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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Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

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