From relaxing country retreats to swish city spas, these British hotels are perfect for pampering weekends away.
1. Ragdale Hall, Melton Mowbray
An impressive and imposing hall set within vast rolling grounds, Ragdale Hall is traditional and grand – but offers all the care of a boutique stay. We love the traditional feel of this award-winning spa, where you’ll find guests of all ages, from retired friends having a chuckle during a girly weekend away, to young couples on their first spa break.
Relax in the utterly peaceful candle pool (no talking allowed!), wallow in the waterfall pools, or take advantage of the state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool and aquagym.
But one of the best parts about the spa? It truly is all about your comfort first. You can walk straight from the pool area to lunch, before retiring to your room, all in the comfort of your fluffy dressing gown. It’s utter relaxation!
The spa has recently opened a rooftop infinity pool, with spectacular views over the countryside. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as immerse yourself in warm, bubbly water on a cold winter’s day – and we imagine that this feature of the spa is just as charming in the summer time, too.
The details: Two-night midweek breaks from £342 per person including all meals, inclusive treatments and use of facilities, complimentary robe and Ragdale Hall flip flops. ragdalehall.co.uk
2. Hartwell House Spa, Buckinghamshire
As you might expect from a former royal residence, Hartwell House boasts a marvellous spa where you can happily linger all day. Get your blood pumping with a few lengths of the Renaissance-inspired swimming pool (think white marble columns and Italian statuettes), before a well-deserved wallow in the hot tub, steam room and sauna.
The treatment list is equally indulgent, with scrubs, facials and wraps galore – with products by accomplished Icelandic brand Bioeffect. Try the Ultimate Experience Treatment for 90 luxurious minutes of massage that’ll leave you feeling super hydrated and utterly relaxed.
The details: Our exclusive two-night spa and shopping break at Hartwell House includes full use of the spa plus dinner, cooked breakfast, and 10% off designer outlet Bicester Village – where you’ll also enjoy VIP lounge access and valet parking. £225 per person – see the details
3. The Grove, Hertfordshire
Only 30-minutes drive from London, this former home of the Earl of Clarendon is full of fun. Set within 300 acres of parkland and gardens, their urban beach is one of the best in Britain. Play volleyball on the sand, then flop in the Sequoia spa to enjoy the pools and saunas. Hang out in the juice bar in between classic treatments from Natura Bissé and ESPA.
Back at base, the 217 rooms are a mix of Regency, Baroque and French Provincial styles. The three restaurants serve classic British fare, wth menus designed by Chef Russell Bateman – who trained under Gordon Ramsay.
The details: £240 pp per night, full board, 1 x treatment and access to all the spa facilities. thegrove.co.uk
4. Middlethorpe Hall, Yorkshire
Sitting among 20 acres of gorgeous grounds, this 300-year-old country house is bursting with character, with cosy drawing rooms full of antiques, kept toasty by crackling fires. The hotel’s delightful spa is compact but well-appointed, with lovely surrounding gardens. Floor-to-ceiling windows by the pool provide lots of natural light and there’s plenty of space to relax in the spa bath, steam room or sauna.
Head outside to the gym in the pretty restored Victorian summerhouse, or indulge in a holistic treatment on the first floor. From Power-Packed Vitamin Surge Facials to Orange Blossom Garden Rituals, you’re sure to leave with a skip in your step.
The details: Our exclusive two-night offer at Middlethorpe Hall includes a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, a candlelit three-course dinner, early morning tea delivered to the room, cooked breakfast, a 55-minute Decleor or Neom Organise Massage, afternoon tea for two and a 10% discount voucher at the York Designer Outlet. From £238pp – see the details
5. The Runnymede on Thames, Windsor
Nestled on the quiet banks of the River Thames near Windsor, it’s all about the ‘HotTug’ at this contemporary hotel – a hot tub in which you cruise along the river, with Champagne in hand.
Continue the party in the private Aquitaine spa suite, with its own treatment room – ESPA, Guinot and Clarins are the brands of choice. Curl up on the suite’s comfy sofas and tuck into the towering food platters and great DVD collection.
The hotel itself is equally spoiling with two excellent British restaurants and
floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of those riverside vistas.
The details: The Runnymede Spa Retreat costs from £215 pp, full board, two 25-minute treatments and use of the spa facilities. runnymedehotel.com
6. Swinton Park, Yorkshire
Sitting among 20,000 acres of grounds, the magnificent castle-style hotel is famed for its excellent facilities. The highlight this year was the opening of the multi-million pound Swinton Country Club & Spa: swim laps in the indoor or outdoor pools, warm up in the al fresco hot tub, or refresh yourself in the Finnish sauna. And there’s a treatment for every occasion, from nature-inspired flower wraps to indulgent bespoke facials.
For a more energetic spa experience join one of the many fitness classes, and when you’re totally exhausted, head to the slumber pods or even the sleep room, complete with heated water beds, for the ultimate down time.
The details: Our exclusive spa offer at Swinton Park includes one night in a Knights room, dinner in Samuel’s restaurant or The Terrace, full breakfast, a 35-minute ELEMIS spa treatment per person, 20% of an additional spa treatment, and full use of Swinton Country Club & Spa. From £149pp* – see the details
7. Chewton Glen, Hampshire
On the edge of the New Forest, this sprawling 18th-century country house is utterly idyllic. The main hotel is decorated with old-school elegance, as is the dining room which serves British classics.
The award-winning spa has more contemporary assets: from the huge hydrotherapy pool (Europe’s largest) to the aromatherapy saunas and crystal steam rooms. The big names are all here: oxygen facials by celebrity favourite Linda Meredith, holistic Ila treatments and Natura Bissé full body scrubs.
There’s an ‘alkaline-influence’ buffet for bloat-free meals, too. Or simply crack some moves in the dance studio, chat over manis and pedis, or play doubles on the tennis court.
The details: From £245pp with breakfast included and one 60-minute treatment each of their choice (to a value of £99). chewtonglen.com
8. The Midland, Manchester
A magnificent former railway station, bang in the centre of Manchester, this hotel spa is raking in awards like no other as well as boasting two of the city’s best restaurants. The 100-year-old hotel is very impressive, with ornate ceilings and marble floors.
Treatments range from ESPA results-driven facials to indulgent body therapies. There’s an aromatherapy steam room, Alder-wood sauna and Arctic rain shower, and a relaxation room with actual beds with duvets and pillows.
There are sound-cancelling sleep chambers, too, and if you’re in a large group you even get your own relaxation room.
The details: From £105pp, half board plus complimentary lunch in spa café, one treatment and full use of spa and gym facilities. qhotels.co.uk
9. St Moritz, Cornwall
Visit St Moritz for the sea views and Cornish charm, stay for the Cowshed spa. Using botanical ingredients found in a typical English country garden, the treatment list includes everything from a Cowshed Moody Massage, to a Sea & Sun Signature treatment. Feel invigorated after a lemongrass-scented facial, or wind down with a peppermint-infused sea salt scrub.
Once you’re pampered, take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool, linger in the steam room and sauna, or even hit some balls on the tennis court, overlooking those glorious sea views. It’s the perfect recipe for relaxation.
10. St Bride’s Spa Hotel, Pembrokeshire
Perched atop a cliff in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with views over Carmarthen Bay, this hotel has a laidback nautical feel. There are just 34 rooms, plus two-bedroom apartments (great if you’re visiting in a group).
The soothing thermal suite includes a herbal rock sauna, salt room and spectacular infinity saltwater pool with panoramic views. Friends can enjoy the pampering Caudalie marine treatments in the coastal dual treatment room: its floor-to-ceiling windows slide open to reveal the fresh sea air and gentle sound of the tide. The menu boasts fresh seafood aplenty, and a walk along the beach is the perfect way to end the day.
The details: From £105pp based on four people sharing an apartment, half board, includes 90-minutes use of the thermal suite. www.stbridesspahotel.com
11. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, Scotland
A cobbled stone’s throw away from Edinburgh Castle, this grande dame houses the UK’s first spa from Guerlain, the Parisian skincare brand. Expect some serious indulgence here, with a backdrop of gold decor, mirrored walls and twinkling chandeliers.
Soak in the colossal pools and thermal suite, with French fizz in hand. Then let a ‘beauty coach’ help you create a bespoke scent for your fabulous treatment. The first-class service continues in the hotel itself with sweeping marble staircase, impeccable rooms, and Gallic cuisine from the Galvin brothers.
The details: From £187.50 pp for one night, half board, full use of spa facilities and one treatment. waldorfastoriaedinburgh.com
12. Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa, Wirral
With its very own ‘snow cave’, this 62-room hideaway (about 20-minutes drive from Liverpool) provides the very latest in treatments – plus something a little bit different.
The spa menu includes hydro pools, steam room, sauna and mud rasul plus a mix of holistic and ‘clinical’ treatments – the Bootcamp for Butts massage is excellent.
Meals take place under dazzling chandeliers in The Lawns Restaurant, and Chef Ben Mounsey has a Michelin-starred CV.
The details: From £129 pp, full board, full use of spa facilities and one treatment. thorntonhallhotel.com
13. Bowood Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
With Lady Lansdowne interiors, Capability Brown landscapes, and opened by the Duchess of Cornwall, this hotel and spa had a lot to live up to. It has triumphed. There are 43 rooms in the hotel, but Queenwood Lodge is the place to stay – a four-bedroom Georgian house in the grounds which you can have to yourselves along with chef, waiter and housekeeper.
The spa’s big thing is Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing technique, with treatments like ‘Shirodhara’ – the pouring of oil onto your forehead to stimulate relaxation. There’s also a spa bar, rock sauna, crystal steam room and infinity pool with breathtaking views of the rolling Wiltshire countryside.
The details: Queenwood Lodge’s Spa Bunnies package starts at £245 per person, based on eight guests. This includes pre-dinner champagne and canapés, three-course dinner (food only), full Wiltshire breakfast, use of Bowood Spa facilities, an allocation of £80 per person towards spa treatments and admission to Bowood House and Gardens. Dedicated Lodge Manager and chef are also included.
14. Titanic Spa, Huddersfield
Housed in a superbly renovated Edwardian textile mill on the edge of the Pennines, Titanic Spa has 30 beautifully designed apartments, each of which cater for up to six guests.
Downstairs, more than 80 treatments are on offer with Decléor, Elemis, Carita and Neom Organics all on display. The best spa treatments have a holistic influence, such as Hopi ear candling. The Egyptian mud chamber is a big hit, and don’t miss the Heat and Ice experience which ends in an ice room. Finish in the relaxation area, piled high with beanbags.
The details: From £139 per person including breakfast, lunch and dinner, use of all spa facilities and the Titanic Heat & Ice experience.
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