Waterbabies will love this bright, contemporary spa attached to a modern hotel on the banks of the River Thames. Inside, there’s an 18-metre indoor pool and whirlpool; outside there’s a large pool, only open during the summer. The spa also has a huge eucalyptus-infused steam room and a hot traditional sauna to relax your limbs before enjoying Guinot or ESPA treatments. In the changing rooms, you will find a women’s only sauna with a plunge pool. Great for swimmers and spa-ing with friends.
- Single sex facilities
- Family swim times
- Treatment rooms
- Relaxation room
- Eucalyptus steam room
- Whirlpool bath
- Indoor swimming pool
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Dance studio with exercise classes
- Tennis courts
Our Spa Spy review
The Runnymede on Thames is a vibrant, contemporary hotel and spa sitting by the River Thames in Surrey. Overlooking the Runnymede Meadows, this historical location is where King John and his noblemen sealed the Magna Carta in 1215.
As you drive into the complex, the modern wooden and glass building gives way to green lawns; park in the large circular driveway spanning the front of the hotel.
What's on offer?
If you're visiting the spa for the day, you can reach the spa through its own entrance; a glass corridor leads to a clean and cosy reception. This has a manicure and pedicure station on one side and a small pre-treatment waiting area with comfortable lime-green chairs straight ahead. Help yourself to fruit-infused water. Staff will issue you with a day spa bag containing a robe, slippers, a magazine and complimentary ESPA body moisturiser.
The spa has two sets of changing rooms: one close to the fitness studio with lockable shower cubicles, the other accessible directly from the pool area.
We used the latter, a cosy, warm space with walls of medium-sized wooden, keypad-operated lockers. The vanity stations have large mirrors, hairdryers, and cotton wool pads and buds. The four rain showers contain ESPA shampoos and conditioners. The changing rooms have a women's only sauna seating six, and an icy plunge pool for cooling down afterwards. A relaxation chair with three massage programmes is perfect for guests unable to use the thermal facilities.
Runnymede's thermal facilities include an 18-metre pool and separate kids' pool (check the website for dedicated family swim times). Floor-to-ceiling windows let dappled sunlight flood into the room; this is nicely offset by dark oak ceiling panels. Relax on a lounger afterwards.
The Runnymede on Thames also has a large outdoor pool which is open which is during the summer at a small extra cost to spa-goers. You can also try the tennis courts, small gym and a fitness studio with a good range of classes.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Mindfulness massage (90 minutes; £100).
My therapist, Becky, led me to one of six treatment rooms, dimly lit and softened with purple towels. After an initial consultation, Becky presented me with two ESPA oils to select my favourite; I was instantly drawn to the earthy blend of sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense.
As I lay face up on the warm treatment bed, Becky performed a deep breathing exercise, asking me to repeat the breathing pattern throughout my treatment. She then asked me to picture my favourite colour and envisage this flowing through my body. Whilst I did so, she began a feathery, delicate massage on the soles of my feet.
Next Becky massaged my legs, tummy, arms and neck using long strokes. Once I had turned over, she repeated the process on my back. Becky used slow but firm strokes to remove some of the pesky knots in my back and shoulders.
Becky expertly massaged my face using hot stones before finishing the top-to-toe treatment with a soothing scalp and neck massage. I loved the smell of the oil on my skin afterwards -- its warm, woody fragrance reminding me of Christmas -- while my whole body felt fuzzy and weightless.
The spa at the Runnymede on Thames uses two product houses: ESPA and Guinot. Choose ESPA if you're looking for natural face and body treatments or Guinot for results-driven treatments. The spa menu also offers manicures and pedicures, treatments for mums-to-be and men, and beauty finishing touches.
You can eat lunch in your robe in the hotel's Garden Room which is a homely space with bright sofas where you can relax with friends. Pillars break up the room and a small outdoor terrace can be accessed in the summer season.
Our butternut squash and coconut soup was fresh and delicious, while our jacket potato with ricotta, sun-blushed tomato and caramelised onion was hearty and tangy. We also treated ourselves to a glass of crisp Champagne for £8.
Spa guests can help themselves to tray bakes on arrival, hot drinks and juices throughout the day, and home-made biscuits in the afternoon.
We loved / we didn't love
The cosy treatment rooms, the delicious food and the complimentary ESPA moisturiser.
We didn't love
The spa at the Runnymede-on-Thames -- like the rest of the hotel -- is busy and bubbly, with a lively atmosphere. It may not be the right place if you're looking for quiet solitude.
Who do you think would like it?
Groups of friends: We spotted several small groups of friends using the day as an excuse for a much-needed catch up.
Business people or those with a layover at Heathrow: The Runnymede is less than ten miles from the airport and will allow you to chill out pre- or post-flight.
City escapers: Stressed-out Londoners can be at The Runnymede on Thames in just 40 minutes, with regular trains to Egham from Waterloo Station.
The Lock Bar and Kitchen for informal dining at lunch and dinner; the Leftbank Restaurant for an all-day buffet menu; The Lounge for light lunches and afternoon tea.
8am - 8pm every day