A surprise valentine’s break or just a well deserved treat for yourself we have picked some beautiful getaways that would please any prince or princess, The Wonder List Guide to romance, wellness and relaxation.
DORMY HOUSE, WORCESTERSHIRE
After a £10 million renovation, this super-swish 17th-century farmhouse hotel now has 40 rooms individually designed in splendid colours by Todhunter Earle (also responsible for Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire).
The Garden Room has fantastic food made with local ingredients and The Potting Shed next door is a cosy bar with a sizeable drinks list. If you over indulge you are able to soak out your excesses in the warm indoor infinity pool, the even warmer outdoor hot tub, the salt steam room, or lavender and juniper saunas. The soothing therapies include a truffle facial and are designed by Temple Spa, a niche brand based in West Sussex that uses only natural ingredients.
The Silent Night Sleep Treatment, with lavender and chamomile oils, pressure-point facial and back massage, will get you purring. But it’s the charming staff and the extras that make this place special: the Champagne Nail Parlour, the log fires, sun terraces, pre-treatment juices and post-massage snacks.
LIME WOOD, HAMPSHIRE
A bath for two? Say no more, perfect for foodies and romance. Go through the pretty but very touristy town of Lyndhurst on the edge of the scrub-like and heathery New Forest, past a herd of roaming ponies, down a tree-lined road with meadows either side and you arrive at Lime Wood. Tweed-clad staff take your bags and car, and then whisk you straight off to your room.
Designed to be genuinely personal, your journey at the Herb House (The Spa) will be tailored to suit you and how you feel right now. With three hours of indulgent treatment time, you will benefit from the goodness of four different but complimentary therapies.
Stay in the woodland-chic, two-bedroom Forest Cottages if you’ve come with the family, but this is also the ideal place for a restorative couples’ break or some girls’ downtime. If you can make it past the shop, stocked with quirky things such as wooden Finlay & Co sunglasses, to the spa, you’ll find 10 treatment rooms and three different types of pool: an indoor ozone-treated one, an outdoor hot tub, and a hydropool overlooking the forest, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a log-lined sauna next door.
The Bamford treatments are nurturing and soothing, and try the Voya Seaweed Leaf Wrap too, which will leave your skin feeling baby-soft. Yes, there’s the Raw & Cured bar spilling over with superfoods, but mega-chef Angela Hartnett’s heavenly dining is also what many come here for: ewe’s curd with roasted vegetables, grilled turbot with heirloom tomatoes, white beans, mint and saffron. The hotel also even has its own smoke house.
ARCHERFIRLD HOUSE, SCOTLAND
Archerfield House is a hidden gem. Stay in the main house or a self-contained lodge in the 550-acre grounds, and wander to the Fletcher’s Cottage spa for a Sisley Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial to restore tone and radiance, or a Sisley Body Treatment involving deep muscle relief.
Complement these with a session in one of the private bath huts, each equipped with hand-harvested seaweed for a potent detoxifying boost, or a hot-stone massage using Beatitude, Scotland’s own luxury essential-oil brand. Just 40 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh, it’s the perfect distance for an astonishingly recharging weekend.
Exuding elegance and informality, it comprises 15 double en-suite bedrooms, principal room, rotunda, snooker room and dining room. You also have the option of expanding your accommodation into the 12 Pavilion Suites, located adjacent to the House.
Magnificent it may be, it’s also somewhere you can unwind and relax. After all, it’s entire raison d’etre is a country retreat. The welcoming atmosphere invites you to kick off your boots / golf shoes / heels / wellies and settle in for your time here.
THE GROVE, HERTFORDSHIRE
With its black mosaic-tiled pool, heat experience rooms and specialist treatment options, our award winning spa is an experience like no other. Change into one of our luxury robes, leave your stresses behind and sink into a world of relaxation and recuperation.
Tucked away in what feels like the most quaint, quiet English countryside (it is, in fact, only a 40 minute drive out of central London), The Grove Hertfordshire is almost too close to home to be safe from temptation mid-week.
Boasting four different restaurant areas and grounds that are as luscious as its gourmet breakfast (served in bed, naturally, eaten propped up with cloud-like pillows and silky soft linens), it is the Sequoia spa that is the jewel in its crown. Using Natura Bissé products, their formulas rich in active ingredients, its body treatments are some of the best you’ll experience.
A special mention goes to The Orangery Experience – who would have thought feeling like a citrus soufflé would be so invigorating? It’s the perfect precursor to a day spent walking around the expansive grounds, culminating in a glass from their excellent wine list.
COWLEY MANOR, GLOUCSTERSHIRE
Timelessly stylish, Cowley Manor is the original contemporary country house hotel. With a grand Italianate exterior, and bold iconic interiors, it is the perfect choice for couples, families and groups alike. Featuring 30 bedrooms, a multi-award winning spa including heated indoor & outdoor pools, locally sourced food and 55 acres of Grade II listed gardens, Cowley Manor is the perfect place for a getaway in the Cotswolds.
With 55 acres of woodland and meadows for guests to enjoy, Cowley Manor is a firm favourite with Cotswolds-frequenters. Its C-Side Spa makes it an even more enticing proposition, especially given the new menu of Emergin C Scientific Organics treatments that utilise the latest in skincare technology to provide hard-hitting, results-driven facials.
High points are the Anti-Ageing Apple Stem Cell Treatment (100 per cent of clients noticed improvement in the appearance of crow’s feet), and the Detox Facial, which uses a range of potent super-ingredients such as kombucha, seaweed, French clay and grape extract
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