UK New Opening: Lake District: Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa
Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa is situated right on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District. Originally a farmhouse, the hotel, health club and spa have been seamlessly extended to make the most of the stunning views. In 2019, the three-story exclusive Winander Club was added, with 29 stylish bedrooms and a bar and club lounge.
What’s on offer
The very cleverly designed spa makes the most of the views of the Windemere and the mountains, bringing the outside in and vice versa. Indoors, most of the facilities face out to the lake and huge glass windows let the light in. There is a road between the hotel and the lake. As cars went past below all this Spa Spy™ could think was ‘hurrah! I am not driving anywhere, just enjoying the warm water and the sense of peace.’.
The outdoor pool, two hot tubs and the sauna are built at various levels on the hillside. The outdoor sauna at Low Wood Bay is perched at the top of the lakeside bank and must have the best views of any sauna in the UK. Huge panoramic windows offer views of the Lakeland, while you gently roast in the warmth - perfect for a winter’s day when the mountains opposite are capped with snow.
The spa is inspired by the colour palate of the Lake District, slate grey mountains, grey and white tree trunks and the blues of lake and sky. Many of the walls are made from rough wood giving an interesting sense of texture. Some room dividers made of small tree trunks and there are grey slate steps and tiled floors. Deep grey towels and robes add a touch of softness and luxury.
What makes this spa feel special is that there are many and varied heat and water facilities: spa goers can keep moving from dry salt room to coconut infused steam room to herbal lounge and on to indoor or outdoor pool or hot tubs. And there are a limited number of guests: each spa session takes a maximum of 25 people which is friendly number. Customer service is good, with spa ‘tenders’ (to use a suitably nautical name) bringing drinks and fresh towels at regular intervals.
If you want even more peace and quiet book into the Hideaway. A three hours here offers a huge silver bath for two (already drawn and waiting for you), an area where you can lie back on wheat filled cushions and watch the clouds drifting over the lake, and two treatment beds. It feels delightfully private. Staff bring drinks and snacks, the spa bath stays warm for a long time and we then dry off and try out the ‘hay manger’. Wheat filled cushions (a bit hard when you lie on them) covered with bright plaid fabrics give a space with room for two to snooze in…
Tell us about the treatments
When the time was right our two therapists knocked gently on the door and introduced themselves. Our treatments were carried out in the Hideway, so all we had to do was climb onto the nicely treatment warm beds. We both booked a massage and mine was combined with a mini facial.
The treatment used Birch and Berry products which are locally made and exclusive to Low Wood. These are rich formulas which have a slightly woody aroma, quite masculine which pleased my partner who does not like ‘girly scents’. The products were absorbed quickly into the skin. Our massages were expertly delivered - so much so that my partner fell asleep. I managed to stay awake but only because I had to turn over for the facial, which left my skin clean and glowing. Otherwise we may both have been snoring!
Blue Smoke on the Bay serves lunch and dinner with food cooked on a three-metre long double wood fired grill. It’s fun to watch food being cooked here on a range of local woods. The aromas of each wood add to the flavour of the food and the cooking methods keeps meat and fish crisp on the outside but juicy inside. We had wonderful roasted salmon with asparagus in the evening and good size salad bowls for lunch which were a perfect spa day treat. You do have to leave the spa to go for lunch, but you can eat in your robe and then head back to the spa.
We loved/didn’t love
The swings in the sauna lounge area. It’s not as hot as a traditional sauna which means you can comfortably stay in for longer. The wide wooden seats with rope handles allow you to gently swing to and fro, and there are some individual seats which means you don’t have to sit thigh to thigh with a stranger!
Staying in the Winander Club: Winander is an old Norse word for Windemere. This modern building has private access with a key card and staff who greet guests, collect luggage from the car and generally make you feel pretty special. Breakfast is served in the club, and there is a separate bar. The Club rooms have large bedrooms with floor to ceiling glass walls that give amazing views over the lake . On a sunny afternoon we had a drink on the rooftop terrace and felt we could have been in Italy.
We didn’t love
Having to leave Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa
Who do you think would like it?
Energetic walkers who may need a spell in the warm water of the spa to recover
Romantic couples: the Hideaway is perfect for a couple’s tête-à-tête
The overstressed and exhausted: the serene atmosphere of the spa, the good customer service and the sheer beauty of the setting all combine to help even the most wound-up person relax.
The delights of the area:Take a trip on the ferry or a lake tour. Buses stop outside the hotel and take you to the best of the Lakeland attractions so you can abandon the car. Visit Peter Rabbits’ home aka the house of Beatrix Potter, who did so much to preserve the beauty of the Lake District. Blackwell House is a delightful Arts and Crafts house, and there are plenty of gardens and walks.
The classes: everything from Dragon Boating to Kettlebells are run at the health club and spa guests staying at the hotel can join in for free.
Rooms at the Winander Club are from £298 per night. Rooms in the main hotel are from £158. A ‘Lost in the Lakes’ spa day costs £125 per person and includes a one-hour Birch and Berry treatment, and a two course lunch or afternoon tea.