MY HOTEL BUGBEARS….
….Guests padding around the corridors in their toweling dressing gowns and awful toweling slippers en route to the spa. Worse still, staying in a hotel where EVERYONE wears toweling dressing gowns and awful toweling slippers all the time. That’s at places like Champneys and Grayshott where, though there are excellent facilities, a comprehensive range of treatments and programmes and healthy menus, the ambience reminds me of the private wing of a hospital, full of white-garbed patients waiting in a dazed state for the next procedure.
Some of these Health Spas are quite stylish in an anodyne way; others, frankly, have all the allure, hotel-wise, of one of the many upmarket old folks’ homes that I investigated for my mother, with dowdy, old-fashioned furnishings and a forlorn air. If I wanted a few days of healthy, reinvigorating pampering, I would so much rather choose a decent hotel in a lovely setting that had a good spa, a range of treatments and healthy food, rather than a dedicated health spa with lacklustre bedrooms attached.
I could quite happily live at the Herb House Spa at Lime Wood, and its Raw & Cured café is superb; other standout spas attached to alluring hotels are at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds, Ockenden Manor in Sussex and The Scarlet in Cornwall, to name but three.
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