Best Spa Hotels

Apr 2 2020

Sybaritic Spy

4 min read

Lanesborough club and spa

A spa hotel is not a dedicated spa where people wander around in robes, but a normal hotel with a spa attached. There are many fabulous spa hotels in the UK. Some have a better spa than hotel, and vice versa: here are those with the best of both for a first class pampering spa break.

Best Seaside Spa Hotels

Seaham Hall, County Durham

Lord Byron visited this now-restored Georgian manor overlooking a suitably romantic windswept coastline. Inside, think utter luxury with bold, colourful flourishes. Head to the Serenity Spa via an underground walkway where you'll be greeted by a statue of an elephant. The thermal suite area is bright and welcoming, but the 20-metre swimming pool takes the spotlight. Head outside for the hot-tubs and large infinity edged hydropool; on a cool day, curl up around a fire pit.

Source Spa and Wellness, Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands hotel looks like a huge 1920s liner parked at the end of the most spectacular stretch of sand and dunes. Inside is all Art Deco bling. Outside its all about the beach, with surf schools and seaside dining. The hotel’s outdoor pool is spectacular on a sunny day. The new and super-modern three-storey spa makes the most of those jaw-dropping views at every level: the thermal space has an infinity pool that seems to merge through the glass into the Atlantic below. There’s an upstairs spa terrace where you can order drinks and watch the surfers.

Best Country Spa Hotels

Rudding Park, Harrogate

Immerse yourself in the immaculate gardens and parkland in this regency manor house hotel close to Harrogate. The hotel is stylish, and the modern thee-story spa a wonder to behold - particularly the decked Roof Top Spa and Garden where you can wallow in a spa pool or warm up in the outdoor sauna and admire miles of greenery.

Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire

Grantley Hall is a beautifully restored 17th Century country house with a colourful past: it has hosted royalty, MPs and celebs. The Three Graces Spa is in the Fountains Wing, with an 18-metre pool set beneath a beautiful vaulted ceiling. Bubble away in the indoor/outdoor hydro pool: brave the Yorkshire weather in the cedar hot tub in the spa garden. Spa treatments are available from product brands: La Stone, ila and Natura Bisse.

Pennyhill Park an Exclusive Hotel and Spa, Surrey

The Spa at Pennyhill is almost the size of the hotel and set in its own wing: there’s an indoor ballroom 25-metre swimming pool with underwater music, a comprehensive thermal experience journey with a herbal sauna and ice cave, and a vast outdoor spa garden with a delightful riviera-style swimming pool and bar, plus Canadian outdoor hot tubs and a hydrotherapy pool. Spa days are popular here. Foodies will love both The Brasserie for informal dining and the Michelin-starred The Latymer. There’s a three-hole golf course, running trail, pistol shooting and archery plus tennis courts on site for the more active.

Cliveden House, Bedfordshire

This grand neoclassical mansion is rich with history: the Astors held infamous parties here, to which celebrities and politicians flocked. The walled outdoor pool where Christine Keeler is said to have met John Profumo is now the jewel of the rather beautifully resurrected spa, with two added hot tubs at one end. Treatments are performed on waterbeds using Oskia and Cliveden skincare products. There is also a very elegant indoor pool, an infrared sauna and aromatherapy infused steam room, and the Spa Kitchen with al fresco dining: healthy dishes and indulgent cocktails, of course.

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

At the end of a dramatic tree-lined driveway sits this honey-hued Italianate country house hotel. Foodies will love the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones and cookery school. Equestrians can enjoy the livery stables. Spa-lovers will adore the bright and stylish spa with its perfect swimming pool: take laps alongside a wall fire while looking out over the lush gardens and hang out in the Japanese salt steam room. Swim out to the hydropool and gaze at the flowers and topiary. Book a bespoke ESPA treatment and a manicure/pedicure and enjoy fresh fare in the Brasserie. More active spa-goers can also book fitness classes or yoga. 

Best City Spa Hotels

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

This exquisite five-star hotel occupies two Grade II listed Georgian houses right in the historic centre of Bath - making it perfect for a weekend getaway. The Spa Village Bath has access to the natural, thermal mineral-rich Roman spring while its treatments are inspired by Malaysian healing traditions. Set in a glass atrium, the Spa Village Bath has traditional Roman style bath house facilities, including three thermal baths, two saunas, a steam room, an ice alcove and relaxation room.

The Lanesborough

The Lanesborough is a grand white stucco-fronted hotel overlooking Hyde Park corner. Book in and you can enjoy dedicated butler service for your room, Michelin starred food and the beautiful basement club and spa. All white marble, flickering fires and gilded mirrors, the luxury spa is like a jewellery box with a stylishly serene sapphire hydrotherapy pool at its centre. Treatments are from ila, Tata Harper, La Prairie and their resident facial and beauty expert Anastasia Achilleos.

Bulgari Hotel London

Hatted doormen stand sentry outside this stylish monument to Italian design in the heart of Kinightsbridge. Hotel guests can enjoy private butlers, shoeshine service and a private personal training session at the Workshop Gymnasium. The spa boasts a vast 25-metre underground swimming pool surrounded by cabana beds and loungers: press a bell and order your lunch to be brought on a tray. Take a dip in the extravagant gold-leaf vitality pool, and head upstairs for a sauna, steam-room, and ice fountain. Celebrating with a special someone? Then hire the Onyx Suite with its dual bath, steam room and double treatment room - for a real personalised spa experience. 

The Mandarin Oriental

This imposing and famous Knightsbridge hotel will give you the five-star treatment as soon as you enter. After a hard day’s shopping in Harrods over the road, slip down to the MO spa for a rejuvenating spa treatment – they offer a huge range from holistic Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bastien Gonzales manicures to anti-ageing Nescens facials. Couples can book the Oriental Suite featuring two treatment beds and a rasul water temple, otherwise male and female facilities (vitality pool, sauna and sanariam) are separate.


Sybaritic Spy

2nd April 2020

Spy Likes:

Warm treatment beds; fragrant steam rooms; therapists who listen to what you say; unexpected treats such as back massages that start with hot towels on your feet.

Spy Dislikes:

Small towels; crowded changing rooms; black mould in the showers; therapists who sniff; anyone who doesn't take my lavender allergy seriously - until I'm actually sick on them!

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