Popping over to the U.K. for business or pleasure?

Indulge and rejuvenate abroad in classic countryside style, or take refuge in the heart of the city, with these two top-tier spa hotel choices. 

1. Sexy in the City

Sleep: K West Hotel and Spa (k-west.co.uk/) is an urban oasis hidden near Sheppherd’s Bush in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Its modern and unassuming façade matches the unpretentious, yet luxe, vibe inside. Rooms with modern comforts (big beds, cozy robes, extra pillows) and sleek furnishings make it easy to understand the hotel’s four-star rating. Spabreaks.com offers a 1 night spa break at K West Hotel & Spa in London from £120 per person (price includes 2 course dinner, breakfast, 20% off holistic treatments and spa entry).

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Eat: The Kanteen at K West offers gourmet takes on classic comfort food and traditional English dishes, with a few tasty surprises on the minimalist menu (don’t worry, there’s enough fresh offerings to please the pickiest palate). Top-quality ingredients take dishes, such as the toasted buffalo mozzarella sandwich, goat cheese rigatoni pasta and homemade spinach ravioli, to the next level. If you have room, finish with a light desert, like the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream.

Spa: The K Spa and Holistic Fitness Club offers a wide range of relaxing, rejuvenating and anti-aging treatments. It’s fully equipped with loungers in the relaxing spa areas for couples or singles, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam rooms. It also boasts London's first Snow Paradise, a chilly chamber meant to help stimulate body circulation and the immune system through rapid temperature changes. I tried the 45-minute Glyco Cure Facial (£85). It begins with a light neck, chest and face message using essential oils, before the skin is cleansed and toned. Next, glycolic acid is applied to the skin for several minutes, followed by a neutralizing face mask for 10 minutes to decrease redness (during which you receive an ultra-calming scalp and arm massage). Finally moisturizing massage oil is applied before a geranium-encrusted massager is rolled over the face and neck to help balance positive and negative ions in the skin, which is meant to improve circulation, help skin retain more moisture and fight free radical damage while leaving it plumped and fresh looking post-treatment.

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2. The Royal Treatment

Sleep: A hidden gem tucked in the countryside of Dunboyne, a small village in Meath County in Ireland, Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa (dunboynecastlehotel.com) is built on the site of an 18th-century estate. Set on sprawling lawns and steeped in history, this quaint but modern facility is a popular destination for weary travellers who yearn to be pampered. The bonus: it’s a short cab ride from Dublin’s city centre and airport. This four-star hotel boasts spacious, yet cozy rooms, with a traditionally decadent feel that isn’t stuffy. The roomy bathrooms include a gorgeous shower, vanity and tub for extra R+R. Spabreaks.com offers a 2 night weekend spa break at Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa from £160 per person (price includes breakfast, access to the thermal suite in the Seoid Spa and spa treatments on Sunday – VOYA mini-facial and Sabbia Med heated sand & SAD light experience).

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Eat: Dunboyne Castle has three dining options: indulge in a fine dining experience at the Ivy Brasserie, where rich traditional plates (like a rack of lamb that melts in your mouth with a butternut squash purée and au jus) sit nicely alongside more modern dishes that use classic ingredients (like the confit of duck spring rolls paired with mango and chilli salsa). Every delicious dish, from the perfectly puréed roasted tomato, red pepper soup to the rich caramel tarte, is laboured over with care. One can also enjoy afternoon tea in the sun-drenched Terrace Lounge, which has spectacular views of the picturesque grounds, or grab a drink in the Sadlier Bar while enjoying live Irish music.

Spa: This quiet sanctuary marries traditional Irish sensibility with modern spa facilities for a unique and relaxing experience. Amenities include a large hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna and an outdoor hot tub. Offered services include balneotherapy, dry flotation and hammam algotherapy. I tried the Voya Seaweed Peat Wrap (€75 to €90, depending on the day of the week), a 55-minute relaxing full body wrap that uses only organic products and is meant to stimulate blood and lymph flow while exfoliating the skin and making it feel fresh. Hand-harvested seaweed mixed with Irish peat and plant extracts envelope you in a warm cocoon, while you receive a relaxing facial treatment. After a hot shower, you’re entire body is gently massaged with a lightly fragrant Voya moisturizer that will allow you to bring a hint of the spa with you wherever you go. My skin felt so soft for days. The journey ended in the quiet reading room, a calming place to unwind either pre- or post-treatment.

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Want last-minute spa deals when overseas? Visit Spabreaks.com to find specials and locations for treatments in your destination anywhere in the U.K. and Europe. Book online and save!