The Vineyard is a luxury hotel with an air of exclusivity; it's the perfect destination for celebrating in style. The spa is compact but elegant, the pool area relaxing and light, and the treatments unusual and interesting, and well delivered. The standard of everything -- spa facilities, customer service, rooms, and even the towelling robes -- is very high. The Vineyard was originally a small manor house, now extended to create an exclusive hotel with 49 rooms, most of which are suites. Anyone who likes their food and wine will love The Vineyard, as both are taken very seriously here. All in all, a treat.
Four treatment rooms
Indoor swimming pool
Our Spa Spy review
A grand entrance, lined with mature trees, leads to the elegant Vineyard Hotel. Once a hunting lodge that has since been extended, the eighteenth-century building has a hint of California chic, a legendary restaurant with an extensive wine cellar, and an intimate spa. You reach the spa through the hotel, located in a beautiful, naturally-lit circular space.
What's on offer?
The Vineyard Spa is small but sophisticated, sensitively designed in line with the hotel's layout as a former hunting lodge. Past the reception area with its glass displays featuring Darphin and Natural Spa Factory products, a set of double doors opens into the main spa facilities.
Under a soaring ceiling, the two-tiered open-plan area includes an airy spa café and a series of loungers upstairs, and a circular swimming pool with a current machine and swan pipes downstairs. The pool is surrounded by a crescent of relaxation loungers, a Jacuzzi and shower. Floor-to-ceiling windows look onto the spa garden, which is shielded by dense vegetation; the spa at The Vineyard feels very private.
A spiral stairway leads down to the compact changing rooms. There's a bench beneath a row of generous lockers with a semi-partition for private changing, a shower and a bathroom. We loved the double vanity unit containing gorgeous Darphin face products, including moisturisers, make-up remover and facial oils.
Round the corner from the changing rooms is a sauna and a steam room, each lit from the ceiling with twinkling lights.
The fourtreatment rooms have been recently renovated in a soothing neutral palette. Your therapist will collect you from the spa waiting area and lead you through the main hotel and upstairs. It is not far, but you will have to walk past dressed guests in your robe. There's a double treatment room for couples or friends, and a well-equipped gym.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Shimmering Gold Face and Body Experience (85 minutes, £110). This is The Vineyard's signature top-to-toe indulgence treatment using The Natural Spa Factory's Gold Collection.
Hayley, my therapist, walked me into a cavernous, low-lit treatment room. She settled me onto the bed, swathed in towels, and got to work with a subtle amber-scented gold and caviar scrub, using cane sugar, jojoba and grapeseed oil. After my quick rinse-down in the private bathroom, Hayley applied a gold body wrap, rich in anti-ageing minerals with a smooth, supple texture, before swaddling me in plastic sheets.
While the wrap soaked in, Hayley turned her attention to my face, using a gold gel cleanser containing amber, caviar and grapeseed, followed by a gentle pearl and grape-leaf gold facial polish. The pearl extracts coax tone, brightness and elasticity to the surface of the skin, while the antioxidants and fruit acids in grape leaf help to renew cells. Hayley finished with a thick velvety layer of precious caviar extract and 23-carat-gold moisturiser, aiming to smooth and revitalise.
It was time for my second shower within the hour (I was now perhaps cleaner and glitzier than I'd ever been), before I settled back onto the bed for a full body massage. Hayley applied a gold oil with a subtle shimmer and set to work on my tense muscles with firm, invigorating pressure.
When I returned to our room, suitably refreshed and ready for a glamorous dinner, my companion remarked that I looked golden and glowing. When I glanced in the mirror, I loved the subtle shimmer of the gold dry oil: the perfect treatment for anyone prepping for an indulgent night.
The Vineyard Spa also has a dedicated men's menu featuring facials, wraps and massages using Australian brand Vitaman.
The spa café is on a terrace overlooking the pool and has two menus: à la carte featuring soups, risotto, salads, charcuterie and cheese boards, and a Bento Box menu with four options. We went for the vegetarian suggestion with pumpkin risotto, wild mushroom fricassee, beetroot, chive and apple salad, and a fruit salad; healthy but comforting all in one. Those with a sweet tooth can pick from a range of desserts such as tiramisu and dark-chocolate tart, but we wanted to save some room for our evening meal.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the main restaurant, decorated in muted tones with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a terrace and the gardens beyond. Dinner was sensational; we began with delicate butternut-squash soup with herb gnocchi, followed by roasted cauliflower with black truffle, and a saddle of lamb for my companion (she claimed it was the best meal she's had in years), perfectly complemented with a crisp English sparkling wine.
We loved / we didn't love
We loved the attention to detail throughout the hotel and spa. From the taster wine of the day and hand-made chocolates welcoming us into our suite, to the miniature Darphin products in our spa lockers, The Vineyard knows how to make an impression.
We adored the serene atmosphere of the spa; it was blissfully quiet, perhaps in part due to the fact that there are no members at The Vineyard. That said, our laps around the circular pool were a bit dizzying, and the subterranean changing rooms could do with a little more space to stretch out in.
Dinner in the plush restaurant was a real highlight. From the lip-smacking food to the courteous staff and the delicious wines, this restaurant truly deserves its excellent reputation.
Who do you think would like it?
The Vineyard's plentiful spa-day options are just as excellent for couples as they are for small groups of friends, though it's worth keeping in mind that this spa is geared towards serenity, so raucous hen-dos are better accommodated elsewhere.
Newbury is a business centre, so solo spa goers -- male or female -- will find it conveniently located. The varied treatments and male-specific menu including the full "Perfect for Men Spa Day" are well thought out for this purpose.
Perhaps more than anything, though, The Vineyard is a haven for hedonists who love food and fine wine.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave The Vineyard Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubble luxury. Our treatment was incredibly opulent and, as a signature treatment, demonstrated The Vineyard's excellent spa menu curation. The staff were wonderful; knowledgeable about their products and treatments, friendly but not overbearing. Overall, the experience was steeped in luxury from start to finish, all in a tranquil and exclusive environment.