Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa has firmly established itself as one of the UK's leading spa destinations, and for good reason. The facilities are fantastic, the treatments tremendous, and the customer service is exceptional. Plus, there's five-star accommodation and award-winning restaurants in the hotel. Pennyhill Park is ideal for a truly luxurious spa day or spa break, and it's only 45 minutes from central London...
- Single sex facilities
- XXL robes available
- 21 treatment rooms
- Deluxe double treatment rooms
- Relaxation room
- Nail bar
- 25m Ballroom pool
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Canadian hot tubs
- Herbal saunas
- Steam rooms
- Ice cave
- Cold plunge pool
- Experience showers
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Studio with fitness classes
- Fitness suite
- Jogging trail
- Golf course
- Tennis courts
- The Spa
- Elemental Herbology
Our Spa Spy review
Pennyhill Park is pretty grand. Take the long driveway past the England Rugby team's training ground to the ivy-covered manor house surrounded by 120 acres of parkland. The hotel is easily accessible; it's just over an hour's drive or train ride from central London.
The equally luxurious spa is in its own building, a short walk behind the hotel. The spa has eight different pools, a thermal experience area, 21 treatment rooms, and a post-treatment sensory room complete with proper beds so you can take a quick snooze. In all, the spa covers 45,000 square feet and must be in the running for the largest spa by area in the country.
What's on offer?
The Spa at Pennyhill Park gives you a sense of space from the moment you cross the threshold. The entrance corridor is decorated with elegant floral displays and perfectly draped curtains. Daylight floods reception with high ceilings and lots of windows. There's plenty of comfortable seating and a spa restaurant to the side. Check in at reception then wander past displays of products to the changing rooms.
The changing rooms are also huge and decadent with marble floors, multi-head showers, vanity islands with mirrors and hairdryers, even a cushioned swing seat. The lockers are cleverly positioned to break up the changing space, so you're never standing exposed; there are private changing cubicles, too. At the back of the changing space, you can pick up fresh robes and towels throughout the day.
The wet and thermal facilities are downstairs. The centre point of the spa is the 25-metre ozone-treated pool which is cool enough to enjoy swimming some lengths. Underwater music plays to accompany you on your swim. To one side is a bubble pool that would comfortably seat eight. The pool area is Greco-Roman inspired with limestone pillars and statues all lit by soft blue and pink lighting. You can order drinks and snacks to your poolside lounger (of which there are many).
The thermal experiences are just off the pool. The six mixed-sex rooms include a tepidarium, an ice cave, a schnapps steam room, laconium, plunge pool, two footbaths and experience showers. The tepidarium with its heated beds was very popular; depending on how busy the spa is, you may have to wait to snag a seat. The other thermal experiences are split into single-sex areas; there are three heat rooms in the men-only area and two in the ladies’. In the female facilities I loved the blue room – a turquoise laconium which smelt wonderful.
Drift outside to yet more pools and relaxation space: an 18-metre swimming pool, a large hydrotherapy pool and several smaller hot tubs. The main pool is surrounded by decking with a canvas-covered shaded area, lots of seating, and an outdoor bar and cafe.
The treatment and relaxation rooms are at the far end of the building. There's comfortable seating in the pre-treatment waiting room, and the light relaxation room has a semi-circle of loungers. The candle-lit sensory room has six gel beds with cushions and duvets to keep you warm. With warm beds and flickering lights it’s the perfect place to curl up and snooze post-treatment.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Natura Bissé Citrus Essential Facial (60 minutes, £110).
My therapist, Zoe, met me in the waiting area and walked me to our treatment room which had an extra wide and long treatment bed in the middle. I settled face up on the bed and pulled the straps of my swimsuit down so Zoe could work on my neck and décolletage.
Zoe explained that the facial would focus on brightening my skin and regenerating damaged skin cells. She started by cleansing my face with a creamy cleanser which she removed with hot mitts. She toned with cotton pads and applied a glycolic peel: it was tingly on my skin but not uncomfortable.
Zoe quickly removed the peel, then massaged my face, neck and shoulders with a citrus-y serum. She painted on a second mask -- this one was very cool -- and massaged my arms and hands while it set. Zoe removed the mask and finished with a super-hydrating moisturiser. My skin felt amazing and had a wonderfully healthy glow.
The Spa at Pennyhill Park offers a wide range of Natura Bissé, Elemental Herbology and own-brand treatments. Try facials, massages, wraps, scrubs, rasul and more holistic treatments such as reflexology and Reiki. We saw lots of men enjoying the spa, which has a great menu of treatments for men, too.
Lunch is served in the Themis restaurant just next to spa reception. Choose from the salad bar or order sandwiches, salads, and hot dishes including fish, meat and vegetarian options. We tried a colourful salad to start then a falafel wrap; both were fresh and very enjoyable. A full drinks menu runs from healthy juices to vintage Champagne.
If you're staying overnight, you can try fine dining in The Latymer or head to the Brasserie for more informal meals. The Brasserie has two interactive stations where they make your starter and dessert from scratch; main courses are made in the kitchen. The food was special; we enjoyed a butternut squash cappuccino, cod with a pea puree, and a mango and chocolate panna cotta. It's easy to see why Pennyhill has such a great reputation for food.
We loved / we didn't love
The indoor swimming pool: The water is silky smooth and the underwater music is fun. When we visited mid-week, we even had it to ourselves for a half hour.
The sheer variety of indoor and outdoor experiences: The Spa at Pennyhill Park has so much to do, you may run out of time in one day.
The treatments: Our facial was the perfect blend of relaxing and results-driven; we saw a real difference immediately after the treatment.
We didn't love
The lack of tea and coffee in the relaxation rooms. It would have given us a good excuse to stay in the sensory room for even longer.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: It may be the influence of the rugby connection, but The Spa at Pennyhill Park obviously appeals to men. We saw lots of couples enjoying the facilities together.
Friends: The spa is large enough for small groups to be sociable, without disturbing other guests.
Water babies: The Spa at Pennyhill Park has eight pools. What more could merfolk ask for?
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
Once again, we awarded The Spa at Pennyhill Park the highest Good Spa Guide rating of 5 Bubble Luxury. The spa has extensive water and heat facilities, the customer service is very good, and you can choose between natural and organic or more science-driven treatments. Pennyhill has a sense of space that we haven't yet found at any other UK spa.
The Spa’s restaurant Themis serves brunch, lunch and supper. In the hotel, afternoon tea is served in the Ascot Bar; The Brasserie serves a lunch buffet and an evening à la carte menu; The Latymer, with two Michelin stars, offers a fine-dining menu.
Seven room types available, from Traditional Hotel Guestrooms to Exclusive Master Suites. Rates from £335 per room per night.
6.30am - 10pm every day. Hotel residents have access to the spa from 12 noon on the day of arrival.