What’s the difference between a spa break and a retreat?

While spa breaks are great, sometimes we all need a spa retreat. What’s the difference? Well, to us, spa retreats involve more than just checking into a hotel for a night or two, they mean switching off from work, distractions, and everyday stresses and really getting away from it all!

Indeed, one of the definitions of ‘retreat’ is to ‘withdraw to a quiet or secluded place’. In our world, this means a day or two spent at a wonderful spa hotel set in peaceful grounds, with facilities and surroundings designed to promote complete rest and to boost all-round wellness.

So, we invite you to start thinking about your next ultimate UK spa retreat with a few tips to ensure you get the most from your precious time away.

SpaSeekers’ top tips for turning your spa break into the ultimate retreat

The idea of the ultimate spa retreat is leaving the outside world behind. Here are our top tips for keeping the hustle and bustle at bay so you can just focus on your own wellbeing.

  • Choose an ‘out of the way’ location: Whether country or coast, start planning your ultimate UK spa retreat by choosing a tranquil venue that encourages rest and relaxation.
  • Limit use of your phone: Check in on the children and other loved ones, but stay away from emails, social media and other online ‘noise’ – it’ll all still be there when you get home!
  • Keep away from the news: Turn off the hotel room television and stick to calming activities that promote inner peace and harmony – you can always catch up on current affairs later.
  • Order room service: For the ultimate retreat, let the dining room come to you and linger over a lovely meal in the comfort and privacy of your room.
  • Make good use of the ‘do not disturb’ sign: Hang that sign on the door and enjoy a long lie-in or afternoon nap without disruptions – let the world know you’re on an ultimate retreat!
  • Tell people at home/work that you’re incommunicado: Make it clear to loved ones and colleagues (in the nicest way possible!) that you’re only to be disturbed in emergencies.
  • Reap the benefits of your environment: While you’re away, be sure to get out and about to enjoy some fresh air and beautiful scenery, which can work wonders to de-stress and revive.
  • Use your spa retreat for some ‘me’ time: A weekend or weekday getaway is the perfect excuse to indulge in some of the things that maybe you can’t fit into your weekly routine, such as reading a good book or taking a long hot bubble-bath.
  • Add a touch of luxury to your spa retreat: This is your time, so make it extra special by sitting down to a decadent cream tea or afternoon tea, treating yourself to a glass of bubbly, or enjoying dinner in a fine dining restaurant.
  • Enjoy plenty of spa downtime: One of the best ways to switch off is in the tranquillity of a luxurious spa, with its calming ambience, electronics-free space, dedicated relaxation areas and its focus on your complete relaxation.


Five of our favourite UK spa retreats

To help you plan your perfect UK spa retreat, we’ve selected five wonderful properties that promise total rest, relaxation and the chance to switch off for a while.

  • Swinton Estate, Ripon, North Yorkshire: Located on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park, this converted 17th century castle is also surrounded by 200 acres of parkland, offering the ideal country getaway. Enjoy the rural setting, lovely views and relaxed ambience. Head out for calming country walks and drives or simply relax and enjoy all the estate has to offer. This includes a tranquil spa with excellent facilities and a programme of activities that focus on mindfulness, so you can turn your spa break into a wellness retreat. Book now.
  • Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, Turners Hill, West Sussex: One of our fine luxury spa hotels, this excellent five-star venue promises a calming getaway, and all just 45 minutes from the hustle and bustle of London. The converted Jacobean manor hotel is set amid 120 acres of beautiful gardens, while you can also head out to explore High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The hotel’s superb spa offers a harmonious ambience and facilities designed to ensure your retreat leaves you thoroughly de-stressed and ready to face the world once more. Book now.
  • Dunkeld House Hotel, Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross, Central Scotland: Escape to stunning Perthshire and this superbly relaxing spa hotel located on the banks of the calming River Tay. Spend your time away enjoying walks in nearby Tay Forest Park and exploring the hotel’s 280 acres of peaceful grounds. You are also within reach of breath-taking Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The tranquil spa really makes the most of its lovely setting, with facilities and an ambience designed to encourage total rest and a complete break from the everyday routine. Book now.
  • Ragdale Hall Spa, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire: Another of our luxury spas, this superb venue offers all you need for a wonderful retreat. Spa facilities include no less than six pools, a fully equipped gym, and stunning thermal facilities. You can also enjoy pampering treatments and enjoy some great outdoor activities, with mountain bike hire, tennis courts and pitch and putt all available. Added to this is a programme of water-based fitness classes and talks from visiting guests. Alternatively, you can simply soak up the lovely countryside surroundings at this wonderful 13-acre Victorian country house estate. Book now.

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