Travel

United Kingdom

Establishment neighborhood
Estelle Manor
Eynsham Park, Oxfordshire
In past lives, this limestone-clad, neo-Jacobean mansion served as a police academy and maternity ward. English-country-house obsessives, rejoice: In 2021, after a total reimagining by Ennismore, the brand collective responsible for Hoxton Shoreditch and Gleneagles, Estelle Manor opened as a five-star hotel and members club. While some parts of the property are members-only, non-members won’t feel a shortage of space. Guests enjoy the bright brasserie, weekend dim sum in the billiards room, an arboretum, a living room bar, and 60 acres of open land, stables, and padel courts. Classical Roman tepidariums inspired the spa, which features five thermal pools and treatments that draw on ancient healing traditions. The property is technically family-friendly, and there are activities suitable for all ages, but it should be noted that some bedrooms are off-limits for kids under 13.
Sarah Bradden
Nejati Clinic, 25a Lowndes St., Belgravia
Coined “The Bradden Method,” Sarah Bradden’s signature cosmetic acupuncture facial is both a spiritual reset and a sculpting face treatment. Each treatment is tailored to your needs (and every visit is different) and includes a mix of acupuncture (for face, neck, ears, or body), Reiki, reflexology, massage, LED light therapy, and activated oxygen therapy. You’ll leave with a goddess-like glow and a restored sense of balance and relaxation.
Skin Design London
5 Carlos Pl., Mayfair
London-based Fatma Shaheen’s treatments at the flagship Matchesfashion’s townhouse in Mayfair are booked months in advance (fans include Naomi Campbell, Naomi Watts, Candice Swanepoel, and Irina Shayk). Her most-popular facial, the SDL Facelift, is pricey, but worth it, with ultrasound, vitamin peels, radiofrequency, and something called a Glow Pen—which combines microneedling with electroporation, a form of microcurrent designed to deliver active ingredients into skin. The results—lifted, glowy, sculpted skin—are unmatched. Skin Design London also offers services at John Bell & Croyden and 180 Health Club in London. And in January, they will also be offering an exclusive treatment, called The Freeze Glowlift during a 3-month residency at Selfridges.
The Newt in Somerset
The Newt in Somerset, Somerset
Sister property to South Africa’s Babylonstoren, the Newt in Somerset is a country hotel on an 800-acre cider-making estate. The gorgeous limestone main house—the Hadspen—was originally built in the seventeenth century and remodeled for Georgian sensibilities in the next. Half a mile away in the Farmyard house, accommodations are a little more rustic, but still luxurious and considered. There’s a private cabin, too, built into the stone wall that surrounds the property. The restaurant menu features Babylonstoren wine and whatever is fresh picked from the garden, and the spa offers yoga, sound baths, a hammam, and a very cool indoor-outdoor pool.
Boys Hall
Boys Hall Road, Ashford
Thirty-five minutes from London, Boys Hall is a restored 17th-century manor with seven charming bedrooms, each unique (three more are in the works). The property is in town but feels farther afield; the grounds are quiet and large enough to feel private. By day, sit out on the terrace with a book and a bottle from the hotel’s extensive wine collection—or book a winery excursion nearby (Chapel Down, Woodchurch, and Chartham are all good). At night, guests can settle into the dining room for slow-roasted vegetables and locally farmed meat and fish by a roaring fireplace.
The Fife Arms
Mar Rd., Braemar
The Scottish Highlands are every bit as moody, misty, and layered with history as the many TV series shot here would suggest. We love checking in to the art-filled Fife Arms to explore the wider Braemar area (which includes the Queen’s Scottish residence, Balmoral). Owned by international gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth, this extraordinary small former inn is brimming with works by Picasso, Louise Bourgeois, Man Ray, and Lucien Freud. For budding creatives old enough to sleep on their own—or with a sibling—the Artist’s Studio room is the hideaway of dreams for imaginative kids, filled with easels, paint, and sketches. (You can take an expert-led art tour of the 16,000 pieces that dot the property.) In the surrounding area, aside from rivers, dense forests, and whisky distilleries, you’ll find the cottage where Robert Louis Stevenson began writing Treasure Island, as well as Braemar Castle and, of course, the aforementioned Balmoral Castle. (We strongly recommend booking one of the Fife Arms’ knowledgeable drivers to get a local perspective on this steeped-in-history area.)
Alexandra Soveral
25 St Johns Wood High St., Maida Vale
After a long, dehydrating flight or an intense week at work or really any other time, come to think of it, there are few things we love more than a massage at Agua Spa in the Sea Containers hotel (formerly the Mondrian). Skin specialist Alexandra Soveral’s Signature Treatment is manna to your visage. A deep clean is followed by an intense lymphatic-drainage massage. Hot and cold stones are dipped in fragrant oils and rolled over the face, taking care of puffiness and smoothing out fatigue lines. Soveral’s organic, nontoxic products are made from botanicals grown on her family farm in Portugal—and they smell heavenly. Pick up a jar of Angel Balm, a miracle in a jar that you can cleanse with or smear on as a hydrating mask while up in the air or overnight in bed.
The Berkeley London Spa
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge
The gorgeous pool and serene rooftop garden are incredibly compelling, but it’s the powerful treatments using clean, nontoxic skin-care brands Oskia London and Bamford that keep luring us back. The aestheticians are gentle yet thorough as they steam, exfoliate, and pamper skin with acupressure, eye-contour massage (the depuffing effects are magic), and cold stone therapy to rejuvenate tired skin. The spa itself is a delightful mix of earth tones, flickering candlelight, and soothing vibes.
The Organic Pharmacy Spa
43 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea
In 2002, pharmacist Margo Marrone and her husband, Francesco, created a beautiful, wildly successful chain of wellness dispensaries in London devoted to their ever-expanding, luxurious, certified-organic line of homeopathic remedies, skin, hair, and body care. Their flagship store also has a gorgeous spa where all of the products are used. The facials are amazing: We especially love the vitamin C and papaya enzyme peel, the express thirty-minute facial with microcurrent, and the amazing Rose Diamond Facial, which combines a diamond exfoliation with an oxygen-infused mask and lifting massage for super glowy skin.