The best new hotel spas
Whether it's a sweltering sauna or a delicate detox you're looking for, these luxury hotels are offering cutting-edge spa facilities this year
Be it the culmination of a lengthy refurbishment or a new addition to spice things up, the opening of a new hotel spa is sure-fire way to prompt pangs of intense wanderlust in the hearts of avid travellers.
With lockdown in full swing and travel off the table for the time being, the urge to get out and see the world has never been greater among the more adventurous swathes of the populace. The frustration has been such that there could be few better options for a first post-pandemic trip than a lengthy stay in a state-of-the art spa facility, where heated waters, pristine saunas and indulgent treatements will no doubt serve as the perfect aid for erasing the chaos of 2020 from one's mind.
If this sounds right up your alley, read on for a list of the best recently-opened hotel spas, along with a few hotly anticipated additions still to be unveiled in 2021.
COTTONMILL SPA AT SOPWELL HOUSE, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND
Having opened in late 2019, the £14m Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside spent much of 2020 aching to be used by spa-goers from across the country.
Having travelled the world as part of their research for the facility, the team at Cottonmill took inspiration from Alpine infinity pools, German thermal baths, hillside medi-spas, Himalayan wellness retreats, Moroccan riads, Japanese sleeping pods and cliff top Californian spas. And with this vision they have created a stunning state-of-the-art spa fitted with some of the finest spa equipment currently available and offering specialist spa experiences and treatments direct from Japan, Switzerland, California and further afield.
But you don't need to traverse the globe to experience such worldly comforts; Cottonmill is just 20 minutes from London Kings Cross station.
THE NEWT, SOMERSET, ENGLAND
A Grade II-listed building going by the name Hadspen House until midway through 2019, this extraordinary Georgian hideaway in the rolling hills of Somerset was given a new lease on life when it was rebranded as The Newt, a spectacular country estate offering cutting-edge spa facilities including an outdoor hydro pool, wild pool, relaxation beds and fire pit.
The Newt’s new Medicinal Herb Garden forms an integral part in the spa offering. A chestnut arbour tunnel leads to this spa garden, which is inspired by the apothecary gardens of medieval Europe. Planted with species introduced to Britain no later than. 1200AD, the beds are raised with hand-woven hazel and organised according to theme: Immune Boosting; Detoxifying; Relaxation; Muscular; Uplifting; Balance and Restoration. Guests are encouraged to connect with the garden, with herbs being incorporated into garden-scented treatments.
Meanwhile, guests can choose between calming Ylang Ylang & Evening Primrose, invigorating Rosehip & Mint or illuminating Vanilla & White Flower for their Signature Massage, while couples can enjoy a Rasul Experience designed for two – where guests apply a scrub to the body along with a face and hair mask, before heading into a private steam chamber for an extra application of body mud and a final application of lotion.
HOTEL ESENCIA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
If hotel spa facilities are a little too public for your liking, Hotel Esencia, on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, has the answer.
Still fresh from major renovations and improvements, the boutique resort has just unveiled yet more innovations including the brand-new room category of Rooftop Wellness Suites; ultra-smart new duplex suites, each one featuring an extra-large king bedroom, seating area, spacious outdoor dining terrace with sofa for lounging.
But these suites serve as more than a mere hideaway in the Yucatan jungle, as each suite contains a private fitness studio offering a virtual on-demand personal trainer known as ‘The Mirror’, while the expansive rooftop terrace contains a private heated plunge pool, solarium and outdoor shower, the latter of which doubles as a steam room with an aromatherapy option. The height of exclusivity, these Rooftop Wellness Suites essentially serve as a private spa for you and your family.
NUXE SPA AT LES HARAS DE STRASBOURG, ALSACE, FRANCE
Once an 18th century horse stable, the four-star Les Haras hotel in the gorgeous Alsace city of Strasbourg launched in 2013, harnessing the vision of restaurant design firm Jouin Manku to create an elegant yet welcoming stay just miles from the German border. But, as the hotel itself notes, "the only thing missing for Les Haras to have been an all-round luxury destination was a spa".
As such, 2020 saw Jouin Manku return to the hotel to help design a state-of-the-art extension to the hotel directly across the street, containing a spa, 60 new rooms and three meeting rooms. The new spa contains an 18-metre lap pool, an experiential shower, a Turkish bath and a sauna, set among stunning design flourishes for, as the hotel puts it, "a play between materials and light" which creates a "cocoon".
THE WOODWARD, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
This coming spring, the Oetker Collection will welcome The Woodward to its family; a new suite-only hotel in the heart of Geneva.
The hotel - the first of its type in the city - sits directly on the shores of Lake Geneva and offers awe-inspiring views of majestic Mont Blanc. The Woodward will comprise a 1,200m spa with a Wellness Institute by Maison Guerlain, and a 21-metre indoor swimming pool – the longest in Geneva. There will be a state-of-the-art gym, two saunas, two steam rooms, two Swedish baths and a Jacuzzi.
RAKXA, BANGKOK, THAILAND
This brand new fully integrative wellness and medical retreat in Bangkok's preserved "Green Lung" opened 1 December 2020, delivering tailored wellness programmes designed by certified medical doctors.
These treatments combine advanced medical treatments with revered holistic therapies alongside renowned Thai hospitality, resulting in a world-class medical destination. The resort offers offers a fully transformative experience through personalised three- to 14-day programmes based on real results using cutting-edge technology.
Guests will be housed in one of 27 stunning villas, with a further 33 villas and two residences set to open in 2021 in the second phase of opening along with a second restaurant serving speciality Asian cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a high-tech medical gym with Olympic athlete training equipment, hydrothermal spa facilities, an anti-inflammatory food philosophy, a cleansing tea lounge, an organic garden, and an enticing menu of workshops and activities.