In the pre-George era (PGE) I was never really one for spa breaks. To me they sounded like a naff affectation found in chic lit and the realms of small, suburban dreams. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to chatter to someone while sat in a soggy robe drifting from one underwhelming “treatment” to another where teenage facilists tell me that I should ditch my established skincare regime. And then, baby. Now I often just want to escape. And if I can escape and float in a spring-fed jacuzzi or have my feet whisked by a fern frond for a few quid without someone smearing avocado on my Equipment shirts, then I’m in. Actually, I’d pay for someone to smear me with avocado if they can leave my shirts out of it.*
Abi Wright, mum of three including brand new baby Oscar, has made a career out of spas – a professional relaxer of sorts. She is the managing director of SpaBreaks.com, an online business that directs you to all the best offers at spas across the world, or even those just a quiet dash from your home or the kids’ nursery.
Read on for how Abi does it, and her all-important top spas and treatments for 2015.
I am Abi and I am the managing director and co-founder of Spabreaks.com, Europe’s largest spa booking agency. I am also the mother of three beautiful children, Freddie (7), Aver (4) and Oscar (two weeks). My family includes these three, my partner Matt and two much-loved dogs.
For me creativity is all about keeping Spabreaks.com, its product and its marketing, fresh and innovative and at the forefront of the market. When we started in 2008 the idea was to fill a gap in the market for a booking agency that combined all the information that customers needed in one place, with a high level of customer service and an accessible price point without compromising on quality. We wanted to prove that the Groupon model was not the way to go for a longstanding business and I have found people who have shared my passion in my team – they are the people who keep my creativity going!
It’s a lot of work but I know we are doing a good job because the company is thriving and we have lovely feedback. For me the reasons are all about providing for my children and inspiring them to know that they can achieve the things they want to in work and in life.
Keeping ideas fresh and innovative is hard work! Hours are long and there isn’t really any time off. I started the company four months after Freddie was born and the rest is history, but I would probably say that the hardest part is being away from the children. I am fortunate though – I usually work from home a couple of days a week and thanks to the powers of modern technology I can make sure I am home for bath and bedtime and catch up on any emails after that.
My inspo is my children. They are the reason I have to get up at 5am, and the reason I wouldn’t have it any other way. Giving them opportunities and inspiration, and most importantly coming home for a cuddle and bath time at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about!
Abi’s ten must-visit spas and treatments for 2015
1) Grayshott for cranial osteopathy
2) Foxhills for their luxury rassoul
3) Pennyhill Park for their rosemary and lavender body therapy
4) Lifehouse Spa and Hotel for flower therapy
5) Epic Sana Algarve for mesotherapy
6) Crerar Loch Fyne for their frangipani full-body scrub
7) The Runnymede-on-Thames for their crystal facial
8) Ellenborough Park for their bamboo massage
9) Ragdale Hall for their avocado and lemon reviver
10) Lough Eske Castle for their real aromatherapy experience
*now I’m a convert, my all-time fav spa is Peninsula Hot Springs on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula – where I grew up.