The beautifully-designed Calcot Spa is situated in a quiet corner of Calcot Manor's grounds in the Cotswolds. The highlight is the indoor pool flooded with natural light while the neutral artwork and furnishings reflect the surrounding countryside. The outdoor courtyard is a special place to be: take a dip in the outdoor hot tub or lounge around the crackling open fire. Spa delights include Elemis, Aromatherapy Associates treatments and CACI facials. Calcot is an indulgent place to unwind.
- XXL robes available
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- Seven treatment rooms
- Relaxation area
- Steam room
- Heated 16m swimming pool
- Toddlers pool
- 8-seat hot tub in courtyard by log fire
- Gymnasium with Technogym equipment
- Aromatherapy Associates
Our Spa Spy review
Calcot Manor is a traditional Cotswolds hotel in a fourteenth-century farmhouse; think mellow yellow stone covered in ivy surrounded by lush lawns, manicured hedges, and vivid flowers. The spa is in a separate, modern building, again in honey-hued brick. Also rambling across the grounds are some detached suites, a children's play area, an outdoor pool, extensive gardens and walking routes.
What's on offer?
Calcot Spa offers water facilities, a health club, a variety of classes, and a light and airy cafe overlooking the spa garden.
The changing rooms are a generous space with large wooden lockers with keys, leather banquettes, and private changing areas. The showers and bathrooms have Elemis body wash, shampoo and conditioner. Dressing tables have mirrors, hairdryers and various products including hairspray, deodorant and Elemis moisturiser. There's a spin-dryer and plastic bags for taking your damp swimsuit home.
The 16-metre indoor swimming pool is finished in blue mosaic. It lies under a beautifully lit cathedral ceiling, and the windows look through to the surrounding trees. A separate shallow pool is for toddlers. Check the children's swim times if you want to float about in peace; there's also a roped-off lane for serious swimmers.
Upstairs is the spa relaxation area where a shiny metallic water feature makes soothing sounds. You can snuggle down to enjoy magazines and infused waters on comfortable loungers with caramel-coloured blankets and cushions. Part of this area houses the thermal facilities. The small green-mosaic-tiled steam room has twinkling ceiling lights and the wooden sauna has a glass panel looking over the pool below. Both were perfectly heated on our visit.
A separate waiting area for treatments has sofas where you can fill in your consultation form, and try out some products. The mani-pedi stations are here, too. Calcot Spa has seven individually designed treatment rooms.
The spa's piece-de-resistance, however, has to be its outdoor courtyard with large hot tub. The tub is backed by an open wood-burning fireplace and bordered with lavender and topiary hedges. It's pretty special to sit outside in the warm water and smell wood-smoke mixed with lavender. Plenty of sun loungers mean you can relax outdoors as well as in.
The well-equipped gym offers fitness facilities, and you could also join one of the many classes that take place in the studio. In the summer months, you can also make the most of the heated outdoor swimming pool in another part of the hotel gardens.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Elemis Pro-Collagen Age Defy facial (55 minutes, £75).
Jemma, my therapist, took me through to a gently-lit treatment room with neutral tones and candles. Before we began, I was able to specify which sort of music I wanted, and whether I wanted to Jemma to explain the treatment as she went along or just leave me to relax. Of course I wanted to know what was going on...
I settled onto the wide and heated treatment bed and let myself be soothed by Jemma's warm hands and sure touch. The cleansing balm, gentle exfoliator and toner smelled fresh and freshening, and Jemma removed each with warm mitts. This facial involves lots of lymphatic drainage massage, which aims to reduce any puffiness and tackle signs of ageing. It also involves two masks; the first contains a lifting serum and peels away nicely, the second a marine cream. While each mask was working, Jemma treated me to a scalp massage, which was very dreamy, then a hand and arm massage, which was even more dreamy. This is a facial that addresses your looks and brings inner peace. Afterwards, my skin looked refined and rosy, and felt both soft and smooth.
Calcot Spa offers treatments from Aromatherapy Associates, Elemis and CACI. You can try various massages, including a maternity massage or a Hydrotherm massage where warm water cushions support your body weight. The specialised "Tranquil Sea" massage is for those at any stage in the treatment of cancer. Also on offer are CACI and BIOTEC facials, which both use micro-currents for lifting. You can also have scrubs and wraps, reflexology, manicures, pedicures and beauty finishing touches. There are also specific treatments for men and for teens.
The café at the centre of the spa has various tables, chairs and sofas where you can eat quite happily in your robe. The lunch menu includes sandwiches and salads, and desserts both decadent (chocolate and hazelnut tart) and healthy (fruit salad). Our smoked salmon with dill, lemon cream cheese and Guinness bread was different and delightful. Vegetarians have several choices, and Calcot Spa can normally handle any other dietary requirements, too. You can also order juices, smoothies, or a glass of bubbles throughout your day.
Calcot has two restaurants. The Gumstool Inn serves traditional pub food but, for a real treat, head over to the light, stylish and contemporary Conservatory. The menu is seasonal, so we were treated to asparagus, artichoke and samphire alongside some delicious seared sea bass.
We loved / we didn't love
We loved the outdoor hot tub. Soaking in a garden is always wonderful; soaking in a garden while an open fire crackles at your back is even more wonderful. We also loved taking a dip in the outdoor pool.
We loved the spa-break experience. An indulgent day at the spa followed by a delicious dinner and a night in one of Calcot Manor's comfortable rooms is a recipe for relaxation.
The changing rooms need a spruce-up; some of the furnishings look very tired and extra towels would be welcome.
Who do you think would like it?
Parents: Book your children into the Ofsted-registered crèche and steal away for some me-time. Once you're refreshed and recharged, you can take them to the pool where there are dedicated children's swim times, or to the large outdoor play area.
Spa-goers who like a bit of everything: Calcot Spa offers choice; you can choose to be active and spend time in the gym, at a class, in the pool, or you can choose to be at rest, enjoying the loungers in the spa relaxation area or the garden, or chilling in the hot tub.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
Calcot Spa keeps its Good Spa Guide Rating of 5 bubbles. The outdoor courtyard is a special place to be, the staff are attentive and helpful, and our treatment was both professional and personalised. Calcot allows you to unwind, however you choose to do so.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, The Conservatory restaurant's menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes cooked with fresh local produce.
Alternatively The Gumstool Inn is a traditional country pub situated in Calcot Manor's grounds, and serves a wide choice of fine favourites.
Calcot Manor offers a choice of 35 rooms and suites, individually designed and furnished. Most of the accommodation surrounds the courtyard, including ten dedicated family rooms, while the main property is home to twelve bedrooms that are perfect for couples.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
Open seven days a week from 7am to 9pm. Treatments available from 9am to 8.30pm.