Take the time and the space to revive and be pampered. With the festive frenzy of Christmas now over for another year and the ink not yet dry on your New Years resolutions, banish the winter blues and kick-start 2009 with a well-being break in a Unique Home Stay. Spring into action with bracing cliff-top walks, swim laps in your private indoor pool and ditch the chocolates for fresh local fare served by in-house chefs. How about a detox in Devon? Or spa treatments in the comfort of your luxury accommodation? Or why not group together with friends and hire a Gloucestershire townhouse complete with your own personal trainer? From coastal hideaways to designer retreats, a little pampering in a Unique Home Stays property promises to bring the glow back to your cheeks after the indulgence of yuletide.
THE STABLES, Moretonhampstead, Devon
Escape to Dartmoor for a rejuvenating break in a beautiful barn conversion surrounded by 30 acres of rolling Devonshire countryside. Just half an hour from Exeter yet far removed from the hustle and bustle, here you can take a breath of fresh air in one of the UK’s best-loved National Parks, feast on homemade fare and hunker down by the log fire.
Feel-good factor: As well as having the wild landscape of Dartmoor on the doorstep to explore on foot, on horseback or by bike, at The Stables you can undertake a tailor-made detox break designed to get you in fine fettle for the year ahead. Bespoke to your needs and aims, the owner of the property will devise a programme of food and activities to help whip you into shape within the duration of your stay.
Basics: Sleeps 4
Cost: 3-night weekends from £350; weekly from £600.
PENLEES HIDEAWAY, Dartmouth, Devon
From your king-size room with impressive sea views, fling open the doors to the balcony and take a breath of briny air without stepping foot beyond your seaside sanctuary. With a secluded tidal beach only footsteps away, access to the coast path and a plethora of water sports on the doorstep, you don’t have to stray far to benefit from the rejuvenating effects of a healthy coastal lifestyle.
Feel-good factor: Let the hydrotherapy jets of your heated, indoor Endless Pool pummel away the festive stress, and revive your romance with some time-for-two in this private retreat tucked away from the maddening crowds.
Basics: Sleeps up to 4
Cost: B&B from £125-£140 per room per night (min. 2-night stay)
THE SAIL LOFT, Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall
Sink into the deep roll-top bath, snuggle up in cosy sofas and – if you bag the double room – witness breathtaking coastal views without getting out of bed. With homemade meals delivered to your door by arrangement everything is at your fingertips, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t step outside and explore beyond the granite walls of this contemporary barn conversion.
Feel-good factor: While Cornwall’s north coast beaches are deserted by the bucket and spade brigades for winter, this is the perfect time to squeeze into a thick layer of neoprene and take up the hobby of surfing on un-crowded waves. If you can’t face getting your hair wet, blow away the cobwebs on wild coastal walks, and stop-in at local farm shops to source the finest, freshest ingredients to complement your healthy new lifestyle.
Basics: Sleeps up to 4
Cost: From £1,500 per week; 3-night stays available, please enquire
REGENCY MANOR, Piddletrenthide, Dorset
A gathering of friends and family doesn’t have to be an excuse to extend the lavish feasting of the festive period. Take up residence in this elegant country manor situated in the heart of Hardy country and close to the Jurassic coast, where as well as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty begging to be explored on the doorstep, there is wealth of leisure facilities to lure you out of your opulent suites and keep you active onsite.
Feel-good factor: Start the day with a few laps of your large indoor pool and forego afternoon tea by the fireside for a game of tennis or croquet in the gardens. If you prefer something a little less active, spa treatments are available in-house, or head to the nearby Summer Lodge Health Spa for a day of pure pampering.
Basics: Sleeps up to 14
Cost: From £3,500 per weekend or from £6,000 per week.
THE OYSTER SHACK, Whitstable, Kent
Live the coastal dream in this cool weather-boarded house that opens directly onto Tankerton Beach. Wrap up warm for a coastal stroll or a picnic on the sand, take in panoramic views from the decking and come inside to the open fire and coastal-themed environment decked out with original arts, crafts, books and collected treasures.
Feel-good factor: Always planned to write a book or take up painting? A place where you can live to the beat of the waves and watch heart-stopping sunsets across the water, this bohemian-chic abode is the perfect place to get your creative juices flowing and inspire your words and pictures.
Basics: Perfect for couples but sleeps up to 8
Cost: From £750 for a 3-night off peak stay to bag the whole place for just 2. Standard rate for up to 8: from £2,250 per week or from £1,250 per 3-night stay.
THE WHITE HOUSE, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
In a pad decked out with kitsch furnishings, vibrant décor and space made for socialising, here you might be tempted to kick-back with friends and work your way through the films and games library. But if you and your friends need a kick-start to a fitter new year, this designer townhouse is the perfect place to begin your mission.
Feel-good factor: Forget lazing in your four-poster bed or vegging out in front of the plasma screens; instead focus your attention on the private personal trainer, who is committed to whipping you into shape in time for spring. Then – if you really want to take it easy – therapeutic and rejuvenating treatments can be arranged in-house (or take a trip to the Calcot Manor Spa) and a private chef can be come in and conjure up a nutritious banquet tailored to your taste.
Basics: Sleeps 16
Cost: 3-night weekends from £3,500; weekly from £5,500
THE CLIFF HOUSE, Nr Port Isaac, Cornwall
Whisk the family away to this cliff-top retreat where you can pack in the action outdoors and tuck into healthy culinary treats indoors. When you’re not wrapped up warm and immersed in the stunning coastal vistas, inside you can bask in the morning sun on a hand-crafted apple-crate bed, storm-watch from the fireside and recharge your batteries within the luxury of this family-size beach house.
Feel-good factor: Walk off the festive pounds on a staggering section of the coast path, explore the wild north coast beaches and get creative in the farmhouse kitchen – with its AGA, electric oven and lots of space, this is the perfect place to encourage the whole family to try out their culinary skills with some healthy new recipes. However, if you don’t want to lift a finger simply call in the services of a private chef.
Basics: Sleeps up to 10 (7 adults and 3 children), self-catering.
Cost: From £1,375 to £2,500 per week; 3-night stays from £965
THE OLIVE GROVE, Crete, Greece
Reserve a private bungalow in the charming Aghios Nikolaos, and bask in the glow of the winter sunshine on the Greek islands. Think long lazy days in the private pool, stunning views to azure-blue seas and a luxurious bungalow nestled amongst olive and lime trees.
Feel-good factor: With a plethora of facilities from snorkelling to spa treatments at your fingertips, an enchanting Cretan town and white-sand beaches on the doorstep, this paradise retreat is the perfect place to start the year on a positive note.
Basics: A combination from bungalows and suites sleeping from 2 guests
Cost: Variable depending on time of year and number in group.
THE DEN, Brighton, Sussex
Tucked down a flint-walled alley in Brighton’s Old Town, this historic abode has been updated into a contemporary haven, where original artwork adorns the walls and the funky boudoirs boast individual flavour and quirky décor from Venetian mirrors to vintage washbasins.
Feel-good factor: While essential oil burners add to the chilled out vibe indoors, just outside the door you are in the heart of one of the UK’s most hip and happening coastal towns. So instead of just lounging around in your designer retreat, take a windswept walk on the beach promenade and work off at least a little of the Christmas turkey as you shop until you drop in the boutiques of Brighton.
Basics: Sleeps up to 6
Cost: From £725 to £925 per week; £595 to £795 per weekend
SEA COTTAGE, Nr Helston, Cornwall
Get cosy in this haven of luxury nudging the cliff-tops close to the UK’s most southerly and temperate point. Inside your contemporary abode the coastal views reign but there’s no excuse not to be toasty – whether you snuggle up in the master suite or by the log fire.
Feel-good factor: Even if the mild climate doesn’t warm you up in the midst of winter, a brisk stroll in the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will add a touch of nature’s rouge to your cheeks. Before you set out tuck-in to the fresh breakfast essentials sourced from the local area, and if you can’t be bothered to assume the role of chef on your return, it’s only a 2-minute walk to the award-winning Halzephron Inn for dinner.
Basics: Sleeps up to 8, self-catering
Cost: From £2,500 per week, off peak for 2 guests to have the place all to themselves.
For more information contact Sarah Stanley, Jen Morgan or Sarah Milligan
Tel: +44(0)1637 881183