If fun is what you’re looking for, Whittlebury Hall’s day spa is a great choice. This self-contained day spa is in a separate wing from the popular hotel. The main attraction is the heat and ice experience with hydrotherapy pool, hot and cold thermal rooms and experience showers, but there’s also a sizeable swimming pool and classes available in the exercise studio. This is a very good-value spa, deservedly popular with locals and groups of friends.
- XXL robes available
- Family swim times
- Treatment rooms
- Rasul (bookable as a treatment)
- Aromatherapy crystal steam room
- Experience showers
- Foot spas
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Ice cave
- Roman salt steam
- Traditional sauna
- Hair studio
- 19m swimming pool with bubble jets
- Steam room
- Whirlpool spa
- Aerobic and dance studio with classes
Our Spa Spy review
Whittlebury Hall is a grand, four-star Georgian property near the Silverstone race track in the Northamptonshire countryside. The wide range of facilities includes two restaurants, a café overlooking a lawn, a bar, a golf course, and -- in a separate wing -- a leisure club and spa.
Spa guests have a dedicated car park: head down the long driveway and park opposite the immaculate golf course.
What's on offer?
Staff gave us a warm welcome at the leisure club's reception ; this has rattan armchairs and tables laden with fruit, iced water and magazines. We filled in a consultation form and received an envelope containing our spa itinerary and an electronic rubber band for our pre-assigned locker.
There are two sets of changing rooms in the spa wing: one in the leisure club (which houses the pool, the café and the gym) and one in the spa, which is home to the treatment rooms and the wet/thermal facilities.
Hundreds of small wooden lockers stacked three-high line the walls of the leisure club's changing rooms, each containing white waffle robes and towels (but no flip-flops or spa slippers). Get changed near four plush purple chaises longues in the centre. Afterwards, there's a spin dryer and vanity area with two hairdryers and two straighteners.
Around the corner are four showers with black sparkly splashbacks, purple stools and unbranded shampoo, conditioner and body wash, plus three loos. Everything was clean and well-kept on our visit.
The attractive 19-metre pool in the leisure club has a strong Greek theme with wall paintings, stone pillars and even naked statues. The left-hand side of the pool is cordoned off for lap swimming -- check the website for children's swim times if you fancy a quiet dip -- while each corner is given over to bubbly Jacuzzis. Relax between swims on one of several brown rattan loungers lining three sides of the pool.
We loved the spa's heat and ice experience rooms which form a circle around the warm hydrotherapy pool, with its bubbles. We began our spa journey at the footbaths, using the time to survey all the rooms on offer and devise a spa journey. There are five Heat experiences (caldarium, saunas, Roman salt steam room, sanarium and tepidarium) and three Ice experiences (ice bucket, ice cave, experience showers – select "very cold"). Each is smartly decked out in mosaic tiles and large enough for six to eight people.
We went round in a clockwise direction, experiencing two heat rooms before taking time out to cool down and relax. Once our body temperature was back down, we pushed on.
We loved the yin-yang feeling of hot vs cold. Last up: the saunas, of which there are two, the first reaching 60 and the second a hot 85 degrees. We followed the first with a trip to the ice cave -- where we rubbed handfuls of ice all over our hot bodies -- and the second with the daring ice bucket. The whole experience was exhilarating.
A real highlight of the spa is the Whisper Room, the spa's relaxation area with water beds, hanging egg chairs and lie-flat loungers. Flickering candles, ornate bird cages, white flowing curtains and hypnotic fish tanks give a peaceful vibe.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed a Strawberries & Cream Delight exfoliating scrub (40 minutes, £45).
My therapist, Maria, led me to a tiny treatment room warmly decked out in creams and purples, and asked me to lie face down on the bed.
The treatment began with a brisk body brush, starting at my feet (which tickled) and moving up my legs to my back and arms. Maria repeated this on the other side before massaging in an exfoliating Strawberries and Cream scrub (very fitting for Wimbledon week). It was only when I turned over and Maria repeated the experience on my front (brush first, then scrub) that I got a fruity/creamy waft.
While the scrub exfoliated away, Maria coated my hair with a thick conditioner and performed a wonderful head and scalp massage, occasionally moving my head from side to side to release any tension in my neck.
Maria then directed me to the shower to wash off the scrub before asking me to lie back on the bed, which was laden with fresh towels. Next up: a light fig and vanilla body lotion from The Spa Factory which Maria massaged into my back, legs and arms.
On standing up, my skin immediately felt silky to the touch, and I vowed to leave the conditioner in my hair for as long as possible.
If you visit for a spa day, you can eat a buffet lunch in the Terrace Café back in the leisure club, which is sadly a little tired-looking. Try to grab a seat overlooking the pool before heading up to the table to stock up on hot and cold dishes.
The selection on our visit included baked potatoes, pasta, quiche, salads and DIY wraps. All the dishes are labelled, with several choices for vegetarians and a few for gluten- and dairy-free guests. Options to indulge are limited: head to the bar and pay for a slice of cake or a cookie. Tea, coffee and wine are extra and you need to order them from the bar, too.
We piled our plates with vegetable quiche and salad before going back up for a bowl of fruit salad with natural yoghurt.
With 2 AA rosette Murray's closed for refurbishment (during Wimbledon!), we dined that evening in Aston's, the hotel's more casual restaurant. Our vegetable curry with coriander rice, mini nan breads and mango chutney was nice but not particularly spicy, while our white chocolate crème brulée with strawberry macaroon was sufficiently tasty.
We loved / we didn't love
The Whisper Room: The warm waterbeds are a real treat and perfect for some shut-eye.
The Heat/Ice experiences: There's enough here to keep you occupied for hours.
We didn't love
The confusing layout: If you want to have a swim, a treatment and lunch, you will need to keep flitting between the leisure club and the spa.
The lack of flip-flops: If I hadn't been pre-advised to bring my own, I would have been £6 down.
Who do you think would like it?
Groups of friends, couples, bargain-hunters (it's good value) and golfers will all love the Spa at Whittlebury Hall.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded the Spa at Whittlebury Hall a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 4 Bubbles. With plenty of facilities, a good range of treatments, a decent gym/fitness classes, and good-value packages, Whittlebury Hall successfully brings spa-ing to the people.
The Terrace Café for light snacks and healthy spa cuisine; Astons Restaurant for informal all-day dining; Bentleys for a pizza and pasta menu; 2 AA rosette restaurant Murrays for fine dining.
Standard Rooms, Club Rooms and Suites available, from £250 per room for a Standard Double with breakfast.
Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm; Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 8am – 8pm