The runnymede-on-thames in Surrey is a modern hotel complex with great business and family facilities, overlooking the River Thames. It is also home to a delightful spa with everything you need for a perfect spa day, with excellent treatments, facilities, and customer service making this a spa experience not to be missed.
|Key Brands:||ESPA, Guinot, Jessica|
|Treatment Menu:||View this spa's treatment menu|
8am - 8pm every day
The Lock Bar and Kitchen for informal dining at lunch and dinner; the Leftbank Restaurant for an all-day buffet menu; The Lounge for light lunches and afternoon tea.
The runnymede-on-thames is ideally suited for arrival by road, rail, or even by boat, just minutes from the M25, on the banks of the River Thames near Windsor. When you arrive, the quirky sculptures dotted around the grounds give you a hint of things to come. The hotel reception is bright and airy, buzzing with conversation. Beyond the huge floor-to-ceiling windows is a beautiful patio area, the River Thames, and Bell Weir lock.
The hotel has 181 guest rooms and suites, most with riverside views. The décor is contemporary with splashes of individuality. At the lift, there is a large colourful display of amusing ducks in various guises, and the duck theme is carried throughout the hotel.
The spa is available to hotel residents and to day guests. The spa reception, through a set of glass double doors, has a comfy waiting area that sets the relaxed tone. The receptionist brings your consultation forms and spa itinerary here.
Another set of glass doors takes you through the spa proper. The Garden Room is a bright relaxation area filled with seats and tables and a huge flat-screen TV, and there is access to a private garden patio. Juices and hot drinks are available, and you can order light lunches or afternoon tea.
The spa complex has a large gymnasium and dance studio. The Technogym equipment has built-in TV screens and music docks, and there are also free-weights and Power Plates, with a friendly fitness consultant on hand for advice. The studio classes cover everything from yoga and Pilates, to boxercise and Zumba.
The changing rooms are warm, with plenty of space for unhurried changing. Just inside the entrance is a powerful massage chair, and there are White Company products in the showers and on the vanity tables. Beyond is the wet area with showers, a small sauna, and a plunge pool for the adventurous.
The indoor swimming pool has floor-to-ceiling windows providing natural light. It is big enough to swim serious lengths and, when you need to soothe your muscles, try the super-hot Jacuzzi to one side. Plenty of loungers are dotted around the pool for relaxing and the poolside sauna and eucalyptus steam room are both spacious and perfectly heated. There is also a separate indoor children's pool and the outdoor swimming pool is open from May to September. Guests can also use the three tennis courts.
Aquitaine (named after Eleanor of Aquitaine, mother of King John, who signed the Magna Carta in the fields opposite the hotel) is runnymede's luxury private suite designed for groups of up to eight. Aquitaine consists of an open-plan lounge with a huge corner sofa laden with cushions and fluffy blankets, a small kitchen area and, behind frosted glass doors, a large and dimly lit dual treatment room. The private changing facilities have fabulous showers and toilets, lockers containing white fluffy gowns and slippers, and a dresser containing an array of Clarins beauty products. The beautiful relaxed lounge also has a massage chair, Jessica nail varnishes in a variety of colours, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV and DVDs, a bookcase full of reading and no end of magazines. The coffee table was covered with fresh fruit and small cakes, pastries and chocolates, and champagne.
This indulgent part of the spa comes with your very own spa host to take care of your every whim. Our Aquitaine Itinerary informed us that our host was Michelle and listed the order of the day. Michelle and Sophie, our therapists, had devised a treatment that would combine the best that runnymede had to offer. Michelle took our lunch order before leaving us to our snacks and champagne. (Ed. The Aquitaine Suite is out of use as of 2 April 2014)
We had a mixture of the ESPA aromatherapy Total Body Care with hot stones (55 minutes, £60) and signature Crystal Facial (70 minutes, £75). Our bespoke version combined elements of both treatments.
Our treatment began, as all ESPA treatments do, with a skin analysis and in-depth consultation to identify any skin and health concerns. This guides the therapist for the ESPA Sensory Test, which identifies what your body needs, helps determine your mood and tailor the massage. I chose a floral restorative oil for hydration.
Once I was comfortable on the wide, heated treatment bed, Sophie began by cleansing my feet with warm towels and applying pressure to reflexology points, then my back, again using warm towels. Sophie whispered that I should expect the warm oil next. She poured the oil slowly, and spread it over my limbs. The sweet rose, orange and lavender oil filled the air and instantly began nourishing my skin and relaxing my mind. Sophie used heated volcanic basalt stones as an extension of her hands and worked with them using a combination of pressures and techniques until I could feel my muscles begin to melt.
For the facial, Sophie raised the bed under my knees and started with a gentle cleanse and cold toner. She slowly massaged warm Rejuvenating Facial Oil into my skin. My skin was dry with some congestion, so Sophie used the Refining Skin Polish for a gentle exfoliation. After more hot towels, she used cold quartz crystals to stimulate the areas where fine lines have started to appear: around my eyes, my frown lines, and the corners of my mouth. She covered my eyes with pads and applied a thick cold mask. I found it difficult to stay awake while the mask was working and Sophie again used hot stones on my neck and shoulders. I finally lost the battle during the very skilful scalp massage using Pink Hair Mud to nourish my hair. I woke when Sophie was applying the final moisturiser and floral spritz.
My skin felt amazing, soft and nourished; it looked bright and even. There were no dry patches or dark circles. I was refreshed and seriously impressed.
Spa days include a light lunch that is served in the Club Lounge or Garden Room, where you can also have afternoon tea. You can choose from a selection of fresh salads and sandwiches, or mezze plates to share. For dinner, you have a choice of two equally fabulous options. The Leftbank Restaurant offers English-style dishes with international influences, and food is served buffet-style. The Lock Bar and Kitchen offers home-style cooking in a relaxed environment that is perfect for a family meal. Both serve scrumptious food using seasonal, locally sourced produce with an extensive and equally delicious wine list. The staff are attentive and friendly. Both restaurants look over the river and, when the weather permits, you can eat outside on the terrace to enjoy the river views.
We fell in love with Aquitaine which provides a unique VIP spa experience. We loved the relaxed and unintimidating atmosphere. We also loved the spectacular views of the river.
For those who prefer an adult-only experience, remember that runnymede-on-thames is a family hotel: check the children's swim times!
We highly recommend runnymede-on-thames to anyone wanting to look good and feel great. Executives using the hotel's fabulous business facilities can enjoy some well deserved relaxation, and travellers can make the most of their time to revitalise. Groups of friends would love the Aquitaine spa suite.
We gave runnymede-on-thames a Good Spa Guide Rating of Five Bubbles, again. Each time we visit this spa, we find the same consistently high standards, which deliver on every aspect of your stay. The treatments are excellent, the facilities impressive, the staff professional and dedicated, and our overall experience could not be faulted.
the runnymede-on-thames in March 2013