"Who needs a tourist double-decker when you can admire the view from the comfort of your own Jacuzzi?"
Titanic Spa, Huddersfield
In an age when 'eco-friendly' is a tag attached to nearly every company (often merely thanks to the Fairtrade teabags they purchase), it's impressive to find a luxury business that puts being green at its heart. Titanic Spa is the UK's first eco spa - and boy, does it have the facts and figures to back up this claim.
Situated in an old textiles mill in Huddersfield, Titanic Spa (so named as the mill was built the same year the doomed vessel set sail, in 1911) is designed to have a minimal negative impact on the environment. This doesn't just mean it recycles; the building and facilities themselves are run on renewable energy, and the spa has its very own borehole 100 metres below the Earth's surface. So it even provides its own pure water. Add solar panels to all of this and you have a seriously eco-friendly spa - yes, complete with Fairtrade teabags!
However, regardless of its social conscience, Titanic Spa was built with one thing in mind: to provide an idyllic spa experience, and here, too, it more than fulfils its brief. Peace, relaxation and luxury are all high on the agenda.
From the chlorine-free, salt-regulated swimming pool to divine treatments and 'heat experiences' (a series of nine temperature-related experiences, from saunas to plunge pools and ice rooms), there is a constant emphasis on comfort and wellbeing.
The variety of treatments, from massage to body wraps, ensures that you are pampered and preened wherever you go, and then there's the Bistro Restaurant to fill you up after a hard day's work. The remainder of the mill has been developed into state of the art apartments, and 30 of them are retained by the spa for hosting guests.
So, when you are ultra-relaxed and your tummy's full, you don't have to face the journey home - instead, you can enjoy a night away in the lap of eco-luxury and wake up revived and refreshed the next day.
Go by train: Huddersfield. 10-min taxi
One Spa, Edinburgh
In a city as majestic as Edinburgh, a spa needs to be pretty impressive to compete with the multitude of cultural treats on offer, not least the amazing views of the stately hill-top castle. Luckily, the two need no longer be mutually exclusive, as One Spa boasts its own breathtaking castle views - from its roof-top hydropool, no less. Who needs a tourist double-decker when you can admire the view from the comfort of your own Jacuzzi?
Along with the roof-top hydropool and an indoor infinity-edge swimming pool (which, thanks to a huge glass wall, also boasts enviable views), the list of facilities is almost limitless. There are luxurious Cleopatra baths (individual tubs with underwater massage jets and a choice of aromas), the Serail mud chamber, scented lifestyle showers and thermal loungers, as well as the expected saunas (rock and bio) and aroma grotto steam room. One Spa is attached to the sumptuous Sheraton Grand Hotel, which has recently completed a multi-million pound, full bedroom refurbishment project. So when you are finished in the spa, you can retreat to your room and enjoy a stylish, contemporary space complete with plush beds, original Scottish art and fully equipped media hubs boasting flash HD televisions.
Who cares about the Scottish weather when there's more than enough to this side of Edinburgh to while away an indulgent weekend?
Go by train: Edinburgh Haymarket. 10-min walk
Spa 1877, Sheffield
Small but perfectly formed, Spa 1877 is located in the original Glossop Road Baths in the Devonshire Quarter of the city. These Turkish-style baths have a varied history, having originally opened in 1836 after the Cholera epidemic of 1832 during which 402 Sheffield residents died. Keen to offer people the means to bathe without resorting to a dip in the River Don, which was increasingly polluted, the baths were opened for medical use, but were quickly adopted for recreational purposes too. Extended by the Victorians, the baths were left in disrepair until 2000 when Spa 1877 was born. Now, the original building has been renovated and the facilities have been brought bang up to date with all the luxuries you might associate with a cutting-edge city spa.
Today, multi-coloured mosaic surrounds are teamed with soft, coloured lighting to give Spa 1877 a real sense of atmosphere. It feels a million miles away from the steel city outside.
The usual suspects are all present; a state of the art sauna, steam room and chill-out area known as Hammam, with gently heated marble benches. The less-common features include a plunge pool kept at a cool 4OC, and an ice cave - a rather more hard-core spa experience with granulated ice, perfect for exfoliating the skin if you're brave enough to try it! There's also a tropical rain shower, which has a choice of temperatures and jets depending on how extreme you wish your session to be, and a bountiful menu of spa treatments, from massage to manicures. Can't decide what to do first? Make up your own unique spa session, one luxuriant experience at a time.
Go by train: Sheffield. 10-min taxi