German Grapeseed Spa treatments, The Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe

After a long hard day of wine touring, what better way to end the day then a relaxing rub down with crushed grape seeds. Crushed grape seeds? Well, these weren’t any old grape seeds and it wasn’t any old rub down. I was laying face down in a comfortably warm treatment room at the Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe Hotel and Spa, near the town of Verrenberg in southern Germany, getting a San Vino grape seed peeling rubdown. Let me backtrack a bit as to how I got here. I was on a trip with the German Wine Institute to discover the wines and cultural activities surrounding the southern city of Stuttgart. The visit and stay at the spa was all part of discovering all that this part of Germany has to offer. The Wald ( as I liked to call it, plus that’s really the only part of the name I could remember) is a luxury 5 star resort situated in a former castle. The main castle itself was built in the 18th century and throughout the centuries, it had served  as a family home as well as a royal residence. In the 1950’s the castle was converted into a hotel and in 2005, it was bought by the German company, the Wurth group because the chairman liked the place so much he decided he had to buy it. Beside the spa and indoor /outdoor swimming pool, the hotel also has a couple of restaurants, including a Michelin starred one, The Gourmet Restaurant, as well as a recently added Chef’s Table where you can watch the chefs in action. The hotel also boasts a cigar room where you’re free to smoke whatever you like (with in reason of course), private bungalows, and a golf course. The hotel has now expanded into 5 separate buildings and my room was in the spa wing. On walking in, the room was bigger then some of my old flats. On entering a huge bathroom greeted me off to...

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Lunching in Cheltenham Spa, The Montpellier Chapter

May 31, 11 Lunching in Cheltenham Spa, The Montpellier Chapter

Posted by in Hotels and Spas, Lifestyle

I love train travel, whizzing through the English countryside, I was on my way to Cheltenham Spa to sample the new menu and visit the recently opened The Montpellier Chapter Hotel and Spa. It probably helped that I was travelling in First Class courtesy of First Great Western. I’ve heard various things about train services here in England, but my trip was seamless and bang on time, with nice comfy seats and best of all, 2 electrical plugs at each seat so I could recharge both my laptop and iPhone at the same time on the 2 and a half hour journey there. The Montpellier Chapter Hotel is a new venture from the Swire Hotel group of Hong Kong. The vision behind the Chapter hotels is to have all their hotels in “striking buildings, rooted in their location and designed to reflect the skills and vision of the people who have inspired them.” The Montpellier certainly fits the bill, the entrance being an original Grade II listed building that has been renovated in a modern style and has  contemporary additional wings added onto the back of the building. There is a lovely courtyard in the middle of the hotel as well as a conservatory for tea. My favourite bit was the reception desk which consisted of a giant grooved wooden ball about 1metre high and a metre wide with a laptop sitting on top of it for check in, that was it, nothing else – very minimalistic. The entire hotel is all muted shades of gray, with each room having your own personal expresso machine, iPod (in keeping with the paperless philosophy of the hotel) free wireless throughout the hotel and a free mini bar. I was liking this place more and more. The best touch, I thought, were the persplex “cards” advising you to plop it on your pillow if you wanted your sheets changed. The hotel’s decor was curated by Jane Lee  of Central St. Martins. Jane guided Brian Williams,the Managing Director...

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