The Elms Hotel & Spa is a country house hotel and spa set in beautiful Worcestershire countryside. The spa is housed in a modern annexe behind the hotel surrounded by manicured gardens. Swim lengths in the spa’s indoor heated pool - which floods with light via floor-to-ceiling windows - before warming up in the indoor-outdoor hydro-pool with bubbling jets. Thermal facilities include a steam room, sauna, ice fountain and rainforest shower. Make time to wander around the beautiful grounds before a face or body treatment by Temple Spa.
- Family swim times
- Five treatment room, including one double
- Fitness suites
- Steam rooms
- Experience shower
- Ice fountain
- Indoor/outdoor jacuzzi
- Indoor heated swimming pool
- Relaxation room
- Rooftop terrace
- Garden cafe
- Retail area
- Selection of classes, including Yoga, Spin and Balleyre
- Temple Spa
- Natural Spa Factory
- The Gel Bottle
Our Spa Spy review
The Elms is an ivy-clad, Queen Anne-style mansion set in ten acres of beautiful grounds in the serene Worcestershire countryside. The hotel has found a style that blends a quintessential English country home (faux fur throws; huge fireplaces) with botanicals and subtle nods to the building’s history for a real cool, yet cosy luxury. This style is carried throughout, creating areas of unexpected interest.
The Greenhouse Spa is tucked behind the hotel inside a converted barn surrounded by manicured gardens. The beautiful botanical styling is stepped up in the reception area, with an array of plants and natural materials, old wooden ladders and tools befitting of its name.
What's on offer?
After checking in, Reception Manager Liz gave us a tour of the hotel while our bags were whisked away; we found them in our room later. From the hotel reception, turn right out of the back garden door and you’ll arrive at The Greenhouse Spa. We received a warm welcome at the spa reception; after handing us towels, Tammy showed us around. On the ground level, the charming botanical-styled manicure and pedicure stations lead to the changing rooms, pool and thermal suite; the treatment rooms and relaxation lounges can be found on the upper level.
Changing rooms are small but beautifully decorated with two toilets, a larger changing space lined with key code lockers, a bench and a vanity area with hairdryers, lotion and large glass jars filled with cotton-pads and buds. Two rainforest showers were fully stocked with Temple spa shampoo, conditioner and body wash on our visit.
Floor-to-ceiling windows drench the pool area with light; take some time to admire views of the surrounding gardens. At 10-metres the pool is big enough to swim laps; we loved floating beneath the wooden vaulted ceiling - adorned with hanging plants - and pummelling stressed-out shoulders with the fierce swan-neck jet fountain. A large clock hangs on one wall, while arched garden mirrors, potted plants and old garden tools are dotted throughout. Order a pool-side drink from the friendly spa staff and chill out on rattan chairs, or comfy cushioned leather sofas dotted around the edge. Hotel guests (including families at specified times) can access the pool.
The swim-out indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool - with its iridescent rainbow tiles - was a firm favourite; take a seat under the giant windmill palms and let the warm bubbles soothe you as you listen to birdsong.
Through a central area with a coffee machine, bowl of fruit and infused water stations, is the spa’s large and low-lit thermal area. We began our journey in smaller of the two steam rooms with seats for two or three people, making it perfect for couples. The sauna is huge – big enough for 12, comfortably - with its picture window, mosaic floor and bench seats lining the dark wood walls. Cool off afterwards at the ice fountain or set the experience shower to ice mist, tropical storm or rainforest walk (or a combination of the three).
The Elms has no shortage of relaxation spaces - bring a book or grab a magazine and settle in. The upstairs sun terrace offers views of the garden, while the stylish, dimly-lit relaxation room provides the ideal space for lounging post-treatment.
The spa also has a light and airy yoga studio and separate gym; join a virtual yoga, palates or meditation class or book in with a personal trainer.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried a Temple Spa Your Best You (80 minutes, £98): a tip-to-toe treatment that includes a full body massage and facial designed for menopause relief and mood boosting.
We took a seat in the pre-treatment area, sipping a glass of apple-infused fruit water as we filled in our consultation forms. My therapist, Hannah, led me through to one of the five treatment rooms – low-lit and decorated in natural materials with a botanical nod that you come to expect.
Hannah explained the treatment and checked on any areas of concern before leaving for me to disrobe and lie face down on the bed. Hannah began the treatment with three inhalations of Breath of Life; the eucalyptus scent helped to settle me, ready for a soothing foot and leg ritual. Next Hannah began stretching out my body with gentle joint rotations – the aim: to reduce any menopausal joint pain due caused by declining estrogen levels (sigh).
After checking the temperature was ok, she commenced the Himalayan salt stone massage, sweeping the deliciously hot stones from the soles of my feet to the nape of my neck on each side of my body, before applying a lick of comforting Mediterranean-scented Duvet Hydrating Body Cream. Turning onto my back, Hannah placed a pillow under my head and continued the massage on the front of my body; by this time, I felt utterly relaxed soothed.
She then started the lymph drainage facial part of the treatment, using gentle movements and cold stones to help reduce puffiness, removing tension from my face and jaw. Hannah concluded the treatment with a heavenly scalp massage with oil.
Hannah fetched a glass of water and advised me to stay hydrated; she showed us through to the relaxation room where I sunk into an armchair and rested my feet on a soft pouffe. A glass of Champagne and assorted truffles extended the post-treatment bliss. I felt the best I have in a long time, and my spa partner commented on how relaxed and glow-y I was later that evening too.
The Greenhouse Spa offers a range of face and body treatments by Temple Spa, Elemis and HydraFacial alongside nails by The Gel Bottle and finishing touches. There are treatments for men and mums-to-be, too.
Guests can feel at ease eating lunch or afternoon tea in their robe and slippers at The Herb restaurant; decorated in a similar style to the spa but with a sophisticated pale grey palette for a light, bright feel, and views over the front lawn.
The menu features hot and cold sandwiches, super food salads and, to keep things balanced, beer battered fish and chips and sweet treats. I feasted on a delicious pear, blue cheese and walnut salad; my spa partner tucked into a charcuterie board – complete with an array of local cheese, olives, chutneys and warm bread.
If you’re staying overnight, don’t miss the two AA-Rosette Badger Bar & Grill with its menu of British comfort food with quirky touches. Small and intimate, the restaurant has a relaxed vibe - fairy lights, wood wall art, cosy standing lamps and antlers are part of the eclectic style. A collection of rather distinguished looking badger portraits line the walls – a nod to the hotel’s historic coat of arms.
We feasted on fresh and vibrant crab with compressed watermelon and tomato consommé, followed by a delicious Thai duck breast with carrot and onion. My spa partner enjoyed beef tartare with chimichurri– commenting that it was the best he’d tried – followed by monkfish with mussels, Worcester blue tortellini and Wye Valley Asparagus. A delicious strawberry brulee with clotted cream ice cream and biscotti, and a local cheese board with crackers and quince finished off the evening nicely.
We loved / we didn't love
The decor: the entire hotel is beautiful, but the spa is particularly special, with plants hanging from the ceilings and a greenhouse theme giving it real character and stand-out flare.
Our suite: the Abberley Suite is magnificent with gold accents, a rotating television (for lounge-to-bed viewing), and an exquisite marble bathroom with roll top tub and light-up stained-glass windows – we didn’t want to leave.
The new peri-menopause-inspired treatment: The healing Himalayan stones produce negative ions to support stress relief, increase energy and positively boost your mood; we left feeling totally soothed and rebalanced. If you’re battling with the hot sweats, opt for cold stones.
We didn't love
Not a lot: but if we were being fussy there’s no private changing rooms (other than the two toilet) and no trunk spinner in the men’s changing.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: we saw lots of couples chilling poolside in one of the cosy nooks.
Design lovers: The Elms offers something a bit different; cleverly designed with lots of curious and delightful points of interest. Did we mention the giant disco ball outside the hotel entrance?
Stressed-out city-dwellers: an hour away from Worcester, Birmingham, Hereford and Gloucester, The Elms makes for a peaceful country retreat.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
Spa day lunches and Afternoon Tea are now served in the beautiful 2 AA rosette restaurant,The Badgers.
All the rooms and suites are charming, homely and classically elegant. They aim to ensure that your every comfort is met when you choose to stay at The Elms.
Spa opens 7am – 9pm, 7 days a week
Treatments are between 10am – 6pm
Childrens' swim times are: 9am-10am and 4pm-5pm
Travel and Parking
If you’re driving, they offer ample free parking (up to 120 cars).
The nearest station is Kidderminster (20 minutes by taxi), while main stations are at Worcester Foregate and Worcester Shrub Hill (30 minutes by taxi).
Birmingham Airport (an hour's drive) and East Midlands (an hour and 35 minutes' drive) are the nearest airports.
Helicopter landing space is available on the front lawn of the hotel. Please call for landing information and to arrange your arrival.
The Elms has been designed with accessibility in mind. They want all of their guests, no matter their mobility or disability, to be comfortable. Facilities: disabled parking available directly in front of the house, ramp access into the main entrance, disabled toilet in the main house. There are three ground floor rooms in the Coach House annex, one disabled room with wet room bathroom in the Coach House annex, ramp access to Coach House rooms, wide doorways into all lounges, the bar and restaurant, and ramp access to the spa. There's a disabled changing and toilet in the spa, ramp lift into swimming pool area, hoist available for access in and out of the pool, and ground floor conference/private dining rooms available. Guide dogs permitted (small daily supplement if staying).