Stoke Park Mansion and Bridge (c) Stoke Park Spa
There aren’t many people who would list January as their favourite month. Between the dark nights, the cold days, and the post-holiday blues, it can often be a perfect storm of stress. With this in mind, we think January is the ideal time to schedule in an indulgent treat. Like a spa escape, for instance.
 
Stoke Park Aerial Shot (c) Stoke Park Spa
 
Located in the south of Buckinghamshire, just a short drive from London, Stoke Park Spa offers the perfect escape from the city – whether you’re simply after a day trip, or searching for somewhere to spend a few relaxing days away. Stoke Park lies on the edge of Stoke Poges, a pretty village that’s old enough to have been featured in the Domesday Book. Offering sites like a Tudor manner and historic churchyard, the village makes for a compelling stop-off for history buffs. But for now, jump in your Zipcar and motor up the A40 to the A12 – it’s only a 45-minute trip from central London.
 
Stoke Park Mansion and Bridge (c) Stoke Park Spa
 
For those looking to let go of seasonal stress, the Stoke Park Spa has plenty to recommend it. Occupying an estate that dates back 1,000 years and bearing the distinction of being the first country club in Britain (the club was opened in 1908), the luxurious facilities offer plenty of eye-candy before the treatments begin. With 13 tennis courts on site, Stoke Park also draws flocks of visitors in the summer for The Boodles, a friendly tennis tournament that acts as a warm up for Wimbledon – legends like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have played here.
 
If tennis sounds a bit too active, though, not to worry: the spa’s treatment menu is designed to have guests winding down to meditative levels. Once you arrive (the spa recommends checking in 30 minutes prior to your first appointment), you’ll be given a plush robe and slippers and time to acquaint yourself with the facilities. 
 
Stoke Park Pool (c) Stoke Park Spa
 
Whether aromatherapy is your thing or you prefer to spend your time in the pool, the spa’s offerings range from a heated indoor swimming pool and a deep relaxation room to marble steam rooms and a nail bar aimed at those after some proper pampering. The expansive treatment menu has, in all, over a dozen kinds of facials for men and women, massages and exfoliating treatments, manicures, and more. 
 
Executive Suite (c) Stoke Park Spa
 
For those setting aside a full day to visit the spa, there are also several different packages and seasonal offerings that make for a perfect afternoon of luxury. The Mind & Body retreat, which is available on weekdays only until the end of March, incorporates sleep therapy treatments as well as body scrubs and wraps. Consider it a well-deserved and restorative break from the office.
 
Several different retreat packages are also aimed at day-trippers. The entry-level Discovery Retreat allows for full use of the spa and fitness facilities with a two-course lunch included, while the Refreshing Retreat adds on an hour-long treatment. And for the next level of indulgence, the Ultimate Spa Retreat lets guests choose between two different whole-body rituals.
 
Spa Treatment Room (c) Stoke Park Spa
 
The weather might be bad and the winter blues might be in full swing, but don’t consign January to the rubbish heap just yet. There are still plenty of ways to take advantage of the month, and a spa trip could be just the way to start the year off on the right track. Whether you’re after a weekend away or a mid-week jaunt, with Zipcar your next pampering session is wonderfully close at hand.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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