Aqua Sana Longleat Forest is nestled in a valley in the beautiful Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. The towering tops of Redwood trees can be seen from every angle, reminding you of the magical element of renewal that comes from being close to nature. Soak in the hydro or outdoor pools at night, where twinkling stars peek out from the treetops. Relax and let the World of Spa experience rooms and indulgent range of treatments work their magic; or celebrate in style in The Hideaway, a private room designed for groups of 6 to 10 guests.
20 air-conditioned treatment rooms
Aqua meditation room
Balinese multi-steam bath
Greek herbal bath
Indian Blossom steam room
Indoor and outdoor pools
Japanese salt steam bath
Multi-sensory steam room
Our Spa Spy review
Part of Center Parcs, Aqua Sana Longleat Forest is in the beautiful Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. After a relaxed drive through the fragrant forest -- past log cabins and an enormous lake glimpsed through giant redwoods -- you arrive at the spa's dedicated car park. The Roman-style spa, no doubt a historic nod to nearby Thermae Bath, rises like a temple from the towering trees.
What's on offer?
Double doors open to a vast, open-plan reception area with large, globe-style pendant lights hanging from a vaulted ceiling. The area feels modern and bright, with lots to take in: a tempting boutique selling Elemis and Decléor products and a spacious nail salon with three brown leather pedi-thrones and mani-stations.
Staff at the spa reception desk greet you and give you your robe, towel, and locker wristband. Doors behind the desk lead to the male and female changing rooms. Bowls of orchids on two mirrored vanity tables, oval brown leather seats and large tree-patterned lampshades add a "spa" feel to an otherwise functional space. Walls are lined with plenty of wooden lockers, opened with your electronic wristband (there's a wall-mounted device to help recall your locker number should you forget).
Four showers have frosted green glass and Aqua Sana shower products; there's also a private changing room, six hairdryers and a swimsuit drier (but no bags). A door at the rear leads through the café to the treatment rooms and the vast, globally-inspired "World of Spa" with its impressive 20 experience rooms/areas.
By the entrance are four green-tiled, bubbly reflexology foot-baths, all facing a cherubic statue. There's a warm laconium to kick-start your circulation; a hot wooden Tyrolean sauna; and an authentic tiled, aromatic Greek herbal bath. Here, a timed bucket tips a trickle of water onto rosemary, sage and thyme, unleashing hot mists of herbal scented steam. A Balinese multi-steam bath, with tiled separate nooks is next door. Each room would comfortably accommodate between eight and 12 people. Cool off afterwards in the experience showers or by grabbing handfuls of ice from the ice bath.
Don't miss the open-air hydro-pool, the heart of the spa, set in a glass-sided courtyard. Start inside and swim out through plastic curtains before relaxing on a mosaic-tiled seat in the bubbly water.
Indoors, cushioned rattan seats and recliners overlook the pool. Behind them, doors lead to two meditation rooms: one, "Aqua", has large white leather recliners facing trippy lava lamps; the other has heated tepidarium loungers and a screen showing nature videos. Check out the Japanese salt steam bath with its glowing pink salt crystal or head outside to the Zen garden, with its day bed and mindful pathways, ending at the outdoor Finnish sauna.
On the other side of the spa, a separate area has a sweetly scented Indian Blossom steam room, a traditional tiled hammam, and a wooden infra-red sauna that aims heat along the spine. Relax in one of two relaxation areas: one with egg chairs and magazines, another with five waterbeds facing a wall of flickering candles.
Additional treats include a private venue for groups, The Hideaway, with a spa garden, outdoor shower and barrel sauna.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Elemis Visible Illuminating Facial (55 minutes, £69).
My therapist, Michael, led me to a spacious treatment room with a cosy blanket on the treatment bed, and left me to slip between the sheets in my underwear.
Michael removed any traces of make-up with warm cotton pads, cleansed and moisturised my face, then applied a cooling gel. Rather than massaging in the products, Michael used a soft stroking motion with his fingertips, which felt delightfully soothing.
While pasting on an icy enzyme mask, he warned of slight tingling, although all I felt was a pleasant, bracing chill. As the enzymes did their deep-cleansing work, Michael massaged my head, using swift, exfoliating movements to get the blood moving.
The second algae-rich mask was warm, thick and clay-like. As it dried, Michael massaged my neck and shoulders, working on my knots and using a refreshing muscle super soak instead of oil. After peeling off the mask, Michael applied Elemis hero products -- Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal and Marine Cream -- to finish. A herbal tea ended my glorious treatment.
This facial was unusual as it juxtaposed warm and cold oils and gels throughout; it felt both refreshing and uplifting, and relaxing. My skin looked radiant.
The treatment menu at Aqua Sana Longleat Forest includes a range of massages, body rituals and facials using Elemis, Decléor and their own Aqua Sana range. There are also targeted treatments for men, couples, and mums-to-be, as well as alternative therapies such as reflexology.
The Vitalé Café is a high-ceilinged airy room with a Roman temple façade on one wall and a huge window on another, overlooking the forest. Brown and cream chairs and tables are dotted around, alongside soft blue sofas. The café wasn't too busy when we visited, but they manage the numbers by booking your lunch-time slot on arrival.
Choose food from the menu or displayed in the cabinet; even pasta dishes are artfully arranged so you know what you're getting. Try paninis, hot baked meals, light salads and gluten-free options. Your package may include a hot or cold drink and light or main meal, but you can pay extra for a pastry, dessert or bowl of fruit.
My large feta and pepper gluten-free wrap was fresh and tasty. I managed to resist tucking into the attractive afternoon tea.
We loved / we didn't love
Our facial: Refreshing and rejuvenating, our therapist delivered a personalised and skilled treatment.
The staff throughout the spa were helpful, respectful and always on hand.
We didn't love
Some of the saunas and steam rooms were either not hot enough, or too steamy, while the experience showers only had one workable setting: cold.
Who do you think would like it?
We saw lots of young couples and groups of friends of all ages enjoying the spa during our visit.
We happily spa-ed solo to begin with, but felt in better company when our friends arrived later.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Aqua Sana Longleat Forest a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. The World of Spa offers a feast of thermal experiences that are fun to explore. Staff also cope with a high-footfall and deliver a personalised, helpful service, some going above and beyond to make your spa day special.