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.
Eucalyptus steam room
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Dance studio with exercise classes
Our Spa Spy review
The runnymede-on-thames is a contemporary hotel and spa on the river Thames in Surrey, just off the M25. The recently refurbished spa is set in a two-storey extension of the hotel, merging red brick, large glass windows, and neutral décor, giving a soothing and fresh feel.
Despite the modern appearance, there is an historical interest; the hotel and spa overlook the Runnymede Meadows, where King John and his noblemen sealed the Magna Carta in 1215.
What's on offer?
You can reach the runnymede-on-thames spa through the hotel or via its own separate entrance where a floor-to-ceiling glass corridor opens into reception. There's a large reception desk, a mani-pedi station and cosy waiting armchairs. A door leads off to the six treatment rooms.
The spacious and well-lit changing rooms have wooden lockers and bench seating -- there's even a soft massage chair. The room splits into two; first, there's a vanity area with polished white marble counters and large mirrors where you can style your hair or touch up your make-up, and WCs. To the other side are three showers stocked with shampoo and conditioner, a small female-only sauna and a plunge pool to cool off.
The large wet zone has floor-to-ceiling windows filling the space with light. There's a shallow pool for kids, an 18-metre pool, and a circular whirlpool to soak in after doing your laps. Overlooking the pool is an indoor terrace flanked with loungers, a huge eucalyptus-scented steam room, a hot traditional wooden sauna, and two showers to freshen up and cool down. A large outdoor swimming pool is open in the summer months.
The Garden Room, where lunch is served, has a touch of the Hamptons with painted grey shutters, parquet floors and coastal scene paintings. The room opens out onto a decked terrace with a lawn and a sky-high hedge giving privacy.
If you like to work out before you wind down, try the large gym and exercise studio.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the ESPA Top to Toe (85 minutes, £95), a signature treatment devised by the runnymede team, based on ESPA's natural and holistic philosophy.
My therapist, Becky, met me in the waiting area and took me to our treatment room. She talked me through the treatment and gave me three oils to choose from. I chose the Restorative Oil, which blends sweet orange, rose and lavender.
I settled face down on the massage bed, and Becky positioned an infra-red light over my back to warm my muscles. Becky started work on my tight calves and thighs, then moved the light and tackled my problem shoulders. She teased the knots from my upper back and neck, leaving me feeling relaxed and calm.
I turned over onto my back and Becky coated my hair in ESPA's Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, a conditioning treatment for dry locks. Becky continued the massage across the front of my legs and arms, then moved onto a mini facial. She cleansed and exfoliated my skin, then applied a layer of facial oil as a mask. While the oil soaked in, she massaged my décolletage, face and scalp.
My skin felt wonderfully supple, and the combination of aromatherapy scents quietened my anxiety. It was an excellent all-rounder treatment.
The runnymede-on-thames spa uses two very complementary product houses, ESPA and Guinot. Choose ESPA if you're looking for all-natural face and body treatments or Guinot for results-driven facials. The spa menu also offers manicures and pedicures, treatments for mums-to-be and men, and beauty finishing touches.
Spa guests eat en robe in the Garden Room. The spa menu offers a choice of sandwiches, soups, jacket potatoes and daily specials. We tried the egg-mayo focaccia which was a very good portion size and tasty. We proudly resisted, but there's a line of decadent desserts, too. If you're celebrating, you can order from the wine or champagne menu.
We loved / we didn't love
The tasteful refurbishment work in the dry areas of the spa; it has given a sense of peace and tranquillity.
The treatment offering: The staff are incredibly well trained and the balance of ESPA and Guinot provides a menu that will suit even the most seasoned spa-ista.
We didn't love
The lounger area around the pool could do with some TLC. It would be great if there were some magazines and fruit-infused waters nearby, too.
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?
Smaller groups and friends: The spa is very popular for half-day spa visits and hen parties; the lively vibe makes it great if you want to get everyone together for a day.
Londoners looking for an easy escape from the city: Egham is just 40 minutes from Waterloo; soak up everything the spa has to offer then explore the nearby lakes and parks.
Business people or those with a layover at Heathrow: The runnymede-on-thames is less than ten miles from the airport and will allow you to chill out pre- or post-flight.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded the runnymede-on-thames a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. The well thought-out refurbishment, excellent treatments and lively atmosphere make for a very fun spa day. One to experience with your BFFs.