Spa weekend recommendations: luxury spa breaks to make you feel incandescent inside and out

Sussex luxury spa weekend

Sometimes all you need is a good lie down, and where better to do that than on a luxury spa weekend?

Whether you’re all knotted up and need a massage, or you just want to get away and have an excuse to lie down in the middle of the day, these luxury spa breaks and spa weekends will be just what the proverbial doctor ordered.

Head down to the coast for a seaside spa weekend, or hit up the capital for a luxury spa break with city vibes. These are the best of the best – so get booking!

Find your winter sparkle at the Headland Hotel, Cornwall

Bookable until 21 December, the Headland Hotel in Cornwall has a gorgeous spa weekend on offer. Staying in a Coastal Room for two nights, you’ll wake up to views of the north Cornish coastline before enjoying a full Cornish breakfast each morning in the dining room.

At the spa, an Elemis Couture Touch treatment – which includes a 30-minute facial and 25-minute back massage – is included, as well as a platter of their choice and a glass of Crémant in the Spa Lounge.

You’ll have full access to the highly-rated facilities, which include a Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna, hydrotherapy pool, and aromatherapy showers.

The package: Available until 21 December, the Winter Sparkle break starts at £215 per person, based on two sharing a Coastal Room for two nights.

Lie down at the Lygon Arms, Cotswolds

The Lygon Luxury Spa Day is a year-round package including two treatments which can be paired with a stay in one of the Lygon Arms’ stunning guest rooms. The spa package includes an OSKIA Signature Glow facial or an ELEMIS BIOTEC facial, plus a 60-minute massage tailored to your needs.

You’ll get full use of the spa facilities, including the 13-metre indoor swimming pool (it has a retractable roof for summer), the spa bath, male and female saunas, and a eucalyptus-scented steam room.

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The hotel is a gorgeous Tudor coaching inn, dating back to the 13th century with suites literally fit for a king (Charles stayed here before battle during the English Civil War). The restaurant champions local produce, plus there’s a gym should you want to get fit alongside your facial.

The package: The Lygon Luxury Spa Day package costs £195pp and a room costs from £225 per night.

Get pampered at Cliveden House, Berkshire

Another hotel fit for royals, Cliveden House is where Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, spent the night before her wedding day to Prince Harry. The 350-year-old estate is a five-star luxury hotel less than 45-minutes from London with two exceptional restaurants, beautiful guestrooms, manicured gardens and, of course, a spectacular spa.

Their Afternoon Tea Spa Day includes a 60-minute OSKIA Revitalising Facial, a glass of fizz on arrival, afternoon tea in The Cliveden Dining Room, full use of the spa facilities and access to lifestyle classes and fitness suite. Pair this with a stay at the hotel and you’ve got yourself a royally good spa weekend.

The package: The Afternoon Tea Spa Day costs £190pp and a room at Cliveden House is £445 per night.

Try something different at Budock Vean Hotel, Cornwall

We wouldn’t usually encourage cannabis use, of course, but at Budock Vean, CBD oil (a legal substance derived from cannabis plants) is being used in massages to add an extra relaxing edge.

CBD massage oil is slated to target pain, inflammation, fatigue and speeds up the process of healing and recovery, according to experts, and so the hotel spa’s customised therapies can be transformative for guests.

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Book their Winter Warmer package and you’ll get hot chocolate and cake on arrival, use of the golf course and spa facilities, a four-course dinner, bed and breakfast, plus 15% off spa treatments – including the CBD massage.

The package: The Winter Warmer Package costs from £91pp and also includes a ticket to the world-famous Trebah Garden nearby.

Have a city spa break at Sea Containers London

Set on the River Thames in the centre of London, spas don’t get more central than the one at Sea Containers London. The design hotel sits right on the South Bank, between the National Theatre and Blackfriars, and has a spectacular bar overlooking the twinkling city lights.

The hotel has a number of spa packages, which can be booked alongside a room in the hotel to complete your perfect luxury spa break. Try the Pamper Package, which includes a 50-minute massage and a 35-minute facial, or perhaps the Couples Suite, where you’ll get side-by-side pedicures, massages and a chocolate fondue with champagne.

The package: The Pamper Package costs from £135pp and the Couples Suite is £170pp. These can be paired with a night’s bed and breakfast for £234 per room. Find out more here.

Go forest bathing in the Lake District with Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa

Never heard of forest bathing? We’re not surprised. But this new health trend is taking the wellness world by storm, offering a real back-to-nature experience for those looking to recharge and reflect. Originally a Japanese practice, the act of standing or sitting among the trees is an ecotherapy designed to improve mental and physical health, promote reflection and an increased sense of wellbeing.

At Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa, you can book in for a forest bathing spa weekend which includes a self-guided forest bathing walk, a private breathing session with yoga a yoga instructor and a full-body massage in the on-site spa.

The hotel is set on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria, with 400 acres of woodland and deer park nearby, so there’s really no better place to commune with nature in luxury.

The package: The forest bathing break at Armathwaite costs £660 per room (based on two sharing) and includes two nights’ B&B, forest walk, one dinner in the Lake View Restaurant, two-course spa lunch, a 55-minute full body massage per person, Pranayama session & use of the spa facilities. Call Pride of Britain Hotels to book: 0800 089 3929.

Enjoy a natural spa in South Lodge, Sussex

Not only does South Lodge have a sensational 44,000-square-foot spa that spans two floors inside and has an outdoor terrace with fire pits, day beds and views of the glorious Sussex countryside, but this hotel also has the UK’s first ever heated natural swimming pond.

READ MORE: An in-depth guide to staying at South Lodge Hotel & Spa

Swimming in a pond might not sound like your idea of a relaxing experience, but stick with us. This heated natural pond is actually pretty luxurious, and can be enjoyed as part of a spa break at the Sussex hotel. Other facilities include indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pools, a thermal suite, treatment rooms and a gym and spin studio. There’s a nail bar and a special male grooming area too.

The package: Guests get full access to the spa when booking a room at South Lodge and prices start from £265 per night including breakfast. Separate spa packages start from £519. Call Pride of Britain Hotels to book: 0800 089 3929.

Take your pick of best from Handpicked Hotels, various locations

Handpicked Hotels has 10 different spa hotels on its books, and their Classic Spa Break package is bookable at each. The break includes dinner, bed and breakfast, a two-course lunch and two 25-minute treatments each.

You can choose from 10 hotels, from New Hall Hotel in the Midlands to Wood Hall in Yorkshire. Each is architecturally intriguing and all exude country house charm, with cosy bedrooms and fantastic restaurants.

The package: The Classic Spa Break with Handpicked Hotels costs from £171 per person.

Enjoy a riverside spa break at The Runnymede on Thames, London

On the fringes of London, this riverside hotel and spa has a gorgeous location on the water. It also has a brilliant indoor pool, a heated outdoor pool and even riverside hot tubs.

A luxury spa break here will no doubt help you reset and refresh, and their package includes bed, breakfast, dinner at their onsite restaurant Leftbank, and a 40-minute treatment of your choice. You’ll get full use of all the spa facilities too.

The package:The Riverside Spa Break costs from £350 per person.

Visit an award-winner at The Grove, Watford

With its black mosaic-tiled pool, heat experience rooms and specialist treatment options, The Grove’s Sequoia spa is a real cut above the rest. Book their overnight spa escape and you’ll get bed, breakfast, a three-crouse dinner and a 55-minute treatment in the spa.

The hotel has 300 acres of grounds amid the Hertfordshire countryside, and there’s an on-site golf course and numerous exceptional restaurants. The spa is award-winning, and the bedrooms supremely stylish with glorious garden views and sumptuously soft beds.

The package:The Grove’s Overnight Spa Escape costs from £248 pp Sunday-Friday and £298pp on Saturdays.

Top spa weekend tip: Our travel editor suggests locking away your devices and letting your eyes have a break too. It's all too easy to slip into scrolling on Facebook ro reading the news on your phone while you're at the spa, so lock away those phones and enforce a digital detox. You'll be forever glad you did!

Lottie Gross

Lottie is an NCTJ-trained journalist, an experienced travel writer and an expert in creating compelling digital content. 

Lottie has been in the travel writing business for nearly a decade and has writing and photography bylines at The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, the i and National Geographic Traveller. She's done broadcast work for BBC Radio 4 and have contributed to a number of guidebooks and coffee table titles during her career.