Image: St Brides Spa Hotel, Wales
It may be getting a touch chilly outside, but the warm-souled spa hotels of Europe are the cosiest lairs to curl up and wind down in. Where to find the crème de la crème? Relax, we’ve done all the sorting and sifting – here are the loveliest places on the continent to recharge the batteries and return home brand new.
Hotel Castel Rundegg: Merano, Italy
Bursting with raw Italian appeal, Hotel Castel Rundegg’s ambience is as welcome and refreshing as a cool towel. Loosen up in the sauna and steam bath, stay horizontal on a sunlounger by the pool, or be pampered with massages and detox treatments that’ll leave you calm and collected, ready to satisfy your taste buds at the hotel restaurant. Specialising in Mediterranean and South Tyrolean specialities, there’s something for every palette – the eatery even caters for coeliacs and vegetarians.
Le Richelieu SPA: Ile de Ré, France
The irresistible island of Ile de Ré is where Parisians go for a tiny slice of paradise. It’s packed with pinch-me pretty villages, secluded sweeps of sand and prized oysters. It’d be rude not to treat yourself to five-star luxury in such a darling spot – and for that kind of thing, simply check into Le Richelieu SPA. Peering out onto the mesmerising ocean, the boutique hotel is a serene refuge from the tourist areas of Ile de Ré, with spa treatments, salty-fresh seafood and elegantly chic rooms.
SÁMAS Spa at Park Hotel Kenmare: Kenmare, Ireland
The only thing that competes with the spa treatments at the five-star Park Hotel Kenmare is the view over Kenmare Bay. The award-winning SÁMAS Spa was designed to completely indulge all the senses and leave guests feeling fully rejuvenated, bringing techniques from the foothills of the Himalayas to the waters of Kenmare Bay. Laze and luxuriate in the Thermal Suite, with sauna/laconium, aroma steam rooms, ice fountain, tropical rain showers and an outdoor heated vitality pool. Holistic treatments include muscle-melting massages, rejuvenating facials and body polishes that leave your skin as smooth as silk.
St Brides Spa Hotel: Pembrokeshire, Wales
St Brides Spa Hotel is everything you want from a Pembrokeshire hotspot in one beautiful little parcel. The seaside stay has been “designed around the view”, say hosts Andrew and Lindsey Evans. And it’s that view that catches your breath from almost every room – no more so than the infinity pool. Soften your gaze over the powerful panoramic before unwinding with some magical spa features: the rock sauna, aroma steam, sensation shower, salt infusion room and ice fountain are a few of our favourites. After a day of lightening your body and mind, move into the sumptuous restaurant to fill-up on some of southern Wales’ finest flavours.
No.1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa: Limerick City, Ireland
Ever stayed in a hotel that made you think ‘Let’s never ever leave’ mere hours into your stay? Well, over in Limerick’s tree-lined People’s Park, No.1 Pery Square could be it – for its worry-melting charm, its individually named and styled bedrooms, and its secret spa hidden down in its stone-clad basement vaults. With organic products, a holistic philosophy and awards to boot, The Spa at No.1 offers an astonishing array of knot-busting, calm-restoring treatments. Glide between the snooze room, herbal cocoon and aroma salts foot bath, or dive into the private spa suite – a dream haven for couples.