Armathwaite Hall is a luxurious country-house hotel with a sympathetically designed modern spa. The spa makes the most of the stunning Lake-District surroundings, with views onto the gardens and beyond from the indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, and even the sauna. With an excellent standard of spa facilities, accommodation, food and service, Armathwaite Hall makes a great escape for a spa day, or a soothing spa break.
- Family swim times
- 10 treatment rooms including one double room with whirlpool bath
- Hush tranquillity room
- Aroma room
- Steam room
- Experience showers
- Outdoor hot tub
- Hydrotherapy pool
- 16m infinity-edge swimming pool
- Spa lounge
- Manicure and make-up area
- Dance/exercise studio with classes
- Gym with personal trainer available
- Comfort Zone
- Just Be
Our Spa Spy review
Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel is a grand stately home with turrets and ivy which dates back hundreds of years. Think oak panelling, trophy deer-heads and sweeping staircases -- and that's just the entrance hall.
Armathwaite Spa has a dedicated entrance if you are visiting for the day, with its own car park. The spa is connected to the hotel via a long corridor. Step down it and you are suddenly in a seriously 21st-century space.
What's on offer?
The main reception area is large and light, with a water sculpture and plenty of retail products on display. If you come through from the hotel just for a swim, you'll use the changing rooms on the ground floor, which are very health club in feel: £1 coin for your locker. You may also want to head for the gym, which is airy and well equipped.
If you're visiting for a spa treatment or a spa day, you're whisked upstairs to the circular spa lounge, with luscious leather sofas around a free-standing glass fire (sadly not lit on our visit). The chimney goes up through a skylight that fills the room with natural light. Here you can fill in your consultation form, choose your lunch from the spa menu, or relax and read. To one side of the lounge are manicure stations for a social spa treat.
The spa has its own changing rooms with private cubicles for the shy. The area is quite small but has everything you need, including lotion and hairdryers.
The pool and the indoor thermal facilities are separate; the pool has children's swim times but the thermal area is adults-only so retains a peaceful atmosphere.
The 16-metre infinity pool -- just long enough for lengths -- has a waterfall cascading down a slate wall the height of the room. The smaller, shallower wallow pool is ideal for small children. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer views across the deer park and make the whole pool area feel light and spacious. You can relax on wide and comfortable loungers around the edge of the pool and also on the outside terrace, which has a large circular bed. When the sun shines, this is a fabulous spot to admire the gardens and the occasional visiting rabbit.
Next to the outside terrace is the hot tub, which is large enough to comfortably seat around eight adults. Nicely hot, seriously bubbly, glorious view of the woodland, fresh air: lovely.
Through a door are the heat experiences. The green mosaic hydrotherapy pool could happily accommodate four or five people and has metal air benches and a swan pipe that's good for tense shoulders.
The wooden sauna was nicely hot, and has views down to the lake. The steam room was satisfyingly warm, the aroma room slightly cooler, but with delicious scents. Both could seat eight and were beautifully finished in mosaic tiles with twinkly lights in the ceiling. Try a "tropical" or "rain dance" experience shower to cool down.
After your treatment, you can retreat to the Hush Room, which has delightfully soft loungers, snuggly brown blankets, and views over the woodland.
Tell us about the treatments
I tried the Sundari Divya Head to Toe (60 minutes, £75). This treatment includes divine feet and scalp massage, with more massage and a facial in between.
My therapist, Claire, took me through to our treatment room and discussed my consultation form. Sundari is a product range based on ayurvedic principles. The aim is to use the products most appropriate for your dosha -- your mind-body type. So you answer questions about your skin: whether it is dry, fine, cold, warm, sensitive, and so on. From the answers, your therapist works out whether to use products suited to the Vata (dry), Pitta (normal or combination) or the Kapha (oily) skin type. My dry skin put me firmly in the Vata category so Claire chose Gotu Kola and Lotus body oil for my massage. Gotu Kola is an Asian herb long used to promote calm, and this oil certainly glided very calmly over my skin.
We started with a foot cleanse and some pressure point work on my feet, which was deeply relaxing. Claire's massage was wonderfully rhythmic. She included sweeping strokes across my shoulders, deeper pressure on the knots in my neck, and followed the line of my spine to unwind.
The facial was a treat for all the senses. The double cleanse involved neem and copper cream, followed by comfrey, then an aloe vera tonic. The scents were a delight. A tingly honey and enzyme exfoliating serum smoothed my skin, then an apricot mask soothed it. While the mask was working, Claire worked on my scalp, releasing tension and promoting quite a bit more calm. We ended with a dab of chamomile eye oil and some neem and tamanu moisturiser. I felt looked after from top to toe, just as the treatment promised.
My spa companion tried the Sundari Ritual (60 minutes, £80) which included a neem and date-seed body polish and her own personalised facial. She pronounced it perfect.
Armathwaite Spa's treatment menu offers facials and body treatments, including scrubs and wraps from Italian brand Comfort Zone, the UK-based Just Be ("Artisan Aromatherapy") and the Sundari range drawing on ayurvedic principles. Armathwaite Spa also uses Little Butterfly organic products for mums -to be.
If you're visiting on a spa package, you can eat in the brasserie, next door to the spa, where you will feel quite comfortable in your robe. The spa menu has healthy choices such as salads, soups, sandwiches and pasta, but you can also go off piste if you want to indulge, and try cheese soufflé or fish and chips.
If you're staying over, the formal fine-dining option in the Lake View restaurant has enchanting views of Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite. We enjoyed our Cartmel smoked salmon and charred seasonal asparagus.
We loved / we didn't love
Our Sundari treatments were excellent: nourishing for the body and the soul.
We loved sitting in the hot tub with the gardens growing green in the sunshine (but this would be a lovely place to relax in almost any weather).
We would love a few more spare towels around in the spa.
Who do you think would like it?
Armathwaite Hall offers a range of day packages that suit a variety of tastes. Afternoon tea lovers would enjoy the Sereni-Tea Spa Day. Drift in the spa for a few hours, take a treatment, then enjoy the fabulous views over the lake as you nibble your salmon sandwiches. (And the seemingly several hundred other items this delicious feast involves.)
The Parent and Teen Together Half Day allows teenagers aged 12 to 18 to enjoy a treatment and some spa time, while the LIFE Regimen day will appeal to those focused on wellness, with fitness analysis, personal training and treatments.
Armathwaite Spa is a spa with many spaces for socialising, so is a great choice for friends to catch up. The spa can also put together tailor-made packages for groups celebrating a special occasion.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We are pleased to say that Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa retains its Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles.
The Lakeland setting, our unusual but effective treatments, the excellent customer service, and the large and varied spa allow visitors to have the spa experience that suits them in a serenely rural environment.
Spa lunch is served in the spa lounge or Courtyard Bar and Brasserie, Afternoon tea is available from 2pm-5pm. You can also try fine dining in the Lake View Restaurant.
Four rooms types available; Club, Spa and Deluxe rooms, and Studio suites.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
The spa facilities are open Monday to Saturday: 7am-9pm; Sunday: 8am-8pm. Treatments are available Monday to Saturday: 10am-7pm; Sunday: 10.00am-6.00pm.