Luxury spa breaks
In these fast-paced times a little luxury can go a long way. If you’re feeling frazzled by it all, take some time out from your hectic schedule to find your perfect sanctuary away from the daily grind.
From country house splendour to minimalist boutique chic, the UK boasts some of the finest spa facilities in the world.
Here we take a look at some of the best locations around the country.
Danesfield House Hotel & Spa – Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Set amongst 65 acres of grounds just 45 minutes from central London, this four-star hotel offers spectacular views across the River Thames and a restaurant boasting no less than four AA Rosettes. Enjoy the opulence of the cathedral-like Great Hall, indulge yourself in an award-winning spa treatment and sample some of chef Adam Simmonds’ innovative dishes in The Oak Room restaurant. Many rooms offer balconies with stunning views overlooking the Buckinghamshire countryside, and nothing is too much trouble for the team of committed staff.
The spa offers tranquility and relaxation in elegant surroundings - linked to the main hotel via a glass walkway. There's a 20m ozone-cleansed pool and a range of treatments on offer using ESPA, Molton Brown, CARITA and Jessica products.
Eastwell Manor – Ashford, Kent
Country houses don't come much more stately or blue-blooded than Eastwell Manor: it has been rooted into the Kentish landscape since the Normans arrived and sits within 62 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds. Inside, it is every inch the top-drawer country-house hotel - complete with carved oak panelling, baronial fireplaces, and antiques galore as well as a suitably 21st-century health and beauty spa.
15 luxurious treatment rooms are staffed by a dedicated team of therapists and beauticians – on hand to help you unwind, relax and forget your troubles. Products on offer include Clarins, Guinot, Jessica and St. Tropez.
K West Hotel & Spa – London
This funky four-star hotel is a minimalist oasis set deep in the heart of London’s bustling metropolis. Conveniently situated close to Notting Hill and the Westfield shopping centre – the hotel’s trendy lobby bar and mezzanine-style restaurant positively ooze city chic. Spacious, well-appointed bedrooms offer luxurious bedding, Aveda toiletries and a host of modern essentials such as a CD and DVD player. For those of you who like to party ‘til the early hours the lively foyer bar – K Lounge – hosts a resident DJ until 2am.
Spa facilities include a sauna, jacuzzi, two aromatherapy treatment rooms plus the RelaKs Lounge - where you can chill out for up to 60 minutes after a treatment in ergonomically designed loungers. There's also a gym, fitness classes and a nail bar. Products on offer include Germaine De Capuccini, ESPA, Ytsara, and Crystal Clear.
Nutfield Priory – Redhill, Surrey
This four-star Victorian country house dates back to 1872 and is set in 40 acres of delightful grounds. Inspired by the neo-Gothic design of the Palace of Westminster, Nutfield Priory offers a unique alternative to the average country-manor getaway. Bedrooms are individually decorated and equipped with an excellent range of facilities. Guest areas include the impressive grand hall, library and a cosy lounge bar area. The Cloisters restaurant boasts two AA Rosettes, where diners can take in stunning views over Surrey's South Downs.
Perfect for a spa break, the spa and health club houses a gym, indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam rooms, fitness classes, squash courts, treatment rooms, a relaxation room, a manicure area and a brasserie and bar.
Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa – Brockenhurst, Hampshire
This fabulous four-star hotel and spa is one of the largest in the New Forest. Famous for its spa breaks, it was voted Hotel Spa of the Year at the British Beauty Awards, awarded Gold by the Green Business Tourism Scheme for Excellence in Environmental Practice and was a finalist for Sustainable Tourism by Tourism South East. No less than three restaurants are on offer: the relaxed Blaireaus French Bistro; Thai cuisine in the Zen Garden and fine dining in the shape of the Manor - which has earned two AA Rosettes.
The £6m SenSpa is home to a large hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, thermal room, heated loungers, crystal steam room, mud room, ice room, gym, fitness studio, treatment rooms, ozone swimming pool and more. There are also several different showers, including stimulating health showers scented with peppermint and eucalyptus, and tropical, sea and ice storm showers complete with thunder and lightning!
Hartwell House and Spa – Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
A truly grand Stately Home, Hartwell House once home to the exiled king of France – Louis XVIII. Fine elegant reception and dining rooms create the ambience of a great country house. Situated in 90 acres of landscaped parkland and only one hour from London, Hartwell provides a great opportunity to enjoy a taste of the country high-life without travelling too far.
Facilities include a generous swimming pool, spa bath, steam room, saunas and all-weather, outdoor hot tub,. Four beauty treatment rooms are also on offer, featuring a range of treatments and therapies using Clarins, ESPA and Jessica products, to name but a few.
Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa – Newbury, Berkshire
This four-star hotel comes complete with an 18-hole golf course, a restaurant boasting two AA Rosettes and a state-of-the-art spa. Air-conditioned bedrooms are stylish, spacious and particularly well equipped with fridges, lap-top safes and internet access. The wonderful Wine Press restaurant offers imaginative food complemented by a superb wine list.
The spa offers a wide range of innovative treatments from ESPA, Clarins, Spa Find and Jessica Nails. There's also an 18m swimming pool, a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room, monsoon shower, a sun terrace plus a gym and studio.
Chewton Glen – New Milton, Hampshire
This outstanding five-star luxury country house is an AA Inspectors' Choice – an accolade synonymous with the highest quality and standards available anywhere in the UK and Ireland.
Set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park, this modest but luxurious hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from the sea. Log fires and afternoon tea are part of the tradition here, and lounges enjoy fine views over the sweeping croquet lawns outside. Generous bedrooms benefit from balconies or a patio overlooking the grounds. It doesn’t end there, however, as the dining experience is equally sumptuous. The restaurant boasts three AA Rosettes, and an extensive wine list is essential reading for the enthusiast.
The spa and leisure facilities are among the best in the country and the hotel was voted 'The UK's Favourite Spa Retreat' in the 2007 Condé Nast Traveller Magazine Reader Spa Awards. In addition to 10 treatment rooms and a relaxation room, you can also enjoy an outdoor whirlpool, a 17m ozone swimming pool, a hydrotherapy spa pool, aromatherapy saunas and crystal steam rooms, cold drench showers, a pool bar and lounge, a gym and a fitness studio.
Tylney Hall Hotel – Hook, Hampshire
This grand Victorian country house is a grade II listed mansion set in 66 acres of beautiful parkland. Featuring both a four-star rating and AA Inspectors’ Choice – visitors can be assured of the highest standards and attention to details throughout the hotel. Features include spacious guests areas such as the Wedgwood drawing room and wood-paneled Oak Room, all-weather tennis courts, croquet lawn and magnificently restored water gardens that were originally laid out by Gertrude Jekyll.
The spa offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a whirlpool, sauna, gym, outdoor terrace and a health and beauty suite. Other leisure facilities can be arranged at the hotel including horse riding, archery and clay pigeon shooting. Should you wish to work on your handicap, an 18-hole golf course is conveniently situated nearby.
Cliveden and The Pavilion Spa – Taplow, Berkshire
This grand Italianate mansion is a five-star hotel and another AA Inspectors' Choice. The chalk cliffs that give the estate its name offer panoramic views over the beautiful Berkshire countryside. Ornate furniture, oak paneling, priceless artwork and 376 acres of formal gardens will make you feel like royalty. One has only to look at previous guests including every British monarch since George I, Prime Ministers, President Roosevelt and even Charlie Chaplin.
As well as an array of beauty and holistic treatments, the Pavilion Spa offers indoor and outdoor heated pools, whirlpool spas, steam rooms, a sauna and Canadian hot tubs. Treatments feature such exclusive brands as Terraké and Carita. There's also a gym and tennis, squash and croquet facilities.
Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa – Bagshot, Surrey
This delightful five-star country-house hotel is set in 120-acre grounds and is an AA Inspectors' Choice – an accolade synonymous with the highest quality and standards available anywhere in the UK and Ireland. Its Latymer restaurant has been awarded four AA Rosettes and one Michelin star, and there is also a brasserie.
An ideal spa break destination, the hotel boasts 45,000 square feet of spa housing a thermal sequencing experience, ozone treated swimming and hydrotherapy pools – indoor and outdoor – along with a comprehensive range of therapies and treatments. Enjoy luxurious showering facilities and changing rooms, croquet, tennis, archery and even clay pigeon shooting.
Fawsley Hall – Daventry, Northamptonshire
This four-star hotel dates back to the 15th century and is again an AA Inspectors' Choice. Located amongst beautiful gardens designed by 'Capability' Brown, Fawsley Hall boasts spacious, individually designed bedrooms and stylish public areas beautifully furnished with antique paraphernalia. Afternoon tea is served in the impressive Great Hall, whilst dinner is available in the fine-dining Equilibrium Restaurant, which boasts three AA Rosettes. Bess's Brasserie is available for those seeking a more informal atmosphere.
In addition to a jogging trail and all-weather tennis court, the spa is home to a gym, steam room, Jacuzzi and sauna room. The Grayshott Studio Spa also features a 16m indoor ozone pool, an outdoor hydro pool, further treatment rooms and an extensive gym.
New Hall Hotel & Spa – Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Situated in 26 acres of beautiful grounds, this four-star property is reputed to be the oldest inhabited, moated house in England. Medieval charm and character blend seamlessly with modern guest facilities. Wood-paneled walls and mullioned stained-glass windows feature throughout, most notably in the magnificent Great Chamber. Experience fine dining from a British menu at The Bridge Restaurant (boasting two AA Rosettes), or sample traditional home-cooked cusine in the Terrace Brasserie. Leisure facilities include a tennis court, croquet lawn and a nine-hole pitch and putt course.
The hotel spa combines an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a hydrotherapy pool, a jacuzzi, a sauna and steam rooms. Exercise classes are held regularly and there are several treatment and relaxation rooms to allow you to indulge in pampering with Decléor products.
Nailcote Hall – Balsall Common, Coventry, Warwickshire
This 17th-century four-star hotel, set in 15 acres of lush grounds, boasts a Championship par-3 golf course, all-weather tennis courts, a jogging track, croquet and pentaque facilities and a Piano Bar. It’s not all activities though, as The Oak Room restaurant offers plenty of fine dining pleasure and an AA Rosette to boot.
The hotel spa houses a 14m Roman bath-style swimming pool, children's pool, jacuzzi, steam room, gym and beauty salon.
Fairlawns Hotel & Spa – Walsall, West Midlands
Set in a rural location amongst nine acres of immaculately landscaped grounds, this three star hotel offers a wide range of facilities and modern, comfortable bedrooms. Fairlawns Restaurant serves a wide range of award-winning seasonal dishes and boasts two AA Rosettes, whilst the hotel features a tennis court and outside adventure exercise course.
The spa facilities are extensive - including an 18m exercise pool, gym, circuit gym, studio, steam room, Finnish sauna, infrared sauna, aromatherapy room, relaxation lounge, hydrotherapy suite, crystal steam room, floral steam room, heated loungers and feature showers.
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel – Evershot, Dorset
This picturesque four-star hotel in the heart of Dorset is an AA Inspectors' Choice – an award indicating the highest quality and attention to detail. The delightful guest areas include a sumptuous lounge complete with an open fire and the elegant Dining Room - which has been awarded three AA Rosettes. Each room is individually designed and appointed to a high standard - with upholstered walls and a wealth of luxurious facilities to make your stay more enjoyable.
Leisure facilities at the hotel include an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, sauna and gym, cycling, a croquet lawn and an all-weather tennis court. You can also indulge yourself with a great range of health and beauty treatments.
St Michael’s Hotel & Spa – Falmouth, Cornwall
This fresh, contemporary three-star hotel sits on the Cornish coast with stunning sea views across sub-tropical gardens and the sandy Blue Flag-awarded Gyllyngvase beach. A contemporary theme throughout creates light, bright and well-equipped accommodation. The Flying Fish restaurant boasts an AA Rosette, offering a great selection of fresh fish and seafood.
The hotel spa features a large indoor heated indoor swimming pool, Finnish sauna, jacuzzi with sea views, steam room, sun deck, fitness suite and a range of spa treatments using ESPA products.
Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel – Bath, Somerset
A delightful five-star Georgian mansion set amid seven acres of landscaped grounds, the hotel is conveniently located close to the city centre. The award-winning Vellore restaurant, which boasts two AA Rosettes, was once the magnificent ballroom of the original house. The menu combines traditional and modern English fare with fine seasonal ingredients, complimented by a wonderful canopied outdoor terrace – just perfect for the warmer summer months.
Facilities include a gym, an indoor swimming pool, croquet facilities, a thermal suite, a sun terrace, a whirlpool, an outdoor hydropool and several beauty treatment rooms.
The Lodore Falls Hotel – Keswick, Cumbria
This imposing three-star hotel, constricted from traditional Lakeland slate, has enjoyed a commanding presence over the Borrowdale Valley for more than 200 years. An enviable location overlooking Derwentwater perfectly compliments 40 acres of grounds surrounding the hotel. Rooms have recently been refurbished and many offer lake or fell views.
The spa is home to an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, and a waterfall hot tub. Elemis health and beauty treatments include a choice of massages, facials, tanning, waxing, manicures, pedicures and facials – one treatment makes use of the Lodore Waterfall. There's also a gym plus tennis and squash facilities.
Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa – Nantwich, Cheshire
This four-star 19th-century mansion is set in 38 acres of gardens, pasture and parkland. Bedrooms are spacious and appointed to a high standard with wide-screen plasma TVs and DVD players - many rooms also have separate walk-in showers as well as deep tubs. The overall atmosphere is enhanced by the fact that many of the building’s original features remain. In line with our other featured properties, the restaurant boasts two AA Rosettes.
Combining old and new to great effect, the Spa and Health Club is housed in a converted stable block featuring a gym, brasserie, relaxation room, glass-roofed 18m swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, crystal steam room, traditional sauna and eight treatment rooms.
Rowton Hall Country House Hotel & Spa – Chester, Cheshire
This delightful four-star Georgian manor house, set in mature grounds, was built in 1779. Many original features remain such as a superb carved staircase and several eye-catching fireplaces. Rooms vary in style and decor, each featuring an impressive en suite and facilities. The oak-paneled Langdale Restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes, whilst the Health Club Lounge and conservatory offers informal dining and light lunches.
The Health Club includes a 12m indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi. There is also a gym, dance studio and several treatment rooms.
Seaham Hall Hotel & Spa – Seaham, County Durham
This imposing house was the setting for Lord Byron's marriage to Annabella Milbanke in 1815. It's now a top hotel just 20 minutes from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Now restored to their former opulent glory the bedrooms – including some stunning suites – offer cutting edge technology, contemporary artwork and a real sense of style. Bathrooms are particularly lavish, with two-person baths a feature, and the guest areas are equally impressive.
The fully-featured Serenity Spa is attached to the main hotel via an underground walkway. Inspired by Feng Shui, it has been voted Best Spa for Style by The Sunday Times and Best UK Spa Destination by Condé Nast Traveller. Features include a 20m ozone pool with massage stations, sanarium with crystal light therapy, sauna with quartz crystal, black granite steam room with amethyst crystal, snail showers, Hamman room with jacuzzi, hydrotherapy bath with massage stations, ice fountain, plunge pools, outdoor hot tubs, gym, aerobic studio, roof garden and restaurant. As if that wasn’t enough, the spa also offers more than 45 different health and beauty treatments.
Middlethorpe Hall Hotel & Spa – York, North Yorkshire
This fine National Trust property, dating from the reign of William and Mary, sits amongst several acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. It boasts four stars and is an AA Inspectors' Choice. The restoration and conversion were carried out to exacting and historically accurate standards, enhanced by the 18th century decor and antique furnishings. The grounds feature a fragrant rose garden, walled garden and a romantic meadow that leads to a lake surrounded by specimen trees.
The health and fitness spa offers a range of Decléor, ESPA, Caci-Quantum, Jessica and St Tropez treatments. There's also a swimming pool, a steam room, a whirlpool bath, a sauna and a gym.
Matfen Hall – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland
This four-star mansion lies in landscaped parkland overlooking its own golf course. Bedrooms are a blend of contemporary and traditional, but all are very comfortable and well equipped. Impressive public rooms include a splendid drawing room and the elegant Library and Print Room Restaurant, which boasts two AA Rosettes, as well as a conservatory bar.
Extensive spa facilities include: a 16m swimming pool and spa pool; a soothing salt grotto; a crystal steam room; a herbal sauna; an ice fountain; a gym; and a tropical feature shower. Choose from a range of relaxing health and beauty treatments using products by Jessica, Comfort Zone and Jane Iredale.
Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa – Leeds, Yorkshire
This four-star spa hotel offers modern rooms with plenty of facilities. A terrace and courtyard offer all-day casual dining and refreshments, whilst The Restaurant features a Mediterranean-themed menu and boasts an AA Rosette.
Spa facilities include: a 13m swimming pool with relaxation area, an exercise studio and gym, poolside fibre-optic steam room, large whirlpool and several therapy rooms offering ESPA, Jessica and Bare Escentuals treatments.
Swinton Park – Ripon, North Yorkshire
This friendly four-star castle hotel and sporting estate is an AA Inspectors' Choice – an award based on the very highest standards. The original part of the building dates from the 17th century and a three AA Rosettes restaurant – Samuel’s - was built by the current owner's great-great-great grandfather. The menu uses local produce, much of which is sourced from the Swinton estate itself. Swinton Park sits within 200 beautiful acres of parkland, lakes, rivers and dales.
The Swinton Park spa is equipped with a sauna, jacuzzi, relaxation zone, exercise room and five treatment rooms offering therapies using Jane Iredale and Jessica products.
The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa – Skipton, North Yorkshire
With stunning views of the Wharfedale countryside, this beautiful hotel - owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire - dates back to the 17th century. Four-star accreditation and an AA Inspectors' Choice mean visitors can expect quality and attention to detail throughout. Bedrooms are elegantly furnished, the sitting rooms are delightfully cosy with log fires and staff are friendly, dedicated and professional. The Burlington Restaurant offers award-winning, highly accomplished cuisine, whilst the Brasserie provides a lighter alternative.
Housed in a converted barn opposite The Devonshire Arms, the spa is a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. It houses an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, plunge pool, gym, a sun terrace and several beauty therapy rooms offering Elemis treatments.
Celtic Manor Resort – Newport, Gwent
This outstanding five-star resort features three championship golf courses, superb leisure clubs and two hotels. The Celtic Manor Hotel has excellent bedrooms offering space and comfort aplenty, with stylish public areas nestled around a spectacular atrium lobby that includes several eateries.
As one might expect in a resort of this size there are not one, but two spas available. Highlights include a 20m swimming pool and the Forum Health Club, featuring the largest freeform spa bath in Europe, with luxurious changing rooms each with their own spa bath, sauna, plunge pool and steam room. There's also a gym and wide choice of beauty treatments and therapies from Elemis, Payot and Clarins.
Should the man of the house fancy a spot of pampering too, a separate Clarins Health Spa – at The Lodge – offers a range of treatments designed specifically for men.
Quay Hotel & Spa – Deganwy, Conwy
This four-star boutique hotel was AA Hotel of the Year for Wales 2007-8 and occupies a stunning position beside the estuary on Deganwy's Quay. Panoramic views from the hotel take in Conwy Castle and a yacht-filled marina. The rugged coastline is breathtakingly magnificent and the hotel itself is a statement of modern architectural design. Spacious bedrooms, many with balconies and wonderful views, are decorated in neutral colours and boast a host of thoughtful extras. Its first-floor restaurant, The Vue, boasts two AA Rosettes and offers modern British cuisine.
The spa is home to a 15m indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, gym, fitness classes and a long relaxation room - making it ideal for a relaxing spa break. Its seven treatment rooms and nail salon use Elemis, Aromatherapy Associates, Carita and Jessica products
The St David's Hotel & Spa – Cardiff, Glamorgan
This five star, contemporary hotel sits in a prime position on Cardiff Bay - a seven-storey atrium creates a dramatic first impression. Tides Restaurant, adjacent to the stylish cocktail bar, offers views across the water to Penarth whilst a quiet first-floor lounge offers guests a relaxing ambience.
The Marine Spa boasts hydrotherapy multi-jet marine pools, gym, 15m ozone swimming pool, poolside sauna, fitness classes and 14 treatment rooms. In the water treatment rooms you can even book a hydrotherapy bath with underwater massage. Experience the hydrotherapy corridor, with its massage fountains and gentle currents, or relax on the underwater jet beds in the hydrotherapy pool. Choose from treatments using a wide range of marine, aromatherapy and natural products - with brands including Nora Bode OXYjet Star, Thalgo and ESPA
The Balmoral – Edinburgh, Midlothian
This elegant five-star Rocco Forte hotel enjoys a prestigious address with fine views over the city and nearby castle. A contemporary Scottish style runs throughout the hotel, with a thoughtful range of extras and impressive marble bathrooms. As well as a Roman-style health spa, the Balmoral offers extensive function facilities, a choice of bars and two very different dining options. Number One's inspired fine dining boasts three AA Rosettes, whilst Hadrian's is a bustling, informal brasserie offering a chic dining experience. Take some time out to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the Palm Court or sample the delights of the Bollinger Bar.
The Balmoral Spa was voted 'Scotland's Top Urban Day Spa' in the Condé Nast Traveller's 2008 Readers' Spa Awards. It houses a 15m indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a steam room, a relaxation suite, a gym and an exercise studio – as well as five treatment rooms offering treatments from ESPA and Ytsara.
De Vere Deluxe Cameron House – Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire
Enjoying an idyllic location on the banks of Loch Lomond and nestled amongst over 100 acres of wooded parkland - this five star hotel offers spacious, well-appointed accommodation. Rooms vary in size and style and many feature wonderful views over the loch. Guests can enjoy a good choice of restaurants, bars and lounges and a host of indoor and outdoor sporting activities - including two golf courses. Dine at Wishart's - which boasts three AA Rosettes - The Cameron Grill, or The Boathouse.
This is a great place to enjoy a spa break. Just a short walk from the hotel, The Spa at the Carrick offers an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, thermal suite including sauna, relaxation areas and indoor and outdoor hydropools. Choose from a range of health and beauty treatments using Kerstin Florian and Carita products.
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa – Dundee, Angus
This stylish, purpose-built hotel occupies an enviable position at the heart of Dundee's regenerated quayside area. Rooms, including a number of smart suites, feature the very latest in design chic and offer great facilities as standard. Open-plan guest areas feature panoramic windows, whilst fine contemporary dining completes the package nicely. The Alchemy Restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes whilst the Metro Bar and Brasserie offer a dash of chic convenience.
The Yu Spa – which takes its name from the Japanese word for hot water – offers a gym, 12m ozone swimming pool, wooden hot tubs, sauna, steam room and treatment rooms where you can and while away the day.
Updated May 2014