The Candis Spa Awards 2018
No longer seen as simply a luxury break, a spa stay can reduce stress, boost general well-being and support weight loss or recuperation. We considered all these factors as well as food, facilities and value for money to source the UK’s best health-promoting experience for the sixth year running…
Modershall Oaks Country Spa retreat
Best for groups
Why… It’s a haven if you want to de-stress or unwind. Set in 72-acre parkland with welcoming, efficient staff.
Signature treatment… Elemis Technology BIOTEC Anti- Ageing Facial, 25/55 minutes, £40/£75
Focuses on skin repair, renew and re-tone. Results in firmer brighter, smoother complexion.
Also try… Elemis Intensely Cleansing Salt Scrub, 25 minutes, £45
The gorgeous lime and frangipani fragranced salt gently exfoliates the skin and increases the blood and lymphatic circulation. Ideal for pre-holiday pampering.
Food and drink… The welcoming Lakeside Restaurant has stunning views and offers fine dining with locally sourced ingredients cooked by top chefs. Spa Deli serves delicious snacks and refreshments.
Gold stars for… The accommodation – contemporary, tasteful with private patio, access to shared hot tub. Relaxation lounge has huge open fires and an amazing 25sqm heated outdoor vitality pool.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 6
Treatments: 30, plus three Limited Edition treatments that change seasonally
Relaxation areas: 2 main lounging areas
Extras: The Snug, a private party setting for all occasions including work gatherings, pamper parties and family celebrations
Fitness areas/classes: Gym, outdoor tennis courts and bikes for hire free of charge.
Moddershall, Staffordshire, ST15 8TG
The Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa
Why… Set in 1,400 acres of rolling North Yorkshire countryside this family-friendly, (and pet- friendly), countryside spa hotel is a short walk from the elegant luxury rooms. Extra activities include 4×4 experiences, shooting, falconry, fly-fishing, and walking and cycling trails across the estate.
Signature treatment… The Coniston Signature Massage, 30/60/90 minutes, £40/£65/£90
A blissful upper-back, neck and shoulder massage using gorgeous the Aromatherapy Associates products, selected in consultation with your therapist. You’ll feel like you’re walking on air!
Also try… Ultimate Aromatherapy Associates Facial, 60/90 minutes, £70/£95
Bespoke facial designed to target problem areas discussed with the therapist. Products are a combination of the finest pure essential oils and plant extracts as skin is both cleansed and exfoliated to restore and re-plump the complexion.
Food and drink… The elegant Macleod’s Restaurant with its inventive menu of locally sourced produce is to die for! The more traditional Huntsman’s Lodge has breathtaking views of Coniston Lake. Within the spa, Nourish offers healthy dishes with a ‘holistic’ approach.
Gold stars for… The staff – without exception they were friendly and helpful. The infinity pool with its fabulous views over Coniston Lake and its surrounds. The specialist cancer therapists.
Prices… Overnight spa breaks from £179 per room based on two sharing, include access to the Thermal Experience, a 30-minute Signature spa treatment and a Yorkshire breakfast.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 8
Therapists: 15, including two specialist therapists for specialist cancer and hypnotherapy appointments
Pools: 15m indoor pool (children can go 8.30am-9.45am and 3.30pm-4.45pm), indoor bubble pool, outdoor infinity bubble pool
Relaxation areas: 2
Extras: Himalayan salt sauna, aromatherapy steam room, Finnish sauna, ice fountain Fitness areas/classes: 1 class studio, 22-piece Life Fitness gym, spin bikes. Classes include Pilates, yoga, spinning.
Best for couples
Why… Steeped in history and set in Eastwell Manor’s grounds, this new Champneys’ resort feels like an exclusive boutique hotel with open fires in the hotel lobby, striking architectural features and notably friendly staff. Its modern spa is a two-minute walk from the hotel through beautiful gardens.
Signature treatment… Champneys Spa Heaven Cocoon, 50 minutes, £69
Enjoy a full-body exfoliation then drift blissfully into a body butter massage. You’re then wapped in a warm cocoon on a heated bed as you receive a foot and scalp massage. A heavenly treatment that leaves your skin nourished for days afterwards.
Also try… Champneys Relaxing Facial, 25 minutes, £55
Champneys products cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise the face to leave skin beautifully soft and clean. Ends with relaxing Indian head massage; expect to doze off!
Food and drink… Take delicious afternoon tea at the Manor or three-course à la carte lunch at the spa. The cosy fireside cocktail bar for pre-dinner drinks is a must.
Gold stars for… The staff: polite, helpful and enthusiastic.
Prices… Overnight stay from £139 per person with spa access until next day, dinner, breakfast, three-course lunch and £40 credit on treatments and products. Ask for a renovated room to avoid disappointment when booking as the works aren’t scheduled to complete until June 2018.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 24
Restaurants: 2, plus Manor’s afternoon tea area
Pools: 2 indoor and outdoor, hydrotherapy pool and Jacuzzi
Relaxation areas: 2, plus poolside beds
Bedrooms: 24 in Manor and 39 in cottages
Extras: Tennis court, croquet lawn, falconry experiences
Fitness areas/classes:State-of-the-art gym, separate workout pod area, fitness studio with classes.
Eastwell Park, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4HT
0843 561 2019
Best for Mums and Daughters
Why… Tucked away in verdant countryside overlooking the Shropshire Hills, the spa is in
a beautifully renovated Georgian house. Relax in the spa, explore the historical market town of Ludlow or nearby walking routes.
Signature treatment… Lava Shell Thermal Relax Experience, 55 minutes, £65
Combining the Hot Lava Shell with Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil it creates a deep relaxation. Expect to drift off but leave feeling invigorated with beautifully hydrated skin.
Also try… Elemis Pro-Collagen Age Defy, 55 minutes, £75 Combining marine-charged padina pavonica and red coral with targeted massage, this facial helps to tackle fine lines and wrinkles, leaving nourished, younger-looking skin. Involving a multitude of stages, sensations and delicious aromas, it’s a long and luxurious treatment that does leave skin looking smoother.
Food and drink… The orangery-style restaurant, Forelles, holds three AA rosettes and offers a selection of à la carte menus, a tasting menu and brasserie dishes. Using produce from the nearby Welsh Marches, the focus is on simple seasonal yet stylish food.
Gold stars… for The contemporary spa, or ‘SPAshell’. There is an abundance of lovely wood including an outdoor cedar wood hot tub with views of the rolling hills, plus an oversized hammock!
Prices… An overnight stay with breakfast for two including two 30-minute treatments, £225.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 4 (or two couples’ rooms)
Restaurants: Forelles fine dining restaurant, and the Bistro & Terrace, plus afternoon tea and private dining
Pools: 0, but there is an outdoor hot tub
Relaxation areas: 2 – a lounge inside and an outdoor decking area
Extras: 2 thermal cabins, a steam room and sauna, oversized hammock and bucket-shower
Fitness areas/classes: Nordic walking.
Ragdale Hall Spa
Best dedicated spa
Why… As soon as you arrive and abandon your mobile phone, stress simply fades away. This ever-evolving spa destination consistently offers something new and this year’s additions include the rooftop pool complex, which is stunning.
Signature treatment… Decléor Yoga Lift Facial, 80 minutes, £91 New for 2018, this Japanese-inspired facial uses DecléorProlagene lift products and aims to firm skin by combining the flow, rhythm and repetition of powerful Kobido massage techniques. It works with the aroma and power of iris and lavendula essential oils for a smoother, firmer complexion.
Also try… MOT Well-Being Massage, 80 minutes, £85 Based on your chakras using balancing aromatherapy oils and crystals, it starts with a luxurious scalp massage with wonderfully fragranced ylang-ylang oil, working downwards to arms and shoulders to relieve stress. Hot stones for the deep-tissue back massage. Bliss!
Food and drink… Food is world-class. Breakfast like a queen in your room, then work up an appetite for the healthy and nutritious, yet utterly tasty, buffet lunch. Evening meals include three gastronomic courses with lighter-calorie options, a great wine list and service with a smile.
Gold stars… for The new heated rooftop infinity pool with reclining underwater massage jet seating – immerse yourself in warm bubbles and enjoy the incredible view. Head to the recently renovated exercise pool with LED mood lighting, join an aquacise class and use the aqua-gym equipment.
Prices… An Overnight Reviver Break from £222 per person (two sharing) with a 50-minute Blissful Face and Back Therapy.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 50
Relaxation areas: 6
Extras: Tennis courts, beautiful gardens, Beauty Express, boutique and gift shop
Fitness areas/classes: More than 20 classes a day and new HIITMill equipment for high-intensity interval training.
Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
Turkish Baths and Health Spa
Best day spa
Why… Britain’s most fully restored Victorian Turkish baths have experiences to suit every budget and timescale. It has stunning original arabesque painted ceilings, terrazzo floors and Islamic arches. Ideal romantic day trip or for larger groups.
Signature treatment… Turkish Signature Spa Experience, 2 hours 30 minutes, £125 Luxurious treatment includes mixed session in the baths, a light lunch, Turkish spa body ritual and personalised facial. Starting in the baths and health spa before a healthy light lunch, followed by a Turkish full body massage and facial. You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated and thoroughly pampered.
Also try… Couples Retreat, 55 minutes, £138 per couple After a session in the Turkish baths, you can enjoy this treatment in the same room as your partner. Have a unique full-body massage, then take a drink in the winter garden lounge or spa room.
Food and drink… Variety of healthy and nutritious lunches including superfood wraps, salads and tasty cakes. Try the delicious chickpea and feta salad!
Gold stars for... The guided tour of the spa upon arrival – it was helpful, insightful and engaging. The lovely setting and historical aspect makes it visually unique, plus mobile phones aren’t allowed so it’s peaceful. The treatments and therapists are welcoming and professional.
Prices… Entry into the baths costs from £18 per person for a two-hour mixed bathing session; free entry with booked treatments which cost from £24.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 10
Treatments: 25 plus pamper packages, nails and beauty
Pools: Plunge pool
Relaxation areas: 3
New Hall Hotel and Spa
Best hotel and spa
Why… This sympathetically restored building surrounded by a moat still has original 800-year- old features. With cosy nooks and crannies to relax in and a 26-acre garden that’s delightful to explore, the spa is newly built with all mod cons in a building designed to blend well with the main house.
Signature treatment… Active Pureness Facial, 55 minutes, £65 Using high-end, luxurious Comfort Zone products, this facial left skin smooth and relaxed with benefits visible days later. There was a gentle exfoliation, a mask and oils suited to skin type, and an arm and hand massage with oils.
Also try… Traditional Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage, 25 minutes, £45
A very skilful massage that includes gently working out knots in your back and shoulders before a relaxing scalp massage. Heaven!
Food and drink… Enjoy a lovely hushed atmosphere in the wood- panelled Bridge Restaurant, which has been awarded two AA rosettes. Staff are attentive and informed, but the winner here is the food, which also comes in generous portions. Menu varies using local produce when possible. Posh fish and chips are glorious!
Gold stars for… Feeling like you’re in a Tudor castle as a member of the upper class and not a scullery maid! Delightful atmosphere and staff. You won’t want to leave!
Prices… A spa day with afternoon tea and a 25-minute treatment starts from £64 per person, or the same but with a 55-minute treatment starts from £82 per person, (based on two people booking). Overnight spa packages from £123.
Spa in numbers
Treatment Rooms: 3
Pools: Large heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi
Extras: steam room, sauna
Fitness areas/classes: Gym, aqua aerobics, tennis courts, and an outdoor pitch and putt.
Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B76 1PH
0845 072 7577
Kinspa at the Kinmel
Best small spa
Why… With views of the North Wales coast, this quiet spot in rolling parkland has tasteful decor, modern facilities and a warm welcome.
Signature treatment… NEOM De-stress Treatment, 60/90 minutes, £62/£92
The melted NEOM De-stress candle oil is drizzled over skin before a stress-relieving massage on head, face, neck and back.
Also try… Elemis Targeted Toning Tightener, 90 minutes, £95 Target cellulite and poor skin tone on hips, thighs, tummy and bingo wings with this blend of salts, minerals and seaweed exfoliation followed by a detoxifying caffeine, green clay and red algae mask to detox.
Food and drink... The spa’s Chiang Mai restaurant serves delicate, healthy and deliciously authentic Thai dishes or afternoon tea with a glass of fizz. Try Brasserie 1786 for seasonally themed, locally sourced fine dining, or take an early meal in the lounge bar, which has traditional pub grub and scrumptious sandwiches on offer.
Gold stars for… The little extras like the glasses of fruity sorbet and tasty smoothie shots; fresh tropical fruit in the relaxation room; great choice of drinks. Treatment staff – excellent without fail.
Prices… A one-night spa stay in a luxury double room, with Welsh breakfast, 60-minute treatment, two-course lunch (or afternoon tea with a glass of Prosecco) and evening meal costs from £155 per person. Day spa packages including a light Thai lunch and prosecco from £85.
Spa in numbers
Treatment rooms: 6-room treatment suite including one double
Restaurants: Chiang Mai Thai restaurant in the spa and Brasserie 1786 in main hotel
Pools: Leisure pool plus hydrotherapy pool with Jacuzzi and open wall to the outside
Relaxation areas: A 6-bed tranquillity room with panoramic views
Extras: Drench shower, aromatherapy sauna, steam room and stunning gardens.
Fitness areas/classes: 14-piece state-of-the-art Technogym and class timetable.