What Gives Spa Hotels Their Feel-Good Factor?

It goes without saying that a break at a nice hotel has some serious feel-good factor, but a natter with a naturopath Sue Davis made us realize that there's really a lot more to it than meets the eye. Depending on what your favorite feature of a holiday, mini-break or weekend away, certain sense-simulating factors are going way beyond the aesthetic to stimulate serotonin.

Good taste

Good food is a joy on so many levels. It is quite literal a feast for the senses, whether it's something warm and comforting in the winter, or fresh and healthy in the summer.

If you are a fan of seafood though then the particularly good news is that the Vitamin D found in oily fish actually is known as a mood-booster.

Gentle touch

Have you ever heard of cuddle clubs? Groups of strangers get together and pay to have a collective hug because science shows that touch makes us feel better and can also boost the white blood cells.

Well it's not like you need an excuse to head to a spa hotel, but it turns out that with that thinking in mind, having a massage is about more than getting rid of those knots, it's about all round happiness.

Sight for sore eyes

It always seems incredible to us how much happiness can be generated during a walk surrounded by trees, beautiful gardens and verdant countryside. Well, according to the chakras certain colors can really affect our mood in a positive way.

Violets and purples are optimistic but green is a bit of a whiz when it comes to feeling happy. It is the color of rejuvenation, it's neutral and soothing – all the things that one is generally not feeling by the time Friday afternoon coming along and you can not tell your nose from your elbow, and all the more reason to head to a country house hotel.

Sound advice

Not sure about you but for most of us the day is frequently peppered with the sounds of various electronic devices pinging into action – Tweets, voicemails, text messages, emails, phone calls, and app updates galore. It's a never-ending stream of things and people demanding attention. It is not relaxing.

Sound does not have to be that way though, it can be supremely uplifting. Think about the sound of waves crashing against the shore, a stream merrily making its way through a garden where the only other sound is birdsong. If happiness had a sound it would definitely include a secluded waterside location like a hotel on the Isle of Skye.

Smell of de-stress

Did you know that in Japan they frequently spray their factories with citrus essential oils in the mornings to boost productivity? Smell, it sees, makes a big difference to how we feel about life – lavender to relax and unwind, mandarin to soothe toddler tantrums, and citrus to remind us of the head days of summer.

For some that might mean heading overseas to wake up to the smell of lemon groves in the morning at your chosen hotel. For others it may mean booking a massage or taking a few essential oils with you to enjoy with a good book in a roll top bath.