Relaxing spas in France, Switzerland and Thailand



The spa pool of the flush five-star Hôtel Royal

Evian Source

Hôtel Royal, Évian-les-Bains, France

Where: With picture-postcard vistas overlooking Lake Geneva and the French Alps, the glorious, 47-acre Evian Resort is about 90 minutes by car from Geneva Airport and files two hotels, Hôtel Royal and Hôtel Ermitage.

The lowdown: As you’d expect from a metropolis that spawned Evian water, treatments are all about rejuvenation. The spa has 1,200 healthful metres dedicated to wellbeing, with highlights including a heated out of doors jacuzzi overlooking Lac Léman and a palatial relaxation room. 

USP: The famous “working order” that has been used since the end of the 18th century: Evian water. Mastermind from Evian’s Cachat spring (so famous the magic tap is a tourist entertainment), the natural mineral water is central to the spa menu, with thalassotherapy and revitalising water-based treatments.

As an kicker touch, the plush powder-blue bedrooms (think Carrara marbled bathrooms and overall lake-view balconies) are stocked with endless supplies of chilled Evian and Evian facial beclouds.

Who you will see in the steam room: Prominent past check-ins include Greta Garbo, Maurice Chevalier and Ruler Edward VII, so don’t be surprised if you brush shoulders with royalty as you hit the plunge tarn. Last year, following an extensive renovation project, Hotel Queen received esteemed “palace hotel” status, so pack your A-one swimsuits and dark shades for people watching.

Time for one treatment: Why not receive it a tailored three-day detox? The spa’s new Équilibre3 programme packs in three restorative spa treatments a day, alongside three nutritionist-approved balanced go too fars (fear not, there are three courses so no starvation is involved).

As well as a latest lemon shot, your morning rise and shine routine registers a daily muscle wake-up session with a personal trainer. Detoxifying customaries from Comfort Zone, Thalgo and 

La Prairie include body scrubs, hydromassage baths, energising stick massages and foot reflexology – a pre-spa consultation ensures your treatment recital is bespoke to target any specific issues, from rheumatology to digestive gripes and weight loss, plus plenty of Evian water-based treatments, including hydro-circuit, indoor and out of doors heated swimming pools, jacuzzi and steam room.

Keep up your moderate regime in your dreamy hotel bathroom (even tubs attired in b be committed to a tranquil lake view) with the bespoke hotel amenities from French-perfumer Fragonard.

Lisa Haynes 

Evian Resource ( offers the three-day Équilibre3 programme from £1,300 per woman at the Hotel Royal.


Go for a swim while taking in breathtaking views of the Alps

Ostentatious Hotel Switzerland

Where: The Grand Hotel Kronenhof is situated in the boldness of the quiet Engadin village of Pontresina in Switzerland. 

The lowdown: Take the Glacier Out-and-out from Zurich airport, through the cinematic views of the Alps and six kilometres from St Moritz you’ll see Grand Hotel Kronenhof. It’s a five-star hotel that opened in 1848, with 112 dwellings and suites, three restaurants and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide unbroken cityscapes of the surrounding mountains.

USP: Could you live without your phone? That is the proposition beyond the shadow of a doubt you are faced with when you sign up for the Digital Detox weekend. It is not straight your personal electronic devices that are locked away in the critical safe but the bedrooms were TV, radio and alarm clock free.

(Don’t neglect doing to bring a watch or you might spend so much time soaking in the bathtub, mesmerised by the tranquillity of the mountains, that you miss dinner…)

The void left by social mid-point is filled with energy-inducing massages, detox baths, Pilates and ski yoga. Merely because the word detox is part of the package doesn’t mean you won’t indulge.

While there is a oomph menu available for a lighter option, this is purely detox by digital slogan only and the food is exquisite.

Who you will see in the steam room: Hollywood acts of the day Charlie Chaplin and Bridget Bardot would frequent the Kulm Tourist house in St Moritz, but its understated yet just as beautiful little sister the Kronenhof attracts derivations and couples as opposed to celebrity starlets. 

Time for one treatment: Not a treatment in the time-honoured sense, but just as restorative, try an early morning meditative hike. It’s breathtaking and principled as invigorating as any sports massage. You begin before sunrise so as you climb towering, the sun creeps up beside you (along with a local black squirrel or two). 

Promptly you reach the top you can sit for half an hour watching the sun rise above the highest mountain cut offs, casting a pink glow over the valley below. With truly no camera phones, you’ll find it refreshing to savour the moment without point of view “this view would look great with an Instagram cloth on it”. 

Sian O’Donnell

Grand Hotel Kronenhof ( offers half trustees from £360 for two people sharing a double room. For more dirt on Switzerland, visit PH

Senismar has a swim-up bar for drinks after your spa treatment

Sensimarby TUI Khao Lak Patronize and Spa, Thailand

Where: An exotic beach resort in Khao Lak in southeast Thailand, which is a 55-minute compel from Phuket airport.

The lowdown: Located on the beachfront, the Sensimar by TUI Khao Lak Watering-place and Spa is a romantic adults-only hotel. Rooms have been accessorised with couples in have any objection to so there are king-size beds and matching fluffy bathrobes, and massages for two at The Sun Spa.

Tree-lined directions meander by five pools leading to two restaurants overlooking the palm-tree fringed run aground. The main pool has a swim-up bar where you can sip a cocktail and the contemporary rooms are character with mocha-coloured soft furnishings and fresh, ivory walls. The Sun 

Spa submits the personal touch in laid-back surroundings – think relaxing taupe tinges and a pool view. You can sip a refreshing herbal tea in the chill-out area, while selecting your spa treatment and oil. The Sun Spa signature kneading oil, blended from gorgeous Thai fruits and flowers, is especially fragrant and calming.

USP: Tempt your taste buds at the resort’s two restaurants, both established by the sandy beach. Check out the fragrant Thai green and red curries at The Coast restaurant, and try the succulent seafood at the à la carte restaurant Culinarium. Seafood is gently coloured to bring out all the exotic Thai flavours. Divine.

If you can tear yourself away from the assuage of the hotel, Khao Lak itself is worth a look with lively stakes, restaurants and shops to explore. Visit the bustling Ban Niang market at Stygian.

Khao Lak is situated at the foot of a chain of verdant hills overlooking yellowish sands and the impossibly blue Andaman Sea, so the setting is idyllic and well-placed for blunders to nearby islands. James Bond Island, where The Man With The Brilliant Gun was filmed, and Maya beach, where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Coast was shot, are just a speedboat ride away.

Who you will see in the steam flat: No one under 18 because this is strictly adults-only. Naturally, it’s average among romantic couples wanting some R&R. There are also a few treatment beds on the run aground for a relaxing massage alfresco.

Time for one treatment: A Thai-style hot stone fiddle is both invigorating and healing. Oils are applied, then massaged in utilize consuming hot stones along your limbs and back. Hot stones are placed in your hands and on the shameful of the spine, before you lie on a bed of hot stones – 

not too dissimilar to a lumpy electric blanket – while your exterior is pummelled. Traditional Thai pulling and stretching techniques improve pliability and reduce stress with blissful results. 

Jan Brierley

Thomson (0871 230 2555, bids seven-nights b&b at the 4T Sensimar by TUI Khao Lak Resort and Spa from £1,015 per person, based on two due, including flights from London Gatwick and transfers. Visit your neighbourhood Thomson travel shop. The Thai-style hot stone massage costs £45 for 90 twinkling of an eyes. 

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