Hotel of the week: Hospes Maricel

We couldn’t let 2010 slip by without a hotel-of-the-week-shaped bang. Taking the winner’s crown for the last time this year is Hospes Maricel, a beachside bolthole in Mallorca

Style Majestic, modern Mallorcan mansion
Setting Turquoise Portals Nous bay

Why this week? Act fast and book by 2 January to take advantage of the hip hospes’ four-for-three offer, exclusive to Smith members. (Also, check out their fantastic detox tips in our detox spa round-up…)

Our favourite bits We’re fans of the trademark clay-coloured walls, black-tiled private plunge pools and, most especially, the extreme nine-course breakfast, once voted the best morning meal in the world by the Madrid Fusion Gastronomic Summit. We reckon they know what they’re talking about. Spa treatments can be had troglodyte-style down in the caves built into the cliffs beneath the main house.

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New Year Fireworks

Spa spa sparkle for New Year’s Eve! The ultimate party pampering guide

New Year FireworksRight, are we all done with Christmas now? As if last week’s all-American spa hotel round-up wasn’t enough, we’ve grilled the great and the good from luxury hotel spas near and far to ensure you’re the prettiest, perkiest and most polished partygoer from top to toes this New Year’s Eve.

Here’s our mammoth pick of their finest beauty tips and tricks for transforming your looks in a flash (and hiding that hangover afterwards).

Now all you have to do is worry about what to wear…

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URBAN ESCAPE AT THE METROPOLITAN LONDON
Metropolitan London spa Urban EscapeComo Shambhala manager at the Urban Escape spa Samantha West

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?
Hosting a house party in my flat in central London with close friends and neighbours. We’ll have canapés, champagne, fireworks, and lots of dancing!

Pre-party pampering tips?
Sleep, lots of water and a healthy diet. I’d exercise the day before to release endorphins, improve circulation and enhance general well-being. Don’t exercise on the day of a party, as there’s not enough time for your body to recover. Body scrub is a must; self-tan; luxury pedicure; relaxing massage; facial; and hydrate your skin all over with a good body lotion.

False eyelashesInstant makeover?
False eyelashes or lots of mascara with a natural make-up base and lots of lip gloss.

Favourite beauty products?
Lots – I’m a product junkie!

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Ace Hotel Spa Palm Springs

Spas and stripes: an all-American party pampering guide

Look at the States you’re in! Let our friends in luxury spa hotels sort out your pre- and post-holiday physique with their insider advice on top-to-toe perfection: Ace Hotel & Swim Club FeelGood Spa Palm Springswe’ve grilled personnel from leading pampering parlours and spa stays across the Americas to bring you a healthful dose of detox and DIY tips just in time for the New Year…

ACE HOTEL & SWIM CLUB PALM SPRINGS
Spa and Wellness Director Lisa Ross

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?
We’ll be offering intimate spa parties in our treatment yurts, for small groups of 8 or less: guests will enjoy a few treatment stations, yummy libations and edibles – it’s fun, unique and affordable!

Top pre-party pampering tip?
Exfoliate before the big night out with a Body Scrub or dry brush treatment; this will give your skin great glow, and make you soft and touchable for later!

Hotel of the Week: The Royal Oak

With a white Christmas fully on the cards, we know of a place we’d like to be snowed in at: by the crackling fires and cosy sofas, and feasting on the hearty fare at The Royal Oak in West Sussex

Style Hearth-warming village pub
Setting Pretty East Lavant lane

Why this week? This is one of our new hotels, and we want to sing from the rooftops about this snug Sussex pub in time for a cosy Christmas under its rafters.

Our favourite bits The Royal Oak’s culinary offerings sparkle with plenty more sophistication than your average pub food: seasonal dishes include scallops with pork belly and sage, seafood risotto with hand-caught Selsey crab, and tarte tatin with elderflower sorbet. Even the breads are memorable (try the tomato-flavoured number). In keeping with the rest of the inn, the dining area is warm and cosy, with a wood-burning fireplace to one side of the bar. We’re also fans of the supply of Wellingtons, the chalkboard menus and the stash of board games for wet afternoons.

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