If you've got kids, and you're taking them to Orlando this winter, chances are you won't get a great deal of time to yourself. But it's only fair that you save an afternoon or two for some pure and total escapism, isn't it? After all, it's your holiday too. So if your novel's not quite cutting it, it's time for a trip to the spa. Here's a handful of our favourite Orlando sanctuaries...
Grande Lakes - The Ritz-Carlton Orlando
Prepare to be impressed as you enter the largest spa in Orlando - 40,000 square feet featuring 40 treatment rooms, a 'relaxation conservatory', private pool and spa cafe, all in an extravagant palazzo-style setting. Opt for one of the pre-designed packages - many of which include lunch - or select an individual treatment from the menu. The Harvest Glow Hot Honey treatment will see you pummelled and buffed with a sea salt scrub before being drizzled all over with a hot honey glaze and cocooned in a fluffy towel. After chilling in a creamy milk bath, the treatment ends with a relaxing shea butter massage - heavenly. There are plenty of specialist treatments for men, kids, teens and mothers-to-be, too.
Kissimmee - Omni Orlando at ChampionsGate
While it's best known as a top-of-the-range golf resort, the Omni ChampionsGate is also home to a top-notch spa, which offers a complete range of treatments for both men and women including some especially tailored to those who've been out on the green all day. The Champions Sport is perfect for anyone suffering from tired legs and aching shoulders; it's a rhythmic massage treatment designed to ease areas of soreness and muscle tension using a combination of specialist massage techniques combined with stretching. The Muscle Melting Mineral Mud Pack is an equally beneficial alternative - the self-heating mud works wonders on joint pain, stiffness and symptons of over-exertion, and as the hotel claims the only lighted 9-hole course in the area, you should be perfectly refreshed for an early evening game.
Lake Buena Vista - Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Orlando
The Spa by Guerlain is shared by the side-by-side Hilton Orlando and Waldorf Astoria within the Bonnet Creek resort, bordered on three sides by Walt Disney World. Much more hip and contemporary than other Orlando properties, this is where you'll want to come if you're celebrating a special occasion or indulging in a one-off splurge. Every visit begins with a thorough analysis of your goals, be they nutritional, physical or emotional, and your treatment will be tweaked and tailored to your exact needs. Therapeutic treatments include a 5-Senses Hydrotherapy session and the Balneotherapy Service which uses water and minerals to revitalize the body's immune system and improve circulation, but for something more focused on pure escapism try the 4-Hand Impériale Massage, designed to invoke complete serenity and described as a 'masterful ballet of expert hands'.
Universal Orlando - Loews Portofino Bay
Voted 'Best Day Spa' by Orlando Magazine, the Mandara Spa is located by the Piazza Ponte at Loews Portofino Bay hotel within Universal Orlando resort, and offers fourteen treatment rooms, a whirlpool, lounge, sauna and steam rooms and a full service salon. If you've been spending your days pounding the theme parks and gripping on for dear life while braving some of Universal's thrill rides, you'll appreciate the signature Ceremony of the Hands and Feet, where your aching limbs will be treated to an invigorating cleansing, exfoliation and massage, followed by a luxurious manicure, pedicure and polish. And if time is really tight, there's a selection of 25-minute express services to choose from, including refresher facials and massages.
Virgin Atlantic operate two daily flights to Orlando from London Gatwick. For a complete Florida holiday package including flights, car-hire, theme park entrance and accommodation in these and many other Orlando hotels, visit Virgin Holidays.
Header photo: Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes spa © 2011 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.