Sometimes you don’t want an extortionate treatment, a Michelin-star lunch or a hushed space with only your thoughts for company - a dip, a massage, a bite to eat and a natter with a pal please. Stylish Spy has teamed up with SpaSeekers to round up the best health club spas in the UK.
The Belfry is a resort set in over 550 acres of countryside not far from Birmingham city centre. The spa is large with plenty on offer including ESPA treatments, a decadent relaxation room, and a finishing studio for nails and beauty. Head downstairs for the fire and ice experience: a spiral journey through a foot spa, feature showers, caldarium, igloo, two aroma steam rooms, sanarium, sauna and hydrotherapy pool. The leisure club has a large, bright pool; two whirlpools; and a diner-style café with outdoor terrace.
Located on the outskirts of the city, the Cambridge Country Club recently opened a brand-new architecturally designed wellness centre. Work out in the gym, take a class in the studio or enjoy a nutritious lunch in The Lounge. Spa-goers will love the stylish pool, Himalayan Salt Spa, tranquil relaxation rooms and ultra-elegant mani-pedi lounges with its statement pink chairs. Elemis takes care of the pampering. Guests can also enjoy British fare at Spike’s Bar or fine-dining in the Art Deco Restaurant.
Champneys Henlow is set within a handsome Georgian manor surrounded by 150 acres of parkland, beside a flowing river, running weir and romantic gardens - keep your eyes peeled for deer and ducks. Health club highlights include a huge range of fitness and wellness classes, a restaurant with nutritious buffet and comfy outdoor terrace, a bright 25-metre pool, and a delightful garden conservatory with board games and books. As well as facials and massages, the spa offers holistic therapies, wellbeing rituals and hair styling.
Swimmers will love the 25-metre pool at Cottons Hotel & Spa where pampering and fitness go hand-in-hand. After a workout in the gym, swim interrupted lengths, wallow in the warm hydro pool, try the colour therapy sauna or heat up in the fibre optic steam room. No visit is complete without a spell in the oversized outdoor hot tub, a delight whatever the weather. Pampering comes from Caudalie, Elemis and Jessica with signature treatments from Amethyst Trust, massages designed for cancer patients.
The Malvern is a modern spa with a contemporary boutique feel. Swim in the only pool in the UK filled with natural Malvern spring water, hop in and out of six different thermal experiences – from crystal steam to herbal sauna and foot spa to ice fountain – or spend some time in the indoor-outdoor hydro-pool. There’s a light-filled, Italianate space for post-treatment relaxation and a full menu of pampering including Alexandrowicz massages and CACI facials. Don’t leave without poring over the afternoon tea menu.
An elegant resort and spa, The Mere teams old and new through exposed brickwork and bright, modern design. At its heart: a 25-metre pool with vitality area to massage hunched shoulders under swan pipes and tight limbs under bubble jets. There’s also a large hammam, aroma stream room, caldarium, salt-inhalation room and sauna. After a Carita or Aromatherapy Associates treatment, relax on the tepidarium beds, on the sun-drenched terrace (if the sun has got its hat on) or snuggle up in one of two relaxation rooms with a good book.
Moddershall Oaks is a spa delight behind a red-brick exterior. Facilities are vast including three pools (two indoor, one outdoor), a kelo sauna, a steam room, a deli, an experience shower, reflexology footbaths, a sleep lounge and a cosy relaxation lounge with an open fire and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens. The setting comes into its own in the summer with 72 acres of picturesque Staffordshire countryside to explore including woodlands and lakes – or simply wallow in the outdoor hydro pool under a stary sky.
Just six miles from Leeds city centre, Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa is a good contender for a day of shopping and spa-ing. Part of The House of Daniel Thwaites, shopped-out guests can swim leisurely lengths in the pool before relaxing in the sauna, steam room or hydro pool. More in the tank? Try the contemporary gym or studio with its range of daily classes. When it comes to treatments, Caudalie pushes the boat out with some unusual massages: pre-natal, winemakers or Fleur de Vigne candle anyone?