GREAT FOR: INTIMATE ESCAPES
THE NEWT, Bruton, Somerset
In brief Georgian-era Hadspen House is set amid beautiful gardens, lakes and woodland. Owned by ex-editor of South African Elle Deco Karen Roos, the décor is modern country chic. The ethos is farm-to-table sustainability – they even have their own buffalo herd for mozzarella. There are 23 bedrooms in the house and stableyard, with another 17 in the farmyard. It’s hugely popular so be sure to book well ahead.
The spa The Newt has upped its spa game, with a focus on holistic treatments. The former barn houses an elegant hammam and a rasul mud chamber for (loving) mud slinging.
Good to know It’s an intimate space with a secluded feel and guests talk in hushed, discreet tones. There are lots of pathways to explore and the deer walk is a ‘don’t miss’.
Water features The gorgeous indoor-outdoor pool offers plenty of natural light.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £375 b&b based on two sharing, including a mini larder as well as access to the gardens and estate. Minimum stay of two nights
DOGS Only assistance dogs allowed
CHILDREN Set swimming times
CONTACT 01963 577777, thenewtinsomerset.com
GREAT FOR: A FAMILY EVENT
CALCOT & SPA, Tetbury
In brief Set in a sleepy Cotswolds village amid 220 acres of green fields, this is accessible luxury at its best with great food and service. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere – plenty of play areas and outdoor eating with pizza ovens, plus old-school cocktail-before-dinner vibes in the conservatory.
The spa The treatments are excellent and can also cater for those going through cancer therapy, so discuss your needs with the team beforehand. Its podiatry services are so good that many travel here for regular treatment. A new outdoor gym means you can get active alfresco.
Good to know Don’t miss the outdoor hot tub and cocktails on the conservatory terrace.
Water features A 16-metre indoor pool plus a small outdoor one. For a quiet swim, avoid afternoon Family Splash Time (both pools).
PRICE PER NIGHT From £239 b&b based on two sharing. Spa only half day from £145
DOGS By prior arrangement (service dogs welcome)
WEDDINGS Exclusive use (not spa)
CHILDREN Play barn (must be supervised by an adult). Family swim 3.45pm-5.15pm. No under-18s in spa
CONTACT 01666 890391, calcot.co
GREAT FOR: A BIG BIRTHDAY TREAT
MULLION COVE HOTEL, Mullion, Cornwall
In brief This clifftop hotel with sensational views is like something from an Agatha Christie adaptation. The modern-classic interiors feature plenty of colour and retro telephones, plus open fires in winter. Service is also old-school and top notch.
The spa A stylishly contemporary eco affair using Soil Association-approved organic products and Voya seaweed therapies. There’s also an outdoor hot tub. Enjoy treatments – including holistic remedies such as reiki – with the sound of the sea as a backdrop. The signature Mullion Ocean Essence is 90 minutes of pure indulgence.
Good to know The spa has only three treatment rooms so try to book your appointment as far ahead as you can.
Water features An outdoor pool (heated March to October), indoor hydrotherapy pool (below) and a salt laconicum. The steam rooms even have a sea view.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £120 based on two sharing. Treatments from £45
DOGS Welcome. No supplement during low season, at other times £9 per night
CHILDREN No under-18s in the spa. Children can use the outdoor pool 3pm-6pm, when accompanied by an adult
CONTACT 01326 240328, mullion-cove.co.uk
GREAT FOR: A ROMANTIC INTERLUDE
HECKFIELD PLACE, Heckfield, Hampshire
In brief A top-level-luxury, attention-paid-to-even-the-smallest-detail kind of hotel, set in acres of land. It’s so large the place feels like a breath of fresh air for the soul. Though it’s really currently more of a hotel destination than a spa, the therapists here are so good they can make a massage feel spiritual and shouldn’t be missed.
The spa Known as the Little Bothy, it has three treatment rooms and a small reception area, plus two rooms in a Garden Cottage.
Good to know From the autumn – no date or details confirmed at time of going to press – The Bothy, a new spa using the in-house Wildsmith products, will open with swimming pool, fitness and steam room. Expect great things. Any noisy works have been completed so won’t disturb your stay.
Water features Coming in the autumn.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £350 b&b based on two sharing
DOGS Welcome, with a £35 surcharge
WEDDINGS Exclusive venue use for larger weddings; midweek events available for up to 30 people
CHILDREN No under-16s can stay at the main house
CONTACT 0118 932 6868, heckfieldplace.com
GREAT FOR: HONEYMOONS AND PROPOSALS
BARNSLEY HOUSE, Barnsley, Gloucestershire
In brief An old manor house in a picturesque Cotswolds village that is usually packed in summer months with coachloads of tourists from overseas, so this could be a great year to visit, while it feels less crowded. The landscaped four-acre gardens are by renowned designer Rosemary Verey. You can wander through the kitchen gardens, too. If you want more privacy there are some cottages set apart down winding paths. This is a smaller sister hotel to Calcot.
The spa It’s set apart from the main house, almost like a secret hideaway.
Good to know There’s also a private cinema here where you can snuggle up and watch a classic movie.
Water features Sauna and steam room and spa gardens feature a hydrotherapy pool (above) as well as a fire pit.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £369 b&b based on two sharing. Spa access from £130 per guest
DOGS Service dogs welcome. Pets by prior arrangement or at nearby The Village Pub (also owned by Barnsley House)
WEDDINGS Only on an exclusive basis (including the spa)
CHILDREN The hotel is adults only
CONTACT 01285 740000, barnsleyhouse.com
GREAT FOR: AN ANNIVERSARY RETREAT
THE SCARLET, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
In brief This is an eco-hotel with a relaxed, low-key and decidedly unfussy vibe. It manages all of that while also feeling like a luxury escape with excellent, friendly service. Eco means no air-conditioning, so it can get hot and steamy in warmer weather – but the hotel can provide fans, so don’t be afraid to ask. There’s also a gin bar stocked with local brands, which means you can be healthy all day and head here for an evening snifter.
The spa Feels very cosseting and peaceful. Treatments are great quality and the relaxation room has wonderful hanging pods instead of the usual chaise longues.
Good to know The outdoor wooden barrel saunas (below) with views over the sea offer a great couple’s time-out from the world.
Water features These are truly splendid: an indoor 13-metre pool (filtered with low-dosage bromine) and relaxation area overlooking a naturally filtered (unheated) reed pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £245 b&b based on two sharing. Spa days from £170 for the Tranquillity package with 60-minute massage and lunch in the restaurant
DOGS Welcome (except in bar and restaurant)
WEDDINGS On a nonexclusive basis
CHILDREN This is an adults-only hotel
CONTACT 01637 861800, scarlethotel.co.uk
GREAT FOR: OUTDOORS TYPES
ANOTHER PLACE, Penrith, Cumbria
In brief A perfectly pitched destination that’s both luxurious and comfortable all at once. You feel as though you could stay for weeks and never tire of anything. Welcomes families but can still feel intimate for twosomes. It’s the sister hotel to Watergate Bay (see page 37) so it’s a similar ethos here – a warm snuggle of a place after some time spent outdoors exploring Ullswater Lake.
The spa It has a similar vibe to Watergate Bay with a balance between active and relaxed. There is a focus on swimming (it’s also called Swim Club). The sauna has a glass wall giving views of the countryside, and the outdoor hot tub is heated.
Good to know Early birds at the pool can enjoy watching the sunrise over the fells.
Water features The indoor pool (right) offers lake views. Resident cold-water swim coach Colin Hill – a cold-water champion – has sessions in Ullswater. Or try kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £190 b&b based on two sharing; treatments from £55
DOGS From £15 per night surcharge
WEDDINGS Some exclusive-use events
CHILDREN Lake sports for ages eight-plus. Supervised activities from six months to 12 years
CONTACT 01768 486442, another.place
GREAT FOR: ALL AGES TO ENJOY
SEAHAM HALL, Seaham, County Durham
In brief Built in 1791, the house hosted the marriage of Lord Byron to Miss Milbanke. Now it’s an intimate, stylish hotel. For a touch of glamour, the Bath Butler service is on hand to draw your bath, then you can take in the view while you bathe à deux (above).
The spa The Serenity Spa is reached via an amazing underground water walkway. Although luxurious, it has an air of seclusion.
Good to know The outdoor hot tub is a must, as is a long walk along the beach. The coast path is right on Seaham’s doorstep.
Water features The 20-metre ozone-treated indoor pool with massage stations, indoor hydrotherapy pool, hammam, snail showers, Jacuzzi, Asian herbal samarium, steam room.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £315 b&b based on two sharing
DOGS Not allowed
WEDDINGS Usually exclusive use of venue
CHILDREN £50 a night per child. Swim times apply
CONTACT 0191 516 1400, seaham-hall.co.uk
GREAT FOR: AN ANNUAL FRIENDS’ HOLIDAY
WILDERNESS RESERVE CHAPEL BARN ESTATE, Sibton, Suffolk
In brief A former Tudor farmstead, this rural idyll near the Suffolk coast is an instant tonic. It offers renovated houses and cottages for intimate or group stays.
The spa Three recently refurbished dwellings have been transformed into personal spa houses, each with its own swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and treatment room. Treatments are by leading skincare brand 111Skin. Chapel Barn (below) can sleep 38, The Grange sleeps 14, and the Cider House sleeps 12.
Good to know Also offers cycling, archery, clay-pigeon shooting and boating.
Water features Your own personal pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £1,301
WEDDINGS Yes, on exclusive house basis
CHILDREN Totally up to you – it’ll be your house for the duration
CONTACT 01986 802113, wildernessreserve.com
GREAT FOR: COSY FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS
CHEWTON GLEN HOTEL AND SPA, New Forest, Hampshire
In brief Surrounded by woodland, this is a truly lovely country house hotel, with a slightly chintzy feel to the décor. Treehouse rooms and suites are more modern in feel.
The spa The splendid spa is a destination in itself. Treatments are fully bespoke (bliss!) so just choose between a facial or a body massage and they will devise the rest according to your needs. There are also alfresco Treehouse treatments available.
Good to know There’s a tennis centre with two indoor and outdoor courts.
Water features The indoor 17-metre pool (below), which was refurbished last year, is bathed in daylight and comes with elegant loungers all round for day-long pool-hanging. The hydrotherapy pools are a must and there’s an outdoor whirlpool, too, plus aromatherapy sauna and crystal steam rooms.
PRICE PER NIGHT Rooms from £325 based on two sharing. Spa-only days from £180
DOGS Welcome in the Treehouse
WEDDINGS On a nonexclusive basis
CHILDREN Some restrictions apply. There is a kids’ club
CONTACT 01425 282212, chewtonglen.com
GREAT FOR: MAJOR GROWN-UP LIFE EVENTS
GLENEAGLES HOTEL, Auchterarder, Perthshire
In brief This place is seriously luxurious and has moved on from the grand Scottish décor look to more of a contemporary chic that works everywhere from Chelsea to the wild countryside. The dining is fine – and be sure to have drinks in the stylish American Bar.
The spa From the moment you enter, the sheer abundance and generosity of space dedicated to this spa is instantly calming and restorative. Even the pre-treatment waiting area is lavish in size, and the amount of natural light pouring in is wonderful. Treatments are first class. The spa is often full of golf ‘widows’ whose partners are out playing a round on the famous course. The wellness programme is being relaunched in June.
Good to know The Bob & Cloche beauty salon is worth a visit for its 1930s Hollywood starlet’s dressing-room vibe.
Water features There’s an 18-metre lap pool exclusively for adults, plus a family-friendly lagoon-like 22-metre leisure pool. The popular outdoor hot tubs give a real sense of being in the Scottish lowlands.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £450 b&b based on two sharing
DOGS £100 a dog per night surcharge
WEDDINGS Nonexclusive venue weddings are bookable
CHILDREN Not allowed in the spa, but can use the pool in the health club. There’s a crèche, and in summer, outdoor activities according to age group
CONTACT 01764 662231, gleneagles.com
GREAT FOR: A NEW MUM GETAWAY
SOPWELL HOUSE, St Albans, Hertfordshire
In brief The main Georgian manor house has a slight Footballers’ Wives feel to the décor (there’s even a hallway lined with football memorabilia). The stylish mews suites have access to an outside pool.
The spa The Cottonmill is a bright, modern affair with hanging egg chairs and the usual sauna and steam rooms. You may prefer to pay for access to The Club at Cottonmill, a private members’ area with its own garden hot tubs, indoor-to-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, infrared loungers and panoramic sauna.
Good to know Try the sand and water treatment where the body is immersed in hot sand to ease tension. And the sunset views from the panoramic sauna are a must.
Water features The main spa has a 14.5-metre indoor pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT Rooms from £173 b&b based on two sharing. Spa-only days from £145
DOGS Guide dogs only
WEDDINGS With exclusive access (except the spa)
CHILDREN Over-16s can use pools accompanied by an adult
CONTACT 01727 864477, sopwellhouse.co.uk
GREAT FOR: WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES
CLIVEDEN HOUSE, Taplow, Berkshire
In brief Old-school, classic elegance. Everything at this historic, luxury hotel – from the surroundings to the service – feels a cut above.
The spa It’s accessed from the main house via a covered walkway. All treatments are tailored to each guest so you have to decide only whether you want a face or a body treatment (it’s the same at sister hotel Chewton Glen). More of a grown-up feel so think hushed tones rather than raucous chats.
Good to know Take a trip down the Thames on one of the hotel’s vintage launches.
Water features There is a very refined indoor pool area in its own pavilion. Outside is the notorious ‘Profumo’ swimming pool, the last remaining listed outdoor pool in England.
PRICE PER NIGHT Rooms from £445 based on two sharing. Spa-only days from £210
WEDDINGS On a nonexclusive basis
CHILDREN Restricted access to pool and facilities. Babysitters bookable for evening meals
CONTACT 01628 668561, clivedenhouse.co.uk
GREAT FOR: A ROMANTIC ESCAPE
FIFE ARMS, Braemar, Aberdeenshire
In brief This traditional 19th-century coaching hotel has been scaled up in a very luxurious way by modern art maestros and gallerists Hauser & Wirth, with some serious artwork, including a Picasso, hanging here. Décor is a homespun but arty vibe with clashing plaids and patterns, which feels very grounded in the Highlands. There’s a wonderful secret garden at the rear of the building.
The spa The Albamhor Spa at the back of the hotel is accessed by a courtyard featuring a giant Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture. It’s a small space but very cocooning, with thoughtfully designed treatments, such as the Hot Cairngorm Stones massage.
Good to know The hotel runs art tours of its more than 14,000 artworks.
Water features It’s not that kind of spa.
PRICE PER NIGHT £250 b&b based on two sharing
DOGS Welcome in certain rooms and most of the hotel (£25 per stay)
WEDDINGS Not on an exclusive venue basis
CHILDREN Only over-18s in the spa
CONTACT 01339 720202, thefifearms.com
GREAT FOR: GETTING BACK TO NATURE
BODYSGALLEN HALL AND SPA, Llandudno, Snowdonia
In brief Set in 230 acres – with award-winning formal gardens – it was a watchtower for Conwy Castle in the 13th century and became a residence in the late Elizabethan era. The interiors have a grand country house feel. Cottage suites also available.
The spa A short walk from the hotel. There’s an indoor swimming pool plus steam room, sauna, a sun terrace and six treatment rooms using Aromatherapy Associates products.
Good to know There are woodland walks, including one to a 17th-century terrace and folly. The tower in the centre of the house affords exceptional views of Conwy Castle and Snowdonia National Park.
Water features A 15-metre indoor pool with natural light and inviting loungers.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £285 per person
DOGS Pet-friendly cottage suites
WEDDINGS Only on exclusive venue use
CHILDREN Ages eight to 16 are allowed in the spa at certain times
CONTACT 01492 584466, bodysgallen.com
GREAT FOR: BEACH WALKS
ARCHERFIELD HOUSE, Dirleton, East Lothian
In brief A 17th-century Grade 1 listed country pile with traditional posh décor (think lush red curtains and lavish, tasselled pelmets). Bedrooms in the main house are romantic, luxury affairs. Alternatively, book into a converted Pavilion suite or modern-build villa. There’s access to two 18-hole golf courses.
The spa Fletcher’s Cottage Spa (above) is an elegantly comfy space – sink-in sofas, log-burning stove – set in a walled garden. The treatments are first class but there’s also a focus on experiences. Cold-water therapy and breath work in the sea, anyone?
Good to know East Lothian has its own microclimate and is regarded as one of the driest and sunniest places in Scotland.
Water features Just the sea and a stretch of beach overlooking Fidra island. Plus a marine steam room and lavender sauna.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £205 b&b for a Pavilion based on two sharing; £160 for a spa day
DOGS Package with bed, treats and poo bags (£45 surcharge)
WEDDINGS On exclusive-use basis
CHILDREN Welcome, but spa is adults only
CONTACT 01620 897050, archerfieldhouse.com
GREAT FOR: A HEN PARTY
CROW WOOD HOTEL & SPA RESORT, Burnley, Lancashire
In brief It almost feels like the spa takes priority here, with the hotel an easy add-on to prolong the time you can spend in it. Rooms are accessible luxury and can offer exceptional views. Early risers will see deer roaming the 40 acres of grounds.
The spa The Woodland Spa is a stone’s throw from the hotel and accessed via a walkway (or be taken by buggy), this has a younger, fun vibe. Décor is very modern – think sleek chrome fittings.
Good to know Very popular with day spa-goers. Take in a woodland walk down to the River Calder (a section of which belongs to the resort).
Water features One of Europe’s largest hydrotherapy pools, surrounded by thermal cabins. Also a serenity pool with low lighting and starry sky effects for relaxation, rasul mud chambers and an indoor/outdoor pool (below).
PRICE PER NIGHT £140 b&b based on two sharing. For overnight guests a spa visit starts at £40 for the day
DOGS No, but they can help find a local dog-sitting service
WEDDINGS Held at the rear of the venue so other guests are not disturbed
CHILDREN Welcome but spa 16-plus only
CONTACT 01282 471913, the woodlandspa.com
GREAT FOR: A FAMILY CELEBRATION
WATERGATE BAY HOTEL, Cornwall
In brief A relaxed, casual but stylish hotel set atop its namesake bay. Its easy, welcoming feel is like a hotel version of a warm hug.
The spa Called Swim Club, it’s a very water-activity-centred space and often runs swim-school escapes. Alongside are white- and blue-themed treatment rooms with a seaside feel. There’s a separate mani/pedi room and next to that is the Ocean Room – a sofa-filled space with a large fire and amazing coastal views from the giant windows (below). Spending time here is very calming – like meditating in front of a living painting.
Good to know Don’t skip the outdoor hot tub – even in cold weather. Cut down into the cliff, it’s shielded from the wind and enjoys some of the best views of the bay.
Water features A 25-metre indoor pool with a view (perfect for sunset swims), an outdoor Finnish sauna and Canadian hot tub.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £210 b&b based on two sharing
WEDDINGS Occasionally, on an exclusive basis
CHILDREN Kids’ Zone with supervised morning and evening sessions for children aged six to 12 years
CONTACT 01637 860543, watergatebay.co.uk
GREAT FOR: COUPLES REUNITED
BEAVERBROOK, Leatherhead, Surrey
In brief A classic English country estate that once belonged to publisher and politician Lord Beaverbrook. It’s a grand yet comfortable affair with sweeping views from the terrace (left) and estate cottages that have been turned into picturesque dining spots.
The spa Enjoy restorative treatments at the Coach House Spa, in former outbuildings behind the house. Interiors are by artist Brian Clarke, with stained-glass ceiling windows that look like autumn leaves against blue skies and Arts and Crafts-style wall tiles. You’ll want to keep breathing this place in. There’s also a sauna and indoor Jacuzzi.
Good to know Lots to do, including a cookery school, cycling and badminton.
Water features A 20-metre indoor pool surrounded by rattan loungers arranged parallel to a similar outdoor pool setup.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £385 based on two sharing. Half-day spa visit from £175
DOGS Welcome (not in main house or spa) with a £35 surcharge per night
WEDDINGS Held Monday-Thursday
CHILDREN Pool has family times. Kids club (ages six to 12)
CONTACT 01372 571300, beaverbrook.co.uk
GREAT FOR: FRAZZLED PARENTS
GALGORM SPA AND GOLF RESORT, Galgorm, Co Antrim
In brief Set on the Causeway coastal route, in 163 acres of parkland and right next to the River Maine, this is a very picturesque spot.
The spa The Thermal Spa village had a £2 million extension last year and is a wanderer’s paradise, taking in outdoor sauna pods, private cabanas for two and beautiful gardens (below) dotted with places to sit and relax.
Good to know You can also have tennis or falconry lessons and go fishing or biking.
Water features A 20-metre indoor pool and an impressive 10-metre vitality pool overlooking the river, as well as 11 private and five group outdoor hot tubs and a Jacuzzi pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £95 per person b&b based on two sharing. Weekday spa days from £75
DOGS Dog-friendly suites with £15 a night surcharge
WEDDINGS Very popular
CHILDREN Over-16s in spa and designated family swim times
CONTACT 028 2588 1001; galgorm.com
GREAT FOR: A GIRLS’ WEEKEND
COWLEY MANOR, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
In brief A wonderful mini stately home from the outside. On the inside it’s been given a colourful and minimal modern makeover. The 55 acres of grounds are also beautiful and include a lake.
The spa A real reason to visit, the spa is a 200-yard walk from the main house, carved into the land, and filled with natural light. The perfect place to hang out and relax in, it manages to feel both zen and fun.
Good to know The new Cowley Picnic service offers a range of picnic food served inside a luxurious bell tent in the gardens. It’s kitted out with deckchairs, blankets and games.
Water features Both indoor and outdoor pools are heated year-round. Outside comes with a bar and waiter service.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £230 based on two sharing. Spa days from £125
WEDDINGS On a nonexclusive venue basis (and popular)
CHILDREN Welcome but spa and pool access is restricted
CONTACT 01242 870900, cowleymanor.com
GREAT FOR: FAMILIES NEEDING TIME OUT
PENNYHILL PARK, Bagshot, Surrey
In brief An old country house that has been given a sensitive update, set in 123 acres of Surrey countryside. Each room and suite has its own individual design, mixing traditional and contemporary styles throughout. The food is excellent, too.
The spa This is a serious affair with a 45,000 sq ft dedicated facility housing 23 treatment rooms, nail bar and pool- view bar. It’s easy to spend the day here.
Good to know Great for young kids as you’re close to Legoland and Birdworld.
Water features An 18-metre outdoor pool and a 25-metre indoor pool (below) with relaxing underwater music and plenty of hot tubs, inside and out. The outdoor hydrotherapy pool is accessed via a swim-through entrance in the spa.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £295 b&b based on two sharing
DOGS Welcome with a £50 per day surcharge
WEDDINGS Yes, on both exclusive and nonexclusive bases
CHILDREN Can use the outdoor pool but spa is adults only
CONTACT 01276 478300, exclusive.co.uk
GREAT FOR: A ROMANTIC RETREAT
LIME WOOD, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
In brief If the English countryside hotel were pitching itself to Hollywood for the movie version of its life, it would present Lime Wood. Nestled in the New Forest, it’s an idyllic spot. There’s a choice of stylish accommodation, from the main house to forest suites (my favourite) and even lake cabins, including many that are well appointed for families.
The spa The Herb House Spa is as much a leader in its field now as it was when the hotel opened in 2009. It’s easy to languish the day away here. Spread over three levels, the place feels modern and really connected to the greenery outside. To keep it peaceful, there are no bookings for groups larger than four.
Good to know The spa rooftop has a herb garden with tranquil places to sit, as well as a gym. They also run retreats.
Water features An indoor 16-metre ozone-treated lap pool overlooking the garden, plus indoor hydro pool with forest views and an outdoor hot pool (above).
PRICE PER NIGHT £395 based on two sharing
DOGS Welcome in the Garden Lodges, £30 surcharge
WEDDINGS As exclusive use only from Monday to Thursday
CHILDREN Over-18s only in the spa, but under-18s can swim in The Herb House lap pool at selected times
CONTACT 023 8028 7177, limewoodhotel.co.uk
GREAT FOR: A BEST FRIENDS’ GETAWAY
THE GILPIN HOTEL AND LAKE HOUSE, Windermere, Lake District
In brief This is two hotels on one estate. It’s one of the warmest, most welcoming places you’ll visit. The main house has a few guest rooms with a luxury country feel. There’s also a self-contained Lake House with six bedrooms serviced by the hotel. All this and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
The spa For Lake House guests, the Jetty Spa is housed in a tiered space. The three-and-a-half-hour restorative trail, which includes treatment, sauna, hot tub and champagne cream tea, is exceptional.
Good to know The Gilpin also has five modern spa suites (right) built with couples in mind. Massages can be performed in room, which all come with private hot tub, plunge pond and automated massage chair.
Water features For Lake House guests, an indoor pool, steam, sauna and hot tub.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £295 b&b based on two sharing; Lake House from £475
DOGS A couple of dog-friendly bedrooms
WEDDINGS Held at the Lake House
CHILDREN From age seven, but it’s more a space for adults
CONTACT 01539 488818, thegilpin.co.uk
GREAT FOR: A BLISSFUL BIRTHDAY
RUDDING PARK, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
In brief A large, Grade 1-listed country-house hotel set in 300 acres, with interiors that mix classic elegance and contemporary touches of gilt and glitz. Expect to find traditional-style sofas alongside Perspex hanging egg chairs.
The spa Uses spring water from the grounds and features a rooftop spa and garden complete with mud rasul, juniper log sauna and a foot spa. This is a popular destination for day spa-goers, too.
Good to know It can get busy, but there’s plenty of space and gorgeous gardens. There’s also an 18-hole golf course.
Water features An indoor pool and a fabulous indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £228 based on two sharing; spa day from £165
DOGS Assistance dogs only
WEDDINGS Yes – a very popular venue
CHILDREN Welcome but the rooftop spa is over-16s
CONTACT 01423 844822, ruddingpark.co.uk
GREAT FOR: MARKING THAT JOB PROMOTION
CONISTON ESTATE AND SPA, Skipton, North Yorkshire
In brief A 1,400-acre estate in the Yorkshire Dales, though this isn’t the usual stately affair as it was built about 50 years ago. It has plenty of light, comfort and spectacular views.
The spa The newly opened Nàdarra spa, a short walk from the hotel, is impressive. The thermal experience includes infrared sauna, Finnish and Himalayan saunas, aromatherapy steam room, indoor bubble pool and ice fountain, plus a couples suite with rasul mud treatments. The spa garden features a relaxation pod, loungers, outdoor baths and fire pits. Hotel guests pay extra to use the spa.
Good to know Sitting at the edge of the plunge pool, looking across the expanse of countryside and the lake beyond, makes you feel a million miles from anywhere.
Water features A 15-metre indoor pool and that outdoor infinity plunge pool.
PRICE PER NIGHT From £159 b&b based on two sharing; half spa day from £139
CONTACT 01756 748080, theconistonhotel.com
WEDDINGS Yes, on nonexclusive basis
CHILDREN No under-18s in spa