottage by the friendly owners who keep the home-from-home vibe going throughout your stay with vegetarian feasts (washed down with champagne – this is a hen party after all) around the kitchen table.

Things to do
As well as all the gorgeous Hardy countryside to explore, the spa has second-to-none treatments including the amazing body wrap and for the more daring – shamanic healing.

Book
4 night lifestyle retreat from £710 per person.

Split Farthing Hall, Yorkshire

Split Farthing Hall, Yorkshire

Best for: For a posh house party

Stay here
The 18th century Georgian house has six luxurious bedrooms with Ayurvedic bath products and cosy robes perfect for those hen games you’ll be playing into the early hours. There’s even a comfy snug for winter nights or the terrace with a view for lazy summer afternoons – imagine you and your girls gossiping in a hot tub overlooking the countryside. It doesn’t get much more idyllic than that.

Things to do
The owners can plan a bespoke program including activities such as yoga, meditation, life coaching workshops and raw food classes as well as the requisite relaxing massage and pre-wedding facials. After all this chilling out and a country walk or two you’ll have worked up an appetite for the gourmet vegetarian cuisine. Minimum of 6 hens (all single rooms with ensuites) to reserve a private retreat, maximum of 10 (with some rooms as twin share occupancy).

Book
Prices vary according to the number of people, how many nights and activities involved.

Ockenden Manor, Sussex

Ockenden Manor, Sussex

Best for: For high-end hens

Stay here
This stately manor house, with its Michelin-starred restaurant and contemporary spa, is fit for a queen (and her hens). There are 28 rooms so you can bring as many ladies-in-waiting as you please. Make sure you bag one of the feature rooms like the Elizabeth with a private staircase or the Merrick with its own dining room.

Things to do
From ‘Revive’ to ‘Indulgence’ there’s a spa package for every hen’s needs. Then enjoy relaxing around the warm indoor pool as you wait for your treatments before checking out the flotation room and rainforest shower. In the evening, book private dining in the Burrell Suite so you can reminisce about past girly exploits without shocking fellow diners!

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Book
The Ockenden Experience starts at £240 for a day with treatments, a glass of sparkling wine and lunch or afternoon tea.