Spa three ways: Save, spend, splurge

Spa three ways: Save, spend, splurge

Book a pamper break to suit any budget, says Katie McGonagle

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Gold-leaf facial anyone? Diamond dust body polish? Just when you thought the spa world couldn’t get any more extravagant, along comes another lavish treatment to notch up the luxury stakes just a little bit further.

While these might be good news for trend-seeking spa-goers with plenty in the bank, those with more modest means deserve just as much of a chance to get pampered.

Here, we line up spa hotels to suit any pocket in a few of the most popular wellness destinations.


Save: Spa holidays don’t have to mean a long-haul flight – those in a hurry to wind down can take a five-hour hop to Cypriot shores and be in their robe and slippers by early afternoon.

The four-star Aquamare Beach Hotel & Spa is only a couple of miles outside Paphos centre, but as soon as clients step inside its 28-room spa, they’ll feel worlds away.

With Elemis and Payot products, plus a treatment list that ranges from an Ayurvedic Indian head massage to a Balinese coconut milk wrap, its gorgeous spa belies the budget price tag.

Spend: Bush medicine might belong Down Under, but it’s also the inspiration for the line of products used at Alasia Hotel in Limassol. Li’tya, meaning ‘of the earth’, is based on Aboriginal ingredients and used across the spa’s signature treatments.

If clients prefer somewhere a little more out-of-the-way, Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort in rural Paphos has a lengthy treatment list and a relaxation room with spectacular mountain views.

Splurge: The Opium Health Spa at the Elysium befits its five-star rating, going beyond the usual Ayurvedic therapies to include Indian foot massage padabhyanga and head massage shirobhyanga.

It’s also on the beach and beside the Tombs of the Kings so there is plenty to occupy guests in between spa sessions.

Book: offers a week’s bed and breakfast at Aquamare Beach Hotel & Spa from £419, including Leeds Bradford flights on May 6, 22kg baggage and transfers.


Royal Mirage Spa, Dubai

Save: Forget the gold taps and chauffeur-driven limos; Dubai doesn’t cater only to the super-rich, provided you pick the right hotel.

Gold Medal destination expert Deborah Wadhams says: “JA Ocean View is a great-value hotel overlooking the Arabian Gulf and The Walk. The spa is equally great with four treatment rooms, including a couples’ room, and a selection of facials, massages and body treatments.”

Spend: Location is also a prime selling point for Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa. Set on Jumeirah beach and next to Dubai Marina, the 446-room property has just been refurbished to become part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

Splurge: One step inside the supremely stylish One&Only Royal Mirage and visitors will start to feel relaxed, even more so when they reach the Residence & Spa, the most sophisticated of the hotel’s three wings.

Guests staying in these 48 rooms have their own private beauty centre, oriental hammam and spa.

Book: Gold Medal offers three nights’ bed and breakfast at the One&Only Residence & Spa from £1,229, including flights from London.


Save: As the Indian Ocean’s most keenly priced destination, Mauritius has plenty to offer spa-goers of more limited means. Opt for small boutiques such as the three-star-plus Veranda Palmar Beach on the east coast.

Travel 2 product manager Michael Creighton says: “This is a great value hotel with a lovely spa. It’s small with a friendly and intimate feel.”

Spend: Lux resorts are all about luxury with a sense of fun and spontaneity, from its retro ice cream carts on the beach to free international calls from its London-style red phone boxes.

The same is true of the spa at Lux Belle Mare, refurbished last year in a makeover by designer and former Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen, where guests will find 12 treatment rooms offering therapies based on Chinese, Indian and Thai traditions.

Splurge: Mauritius has no trouble catering to the top end of the market either, with five-star resorts at every turn. Among the best for spa lovers is The St Regis Mauritius, where the Iridium Spa offers treatments as exotic as its surroundings, from a hot guava and coconut milk body ritual to massages using bamboo or coconut cups.

Book: A week’s bed and breakfast at Lux Belle Mare starts at £1,079 with Travel 2, including flights and transfers.


Traditional Thai Massage

Save: Those who are really watching the pennies can get a Thai massage on the beach for just a few hundred baht, but for a better choice of treatments, convince clients to upgrade to a budget-friendly boutique.

Sister hotels Front Village and The Village in north Karon beach, Phuket, share a spa, which features local ingredients such as Andaman Sea salt and Thai herbs in its therapies.

Spend: Sticking with Thai-owned properties, David Carlaw, Premier Holidays’ head of Faraway product, recommends the Chaba Cabana Beach Resort in Koh Samui for mid-range spenders in search of a quiet getaway.

He says: “It’s ideal for spa fanatics. Set on the more peaceful northern stretch of Chaweng beach, with sweeping ocean views and swaying coconut palms, there’s no doubt this is an easy place to relax.”

All guests get 20% off treatments in the Heavena Spa and agents can earn between £25 and £150 per booking with Premier Holidays’ agent incentive.

Splurge: Well-heeled guests can splash out on a familiar brand such as the five-star Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, set in the east coast beach resort which is becoming better known among international travellers as well as Thai holidaymakers.

Its sizeable Barai Spa combines Thai traditions with classic western therapies and is set right on the beach for the ultimate in relaxation.

Book: Premier Holidays offers eight nights in a Regency Club Room at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin from £1,217 with breakfast, Heathrow-Bangkok flights, private transfers and access to the exclusive club lounge and pool, based on travel in September or October.

Saint Lucia

Save: No transatlantic trip will be cheap but C by Caribtours, the brand’s more affordable range, features several Saint Lucian hotels which won’t break the bank. Among them is the recently refurbished Blu Saint Lucia, where the Alaia Spa uses Espa products across its range of aromatherapy, facials and massages.

Its prime location on Reduit Beach with lively restaurants in nearby Rodney Bay should be a hit with non-spa-going spouses too.

Spend: The makeover at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort has already seen its villas renovated and the beach expanded, but the next phase – set to be unveiled next month – will introduce a 5,300sq ft spa and a gym.

The spa will boast six treatment rooms, including two couples’ rooms with their own Jacuzzi, plus an outdoor massage pavilion, steam rooms and outdoor yoga deck.

Splurge: Couples’ treatments don’t just have to be for honeymooners. At Sandals’ signature Red Lane Spas, men are just as well catered-for as women, with solo massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, plus couples’ treatments including the new Scents of Love Couples’ Massage, where guests can choose their favourite aromas from a selection including Jamaican fever grass (wild lemongrass) and other scents from around the Caribbean.

That local flavour can be seen in other treatments too, from those using coconut, coffee and sugar cane, to a tropical glow facial with extracts of pineapple and papaya.

Book: Funway offers a week at Sandals Regency La Toc in an Emerald Deluxe Room from £1,659 including Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick on September 14.


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