Chewton Glen is a real country-house hotel with all the class, comfort and quality you could wish for. A place for lavishing and pampering; don't book in for a few days and expect to come away thinner as the food is simply too good. But breathe in the country air and you'll already feel healthier. Day guests are also welcome, for anyone looking to check out the spa without checking in. The swimming and hydrotherapy pools are impressive; schedule in a good couple of hours to enjoy them fully. A slice of luxury and indulgence just a stone's throw from the New Forest.
- Single sex facilities
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- Ten treatment rooms
- 17m ozone treated swimming pool
- Hydrotherapy spa pool with hi-tech therapy options
- Aromatherapy saunas
- Crystal steam rooms
- Relaxation room
- Outdoor whirlpool
- Cold drench showers
- Dance studio with exercise and relaxation classes
- Golf course
- Tennis centre
- Linda Meredith
- Mama Mio
Our Spa Spy review
Chewton Glen is a country-house hotel set in 130 acres in the New Forest. The hotel is decorated in an elegant English style with comfortable lounges, a stylish restaurant, and plenty of outdoor seating. There are forest walks including one that takes you down to the beach. The large walled garden grows fruits, vegetables and flowers used in the hotel and the spa; they even have beehives and make their own delicious honey.
Chewton Glen is rather more than "just" a luxury hotel and spa. It's a destination in its own right for spa-goers and others. They offer a wide range of activities including golf, tennis, croquet, mountain biking, shooting, archery, falconry and even duck herding! (You do get the help of a collie with that last.)
What's on offer?
The spa at Chewton Glen feels light and bright as floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in, framing views of the grounds.
The facilities are set over three levels. The reception area, treatment rooms and the Pool Bar are on the middle floor.
Upstairs are the changing rooms, which are very well-equipped with large lockers, seating, and several private changing areas; the vanity area has well-lit mirrors, hairdryers and straighteners. The changing rooms also have an aromatherapy sauna, crystal steam room, foot spa, and experience showers. Heat up before heading all the way downstairs to the pool area.
The 17-metre swimming pool is treated with ozone so there is no chemical smell or sting if you splash water in your eyes. The large hydrotherapy pool has nine different areas including three single-person loungers and swan pipes. The water was blissfully warm and the jets comfortably powerful. There are several warm tepidarium beds beside the hydrotherapy pool and plenty of comfortable loungers around the pools. The outside hot tub is in a very sheltered corner so it's good to use even when the weather is not kind. Top marks for putting hooks for robes out there!
The gently-lit pre-treatment waiting area is near the spa reception. Take a breather on the elegant white chairs divided by sheer curtains; just be aware that people will wander past as they go to and from other areas of the spa.
The gym is well equipped and personal training "buddies" are available for bookable one-to-one sessions. Classes run regularly throughout the day, and include yoga, Thai Chi and Pilates. We road tested a brilliant one-to-one yoga session.
The spa at Chewton Glen takes special occasions seriously; we saw tables in the Pool Bar decorated with helium balloons and several birthday groups enjoying their spa day and treating themselves to a glass of fizz and a slice of cake.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Natura Bissé Zest and Zen treatment (120 minutes, £190).
Nina, my therapist, took me to our treatment room and we discussed my consultation form. The treatment started with an exfoliation. I enjoyed the citrus-y scent and found that the product was gentle enough not to irritate my dry skin; instead, it felt nourished and glowing. I rinsed off the exfoliant in the shower.
Next was a Lomi Juma massage which included some aspects of traditional Lomi Lomi massage. Apparently, the word "lomi" in the Hawaiian language means to knead or rub, in the way a cat uses her paws to show contentment. I certainly felt very contented as Nina worked round my body, loosening my tight muscles by, yes, kneading and rubbing, but also using her forearms to create deep, smooth massage strokes.
The final aspect was a yoga-inspired facial. As well as the usual cleansing and moisturising, Nina held areas of my face firmly then asked me to move the muscles. She held my jawline and lips and asked me to make a kissing movement, then held my temples and forehead while I tried to raise my eyebrows, and so on. It felt slightly odd at first but soon made sense. Certainly by the end of the treatment my usually rather saggy jawline was firmer, and the deep lines around my lips were noticeably smoother. My skin was plumped up and glowing.
The Spa at Chewton Glen offers facials, body treatments including wraps and scrubs, and massages by Natura Bissé and ila. Also on the menu are specialist treatments for mums-to-be as well as complementary therapies such as reiki and reflexology, and beauty finishing touches including manicures and pedicures.
If you visit for a spa day, you can eat in your robe in The Pool Bar, a glass-sided room just off spa reception. It's light and airy with comfortable tables and chairs and a central unit where you order drinks to be served at the table.
The buffet was interesting; colourful, flavourful and varied, with plenty of vegetarian options. Our smoked salmon and prawns with Israeli cous cous were delicious. The spa food is prepared according to an alkaline diet. While there is little scientific evidence to support the theory, an alkaline diet does include lots of fruits and vegetables and plenty of fibre, so it's generally a "good thing".
The main restaurant in the hotel serves exciting, modern food along with some classic dishes. We were impressed by the knowledge and skill of the staff; our waitress de-boned a Dover sole at our table in the blink of an eye.
We loved / we didn't love
The pool area: Large, light and the air temperature is comfortably warm. The main pool is good for swimming lengths or you can just bob in the hydro-pool.
The high service standards and attention to detail: Staff everywhere greeted guests, escorted people if they were lost (instead of just explaining or pointing) and went out of their way to supply whatever was requested. We asked if we could look round the walled garden and the Estate Manager promptly gave us a personal tour.
The tree houses: Just along the path from the main hotel are several self-contained tree houses. The furnishings are luxurious with huge beds and a large balcony so you can sit out among the treetops and enjoy the privacy.
We didn't love
The lack of a true relaxation room: There's a small relaxation area but it is busy and not ideal for post-treatment bliss.
The stairs within the spa: The spa is spread over three floors which means you will need to go up and down stairs; be aware if you have mobility issues.
Who do you think would like it?
Anyone celebrating a special occasion: Chewton Glen is expensive, but the facilities and standards are so high that it's worth the cost. We felt pampered both in and out of the spa.
Privacy lovers: Book into a tree house and enjoy the secluded hideaway.
Parents: So many activities are available within the hotel grounds that children of all ages will have fun, and parents may just be able to escape to the peace and quiet of the spa. A children's club runs at weekends and during school holidays.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Spa at Chewton Glen a Good Spa Guide rating of Five Bubble Luxury for its peaceful ambience, attentive service and well-kept spa.
The spa is luxurious and the treatments are professionally delivered. On each visit, the spa at Chewton Glen provides an excellent experience.
The Pool Bar lounge offers beverages, light refreshments and a buffet lunch. Spa-goers are welcome to dine in bath robes. Chewton Glen also serves Lunch and dinner at the Vetiver restaurant, recently included in the Sunday Times list of the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK.
Ten types of rooms and suites available from Bronze Luxury Hotel Rooms to master suites. Rates start from £280 per room per night.
Monday to Friday 6.30am – 10pm; Saturday & Sunday 7am – 9pm