Best UK Spa Hotels and Retreats for Luxury Staycations
From the splendid regal columns of Cliveden House to the high life of living in the rustic tree houses at Chewton Glen, Over the past 15 years of being a travel and fashion editor I’ve had the great pleasure of being invited to stay at some of the UKs most prestigious and indulgent spa hotels. I’d love to share my findings with you so here’s my Style Traveller edit of the best UK spa hotels and retreats for luxury staycations.
The English countryside boasts some of the most elegant and stately manor houses turned luxury spa hotels in the world. If you’re not quite ready to get on a flight abroad I hope this list of exceptional properties tantalise your imagination.
1 Chewton Glen – Live the high life in the tree-tops (pictured above)
Imagine sipping champagne under the starry night sky, caressed by the warm bubbles of the hot tub, on the balcony of your luxury tree house. Need I say more. Not only has Chewton Glen been voted one of the best hotels in the British Isles, it also gets the Style Traveller seal of approval.
Aside from the traditional main estate house with elegant regency bedrooms and a palatial Grecian spa, the USP which sets Chewton Glen apart from the rest is the spectacular tree house apartments.
These modern, rustic living spaces in the sky with the perfectly appointed, natural, sleek interiors, are the perfect place to escape the crowds and embrace nature. With beautiful forest views and the coast beyond, Chewton Glen offers a unique (and my favourite) experience unlike any other UK spa hotel. Prices for the treehouse suite start at £1150, definitely one to save for a special occasion. Location – Hampshire
2 Cliveden – The royal party palace with an infamous past
With a deliciously, decadent history for throwing notorious parties for the 1960’s glitterati, (remember the Profumo scandal?) the regal hallways of Cliveden are more renowned these days for hosting princesses and royalty, such as Megan Markle who stayed there the night before marrying Prince Harry.
It’s every inch old school glamour with a grand drive up to the Palladian estate, giant roaring fires and mahogany wooden panelled rooms, you’d be forgiven to thinking you’d wandered onto the set of Downton Abbey.
Each bedroom suite is individually designed and named after a Lord or Lady who’s stayed in it. With acres of perfectly landscaped gardens and a divinely indulgent spa with heated outdoor pool, Cliveden is one of the most ostentatious hotels in the country and they treat each and every guest like royalty. Rooms from £500 per night. Location – Berkshire.
3 Soho Farmhouse – the hipster members club retreat in Oxfordshire (pictured above)
For those of you who haven’t heard of Soho House, it’s one of the most exclusive private members clubs in the world. With a boast worthy celeb clientele, the rules at the house request ‘no photos or social media’, in order to respect the privacy of famous guests who stay there.
Rooms are designed in all manner of styles from wooden cabins by the lake with outdoor metal bathtubs, farmhouse cottage rooms, glamping bell tents to luxury hot tub garden rooms.
You’ll be given your own personal wellies and bicycle so you can transport yourself from the spa, to the outdoor swimming pools or the cosy cinema, where you can snuggle with your partner by a roaring fire and enjoy an excellent glass of red. Rooms start from £350 look out for the mid-week offers. Location – The Cotswolds.
4 The Scarlet – The one with the cliff top hot tubs and breath taking views (pictured above)
Set atop the dramatic, rocky cliffs of the beautiful Cornish town of Mawgan Porth The Scarlet, (an eco-hotel) blends perfectly into its natural coastal habitat, as it’s built with sustainable locally sourced materials and miles of glass windows, lest the guests forget their spectacular location.
The ultimate in laid back luxury, this truly magical hotel is the perfect romantic beach retreat for honey mooners, baby mooners those who want to feel submerged in nature, whilst indulging in one of the sublime outdoor hot tubs. Each seductive room has a beach facing balcony. Prices start from £230. Location – Newquay, Cornwall
5 Limewood – The New Forest bolt hole with wild ponies
As I arrived at Limewood I remember driving through the New Forest and being enchanted by the beautiful, wild horses who roam freely in the estates grounds. I was then wowed by the majesty of one of the prettiest Georgian grand houses in the country.
You can stay in the main house, or one of the modern secluded lake or luxury forest abodes if you want more privacy. With little personal touches such as complimentary Hunter wellies, Tracey Emin art works dotted about the property, a heated rooftop pool hidden amidst a herb and flower filled terrace, Limewood is all about being made to feel special within their uniquely curated style of laid back luxury. Price start from £395. Location – New Forest, Hampshire.
6 Brimstones – modern luxury in the Lake District (pictures above)
As you meander along country roads with breathtaking views of the placid lakes, arriving at Brimstone’s you know you’re about to experience the ultimate in pampering.
My perfect days itinerary here would look something like this…Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Stove Restaurant with a giant window facing onto an original water wheel, followed by a brisk hike alongside some of the UK’s most spectacular lakes and hills. When you return to the hotel they’ve already prepared afternoon tea by the wood burning fires, soft gown and slippers at the ready.
Then head to the spa for a sunset dip in the seriously sexy, outdoor jacuzzi followed by a sublime massage in the treatment rooms. Opt for a fine dining dinner or room service and the best nights sleep you’ve ever had. The whole trip is dreamy. Prices from £350. Location – Langdale, The Lake District.
7 Stanley House Hotel – The one with northern soul (pictured above)
I’m a northerner born and raised in Blackburn, which apart from the football never really makes it into the papers. But one thing Blackburn does have in abundance is lush, green, rolling hills with great countryside hiking and bridle trails.
Perched on the outskirts of the old cotton mill town, lies this beautifully renovated 17th century manor house nestled within 54 acres of rolling Ribble Valley landscapes. I highly recommend a little trip to the day spa or one of the overnight spa and dinner packages. Prices start from a very reasonable £120 a night. Location – Ribble Valley, Lancashire
8 Four Seasons Hampshire – Hipster meets Hampshire (pictured above)
Set in 500 acres of quintessentially English countryside the world renowned Four Seasons Hampshire is well known to be one of the best spa hotels in the UK, not just for its list of high profile celebs and guests who frequent the property but also its spectacular location and exceptional spa.
It’s the perfect haven for city dwellers in need of a little R&R as it’s just an hour out of London. With a recent multi-million pound refurb the classic splendour of this old school establishment has been infused with a touch of trendy hipster vibes.
On top of the spa and grounds you can also try out a spot of horse riding, falconry, archery, the list goes on. The main restaurant and bar areas are very Instagram friendly and the vast outdoor and indoor pools are the star attraction of the famous spa. Prices start at £250 a night. Location – Hampshire
9 Rudding Park – The Yorkshire country house (pictured above)
Here’s another entry for the northerners, this time set in the spectacular Yorkshire Dales and historic city of Harrogate. Famed for The Pump Room and Betty’s Tea Room, there’s plenty to discover in town.
For those looking to get lost in the epic scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and perhaps relive their Wuthering Heights fantasies, this is the place for you.
With light and airy, spacious rooms, an incredible spa, hydro therapy pools, 3 tennis courts a gorgeous conservatory restaurant, there really isn’t any need to venture outside the hotel.
My favourite part of Rudding park is the heated outdoor pool which looks spectacular when lit up at night with a view of the main house. Prices start from £150 per night. Location – Harrogate, Yorkshire.
10 Babington House – The one the celebs stay in post Glastonbury (pictured above)
Another of Soho Houses exclusive establishments, Babington (a sister to Soho Farmhouse) is open for non-member guests also. Famously the home for Kate Moss and her music buddies during and post Glastonbury Festival, this is a spa retreat with a rock and roll history.
With modern, retro chic interiors, enjoy cocktails by the outdoor pool, sunbath on the oversized striped day beds which fill the perfectly manicured lawns and peer discreetly over your Tom Ford sunglasses to see which celebs are on the day bed next you. Prices start from £220. Location – Near Glastonbury, Somerset.
11 The Gainsborough – The one with access to the original Bath Spa (pictured above)
Situated right in the heart of the UK’s most historic spa town of Bath, The Gainsborough is the only hotel with direct access to the naturally heated thermal waters of Bath Spa. But as if that weren’t enough it also happens to be 100 yards away from the original Roman baths.
You may say this hotel isn’t exactly a countryside spa property but the ancient ‘healing’ city of Bath is so quaint and picturesque, it’s a wonderfully relaxing place to visit whilst out and about in the UK and well worth the trip. Prices start from £180. Location – Bath.
So that’s my Style Traveller round of the best spas and retreats in England. I do hope that you like the list and it might make you want to treat yourself to a little staycation?
Do you have other spas that you would have added to this list? If so please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
Have a great week. Bon voyage xx