Pamper yourself into blissful oblivion before the festive season arrives in this selection of the finest spas in the country
Private pools, pampering spas, and isolated villas
One of the more eye-catching deals signed before the new football season involved Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
Sebastian Vettel now enjoys a healthy lead in the drivers' standings
The website: Historic Britain allows you to book B&Bs, hotels and holiday lets with notable character. Properties range from a 15th-century manor house B&B to an 18th-century Cotswold farmhouse (historicbritain.com).
Ivy-clad exteriors, private paths and mountain-facing rooms
The second day of action
Hitzacker is one of those idyllic red-brick, north German towns that seem to have been purpose built for the tourist trade. Its 18th-century timbered houses and narrow streets attract thousands of visitors each year.
The BBC defended its Panorama film about North Korea as being “strongly in the public interest”. One certainly imagines a lot more members of the public were interested after the row over the methods employed in filming it, which included its excitable reporter John Sweeney growing a beard and — if you buy the line of attack mounted by academics at the London School of Economics — using innocent students as camouflage. But the question only the film itself could answer was whether it actually contained anything that would interest the public — this being the kind of country where they may let the occasional Trojan horse in but never, ever leave it unattended long enough for the occupants to climb out and get up to mischief.
We're not sure about… MIC mania
Andean-style furnishings, hot springs and private beaches
Ranging from 20C to a blistering 31C, Sophie Lam and Ben Ross have suggestions for holidays to thaw your spirit
We love... Modern nostalgia
Exfoliation is just about the only thing you can do to feel instantly better about the state of your physical being.
Whether you want gentle instruction or need a sergeant-major shouting to get you going, try an exercise break
The Freehand, Indian Creek Drive
This hip hostel comes from the Sydell Group, notable for The NoMad and The Ace hotels in New York. Once again, they've drafted in Roman & Williams for the interiors (responsible for the industrial-chic look at the Ace), so low rates won't equate to a style compromise. At The Freehand, they've opted for a beach cabin feel, with wooden floors and nautical hues in the dorms and doubles. There's a tropical pool, a Broken Shaker cocktail bar and a new restaurant, The House, to come in March.
The Freehand, 2727 Indian Creek Drive (001 305 531 2727; thefreehand.com). Dorm beds start at $30 (£19), room only.