Just a few hours away from the London Film Festival, Bath has been Britain’s most famous spa town since Roman times. One of its most elegant lodgings is this renovated 1830 mansion, which has been awarded five stars by two British auto clubs.
The small, historic city of Bath is a 10-minute walk from the country home, which features seven acres of gardens leading to a canal.
The Retreat spa area includes separate rooms for women and men, with a special Just Men treatment package. At the Laurels Health and Leisure Spa, guests can use a gym, indoor and spa pools, a sauna, tennis courts or enjoy a croquet game. A children’s program is also available for 2-to 7-year-olds. Doubles run in the $300 per night range.
Grayshott Hall Health Fitness Retreat
One of the oldest health spas in England, Grayshott Hall is less than an hour’s drive from London. The Victorian-style mansion is set amid 47 acres of gardens decorated in English country style.
Poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once lived in the gracious house, which now has 75 rooms, with a single running about $275 a night. Each guest receives an individually designed program for weight loss, relaxation or fitness. Weight-loss programs are one of the primary focuses, with aerobics, calisthenics and yoga classes for toning and slimming. Other treatments include aroma therapy, reflexology and impulse showers.
If relaxation pools prove too relaxing, a different kind of pool is available in the snooker room. Even in chilly weather, two indoor tennis courts and an inside pool provide plenty of exercise, while a nine-hole golf course, and tennis and badminton courts beckon on warmer days. After all this exercise, healthy cocktails are offered before a nutritious three-course dinner.
The Nirvana is a luxurious day spa located outside of London in Wokingham, near Windsor. A trip to Windsor or Oxford could be combined with a stop at luxurious Nirvana, decorated in a stately neoclassical style. Heathrow Airport is also conveniently close to the area — making a restorative spa day before a flight a tempting possibility.
The complex is anchored at either end by the fitness and relaxing pools, with a large 138-jet spa pool in the center of the complex. Treatment choices include thalasso therapy and facials, and fitness options range from yoga to circuit training in the dance studio and fitness center. A larger gym and child care facility are available at Nirvana’s adjacent health club.
Healthy lunches are served adjacent to the relaxation pool and in the sunny Garden Room, and a croquet lawn and patio are in use during the summer.
Bath Spa Hotel
Phone: (44-1225) 44-44-24, fax: (44-1225) 44-40-06, www.bathspahotel.com
Phone: (44-1428) 60-43-31; fax (44-1428) 60-54-63
Phone: (44-118) 977-1777,