Do you like relaxing with a glass of your favourite English sparkling wine? Jonathan Ray picks the world’s best wine-inspired spa treatments...
We all know that wine is good for us, in moderation of course. Red wine, in particular, is full of antioxidants such as resveratrol and saponin, thought to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and reduce levels of cholesterol.
So what could be better than combining wine with a pampering massage or spa treatment while cruising the Med on your superyacht? Moor up in Monaco’s Port Hercules, for example, and head straight for the recently reopened and refurbished Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. This luxurious spa, with views over the port, offers a brilliant alternative way to enjoy Champagne - the sumptuous 90-minute Gold & Champagne treatment which begins with a full body exfoliation using products that incorporate gold and caviar. A collagen wrap is then applied to lift and firm the body. This is followed by a soothing bath full of Champagne crystals and finished off with a relaxing massage by an expert therapist, leaving the skin firm and speckled with gold. All you need do is top it all off with a chilled glass of DP or Cristal.
Other superlative waterside spas include 43 The Spa at Hotel Arts Barcelona – with its vitality pool and sauna, and coastline views from the treatment rooms – and the new Six Senses on the banks of the River Douro in Portugal (pictured). Stay in Porto’s revamped Douro Marina and head up river in your tender or by car or train to enjoy the spa’s signature Complete Grape Rejuvenation antioxidant body treatment using grape pulp and grape-seed oil, plus a vineyard soak and scalp massage. Then fortify yourself in the Wine Library with tapas, cheese, smoked hams and sausages paired with a selection of local wines.
Or don’t bother to stray from Porto/Vila Nova de Gaia at all and stay at the Yeatman (winner of Best Accommodation 2015 in the International Wine Tourism Awards) and choose from such Caudalie Vinothérapie treatments as the Barrel Bath Experience, the Grape Marc Bath or the Red Wine Bath, while enjoying views over the Douro and Yeatman’s vast collection of vintage ports and fine wines.
Caudalie made its name, of course, at Les Sources de Caudalie in the grounds of Château Smith Haut Lafitte 20 minutes from the city of Bordeaux. Here you can enjoy a Cabernet Sauvignon whirlpool bath (“pour la circulation sanguine”), a purifying Merlot Wrap, a slimming Crushed Cabernet Scrub, an exhilarating Wine Maker’s Massage or a moisturising (to put it mildly) Pulp Friction Massage with Fresh Grapes.
For more conventional treatments, visit the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa, then explore Bordeaux and its wines feeling rejuvenated.
If you can bear to leave your superyacht for slightly longer and don’t mind somewhere a touch more landlocked, other spas for wine lovers include L’Albereta in Lombardy with its beautifully designed Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot and Chinese/Western biontology treatments, and Chataeux de Cîteaux in Meursault, in the heart of Burgundy, with its own walled vineyards and Spa Fruitithérapie.
As every masseuse will tell you, don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids after your treatment. And this really ought to include wine, too.
Wineonomics: How to spend £10,000 on new releases
Burgundy is still unbeatable for price. Wine-Searcher’s 2015 list of the world’s top 50 most expensive wines has 40 Burgundies and two Bordeaux (Pétrus and Le Pin). Henri Jayer’s Richebourg Grand Cru took the top slot, averaging £9,800 a bottle. For the same price you could buy…
- 115 bottles of 2007 Masi Campolongo di Torbe, Amarone della Valpolicella, from Veneto, made with semi-dried grapes. At 16% vol, it’s astonishingly concentrated with complex plum, damson and prune flavours. Only 1,100 cases of individually numbered bottles were made. waitrosecellar.com
- 418 bottles of 2009 Domaine Glinavos “Vlahiko” from Ioannina, northwest Greece. Produced by the folk who built the 125 metre Maryah, this approachable red, with the freshness of Beaujolais and the softness of Rioja, proves that Greek wines are resolutely on the up. southernwineroads.com