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The perfect hotel for a spa break doesn’t yet exist

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In Short:

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat SpainMany people choose to go to regular hotels for a spa break rather than a health and wellness retreat, but whilst a few of the spa hotels we have reviewed on Queen of Retreats come close, the perfect hotel for a spa break doesn’t yet exist. When it does, this is how we think it should be…

The property would…

* Be in a quiet location with gorgeous views and a lack of any road noise, even the distant hum of a B road; be run by hosts who genuinely care about their guests, and who don’t bring their own troubles to bear on their job.

* Have some wild water nearby such as the sea, a river or lake, inspirational, circular walks from the door, and some kind of awesome outdoor space with flower and herb-filled gardens and comfortable places to sit.

* Offer spacious, uncluttered and comfortable interiors, with nooks and crannies you can lose yourself in; not play insistent music, or subject their guests to piped lift music; fill the rooms with fragrant flowers grown on the property.

* Use fans rather than air-conditioning, toxic-free paint on the walls and natural materials on the floor; use good quality, environment-and-skin-friendly, organic and delicious-smelling bathroom toiletries, spa and cleaning products; try at all times and in every way to be as eco-friendly as possible.

* Have a relaxed dress code; offer complimentary pick-ups from stations; and ask their guests in advance what they want and need to minimise choices on arrival.

* Make every bedroom a delight to be in, offer enough single rooms for those that want, and not charge a single supplement.

Every bedroom would have…

*Easy-to-open, large windows which look out to uplifting views; supremely comfortable large double beds with high quality, light linens; lamps and lights with proper switches that don’t buzz and that aren’t controlled by a digital remote; a wardrobe with proper hangers, not ones that are attached to the rail; a desk with a view; a comfortable place to sit; a giant note pad with pencils for when inspiration strikes.

*Interesting, one-off pieces of furniture, one or two pieces of art on the walls, inspiring but calming use of colour.

* An unlimited amount of complimentary mineral water, which is replenished daily; a tea pot, large mugs and a good quality kettle; high quality organic herbal, green and black teas; a cutting board, sharp knife and daily supply of lemons for early morning cleansing drinks; a daily supply of fresh fruit and organic nuts.

* Bathrooms with eco-and-skin-friendly toiletries; windows that open and heated towel rails that can be easily turned off; good quality robes, preferably a more interesting alternative to the white fluffy version; good quality flip-flops, a less lethal alternative to the fluffy slipper.

The spa facilities would…

* Have a sustainable, indoor-outdoor hot tub or vitality pool with seriously powerful jets for the back and heart-lifting views; an ozone or sea salt-treated rather than chlorinated swimming pool, large enough to do laps; an effective, tranquil steam room infused with something delicious such as rose or eucalyptus; a huge relaxation room with heated beds and an awesome view; costume driers in the changing rooms.

* Offer effective body and energy work such as shiatsu, thai massage, lomi lomi and deep tissue massage; face and body treatments that used raw, organic ingredients freshly-prepared on the day; a daily guided meditation class led by someone who knows what they are doing; a daily class in yoga, pilates, tai chi or simple stretching that’s as challenging as you need it to be; nutrition and lifestyle consultations and one-to-one intensive fitness training for those that want.

* Employ excellent, experienced therapists and teachers, ensure they didn’t do back-to-back treatments or take more than two classes on one day, and pay them what they are worth.

For food and drink the hosts would…

* Grow their own herbs, salads, vegetables and fruit, keep their own chickens and get their meat and fish from organic, local and sustainable sources; serve home-made or locally sourced bread, mueslis, honey and jams.

* Acknowledge that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to want more vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and expand those vegetarian and vegan options beyond the ubiquitous vegetarian lasagne, mushroom risotto and anything to do with goats cheese.

*Offer an interesting menu of dishes which are cleansing to the system but also utterly inventive and delicious; offer wheat and dairy-free alternatives as a matter of course; never use microwaves to cook, or offer microwaves in self-catering apartments; never pre-prepare and reheat meals; not charge extra for hot options at breakfast.

* Offer complimentary, freshly-prepared tisanes and loose leaf organic teas throughout the day; serve only freshly squeezed juices, and ditch those that come in cardboard boxes; have carefully chosen, high quality organic and biodynamic wines on the supper menu.

We wait for all this with eager anticipation.

© Queen of Retreats

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