‘I really need a break’, Hettie exclaims as she lets out a long sigh.
Slumping in her chair, she reaches for her copy of Tatler and thumbs furiously through the pages. She's not reading anything; it looks like she's gearing up for a bigger conversation. You drop your book to your lap and use your thumb and forefinger to move your glasses down your nose, so you can see her better.
'Time for a getaway?' you ask, knowing the answer.
‘Bella’s just come back from a lovely spa break in the country. I really fancy it!’ She brightens.
English countryside spas make the perfect luxury holiday, a real treat in every aspect. It is our pleasure, as your countryside concierge, to share our thoughts about the three English spas we really think you should consider.Enquire about Experience
The Cliveden Estate is a 376 acre National Trust treasure, suitable for trips with family and friends, or for those romantic get-aways. It has majesty, it has history and it is most certainly beautiful!
Steeped in luxury, Cliveden House as a hotel has become Berkshire’s pinnacle of glamour for the elite. To make sure you enjoy your stay to the very best, we recommend picking one of their Parterre Suites and we especially love the Prince of Wales, or Lady Astor suites, because they are so spacious and, of course, have the best views.
This is where things get interesting for Hettie because Cliveden House offers the ultimate in spa relaxation. Hidden behind the garden walls they have created a tranquil oasis, a place to truly escape from it all and to pamper yourself silly!
You can choose from body spa treatments that are scented with resplendent fragrances inspired by famous residents, or facials designed by the Sarah Chapman, Sloane Square Clinic and Oskia, or exclusive nail treatments. You can take a dip in one of their pools, either indoor, or in the outdoor ‘Profumo’ pool – and yes, this is the infamous pool that saw the meeting of John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's Conservative government, and Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old would-be model which sparked a very British political scandal! You can also choose from an infrared sauna, an infused steam room, a jacuzzi, two indoor hot tubs and a full gym and fitness studio with classes. That is if their many tennis courts do not take you fancy.
Cliveden House ticks a lot of boxes… and that’s all before dinner, or afternoon tea at one of their exquisite restaurants.
Then of course there is the outdoor space, 376 acres of beautiful countryside in which to lose yourself. Highlights here include the enchanting sculptures of The Fountain of Love and The Wounded Amazon, to name but two. We would love for you to find The Chapel as well, which was designed for Lord Orkney by architect Giacomo Leoni and built in 1735. The beautiful glass mosaics are a beauty to behold.
If while Hettie is taking a treatment you would like to step out, then the Lambourne Golf Course (18-hole, par 72) is just 5 minutes’ drive away!
Built in 1776 for William Shepherd, an East India merchant, Coworth Park has been home and refuge for many famous historical names, from HRH Edward VII to Lord Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby whose name (Derby) was given to the famous British Horserace. Before it opened as Dorchester Collection Hotel in 2010, it was owned by non other than Galen Weston, owner of Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.
An equine theme ran through the last century of ownership, which has led the hotel to becoming one of the finest stays for anyone attending Royal Ascot each June and the reason you will find a gentle nod in its interiors. For this reason, we recommend staying in either the Derby Suite with its views over the polo field, or a stay at The Dower House, where you can have your own butler service in attendance.
The spa at Coworth Park is a beautiful thing in its own right and offers exemplary treatments from full body, or facial treats, to nail care and even pregnancy treatments. But what we really love are the extensive options for massage, designed by Aromatherapy Associates and Isghga Organics. Hettie will be relaxed in no time!
Of course, having mentioned Ascot it would be churlish not to image you would want to visit. So if we were you, and we certainly know how to book the most fabulous excursions, we would book a private box where you will get the best views, private dining and access to betting facilities once you and Hettie have chosen your horses. What's more, you can arrive by helicopter directly from Coworth Park!
The Langley is a Buckinghamshire Manor House with lots of character, set in 150 acres of Capability Brown landscaping it was built for the third Duke of Marlborough who kept it as his hunting lodge. The Duke, Charles James Spencer-Churchill is a distant relative of Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales.
Now turned hotel, the Manor house has a beautiful collection of rooms, of which we recommend booking one of the Deluxe Suites, that offer both exquisite views of the grounds and architectural details that you just won’t get with the more internal rooms.
The spa and fitness centre are not quite like the other two spas we have discussed, in that it offers one incredibly unique thing, personal training at the Matt Roberts gym. Matt Roberts for those of you who may not know, is a personal trainer to the stars (and we mean stars) and one of the most recognised names in his industry.
If personal training feels a little boisterous then The Langley does have a more sedate, modern spa with all of the most up to date treatments, from body wraps and massages, to the amethyst crystal steam room and reinvigorating Himalayan salt sauna… say it with me… ‘and relax… in style!’ This spa is clearly designed for relaxation at every turn.
Holland and Holland gunmakers are not too far away, so we recommend taking the opportunity to have a go at clay shooting to round out your stay and truly feel like you are one of the neighbours in this beautiful country setting.
One thing that we strongly recommend when booking your stay is understanding the finer details of spa etiquette. This will change from venue to venue, but it is important to know if you need to formally dress for lunch, or what sort of costumes are acceptable at the pool. Then there are the smaller details of your stay, like the cost of room extras, or the restrictions your spa package may have on use of the facilities, or class attendance.
All these seemingly little things make a big difference during your stay. So, if you book them yourself, make sure to ask the questions. If you book through a concierge service, like ours, let us do that leg work for you!