What’s better than a spa? A spa amid the extraordinary beauty of the Lakes - just a short walk from Penrith train station too. Whether you’re keen on working up a sweat in the gym, warming down in the sauna, steam room and pool or simply cooling off with a variety of treatments, there’s something wonderfully indulgent about a spa as the nights and weather creep in outside.
With a 12-metre indoor pool and six treatment rooms with state-of-the-art manicure and pedicure stations offering CND Vinylux and Shellac Nails, the facilities are bang up-to-date, courtesy of a £175,000 refurb earlier this year. There’s never been a better time to go.
Arrive to a welcome of fresh robes and slippers, take a dip in the pool or relax in the sauna, choose a light lunch and look forward to a treatment in the afternoon - something for the nails, skin or muscles perhaps? There are ESPA, Jessica, St Tropez and Bare Minerals products so you know you’ll be in safe hands - literally!
Harness the power of ancient Eastern healers; enjoy reflexology, body wraps, hot stones and Thai herbal heat energisers among the list of expert treatments offered here. Oh, and we nearly forgot the heated massage beds …
Don’t think of a break here as just a pamper session though, consider it a tune-up. Specialities at the North Lakes Spa and Hotel include musculoskeletal and soft tissue treatments for the treatment of sports injuries and everyday aches and pains. Even so, it would be rude not to make full use of the hotel’s facilities.
There’s Cumbrian cuisine and local ingredients at the hotel’s restaurant, bar and café, or you can grab a light lunch at the spa itself. Rooms boast four-poster beds and those dramatic Lakeland views. The hotel lounges are all log fires and exposed timber beams, but it’s the spa that will really wow you. It’s hard to think of a more relaxing way to spend a revitalising or relaxing time away.
If you’re seeking serenity in the city, head to Malmaison’s bijou spa. Smack bang in the heart of Newcastle, the Mal is a great base from which to explore the city. But if you feel all that street pounding catching up with you, there’s a perfectly formed gym and spa in the basement of the hotel.
You can make a day of it with packages including full-body massages, pedicures and manicures or even hot stones and aromatherapy. Plus chocs and fizz of course - think of it as a full check-up and service for your body. Just need a quick tune up? Spa treats and Mal Moments are perfect if you need to drop in and head back out fully refreshed - choose from 30- or 60-minute treatments before enjoying a tasty light lunch.
There are treatments for him too, so a Mal break is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing city break, while yummy mummies - whether pre- or post-natal - can luxuriate with packages designed to soothe, regenerate and heal.
Manicures and pedicures use the tried-and-tested Jessica system for a bespoke treatment, while GELeration nails are also available. Summer skin fading like those beachside memories? Why not top it up with a full-body spray tan?
There’s also the boutique Gymtonic with resistance and running machines and free weights, should you prefer to work out prior to zoning out.
Don’t spend too much time on the massage chairs though. Newcastle’s Mal is perfectly located for city explorers, right on the Quayside by the Millennium Bridge, for cultural attractions including the Baltic art gallery and the restaurants of Newcastle’s compact centre.
Not all spas are born equal - there’s a clue in the title of the Elements Medispa. Imagine a luxury hotel crossed with state-of-the-art facilities and you’re on the right track.
The spa offers massages, beauty treatments and use of the facilities in a range of options to suit tastes, requirements and bank balances - so whether it’s with a partner, relation or friend you’ll be able to find something that suits across the aptly-named Earth, Air, Water and Fire packages. Expectant mums can be revitalised with foot-and-ankle massages, back rubs and facials - and ladies can enjoy a night out together (with Cava on arrival, naturally).
Facilities include sauna, steam room, aromatherapy and whirlpools - but Elements Medispa has two very special offerings. An infra-red sauna is designed to break down toxins, cleanse skin, aid aches and pains and burn off calories, while the ancient Arabian cleansing ritual of rasul is a must-do.
You want treatments? Choose from a huge range of facials and body wraps from Elemis that will leave you looking and feeling brand new - even if they sound like something from Blake’s 7.
It doesn’t stop there. There’s mesotherapy - a non-invasive procedure with big claims, beloved of celebrities - if you fancy giving yourself an early Christmas present, plus vampire facelifts and vitamindrips for those who take their appearance seriously
If that all sounds like too much hard work, perhaps you should stick to the beauty and spa packages. With light bites available too, a day at the Elements Medispa could be just what the doctor ordered to ensure you’re in fine fettle for the looming Christmas holidays. After which you might just look again at some of the more exotic treatments on offer at this state-of-the-art spa ...
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