What women want
A good hair holiday

JANET BRICE sashays down the red carpet after a mini break at the Stuart Holmes Hair & Beauty Spa in Cheltenham


A good hair day is the barometer most of us use to assess how well our day is going – so just imagine the feel-good factor of a hair and spa holiday?

Let’s face it, most sun, sea and sand getaways are a nightmare for our locks as we face the challenges of trying to look our best despite the drying effects of water, chlorine and over exposure to those UV rays!

So, if you came back from your summer holidays feeling a bit disheveled as you went through passport control you’re probably in need of the ultimate girls’ mini-break – a hair holiday in the heart of the Cotswolds...

And this is exactly what’s on offer at the Stuart Holmes Hair & Beauty Spa Salon, in Regency Cheltenham, which invites you to kick back for a few days and enjoy a bit of self-indulgent, head-to-toe pampering – and why not?

Hair Holiday’s is the brainchild of celebrity stylist Stuart Holmes, who, with his wife Sara, opened the hair and beauty salon in 2003 after cutting hair in London since the age of 17.

As increasing numbers of loyal clients made overnight pilgrimages from across Britain and overseas, Holmes came up with idea of the Hair Holiday which includes bed and breakfast in a five-star hotel, a haircut and colour, two blow-drying sessions and plenty of beauty and massage treatments. Tempted?

So was I which is how I found myself walking up the red carpet to the four-storey salon and spa which has just been voted Salon of the Year by a specialist panel of industry experts from the Hairdressers Journal Business Awards.



Attention to detail is the name of the game and I was immediately welcomed into the spacious reception area and offered a drink and a magazine while I waited for my therapist.

Unlike many chains, the salon has a homely atmosphere and has the wow factor of an interior designed by TV celebrity Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who has worked his magic using bold black and white wallpaper. Before I could get stuck into my magazine I was whisked off to the therapy room where I was treated to the ultimate pampering pedicure which left me walking on air.

It was then time for my cut, colour (using Shu Uemura products) and manicure which were carried out at the same time – which is wonderful for women-on-the-go who don’t have the luxury of time when not on “holiday”. By the end of my appointment my unruly mop had been transformed into silky, bouncy locks which actually swung when I walked – it was quite amazing. “For many years, lots of my clients have been travelling long distances to the salon which I guess is a real tribute to the team we have here, said Holmes.

“We are now really pleased to be able offer them that little bit extra and help arrange every aspect of their stay. “We are delighted to have teamed up with two of Cheltenham’s most exclusive hotels, The George and 32, to offer this Hair Holiday. It is a great fit as both hotels stand for everything we do at the salon – luxury and quality at affordable prices.”

Holmes, who is styling Gok Wan’s hair at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (which runs from October 8- 17 2010) also offers “holidaymakers” a complimentary blow dry at the end of day one so you can hit the festival or those designer stores feeling perfectly-groomed.

And as I sashayed out of the salon with my hair swinging and my nails glistening I actually felt worthy of walking down this particular red carpet…



A makeover in minutes

Have you ever fancied a radical new hair style or colour but have always been too scared to commit. Stuart Holmes is offering its clients “try before you buy” with the new HairPod Application for the iPhone. All you have to do is:


• Download the HairPod app from your iPhone

• Take a photograph of yourself

• There is a minimum age limit in the spa of 16 but children can use the outdoor pool only.

• Choose a style and change the style

• Save to your phone and send to family and friends! 



What’s included in your hair and beauty spa holiday:

The package includes:


• Bespoke hair consultation

• Luxury intensive hair conditioning treatment

• Blow dry at the end of day one.

• Cut and blow dry

• Colour (half head of highlights)

• A Guinot facial

• Manicure

• Pedicure

• Full body massage

• One night’s accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis


Mid-week Hair Holidays

Start at 336 per person based on two people sharing. (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night)

Weekend Hair Holidays

Include two night’s accommodation. Prices for the weekend start at 427 per person based on two people sharing. (Friday and Saturday night) Single supplements apply.


Thirty Two

Overlooking Imperial Gardens, and voted in the top 10 Boutique bed and breakfast’s in the world by the Mr and Mrs Smith Guide, Thirty Two offers five star guest accommodation in a landmark listed regency building.

This boutique property has four luxury rooms that provide a quiet and exclusive haven for the most discerning traveler.

The George

Is a beautiful hotel located close to the famous Cheltenham Ladies College and just five minutes walk from the salon.

Stylish and contemporary bedrooms provide guests with the ultimate place to relax in. The hotel also has an award winning brasserie, Montys, and a trendy cocktail bar.

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