Lady golfer: Spa breaks perfect for mumsApril, 2013
Spa expert Bonnie Friend on how to make any weekend special for the mum in your life
“ALWAYS love your mother, because you’ll never have another” my grandad always used to say to me, usually at a moment when I had chosen to be perfectly revolting towards her, or at least decidedly obnoxious.
Of course, he was right, but while we ourselves may only have one mum, those women go through a whole spectrum of roles, from mum-to-be to grandma, with each providing its own challenges. This year, whichever stage of motherhood that all-important woman in your life is at, there is a spa day to remind her of just how special you really think she is.
FOR THE MUM-TO-BE
The fables tell us that expectant mothers glow as they await the arrival of their bundles of joy, but that is very much a matter of what your baby has decided to have in store for you.
The first three months can be very much an adjustment period for both her, and her body; and towards the end it is the lucky few who remain unaffected by swollen feet, sore backs, and stretch marks.
So this is definitely a time to be wrapped up safely in all things cashmere and make a few small but triumphant steps back towards that pre-natal lily pad where we all imagine she belongs, ideally at the spa at Gleneagles.
Not only are the surrounding beauty and general calm ideal companions, but their ESPA Maternity treatments also target areas of stress and tension across the body and, in particular, the legs and feet which take so much strain during this time.
FOR THE NEW MUM
If pregnancy itself wasn’t enough of a shock to the system, motherhood in all its glory most certainly is. For all the completely glorious things about being a new mum, it is also a seriously hard job with no how-to guide. Even if you can find some time for a break, you still have a little one to think of because there’s every chance you don’t want to be that far away from them.
So thanks to its children’s swim times and on-site nursery care, the likes of Celtic Manor provide the answer. As a resort, there are lots of activities available to suit different members of the family, so while dad and diddums are being water babies, it seems as good a time as any to treat mum to her favourite spa treatment.
FOR THE SUPER MUM
They all said she couldn’t do it, but the rise of the Super Mum as a whole new
species of human being seems set only to increase, as women juggle babies in one hand and iPads in the other – this is a lady who never misses a trick.
So however foreign a concept it might be, a day or two of total escapism is in order both in the literal and metaphorical senses, and a destination along the lines of Bovey Castle is just the ticket. Surrounded by 300 acres of Dartmoor National Park, the building dates back to the 1920s and the spa is housed in the Art Deco-inspired Orangery. The pool is perched above the River Bovey, and to top it all off, the treatments are courtesy of the Ayurvedic-based, Ytsara brand, which was created by another Super Mum (and supermodel), Christy Turlington.
Possibly the most envied of all the mummy types, for an incomprehensible ability always to appear pristine in an entirely carefree kind of way; the Yummy Mummy started life as a Hollywood myth, and has since become a feature in the world of us mere mortals. Of course, we all like to think that our mummies are the yummy ones, and with that in mind, they all deserve a spa day to make them feel just that. Having included Queen Mary, Edward VII, and Lord Mountbatten amongst its guests, the 18th century manor house that is Luton Hoo Hotel is a pretty perfect place to start.
Grandma is the most revered woman in the family, if our household is anything to go by, because she only has to look at her grandchildren sideways to keep them in check. SLUMMY MUMMY
I always think an element of ‘slumminess’ is what makes a mum so incredibly comforting. It’s all very well being picture- perfect all the time, but it is someone who still has a long-forgotten curler in her fringe on the way to Tesco, a Cheerio or two stuck to her skirt as she heads to the office, and a car full of dog hair and muddy shoes even when she is heading to a posh restaurant, that is the person you want a proper cuddle from when everything gets too much. This mum would probably like the offending curler, Cheerio, and dog hair removed for the day in an ideal world, but ultimately wants a little bit of peace and quiet without any pretence, and Donnington Valley will do just that, complete with a good glass of wine thanks to the proprietor’s Californian vineyard, that supplies the cellar with over 300 bins.
Busy, busy, busy … city mums are those awe-inspiring women who seem to defy all odds and have it all. They exist on a negligible amount of sleep (mind you, that is really a general mum thing), and are still out-performing all their colleagues. If we were not in awe of them, we would be truly terrified. Everything happens at speed in this lady’s life, and as organisation is part of the daily grind, you want to make an escape for her as easy as possible – so good transport links are imperative. The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath therefore, is a pretty perfect spa escape. Just jump on the train, and head to the Georgian townhouse. It’s like stepping into a Jane Austen novel with the added benefit of a sauna and steam Karahafus.
Much as you love your family, when you have devoted all your time to them, one can’t help but think that on Mother’s Day, you would like a little time to yourself, perhaps with the option of some shopping alongside good food, country views, and a facial. The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, is sufficiently close to Manchester (a 10- minute drive), so any visitor could happily head over for a bit of retail therapy if the mood arises. Alternatively, she can stay within the ample grounds of the hotel, go for a walk, enjoy a spa treatment, and ideally, stay over night – well, they have only recently added the new hotel element, so it would be rude not to sample it!
Grandma is the most revered woman in the family, if our household is anything to go by. Been there, seen it, done it, and now she is all about sugar and spice and all things nice, because she only has to look at her grandchildren sideways to keep them in check.
That is the kind of experience that deserves due reverence and classic good taste, making Hoar Cross Hall the spa to treat her to this year. In a 19th century manor house complete with Sienna marble mantelpieces, and growing their own vegetables in the Victorian greenhouses on-site, it has an all-singing, all-dancing spa, and is among spa-goers’ not-so-secret treasures.
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