The Feversham Arms is a former coaching inn, turned boutique hotel full of rustic charm. Its spa runs along one side of the courtyard with an Italianate heated outdoor pool. The spa offers a wide range of Temple Spa treatments, has a stylish café, plus a vast, homely lounge with plump sofas, cosy blankets and bookshelves. Both areas have doors leading out onto a secluded decked terrace with a raised hot tub and pool. There’s also a small, hexagonal thermal area with five heat experience rooms.
- XXL robes available
- Outdoor heated swimming pool
- Outdoor heated Jacuzzi
- Steam room
- Aromatherapy room
- Foot spas
- Monsoon shower
- Large relaxation lounge
- Sun terrace and south facing terrace garden
- Manicure area
- Juice bar and spa cafe area
Our Spa Spy review
The Feversham Arms is in the centre of the picturesque market town of Helmsley. Like the rest of the town, it's built with the kind of yellow brick usually seen in the Cotswolds. The main hotel is full of rustic charm, with plaid rugs and comfortable sofas, but elegantly updated, with a modern glass and slate entrance and striking sculptures.
Verbena Spa has its own area to the back of the hotel. Again, rustic homeliness meets stylishly modern luxury, scented with Temple Spa candles.
What's on offer?
The reception at Verbena Spa is tasteful, with cream and plum coloured walls and seats, and lots of products on display. An open-plan main area has a brasserie with comfortable scoop chairs and tables, and opens out onto a decked courtyard with rattan recliners. There is also a nail bar and grooming area, and a bar with free iced tea and water.
The changing rooms are a reasonable size, painted duck egg blue with red lacquered lockers containing hangers. The vanity area is stocked with hairdryers and Temple Spa products beneath a large wooden mirror. The two showers are basic but clean and functional, as are the two toilets and two private changing areas. The changing rooms weren't overcrowded when we visited even though there were several people using the spa. Day guests receive brown robes, towels and slippers, while hotel guests can use the white robes in their rooms.
The pre- and post-treatment relaxation lounge is a long, large room with windows running down one side facing the courtyard. Wooden blinds provide privacy and soft light. The room is warm and welcoming, decorated in pale, neutral stones and blues, with huge sofas to sink into and blankets to wrap yourself up in. Halfway along is a shelf stacked with books and magazines: this also divides the room and allows for privacy.
If the weather is good, head outdoors to the spa garden with its decked area and a covered bar area where you can eat and drink al fresco. The outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by terracotta pots and wooden planters, lavender, topiary and herbs. The temperature is always 30 degrees, even in winter, and there are steps at one end. Around the York stone-paved edges are recliners, chairs including a rattan egg chair for curling up inside, and baskets full of spare towels. A small raised hot-tub seats no more than two and is hidden in a secluded corner.
The small thermal spa is back inside. The hexagonal tiled space is filled with mist and lovely aromas. Start with the aromatherapy steam room with warm tiled benches and coloured ceiling lights. It seats four and smells of eucalyptus and menthol. The warm saunarium is gently heated with wooden seats for six. The hot salt steam room seats eight and is tiled white and blue. When you are nice and hot, jump under the monsoon shower to cool down, or grab some ice from the ice fountain. There are also two foot spas beneath a heated mosaic-tiled bench.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Mediterranean Float (90 minutes, £95). My therapist, Tammy, fetched me from the relaxation lounge and led me to a treatment room painted soft blue. Tammy discussed the treatment with me -- no actual floating involved -- and any areas of concern. She also talked about the Temple Spa products she had chosen that wouldn't trigger my allergies.
Tammy left the room while I changed into disposable underwear and settled on the bed under a sarong. When we both were ready, she sprayed an aroma mist and asked me to inhale deeply four times. She pressed my body firmly through the towel and I felt myself relaxing. She then cleansed my feet and lower legs with hot towels and massaged them.
An invigorating body brush followed. Tammy massaged in the sugar scrub which smelled deliciously of grapefruit. Even though I was being scrubbed, the treatment nearly sent me to sleep, it was so relaxing. I had to wake up to turn over while Tammy body-brushed then massaged the scrub into my legs, arms, décolletage and shoulders. She then turned on the shower and left the room while I rinsed.
I re-settled on the treatment bed and Tammy applied a cooling lavender moisturiser all over my body. She then cleansed my face twice and toned. She massaged my shoulders, arms and face, and, just as I was drifting off again, applied a face scrub with strong sweeps of her hands. She removed the scrub with warm towels, then applied a mask. While it set, Tammy gave me a luxurious Indian head massage, gently exfoliating my scalp with her fingers and hair oil, and pulling my hair quite firmly, which somehow felt pleasurable. After removing the mask, she cleansed again, then applied a serum, Temple Spa's luscious Eye Truffle and moisturiser.
Tammy left me to put on my robe then led me to the relaxation lounge, where she brought me some water, a glass of Prosecco and a truffle. My skin looked flawless and gleaming. My body was blissfully relaxed and my skin was soft and subtly scented.
Verbena Spa at the Feversham Arms Hotel has seven treatment rooms and one couple's suite. They offer a range of Temple Spa bespoke and signature massages, prescription facials, exotic wraps and exfoliations, treatments for men and mums-to-be, plus manicures and pedicures with Jessica varnishes.
You can eat in your robe in the cool and comfortable "Spa-tisserie", or outdoors under umbrellas by the pool.
Food is locally sourced, including Yorkshire ham and cheeses, and locally reared beef. You can choose delicious gastro pub-style comfort food from the menu, including a range of ciabattas, burgers, steak, or healthily nutritious salads and soup. I opted for the delicious beer battered cod and chips, while my more virtuous companion had a tasty Caesar salad. You can also have afternoon cream tea, hot and cold drinks, and a choice of wines, spirits and beers.
In the evening, hotel guests can enjoy the Weathervane restaurant for fine dining. Each dish is inspiringly devised and beautifully presented. I had goat’s cheese pannacotta for starters and a fillet of turbot with quinoa risotto for mains. My partner chose the crisp truffle egg yolk and baby leek, followed by Texel lamp with Mangalitza black pudding. We shared a delicious chocolate desert as recommended by our waitress.
We loved / we didn't love
Our treatment: Our therapist's massage skills got rid of all the knots acquired from our traffic jam on the A1 and we were impressed with the results.
The outdoor pool: The pool is the perfect temperature all year round, and the courtyard is a beautiful area. We even enjoyed swimming in the rain.
The cosy décor: Mediterranean rustic meets Yorkshire charm. Temple Spa fits the overall vibe perfectly.
We didn't love
Flip-flops rather than slippers for the wet areas would be a good idea; ours were soaked, but staff were more than happy to refresh our towels, robes and slippers.
Who do you think would like it?
Comfort lovers: Verbena Spa and the hotel have a real home-from-home vibe. Staff go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and well looked after. It would be wonderful in the winter, too, with all the rugs and blankets and roaring fires.
Walkers: You're right in the middle of the beautiful North York Moors National Park.
Families and friends: There weren't loads of kids when we stayed, but plenty of friends, mothers and daughters, and couples, as well as chic ladies who lunch.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded the Verbena Spa at the Feversham Arms Hotel a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. It's a welcoming place in a beautiful spot, with a pretty outdoor area for the summer. Our treatment was wonderful and every member of staff made us feel cared for.
There is a cafe area inside the spa. The Weathervane Restaurant in the hotel offers a 6-course tasting menu or À la Carte dining, plus lunch menu.
33 rooms and suites at the Feversham Arms Hotel.
Monday to Wednesday: 9am - 7pm
Thursday: 9am - 9pm
Friday to Sunday: 9am - 7pm