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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

Evason Ma'in, A Six Senses Spa - Jordan

Ma'in pool with waterfall behind
We spent three nights at the Evason Ma'in at the end of our trip and it was a great place to relax and unwind.  The hotel is part of the Asian chain of Six Senses Spas and the decor combines minimalist Asian luxe with tasteful local elements. Ma'in is know for the healing properties of its mineral springs, and in addition to the  swimming pool  there are two hot mineral spring pools on the property - one inside and one outside the spa.
Outside the main restaurant
The spa at the bottom of the valley
What is spectacular about the hot mineral pools, is that there are natural waterfalls falling  directly into them. It's so beautiful and the sound is deeply soothing. As you  soak in the warm water, you can pop under the falling water to cool off. The spa staff are very agreeable and brought me a series of treats including tea, small biscuits and a local dessert.  They have a full menu of spa treatments and I had a full body massage. The therapist was from Thailand and it was superb.


Waterfall falling into the hot  mineral pool at the spa.
Relaxing in the spa
As in Asian hotels, the breakfast buffet was very impressive with a wide variety of choices including Jordanian specialities; pancakes, eggs, an enormous variety of pastries, and fantastic fresh fruit juices.  Overall we were impressed with the food and enjoyed meeting the chef. The restaurant, which is fine for breakfast, had very little ambience in the evening, so we ate in the bar which is very attractive. They offer  outdoor movies several evenings a week, which is a lovely idea, but unfortunately it was a little too cold when we visited.

The staff were very helpful and packaged up two copper and glass lanterns we bought in Aleppo. They did a fabulous job, fashioning a box with a handle that was so well wrapped we were able to check it all the way home. They arrived in perfect condition and I'm so looking forward to putting them up.

The hotel is committed to hiring  and training local staff  but there are moments where this can lead to small misunderstandings  and some service issues. However,  in our experience these were minor communication issues which were resolved by speaking to a more senior member of staff. We strongly support hiring locally and were very happy to see this at Ma'in. It's important for visitors, good for the local economy and it's a key component of sustainable tourism.

It was good to see some of their environmental efforts including, filtered and not bottled water in the room, a lovely vegetable garden and refillable amenities in the bathroom.

This was a lovely spot to end our trip and we recommend it. I've still got lots to tell you about Syria but it will have to wait for another day!


Tips : This is a Viruoso property, so if you can't find a discounted rate consider booking through a Virtuoso agent to get an upgrade, lunch and other freebies. Whatahotel.com is the best option online and a site I have used. The Evason rooms, which I recommend, are more spacious that the superior with an attractive sitting area and a large bathroom with separate show and bath. All the rooms offer balconies with mountain or valley views.
Looking back at the hotel from the spa

Comments

If relaxing could be this easy; people would have never let fatigue take a toll on their body and mind. Especially, with the opening up of Six Senses spa in India visitors at Jaypee Greens have increased with manifolds. You can also relish the rejuvenating spa anytime at Jaypee.

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