Spatacular Escapes

Last month we featured the Hilton As Cascais in Vilamoura, Portugal, the Palmyra Resort in Jamaica, the Rimondi Grand in Crete, the Apollonium Spa & Beach Resort in Turkey and the Radisson Blu in Malta (if you missed Part 1 of our spa special you can read it here

This month, we highlight a new Algarve resort Martinhal Beach, which is one of the latest members of the exclusive Registry Collection portfolio; a luxury Cornish escape, Club La Costa’s Hustyns Resort & Spa; a Mexico favourite, The Gran Velas Riviera Maya in sun-drenched Puerto Vallarta; and Ireland’s world-famous K Club where golf, spa, good food and gorgeous scenery are all part of a week’s pampering.

ALGARVE – Martinhal Beach Resort, Portugal (part of the Registry Collection portfolio)

Why go? Set near Sagres on the unspoiled western coast, Martinhal blends 5-star luxury with nature. Sagres fishing village remains for the most part under the tourist radar, unhurried and full of authentic charm, where you can savour the real flavour of the Algarve as it once was.

The experience: Think barefoot luxury… Stunning wild scenery aside, food plays a leading role at Martinhal. With around 300 days of sunshine a year the local produce and wines are excellent and the western Algarve microclimate unique. The luxury Finisterra Spa is set in its own secluded grounds and offers an inspiring choice of massages, rituals and treatments all with products from Terrake and Voya which are 100% organic brands. Finisterra means “end of the earth” which perfectly describes the location at the most south-western tip of Europe where land and see meet.

Around and about: With a beautiful beach right on your doorstep, you may not feel like straying far, but Sagres is a wonderful spot for some sightseeing or a lazy mid-morning café con leite and sweet Portuguese pastry. Sporty types will love the golf, riding, windsurfing, biking and hiking nearby.

MEXICO – Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Cancun

Why go? A Leading Hotel of the World member, this AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, all-suites spa resort just five minutes from Playa del Carmen offers the latest in the ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive resort experience.

The experience: Think ocean view suites, global gourmet menus (there are no less than seven restaurants offering a variety of Mexican, European and Asian cuisine) and if you’re feeling especially lazy there’s a dedicated butler service for guests. The spa is the largest in the region at over 89,000 square feet and specialises in signature treatments inspired by ancient cultures and recently won Virtuoso’s "Best Spa" in the World and a SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Award. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of native cultures.

Around and about: There’s nothing like stepping out into over 1,000 feet of exclusive beach right outside your door, pure white sand kissed by the clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean. If you have the willpower to de-glue yourself from your sunbed then Xel-Há the world’s largest natural aquarium is close by, full of colourful tropical fish observatories, mangroves and jungle walk trails, and there’s bike riding and you can swim with the dolphins.

CORNWALL – Club La Costa, Hustyns Resort & Spa, near Wadebridge

Why go? It’s about contemporary style-meets-country life – the ultimate Cornish escape.

The experience: Nestled in a sheltered valley of beautiful landscaped gardens and woodlands, Hustyns is about as close to complete tranquillity and privacy as you’ll find anywhere. An oasis of luxury in a very private setting, it’s a great battery recharger after the stress of the city. There’s a gym, stunning indoor pool and one of the highlights is the spa which features Elemis’ Tri-Enzyme Facial and a whole menu of Elemis’ signature treatments.

Foodies will love it here – Hustyns’ menu changes with the seasons and the menu’s enhanced by the fact that a lot of the fresh produce comes straight from the garden. Breakfast, lunch, early bird suppers and dinner are served but there’s a handy pizza takeaway service from 6-9pm if you’re feeling too chilled to leave your room. When it’s cocktail-o’clock, the champagne jazz bar is a stylish and laid back spot for a pre- or post-dinner Baileys.

Around and about: Cornwall’s beaches are so utterly beautiful that in summer they give French beaches a run for their money; in winter the walks are glorious as they take on a special raw beauty. Hustyns enjoys a very private setting yet it’s just minutes from Wadebridge and an easy drive to Rock, the summer playground of William and Harry, and Rick Stein’s Padstow eateries – he runs three restaurants – St. Petroc’s Bistro, The Seafood Restaurant, Rick Stein’s Café, as well as his famous fish and chip eat-in/eat-out restaurant, Stein’s Fish & Chips (there’s also one in Falmouth).

IRELAND – The K Club, Co. Kildare

Why go? For the truly “5-star Ireland” experience. One of the best golf destinations in the country and a Ryder Cup venue, the K Club is set in 550 acres of rolling Kildare countryside – you’ll even have access to a private stretch of the River Liffey as part of it gently winds through the private grounds. And it’s surprisingly easy to get to, about 35 minutes from Dublin.

The experience Golf and good food aside, one of the stars of the resort is the legendary spa, which offers east-meets-west therapies and hot stone treatments. The Signature K Spa is a full body massage fusing the very best of Eastern and Western massage techniques, specifically tailored to your needs. The Or choose an Organic Muslin Bag Massage where soaked warm bags containing relaxing (chamomile), detoxifying (peppermint) or stimulating (fennel) herbs and seaweed are gently massaged into the body to exfoliate the outer layers, nourishing deep within. If you’ve a niggly golf injury, the Green Golfers Cure targets key trouble spots in the back, neck and shoulders using VOYA’s organic seaweed oil. Afterwards the therapist will finish with an intense massage of the lower legs which focuses on relaxing tight muscles, then a head massage to ease the mind.

Foodies will love the Irish and international cuisine and this year Prince Albert of Monaco officially opened Kwam Suk, the resort’s Royal Thai restaurant on the first floor of the Palmer Smurfit Clubhouse. There’s a Thai influenced bar menu as well as full Thai dining from 5pm onwards.

Around and about Unlike a lot of other luxury spas, there’s loads for youngsters to do within the actual estate. Cycling, swimming, golf buggies (to explore the grounds), fly-fishing lessons, trips to Dublin Zoo, children’s DVDs and picnics are all available, as well as all sorts of sports from riding to archery, air rifle shooting and clay pigeon shooting – and even falconry demonstrations which can be arranged. There’s a Kids Club and playground within the Walled Garden and a shuttle to and from Naas Cinemas to see the latest kids’ films. Riders can head to nearby Abbeyfield Farm which offers organised hacks along quiet lanes or rides across cross-country courses.

Fractional ownership holiday golf homes are set on the estate and are part of the K Club’s real estate portfolio; investors include some famous golf names as well as celebrities.

To find out more about the hotel, spa and fractional properties, visit the resort’s website

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