Stoke Park Spa offers luxury treatments that transcend you from your everyday hectic lifestyle into a world of escapism, set within stunning parkland. The hotel is a Palladian mansion with imposing views over the 300 acre estate of sweeping grounds and greens of the golf course. The spa is luxurious and has unusual and interesting treatments which are well worth the price.
11 treatment rooms
16m indoor swimming pool with hydrotherapy jets
Tennis courts (indoor, grass and artificial clay)
27 hole championship golf course
Hot yoga studio
Outdoor Scandinavian Sauna
Our Spa Spy review
Undeniably grand, the entrance to Stoke Park's historic estate takes you along a winding, tree-lined drive through the country club's famous golf course. The Mansion, which is the main hotel, is a few moments' walk from the separate health club. The Pavilion is a newer building that echoes the grandeur of the mansion, but features updated interiors and plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
What's on offer?
Stoke Park has two sets of changing rooms: general facilities and private ones for those who have a spa treatment booked. The treatment changing rooms are glamorous, with large lockers, comfortable seating, two showers, lots of products to try, and two vanity areas with large mirrors, hairdryers and hair straighteners, too. The general changing rooms are larger but more dated; they have plenty of lockers, changing space and vanity units with hairdryers and body and facial products.
In the wet and thermal facilities, you'll find a very hot steam room decked in Italian marble slabs, and a 16-metre swimming pool. Swimmers will love the pool and it's a perfect place for the less energetic to recline on the poolside loungers and bathe in the light instead. With a soaring ceiling and glass walls, the area feels light, spacious and very calming. The spa garden just outside has lots of comfortable loungers, a Scandinavian sauna large enough for eight, and a 15-person Jacuzzi.
The pool area has children’s swim times each day, but the spa garden is adults-only so you can enjoy the happy, buzzing atmosphere in the wet facilities, before retreating outside for some downtime.
When you're ready to dry off, the spa atrium is separated from the pool by an enormous tropical fish tank. The atrium has soft sofas, magazines, a range of healthy teas, and fruit to snack on. There's also a smaller, darker relaxation room for post-treatment snoozing, 11 treatment rooms, a glass-enclosed nail bar, and a spa café.
If you're feeling active, the refurbished gym has cardio and resistance machines, weights, a studio for group classes, and a hot yoga studio using infrared heating. Outside are 13 tennis courts and, of course, the world-class golf course.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Thalgo Mud Ritual (55 minutes, £90) followed by the Lava Relax massage (55 minutes, £90).
My therapist, Rekha, met me in the spacious relaxation area, and took me to our quiet treatment room. She talked me through the treatment and left the room while I settled on the heated treatment bed.
Rekha started the mud ritual by scrubbing my skin with a coarse salt exfoliator. I rinsed the product off in the shower and was ready for the natural marine mud, which hydrates dry skin. Thalgo products are very gently scented, and the smell of seaweed, combined with the ambient wave music, made me dream of the beach. Rekha applied the mud from my toes to my neck and wrapped me up in a sheet. Then, while the mud set, she massaged my head and scalp, focusing on my tight jaw.
Rekha unwrapped me and I rinsed off again in the shower. She slathered me in rich body cream and moved on to the Lava Relax massage. Rekha used long flowing movements with the flatter side of the heated shell, and deeper tissue work with the edge of the shell. She moved from my back to my legs before I turned over and she repeated the pattern on my front. The heat of the Lava Shells softened my muscles, making a very indulgent massage. A week of heavy-duty gardening virtually vanished from my sore shoulder blades and I left feeling relaxed and revitalised.
The spa café is above the main pool with windows looking out into the garden beyond. It's a little small, but serves hot and cold drinks, and healthy lunch options of salads and sandwiches.
If you're visiting on a spa day, you can also choose to eat a larger lunch downstairs in San Marco's, an Italian bistro. You can eat in your robe, but the bistro isn't exclusively for spa guests, so you may feel a little less comfortable. We tried the tasty Tricolore salad, but you can go for more substantial options such as pizza or a steak sandwich.
You'll find all-day dining in The Mansion and afternoon tea served in the Orangery with beautiful views of the grounds. For a more formal experience, try the three AA Rosette Humphry's. Head Chef Chris Wheeler oversees a modern British menu; we devoured a perfectly cooked and meticulously presented fillet of beef.
We loved / we didn't love
The opulent Italian marble steam room: A wonderful contrast to the contemporary spa garden.
The array of classes offered by the health club: We took part in an early morning Iyengar yoga session with a wonderfully serene instructor.
We didn't love
The old-fashioned main changing rooms; we felt that with such a beautiful spa space, the changing rooms could use a little more love.
Who do you think would like it?
Fitness addicts: With such extensive sporting facilities, Stoke Park is a great place to combine a serious workout with a treatment or two.
Spa day guests will love the luxurious packages which include use of the facilities, a two-course lunch and a choice of two 55-minute treatments.
We saw couples relaxing in the spa, but the spa at Stoke Park would also suit groups of friends. The spa is really well equipped for larger groups with some great packages on offer.
Stoke Park isn't a place for lovers of a contemporary, minimalist theme; while its facilities are up to modern standards, the overall vibe is definitely more old world grandeur.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Stoke Park Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of Five Bubbles. The facilities are grand and classic, and the new spa garden is a very good addition. Our treatments combined perfectly and made for an excellent, relaxing day.