Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

Two Britons die in Maldives

A British couple were killed in a quadbiking accident while on their honeymoon in the Maldives, police on the holiday island said today.

The truth about colonic irrigation: It doesn't work

It had been a steady passage from alternative to mainstream for colonic irrigation – but that could change after researchers have rubbished the treatment’s benefits, and cautioned about its side effects – including cramps, nausea, vomiting and renal failure.

Portfolio: Anna Fox

Where have the knobbly knees gone?

Met chief's spa stay 'not a jolly'

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson had a five-week stay at the luxury Champneys health resort at a time when the former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis - now on bail over the phone-hacking scandal - was a PR consultant for the resort.

Mountains of massage: The Austrian spa retreats that take their cue from Mother Nature

It's rare enough you meet someone who has invented a massage. To have them perform their treatment on you on a balmy afternoon in western Austria is something else indeed. But that's exactly what happened to me as I lay prostrate under the hands of Harald Kitz.

100th UK branch for Handelsbanken

Handelsbanken will launch its 100th British branch today. The Swedish community bank says the branch, in the West Yorkshire spa town of Ilkley, will open in the next few weeks when local staff have been recruited.

Trail of the unexpected: A spa break in Latvia

The Latvian resort of Jurmala is giving new life to its historic spa traditions, says Alice Azania-Jarvis

Gym chain set to reveal record profits

Duncan Bannatyne is set to reveal record profits for his eponymous gym chain this week.

The Big Six: Luxury hotels in Sardinia

From a villa in Cagliari hidden away amid forest and foliage to a La Coluccia, Santa Teresa di GalluraA red wave meets a bleached Mediterranean sculpture at La Coluccia, which cuts no corners in the style stakes. Rooms are minimalist, sharp and to-the-point. The pool area is similarly smart, leading to the beach. La Coluccia, Santa Teresa Gallura (00 39 07 89 75 80 04; lacoluccia.eu). Doubles start at €260, half board.

24-hour Room Service: Lifehouse, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex

Set in 130 acres of fields and woodland, and 12 acres of gardens, Lifehouse is a countryside spa that couldn't feel less like a country-house hotel. There's nothing chintzy about it, nothing olde worlde and nothing the least bit pretentious. Instead, it looks like what it is: a gleaming, purpose-built spa – the first to be built in England for 20 years – with rooms attached.

Deborah Ross: Tills that make you do the work are evil

If you ask me...

Fishy business: the spa fad hitting high streets

Is 'Garra rufa' therapy safe? Luke Blackall steps into the controversy

Jane Austen's Bath: Cream teas and genteel spas for ladies at leisure

There is something about a weekend in Bath that brings out one's inner Catherine Morland. With its perfectly proportioned terraces, serenely sloping cobbled streets and elegant crescents chastely embracing gated gardens, it's a city that drips decorum from its very building blocks. The quaint, ladylike pursuits of Jane Austen's heroines are still de rigueur here – taking the waters, perambulating in the parks, a spot of shopping and, of course, the clotted-cream ceremonies of an afternoon tea. If I'd happened upon a place to play a hand of whist or dance a cotillion, I would have donned my finest sprigged muslin and surely done so. Resistance is futile. And why resist? Why not cast off the corset of nasty, pacey modern life and sink into Bath's languorous, idle pleasures? Surely, my dear, it would be almost rude not to.

Full steam Ahead: The sauna has become the latest must-have for pampering at home

There's something about a home sauna that conjures up an era of prawn cocktails, swirly carpets and suburban swingers. Quite why it is that these innocent Nordic heated cabins should inspire such Seventies connotations is a mystery. Of course, there are "those" sorts of saunas – open late in backstreets – but surely we've all been to enough gyms and spas for a post-workout muscle relax, in a no-hint-of-slap-and-tickle environment, to overcome the giggly reactions?

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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home