Stress, Stress, rush, rush… Hold on there now! Isn’t it nice to occasionally put a full stop to the frantic pace of family life and take a well-deserved breather? And if you can do so in the blissful haven of a spa, where gorgeous candles glow, soft music gently tinkles and there’s a heady aromatic fragrance in the air, then so much the better. A soothing, stress-relieving massage or reviving facial could be just the pick-me-up you need so treat yourself. You know you’re worth it!
Set amid 14 acres of grounds on the outskirts of the medieval wool town of Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, Woolley Grange, the beautiful Jacobean Manor House, is celebrating its 21st birthday this year with a new family-friendly spa featuring packages specifically designed for parents of young children. Treatments include ante-and postnatal care using the fabulous Mama Mio products, as well as a menu of special teen treats and mother-and-daughter spa days. Combine this with Ofsted-registered childcare, and award-winning food and you’re guaranteed to be revived and refreshed. A weekend for a family of four costs from £440 for bed and breakfast. There are also spas at sister properties Ickworth House in Suffolk, Fowey Hall in Cornwall and The Elms in Worcestershire, and the bonus is that, while you waft off into a soporific daze, you can rest assured that your offspring will also be having a fabulous time in the children’s clubs.
If you fancy a touch of pampering in Paris, head to the Anne Semonin Spa at Le Bristol, where you can indulge in bespoke facials designed to give you a youthful glow and the most exquisite Anti-Stress Back Therapy, which gives the sensation of having a gently bubbling volcano on your back. In other words, sheer heaven. And, from Spring 2011, Le Bristol is introducing crèche facilities within the spa – no doubt with some sound-proofing! Closer to home, Anne Semonin treatments are available at several UK spas, including Lucknam Park in Bath; Hoole Hall Spa in Chester; 51 Buckingham Gate in London and Feversham Arms in York.
If you like a little sunshine with your pampering, the Anassa in Cyprus has an award-winning Thalasso Spa where you can indulge in lavish treatments. How about booking a babysitter, then trying the Anassa Champagne Aphrodisiac for two, an indulgent and romantic evening in your own candle-lit suite? The intuitive, healing hands and aromatic oils of the two skilled therapists will leave you and your partner feeling soothed and nurtured with a 60-minute massage (£240 per couple), before the therapists leave you to indulge in a luxurious bath and a bottle of champagne.
For a spa with a view, take in a visit to the Kempinski Ishtar, the largest spa in the Middle East, on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan. It’s part of a Powder Byrne adventure that begins in the capital city of Amman, where you will have time to explore the city and acclimatise to the Jordanian way of life, before transferring for an overnight stay with ample time to relax at the amazing Sixth Senses Spa. There’s plenty of sunshine, too, at the Hillside Beach Club, Turkey’s most exclusive beach resort. Set within its own private 30-acre bay, Hillside Beach Club is surrounded by pine trees, the azure Mediterranean Sea and serene beaches – to put you in a relaxing frame of mind – but the real treat comes at not just one, but a choice of spas. The newly renovated Sanda Day Spa has a fresh, contemporary feel, with a traditional Turkish hammam, as well as an exciting range of new-age treatments, including colour therapy and the new Crystal Massage, which works to bring your body’s different chakras into harmony. Hidden amongst the pine forest above the adult-only Silent Beach – sorry, no frolicking toddlers here – is the tranquil Sanda Nature Spa, where you can sample Balinese-inspired treatments in wooden spa cabins surrounded by ornamental pools and pine forest.
If your children are hankering after a little pampering themselves, then the Gran Hotel La Florida in Barcelona is the place to head for. While the Zen Zone Spa has plenty to divert the grown-ups with a sumptuous choice of facials, massages and body treatments, there’s also a dedicated Fantasia Children’s Spa Menu. Your little princesses can indulge in a Snow White and The Seven Dwarves green apple peeling, a Sleeping Beauty red-berry mask, or a Cinderella multicoloured manicure. There’s a chilling-out opportunity for all children with the Fantasia With Mickey Mouse, where children listen to Disney music inside a giant oxygen bubble, but sadly, there’s no Captain Jack Sparrow Jacuzzi for your little pirates.
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