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! ragdalehall.co.uk
2. Down Hall Hotel & Spa, Bishop’s Stortford
This grand country house hotel lies just 45 minutes from central London making it the ideal spot for an indulgent weekend break. The recently-opened Eden Spa boasts a relaxing hydrotherapy pool, a sauna and steam room, and offers a range of ESPA treatments – with Jessica Nails for manis and pedis and MII cosmetics for makeovers.
The relaxation starts as you arrive at Down Hall’s sweeping driveway, with the impressive 19th-century mansion house waiting at the end. The traditional interiors are decorated with ornate design features and there’s over 100 acres of surrounding woodland to explore – as well as two tennis courts, an extensive gym, and the award-winning Grill Room restaurant.
Save money on your Down Hall Hotel & Spa mini break! One-night Gourmet Getaway from £71pp, including three-course dinner in the Grill Room on each night of your stay and a delicious afternoon tea for two. See the details
3. 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. hartwell-house.com
4. Lake Country House, Powys, Wales
This privately-owned country retreat conceals a lodge-style spa in its beautiful grounds. There’s a 25-metre indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub, set in a peaceful location overlooking the private lake. Spa treatments are plentiful and eclectic – from a traditional Indian head massage, to a facial using products blended with Champagne, black truffles and gold.
Back at the hotel, the guestrooms are elegantly informal and the award-winning restaurant serves exceptional Welsh cuisine. When you’re not relaxing in the spa, there’s fishing, tennis and a nine-hole golf-course to enjoy. Make sure you work up an appetite for the delicious afternoon tea, included in this fantastic offer.
Save money on your Lake Country House mini break! One-night Pampering Break from £74pp, including afternoon tea, four-course dinner, full breakfast and 20% off spa treatments. Stay for 3+ nights and receive £40 spa voucher. See the details
5. 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. thegrove.co.uk
Exclusive offer: Luxurious London spa day from £90pp – including 55-minute spa treatment and Prosecco
6. 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. middlethorpe.com
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7. 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. 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. swintonestate.com
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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. 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. 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. stmoritzhotel.co.uk
10. St Brides 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. 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. 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. 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. bowood.org
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.