Spa breaks for men are not to be sniffed at. We’re all working harder than ever and even though the pandemic seems to be over the pressure of work most definitely isn’t, the question is what can we do about it? The options are endless, you can do some meditation and deep breathing via various apps, go and do a workout or better yet, go for a long spa weekend and totally unwind.
The thing is, a spa weekend isn’t just for the ladies to get pampered, there are a so many spas that cater for men too. So for that reason alone, I have done some due diligence and selected the top five spa breaks for men in the UK and beyond, just for the man in your life.
Words by Ajay Teli
London: Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, Movementum
The beautiful Mandarin Oriental hotel, Hyde Park, in Knightsbridge, is famed for its prime location, impeccable service and seriously delicious restaurants, as well as its fantastic spa. Aside from the pool, steam room and gym, there is a new spa partnership with movement health brand Movementum. Focused entirely on movement health, the experience has been created by leading experts in fitness, medicine and behaviour change. Movementum uniquely blends fitness studio and spa experiences with their own range of movement enhancing products helping you to feel more relaxed and focussed simply through the power of movement.
I tried the Prime to Perform Movementum class, starting from £45, which works by focusing on postural awareness through a series of mobility and breathing exercises. This class is specifically designed to remove neuro muscular inhibition for improved range of motion, and greater potential to move. The class supports confidence and enhances motivation to move more, especially when you’ve had a stressful time and just need to feel replenished. It’s the perfect start to a workout or as a stand-alone session to support enhanced movement health, but to be honest, it makes you feel totally mellow, so I recommend the Prime to Perform massage right after for maximum relaxation, starting from £165 for 60 minutes.
Iceland, Reykjavik – The Sky Lagoon
The Sky Lagoon in Iceland is one of the best spa breaks for men. Located just minutes from Reykjavik’s vibrant city centre, it is a relaxing and restorative retreat that brings a modern approach to traditional Icelandic bathing culture. It maximises expansive ocean vistas from which you can see the sunsets, Northern Lights (if you’re lucky) and the dark sky views. The geothermal lagoon includes an ocean-side 75-metre (246 ft) infinity edge that shows off the epic ocean and sky views, a sauna with probably the largest window in Iceland, and an overall design inspired by historic turf houses. It’s the perfect man spa break. The backdrop of the North Atlantic Ocean is mesmerising and offer guests a totally new spa experience. I went for the full restorative seven-step experience, The Ritual, developed from Icelandic traditions of combining warm and cold waters, steam, dry heat and fresh air.
You enter firstly through the clean and minimal designed changing rooms, all which have a dark masculine feel to them. After a shower and cleanse before getting into your swimwear (which can be as conservative as you want), you follow through the glass sliding doors that open on to steps that take you in to the warm waters, which feel soothing the moment you step into the lagoon. The rocks give you the feeling of enclosure and discovery until you see the huge expanse of the Ocean. The seven-step ritual itself is a pure and energising experience of warm to freezing cold waters, sauna then steam, nourishing scrubs to pure water mists surrounding you. Spending at least four hours in the lagoon, you feel like the weight of the world has been lifted plus your skin is soft and supple.
The Ritual by Sky Lagoon can be experienced alone, with friends, or a partner, what’s more, is that there is a bar serving their non-alcoholic tea champagne, which is not to be missed. It’s an unmissable experience and the perfect 48 hours retreat to reenergise the body and soul.
Lake District – The Gilpin
One of the keys to achieving the best spa breaks for men is surrounding yourself with nature is the best medicine. Fresh air, greenery and water, and what better place than the Gilpin to have a nature nurturing experience. A a totally relaxing destination split in to two destinations, The Gilpin Hotel, set in 21 acres of beautiful gardens with bedrooms all having a Lakeland view and most leading directly onto the gardens. The larger garden suites have their own decked garden with cedarwood hot tubs and then the Spa Lodges, which are just a dream, each having their own spa within, including treatment beds, steam room, hydrotherapy bath, a state- of-the-art automated massage chair, plus a traditional massage bed with infrared.
Just a mile away from Gilpin Hotel, enter through electric gates to discover Gilpin Lake House, where I had the pleasure is staying. A sanctuary where just six beautifully designed rooms share a fully staffed boutique hotel with a heated indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tubs and saunas, and exclusive access to 100 acres of grounds with a stunningly picturesque small private lake. Gilpin Lake House has the feel of a country house with all the services of a hotel. There is access to the Lake House Jetty Spa Trail (exclusively for Lake House guests). The spa trail offers three and a half hours of private bliss to completely unwind. The bespoke Spa Journey is designed to gently stimulate and revive the senses; so it is definitely advisable to take time to enjoy the experience whether alone or with someone. Your sensory experience begins with a wander through the woodland to the stunning Jetty Spa and a bespoke aromatherapy massage (I opted for the Indian head massage which put me to sleep leaving me feeling very zen), followed by a deliciously private cream tea in the boat house or gazebo by the lake. Stroll back along the woodland path to the pool for a private swim, a relaxing sauna with an iced fruit frappé and a reviving salt scrub shower. The trail will guide you as you privately discover sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations which will lead you to your ultimate goal – a deep relaxation that will stay with you for a long time.
London – The Landmark
The Spa at the Landmark London, is home to some of London’s most luxurious beauty and wellness treatments. Situated in the magnificent five-star Grande Dame hotel in Marylebone, an icon of quintessential and elegant London charm, the Spa at The Landmark London offers guests an oasis of luxury and serenity in the heart of the capital. It’s also perfect for easy access if you’re commuting, like I currently am from Oxfordshire.
Spa members and hotel guests can escape to enjoy all the facilities including, complimentary access to the private, a snazzy health club, Jacuzzi and Sanarium. The hotel is also home to a chlorine-free 15-metre indoor pool – one of very few in the Capital.
What’s really good about the spa is that it welcomes non hotel guests to escape the chaos of daily life for spa days and has a variety of membership options for residents within the local area. It’s simply designed, has a level of elegance that won’t be off putting. Alongside access to excellent facilities, membership benefits include a discount on all spa treatments, including food and drink at the hotel.
I opted for the ‘A Touch of Spice’ a highly relaxing massage treatment that uses exquisite oriental flowers and Macadamia oil together with pindas containing exotic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and poppy seeds. The steamed pindas are dipped within the warm oil allowing the exquisite aromas to be released. As you relax they are massaged over the body for an invigorating and unforgettable massage, with prices for 50 minutes starting at £120 weekdays and £130 weekends.
Edinburgh – Waldorf Astoria – The Caledonian
The Waldorf Astoria Spa, part of the Waldorf Astoria tops our list of spa breaks for men – The Caledonian, located in the heart of Edinburgh is home to a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. Offering a sophisticated range of pampering and wellness treatments perfectly suitable for men, it allows you to unwind with an indulgent selection of massage treatments and experiences. The Waldorf Astoria Spa is a peaceful sanctuary in a very tranquil setting. The teams expertise is to help revive your mind, body and soul in an elegant haven of wellness and rejuvenation.
From the selection of treatments available in partnership with 111SKIN and Ground Wellbeing, I would recommend the de-stress massage, you also have access to the steam room, sauna, whirlpool, a two-floor gym, and an indoor swimming pool overlooking Edinburgh Castle, ideal to let the world of the weight just drift away.