Rowhill Grange is an English country manor house with a spacious, classically-styled spa. The house dates back to 1868, and is set in acres of gardens and picturesque countryside. Utopia Spa has a Romanesque interior, with temple-like pillars, and frescos of Italian landscapes around the therapeutic pool and upstairs swimming pool. Try the steam room or sauna before cooling off in the experience shower. Treatments are from Mediterranean-inspired brand Temple Spa, with a focus on both inner and outer wellbeing.
- Single sex facilities
- Steam room
- Personal training
- Two double treatment rooms
- Temple Spa
Our Spa Spy review
Built as a summerhouse in 1868, Rowhill Grange is a 38-room red-brick and white-timbered English country manor house. It sits in 17 acres of pristine gardens, just minutes from the M25 and the Dartford tunnel. The car park is a couple of minutes' walk from the hotel reception; if you have heavy luggage, park in a designated bay and move your car after checking in.
The hotel's Utopia Spa spans two floors and offers Mediterranean-inspired treatments from Temple Spa and ila.
What's on offer?
Staff warmly welcomed us at the hotel's reception and guided us through to the spa's dedicated entrance, accessible via a pretty terrace laden with garden furniture.
The spa reception is light and bright, with a retail area selling ila, Temple Spa and L'Occitane products. Staff greeted us warmly and invited us to try fruit smoothies while they checked our consultation forms. We then went downstairs to the limestone-tiled changing rooms on the lower-ground floor.
The changing rooms are well lit with banks of lockers offering plenty of room for coats and boots. Each locker contains a robe, a towel and flip-flops. Change beside one of two padded benches. We liked having a separate room next door for showering and post-shower preening. Here are four showers stylishly tiled in natural stone, and equipped with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Vanity bars contain everything you could wish for: think hairdryers, straighteners, tissues, cotton wool and Temple Spa cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser.
Both male and female changing rooms each have their own sauna.
Swing doors lead to the Roman-themed thermal area and pool, with its frescoes and columns. Here you can enjoy a steam room, Jacuzzi and a round hydro-pool fed by a waterfall. Stand under it and let the flow massage your neck and shoulders, or lie on one of six contoured "beds" in the bubbly water. The strongest flow of water gushes out of the hydro-pool's swan-neck fountain; we struggled to remain upright.
At 11 metres, Utopia Spa's pool is just long enough to swim a few lengths; relax on a wicker-style lounger or chair afterwards.
The Relaxation Lounge is extremely inviting, with mood lighting and twelve lie-flat beds laden with soft woollen blankets. Climb into one of four large wicker egg chairs and swing away while reading a magazine.
Fitness lovers can make good use of Utopia Spa's well-appointed gym and exercise studio. In need of some pampering? Head to the Hair Spa or the Nail Bar for a cut and blow dry (or colour) or a manicure and pedicure.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed an ila Ku Nye Massage (85 minutes, £112).
My therapist, Becky, led me to one of 17 spacious treatment rooms, richly decorated in chocolates and creams with cosy, low lighting. Becky talked through my areas of concern and what I could expect. The treatment: involves Ku Nye, an ancient Tibetan therapy designed to rejuvenate, banish negative flow, and restore harmonious energy.
Becky began the treatment with a warm relaxing foot scrub before massing my legs using long, circular strokes with shorter, more focused kneading. A blend of five essential oils -- spikenard, rose geranium, lemongrass, tulsi and lavender -- aims to relax and re-energise. Once I had turned over, Becky adopted a similar technique on my chest, shoulders and arms before moving onto my stomach. I was concerned that this might make me self-conscious, but I needn't have worried.
Becky used warm poultices filled with Himalayan salt on pressure points; these are designed to draw out negative energy. She replaced them with quartz to restore harmony and positive energy.
The icing on the cake was a long invigorating head massage using plenty of warm oil. I felt both soothed and revitalised as I floated off to the relaxation room with a pot of green tea.
Every single ila bottle is individually blessed before it leaves its Cotswolds-based workshop. Products are also 100% natural and organic, and packed with herbs, plants and essences of flowers.
Rowhill Grange offers a comprehensive range of facials, massages and wraps, as well as hair cuts and blow dries, manicures and pedicures. There are dedicated treatments for mothers to be, and men, as well as more holistic options.
If you visit for a spa day, you can enjoy either a two-course lunch or afternoon tea as part of your package. The Brasserie restaurant is a couple of minutes' walk from the spa, back near reception. We remained in our robes but didn't feel particularly comfortable walking through the bar and past hotel guests checking in.
The lunch menu changes with the seasons and offers a choice of three starters, and three main courses; dessert is available for an additional charge. We opted for the afternoon tea, starting with delicate finger sandwiches filled with cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise, and salmon. Freshly baked cherry and plain scones were served with clotted cream and raspberry jam. We finished with a generous cake tray: lemon drizzle, chocolate fondant layered tart, macarons and meringues. Yum.
A wide variety of teas complement the afternoon tea, or you can opt for a glass of wine or indulgent fizz for an extra charge.
Later that evening, we enjoyed dinner in the Rowhill Grange's 2 AA Rosette restaurant RG's with its dedicated vegetarian and vegan menus. We tucked into a modern take on a prawn cocktail: delicious prawns, crab and crayfish served with apple spaghetti and bloody Mary dressing. This was followed by roasted aubergine with tofu, and a generous cheese board.
We loved / we didn't love
The grand building and grounds: Rowhill Grange feels like a country-house retreat.
The sumptuous thermal area: Bubbling away in the atmospherically low-lit Jacuzzi was a real treat.
We didn't love
For a Monday morning, there were times when the hydro-pool and Jacuzzi felt quite busy.
The lack of a sauna in the main thermal area; this would have been even more missed had we visited as a couple (the changing rooms have single-sex saunas).
The absence of a swimsuit drier: For such a well-equipped changing room, this seems like a real oversight.
Who do you think would like it?
Mothers and daughters: The generous afternoon tea included in the day-spa package is a perfect opportunity to catch up on some mum-daughter gossip.
Mums-to-be: With lots of dedicated treatments, some downtime at Utopia Spa would be a welcome pregnancy treat.
Small groups of friends: Utopia is a sociable spa, with friends welcome to catch up in the thermal facilities or during lunch.
- RG’s Restaurant, proud holder of 2 AA Rosettes, an absolute heaven for foodies.
- Elements Bar and Lounge, perfect for a more relaxed dining experience.
- Open air terrace to enjoy in the Summer months.
- 38 Luxury Rooms and Suites, 4 silver star service. Full access to our award winning Utopia Spa.
Monday to Friday: 7am - 9pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8am - 8pm
Travel and Parking
- Less than 30 minutes to London with great transport links from Swanley Station
- Sat Nav Post Code BR8 7SQ
- Large Car Parking on site (free)
- Disabled parking to rear of Hotel
- Hotel fully accessible
- Disabled parking and access to rear of Hotel