4 Bubble Spa 2018

The Elms Hotel & Spa


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 Elemis 

Features

  • Four single treatment rooms
  • Fitness suites
  • Sauna
  • Steam room
  • Experience shower
  • Ice fountain
  • Indoor/outdoor jacuzzi
  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Relaxation room
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Garden cafe
  • Retail area

Products

  • ELEMIS
  • Jessica Nails

Our Spa Spy review

First impressions

First Impressions

Built in 1710, The Elms is a rather grand ivy-clad mansion in ten acres of grounds in the peaceful Worcestershire countryside. Prepare to be wowed by the hygge-style lounge with its huge fireplace, faux fur throws and rustic decor.

The spa is tucked behind the hotel inside a converted barn surrounded by manicured gardens. Step into the light and spacious reception and be soothed by the sound of gentle classical music.

On offer

What's on offer?

Staff gave us a warm welcome at reception and showed us through to the light and bright Garden Café. We found our robe, towel, flip-flops and consultation form awaiting us on our reserved table. We ordered a soy latte and filled in our forms.

Samantha, our spa host, showed us through to the changing rooms. The changing rooms are small, with two toilets, a larger changing space lined with lockers, a bench, and a vanity area with hairdryers. The two showers were fully stocked with shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

Samantha showed us around the spa, which is on two levels: the pool area and thermal suite are downstairs, with the treatment rooms and relaxation lounge above.  

The pool area is light, bright and vibrant. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench the space with light and views of the surrounding gardens. Take a seat on one of the many loungers and admire the view. The 10-metre pool was the most popular attraction; you can swim lengths or pummel your shoulders underneath the powerful swan-neck fountain. Our favourite feature was the indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi; take a seat outside and let the warm bubbles soothe you as you listen to birdsong. Hotel guests (including families) have access to the pool, so this space is a little busier and louder than the rest of The Elms Spa.

Down the corridor is the spa guest-only thermal area. This large and dimly lit space has four thermal experiences. We began our journey in the large steam room, which has seating for eight, colour-changing lights, an uplifting scent, and a large pink crystal at the back. A second, smaller steam room seats two or three people and would be perfect for couples.

The small pine sauna has music and nature sounds quietly playing, with a window overlooking the gardens. Cool off afterwards with some ice from the ice fountain. The experience shower has colour-changing lights and sounds that correspond to the settings: choose from a tropical storm, a rainforest walk, ice mist, or a combination of all three.

The Elms has no shortage of relaxation space; bring a book or grab a magazine and settle in. Upstairs  a sun terrace has views of the herb garden, while a dimly lit relaxation lounge has four loungers. On a sunny day, head outside and take a seat on a bench or chair in the expansive gardens.

The spa also has a light and airy fitness suite. You can book in with a personal trainer, too.

Tell us about the treatments

Tell us about the treatments

We had the Elemis Couture Touch (60 minutes, £75) a combination of a massage and a facial.

My therapist, Katie, met me in the pre-treatment waiting area and showed me through to a spacious and modern treatment room. I took a seat on an armchair, and we talked through the treatment and my areas of concern.  

I lay face down on the comfortable treatment bed and Katie poured oil onto my back as classical music and nature sounds played softly in the background. She worked on each half of my back at a time. She used a combination of firm flowing strokes, some with her elbows and the length of her arms, with shorter targeted strokes around my neck and shoulders. I could feel my knots easing, while the subtle floral scent of the oil calmed my mind. Katie applied the Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel which felt cool and tingly.

I turned over for my facial and Katie began with a double cleanse of my skin. Before applying each product, she held her hands above my face so I could inhale the scent. I enjoyed the tingly Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Exfoliator, which she removed with a hot cloth. Katie pasted on the Elemis Superfood Gel Mask and, while this set, gave me a gentle and very relaxing neck, décolletage and head massage. I was in an utter state of bliss by the time she removed the mask. Finally, she massaged a serum, oil and moisturiser into my skin.  

Katie gently roused me and went to fetch a cool glass of water. She showed me to the darker relaxation room to extend the post-treatment bliss. I was floating on air: it felt like I had a new back. My face felt clean, nourished and perfectly balanced. When I looked in the mirror a few hours later, I had such a glow that there was no need for foundation at dinner.

The Elms offers a range of face and body treatments by Elemis, alongside nails by Jessica and finishing touches. There are treatments for men and mums-to-be as well.

Food facts

Food Facts

You can eat your three-course lunch in the Garden Café in your robe. Choose from a range of salads, sandwiches, hot dishes, decadent desserts or afternoon tea. Our smoked-salmon house salad with pickled cucumber and avocado purée was light, refreshing and tasty. We decided to balance this out with a rather divine espresso and chocolate mousse.

If you can extend your stay, book in for an evening meal at the two AA-Rosette Brookes Restaurant. This offers seasonal dishes, using ingredients grown in the kitchen garden. Our sea trout main course with mussels and samphire was moreish; our strawberry parfait was deliciously creamy and somewhat indulgent. Each dish was the perfect portion size and was well balanced.

Both the Garden Café and restaurant have lots of options for vegetarians, vegans and those with any dietary requirements.  

We loved / we didn't love

We loved / we didn't love

We loved

Our treatment: It was personalised, professionally delivered, and left us feeling like a new person.

The manicured gardens and stunning countryside views: You have to head outside and make the most of them.

Our room: The Duchess suite had stunning views; you can see the Clent Hills from the bath and the sunset was something else.

We didn't love

Children are welcome in the pool area all day, so expect noise and lots of splashing.

Herbs from the spa garden in the sauna and steam rooms would raise the thermal experiences to above ordinary.

The spa journey felt a little disjointed: The décor and music do bring it together, but the experiences are separated by a corridor, breaking the flow.

Who do you think would like it?

Who do you think would like it?

Couples and small groups of friends: We saw plenty of both hanging out on our visit.

Overnighters: Extend your stay and cosy up in the historic hotel and treat yourself to a divine dinner in Brookes.

Stressed-out city-dwellers: At under 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?

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

We awarded The Elms a Good Spa Guide Bubble rating of 4 Bubbles. The location is stunning, the Elemis treatments are wonderful, and the food delicious.

Scarlet Spy visited in August 2018 and awarded it 4 Bubbles.

Public Opinion

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What others are saying

Spa Location

Spa location

Stockton Road,
Abberley,
Worcestershire,
WR6 6AT

01299 891850

Visit the spa's website

Extra Information

Dining

The Elms has developed a well-deserved reputation for its excellent British food. Whether your desire is a fine, three-course dinner in our two AA rosette Brookes restaurant, a classic Afternoon Tea on the terrace, or a laid back lunch in the Library Bar, try their hand-cooked food and award-winning restaurant credentials.

Accommodation

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.

Opening Hours

Spa opens 7am – 9pm, 7 days a week

Treatments are between 10am – 6pm

Travel and Parking

By road

If you’re driving, they offer ample free parking (up to 120 cars).

By train

The nearest station is Kidderminster (20 minutes by taxi), while main stations are at Worcester Foregate and Worcester Shrub Hill (30 minutes by taxi).

By air

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.

Accessibility

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).

Treatment menu

View the treatment menu

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