Milk baths on tap for beauty parlour man

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Britain's top hotels are stocking up on face masks and milk baths in anticipation of a surge in demand for beauty treatments. And it's not for women. For when 21st century man checks in to a hotel, he won't be winding down in the bar or the gym. Instead, he'll be heading straight for the beauty salon.

Britain's top hotels are stocking up on face masks and milk baths in anticipation of a surge in demand for beauty treatments. And it's not for women. For when 21st century man checks in to a hotel, he won't be winding down in the bar or the gym. Instead, he'll be heading straight for the beauty salon.

It means, according to a survey by The Future Foundation think tank, done with the RAC, that hotels will no longer be able to ignore male grooming or the men willing to pay for it.

"Men used to regard pampering as something slightly effeminate but today it's not an issue," said Kirk Ritchie, manager of the Lygon Arms country inn in Worcestershire. "We now offer top-to-toe treatments for men and women and notice a significant increase in uptake from male guests, particularly at weekends."

Whereas men once thought of beauty parlours as mysterious places where women paid lots of money for treatment that didn't make them look much different, these days, it appears, they just can't get enough of their feminine sides.

The shift in attitude, says Melanie Howard of The Future Foundation, is down to a growing preoccupation with appear-ance, more money to spend, and a desire for new experiences - body scrubs, perhaps - and escape from daily stress.

"There'll be 'time travellers' seeking refuge in hotels from the demands of the 24-hour society," said Ms Howard. Three-quarters of the hoteliers surveyed, she said, forecast that men would want to indulge themselves with relaxation and beauty treatments.

The research also indicated that the big source of income for hotels would no longer be the business traveller but the growing numbers of self- employed and single visitors.

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