Ease into the new year with these fabulous wellness getaways – from bouji treehouses in the Alps and sleep retreats in London to zen farm stays in Hampshire and fabulous beachfront spa hotels in the Med. And breathe…
Stay in the UK
Buxton Crescent Hotel
Best for: Period splendour
It has taken 17 years and some £70 million to transform the once-derelict Buxton Crescent into a spa hotel. Situated opposite St Anne’s Well, the Grade-I listed crescent is located on top of a warm-water spring, which pumps up one million litres a day into the Peak District town. The building has been beautifully restored to its Georgian pomp – its 81 bedrooms are suitably grand with roll-top baths and views across the landscaped municipal gardens. The spa itself has naturally heated thermal pools, which are surrounded by original tiling and ironwork. Treatments include underwater jet massages and a salt cave, plus a fabulous rooftop pool to swim in the pattering Derbyshire rain. After a day wallowing in thermal waters, head to the hotel restaurant – half a dozen oysters and a whole lemon sole are just the thing.
Stella loves: The Assembly Rooms, which adjoin the hotel – an 18th-century ballroom that can host 120 guests. The hand-painted ceiling is worth a visit alone.
Out and about: Buxton’s Victorian Pavilion gardens, a few minutes from the hotel, has a gallery, glasshouse and tea rooms. The Buxton Opera House is also situated behind the hotel (buxtonoperahouse.org.uk) The Cavendish Arcade next door to the hotel has a lovely outdoor café and shops.
Book it: Rooms from £155 a night, B&B; ensanahotels.com/buxton. Read our expert review here.
Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire
Best for: Instant relaxation
From bonfire night to beach parties, this hotel, popular with celebrities, is the place to celebrate an occasion and prides itself on attention to detail (look out for the urban beach and bold contemporary art). A huge draw is the award-winning Sequoia spa with its black mosaic-tiled pool, specialist treatments and the promise of instant relaxation. There are three restaurants, but you won’t go wrong with The Glasshouse, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. The all-you-can eat sushi is a must.