We’re writers who test spas, retreats & healthy holidays

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Queen of Retreats features in-depth, honest reviews of spas, retreats and healthy holidays of all tastes and budgets written by professional journalists and other published writers to help you sift through the hype. We are not an online brochure, travel agent or listings site: everything on our site is editorially driven and independently written, and we are committed to being honest, so our readers can find the right retreat to suit their tastes, budget and life situation.

A musical massage at Bota Bota in Montreal, Canada

Retreat

Bota Bota spa ferry Montreal Canada

‘It’s unlike any other spa treatment room I ever been in, chiefly because of the presence of both harp and harpist’ – Jini Reddy has one of the most unusual treatments of her career at Bota Bota, a spa on a boat in Montreal, Canada.

Botelet Farm: wellbeing breaks in Cornwall

Retreat

In Short: This is a very easy place to relax – as a B&B guest in one of two farmhouse rooms, or self-catering in a cottage, yurt or your own tent. Hosts Julie, Tia and Richard are friendly and laid back, and you can book relaxing hot stones treatments, massage, reflexology and various beauty treatments with capable local therapists or therapeutic massage with Tia. We especially love the grounds, with their wild gardens and flowers. Quirky, individual touches such as a Victorian street lamp, traditional red phone box, outdoor wall clock and storage barns with painted doors make you feel you’re in a tiny village. From £40pp per person, per night bed & breakfast.

crown-pinkSee other wellbeing breaks we recommend

Check out www.botelet.com

From £40pp to £50pppn B&B, from £300 to £1300 cottage rental per week self-catering, from £230 for three nights in a yurt to £350 for a week. Wild meadow camping (just two tents at a time) £7.50 pppn. Massages £40.

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The yurts at Botelet Farm offer space and privacy

This is a very easy place to relax – as a B&B guest in one of two farmhouse rooms, or self-catering in a cottage, yurt or your own tent.

Puyssentut: an inspirational retreat in France for people with cancer 

Retreat

In Short: A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer. Puyssentut means ‘protected high place’, and this retreat is nestled in the glorious rural countryside of Commune of Homps, in South West France, just an hour away from Toulouse. Your base is a carefully restored, beautiful 14th Century Chateau in the middle of fields of sunflowers, with just 10 super ensuite rooms. Week-long group retreats run four times a year, in May, June, September and October. It’s a truly special place, offering calm and inspiration, and comes highly recommended. For those who want to go on retreat but can’t afford it, financial help is also available from The Puyssentut Foundation.

crown-pinkRead about our experience at Puyssentut

crown-pinkSee other healing retreats we recommend

Check out www.puyssentut.org

Puyssentut health retreat France for people with cancer

A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer.

Welcome to my bed spa

Retreat

Caroline Phillips journalist bed spa

Having badly broken her ankle, journalist Caroline Phillips is forced to take to her bed for three weeks. Here’s how she coped.

Happy in Hampshire at Four Seasons spa hotel

Retreat

Four Seasons spa hotel Hampshire

‘In a hot bath I read Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining – a book of quotes offered to us in the room which I find an unusual and welcome touch for a spa hotel’ – Caroline Sylger Jones enjoys a short family spa break at the Four Seasons hotel near Hook in Hampshire.

Getting a fix of the east at Shanti-Som in Southern Spain

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat Spain

‘Mourad is a patient yoga teacher and approaches the kriyas with a sense of humour and a smile on his face’ – Ruth Rosselson experiences Shanti Som

Ananda in the Himalayas: palatial wellbeing in India

Retreat

In Short: Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet. Everyone floats around in fine white pyjamas but there’s no asceticism here. Instead there’s marble, personalized yoga teaching, a phenomenal array of topnotch treatments in fastidiously comfortable private rooms, and often four hands working on you simultaneously. The restaurant is far too good to obey the ayurvedic doctors’ guidance. Visiting speakers teach non-materialistic Indian spiritual concepts nightly, yet the overall feeling is of a grand, indulgent hotel.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Ananda in the Himalayas

crown-pink See other spa holidays we recommend

Check out www.anandaspa.com

Ananda Himalayas luxury spa hotel health retreat

Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet.