Where King Henry VIII honeymooned with Anne Boleyn, Stoke Park Spa is no ordinary affair. A white-washed Palladian mansion set in an immaculate 300-acre estate, Stoke Park encompasses a five-star hotel with a 27-hole championship golf course, 13 tennis courts, a 3 AA rosette restaurant and a blissful spa. The high-ceilinged pool area is the star of the spa with a marble steam room, outdoor hydropool and Scandinavian sauna. There’s also a 4,000 square foot gym.
- Single sex facilities
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- 11 treatment rooms
- Relaxation rooms
- Steam rooms
- 16m indoor swimming pool with hydrotherapy jets
- Nail bar
- Fitness Studio
- Tennis courts (indoor, grass and artificial clay)
- 27 hole championship golf course
- Hot yoga studio
- Spinning studio
- Outdoor Scandinavian Sauna
- Hot Tub
- Spa Garden
- Aromatherapy Associates
- Lava Shells
Our Spa Spy review
Stoke Park is a magnificent white Palladian mansion with a high domed roof; be prepared for a wow moment as you head up the drive. The hotel has 300 acres of landscaped grounds, 13 tennis courts, a 27-hole golf course, and grand gardens next to a sparkling lake.
The spa is part of the country club and a short walk, or a golf-buggy drive, from the main hotel. Built in 2000, the interior of the mock-Georgian building (which is referred to as The Pavilion) resembles the lair of a 1960s film producer; it has film posters, pop art, coloured lighting and groovy furniture. If you are staying overnight, try the spa bedrooms in The Pavilion, so you can wander down to the spa in your robe.
What's on offer?
Enter the sleek marble-floored reception through revolving doors. There's a glass fronted desk with multi-coloured lighting underneath, huge mirrors and pop art on the walls. A bright, modern shop sells spa products, some fashion items and gym gear, while the long Nail Bar has four manicure stations and two leather pedicure thrones.
The spa is all on one level; the private spa area is for day guests only, while the pool, thermal facilities and spa garden are shared with hotel guests and club members.
Stoke Park has two sets of changing rooms: general facilities and private ones for those who have a spa treatment booked. The general changing rooms have large wooden lockers with robes, slippers and towels inside; there's a vanity station with hairdryers, straighteners and a large white marble steam room, too. The spa changing rooms are smaller but more luxurious, with a super-soft carpet, two marble showers, and plenty of products including shampoo and conditioner to preen post-spa.
The spa has two dry relaxation spaces. The spacious Spa Atrium has a fabulous tropical fish-tank wall, through which you can spy on the pool and gardens like a Bond villain. There are mirrored ceilings and Austin Powers-style white plastic egg chairs, but also plush velvet sofas and stylish soft furnishings fit for a screen goddess. Help yourself to bowls of fruit, dried fruit and nuts, tea and water from a long sideboard. The Deep Relaxation Room has six beds separated by curtains. The spa also has 11 treatment rooms
You reach the wet and thermal facilities through the general changing rooms. The 20-metre pool is in a high-ceilinged room with a wall of huge Georgian-style arched windows letting in lots of natural sunlight. The water temperature and length are perfect for lap swimming, and there are a dozen cushioned loungers to relax on and gaze at the garden. This is the health-club area, so members can bring their children for the "splash times". If you want to swim serious lengths, check out (and avoid) child-friendly times.
Through a small door poolside is a sun-trap decked area with sumptuously chic sofas, rattan egg chairs and loungers dotted on the lawn among lavender bushes, palm trees and topiary.
The spa garden is a lovely extension to the spa. Along a winding path, you'll find a hot sauna cabin, with a porch, hooks to hang robes, and windows looking out over the garden. An outdoor shower in an arched nook allows you to cool off, and a rectangular warm and bubbly hydro-pool lined in grey metallic mosaic tiles has seating for ten. There are loungers around the edge of the pool, pots of bright geraniums, and an antique clock so you don't miss your treatment.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried a Lava Relax treatment (55 minutes, £90).
My therapist, Louise, met me in the Atrium and led me to a spacious treatment room atmospherically lit with candles. She asked about my needs and preferences, then left the room so that I could settle down on the bed.
My massage with warm lava shells was magical. Louise adopted long, slow strokes to help me relax before picking up the shells to work out the tension in my shoulders; she checked the pressure several times to ensure I was comfortable. Part way through the massage, Louise whispered in my ear for me to turn over.
Louise's hand massage was especially good; it's amazing just how much tension we hold in our hands, and the vigorous massage really did work out the knots.
By the end of the treatment, I was drifting off to sleep and quite reluctant to get up. Thankfully, there's a quiet relaxation area with beds to snooze on post-treatment.
You can have lunch in the Spa Garden Lounge upstairs or outside on the terrace if the sun is shining; feel free to remain in your robe at either. For a more formal lunch, you'll need to dress and head to the Italian-inspired San Marco restaurant along the corridor. We did this and feasted on huge plates of salad and lovely fresh breads. My asparagus hollandaise was delicious and very filling; my spa partner tackled the prawn and smoked-salmon salad with gusto. Also on the menu are paninis, soups, pasta, and meat and fish dishes, as well as "cake of the day", ice creams and tiramisu.
If you are staying overnight, it's well worth booking into the three-rosette Humphry's restaurant -- a real treat. We couldn't quite manage the many courses of the tasting menu, but really enjoyed the excellent pigeon and ham hock terrine dishes to start. My halibut came with a creamy and pungent wild garlic sauce, while my spa partner's cod was served with tiny pieces of gnocchi. Both dishes were interesting and very well flavoured.
The Orangery serves simpler, but equally fresh and interesting, dishes in the evenings for those after something less formal.
We loved / we didn't love
The spa garden: We loved whiling away a sunny afternoon here.
The food: Fresh, inventive and perfectly-balanced, the food at Stoke Park really elevates the spa experience.
We didn't love
The pool room: While potentially stunning, we felt this lacked the same glam touches noticeable in the spa.
Who do you think would like it?
Fitness fanatics: There are tennis courts, a golf course and a 4,000 square foot gym at Stoke Park.
Movie stars needing some R&R after a busy day of filming at nearby Pinewood Studios.
Families: Stoke Park offers dedicated swim times for children as well as a playground, a crèche and a Little Stars Afternoon Tea.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Stoke Park Spa a Good Spa Guide bubble rating of 5 Bubbles. From the quirky fish-tank and groovy furniture, to the beautiful outdoor space and facilities, Stoke Park has a lot to offer. The excellent food and dramatic hotel make a great spa break, an hour from central London.
Dedicated spa rooms available.
Monday to Friday: 6.30am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday: 7am – 8pm