Spa breaks in Wales
Spa breaks in Wales take their inspiration from the environment that surrounds them; the city lights, mountains, forests and strips of golden sand. Hit the back country and lose yourself from the sounds of your daily life. Hit the city for nights out with the girls, shopping and a little calm at the centre of your chaos.
Chill out in the pool
St David's Hotel Swimming Pool, Cardiff Bay
At three o'clock at the edge of the infinity pool there's little to remind you of your kids, cats, dogs, partners, managers or commuters. In ten minutes you will be wrapped in mud before drenching it off in the warm downpour of the rain shower. There's a film screening at 7pm to catch in the hotel cinema, but before then you were planning a little more hanging out beside the pool, warm and humid, watching the sunset ignite the leaves in the forest.
The Well Spa, Bluestone by Bluestone
At half four it's time for afternoon tea. Dainty cakes and unusual teas are served on trim platters that defy the calories hidden inside. This was supposed to be a health break. Lunch was a nutritionally balanced delectation of low-fat and low-calorie goodness, but there's clearly still a place at the table for sinful gastronomy. The fire spits as the waiter throws on another log. Page 53 of that novel you've been meaning to read, slips out from under your thumb.
Luxury spa treatments
Celtic Manor, Wye Valley & Vale of Usk
The instructor on the yoga retreat has been talking about balancing chi-life energy-to flow more freely. The golf course is sounding much more Zen right now. But then, there is still more to discover in the spa; aromatic steam room, hydrotherapy pool, in and outdoor saunas, caldarium, plunge pool, ice baths and juice bar. Maybe you'll leave the wheatgrass juice to the others this time and sneak away for a manicure, pedicure, or wax.
Over a pre-dinner drink at the hotel bar you meet a couple that have come on a travel photography class. They talk a lot about the Ayurvedic treatments they had last time they were here and their sensation of being at one with the universe. All that karma doesn't seem to stop them from nailing the complementary bar snacks. Either way, you don't mind, you have your eye on higher things: the chef's Tasting Menu. No bar snacks are going to get in the way of that union. All that indulgence will have to be burned off at the golf course tomorrow, or at least on a brisk hike up those mountains. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and they do look pretty magnificent from beside the pool.