Never has there been a time when a luxury spa retreat has sounded more desirable! When lockdown is lifted, the new ‘unprecedented’ becomes the length of time we have gone without experiencing such heavenly pampering, and the only ‘bubbles’ we are dreaming of are the ones surrounding us in the Jacuzzi or Vitality Pool. The only difficulty will be in choosing which of these three new luxury spa hotels to visit first!
The Crescent Hotel & Thermal Spa, Derbyshire
It feels as though we’ve been anticipating the opening of the 80-bedroom Buxton Crescent, luxury five-star hotel and visitor attraction, for years now – and that’s probably because we have! Originally the launch was scheduled for 2019, and of course with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing closures throughout last year it has all just taken a little longer than planned. However, by no small feat, the impressive £50m redevelopment and restoration of the magnificent building completed last summer and opened, under Covid-19 restrictions, on 1st October 2020, before of course having to then close again soon after. With some luck on our side, we will be able to book a stay (or day) early spring – and I honestly can’t think of a more perfect post-lockdown spa treat! Luxury pampering in the elegant surroundings of one of England’s finest Georgian buildings – yes please! Buxton is arguably England’s leading spa town, peppered with architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries, The Crescent was designed as the centrepiece (by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire) to establish a fashionable Georgian spa town – and the Grade I-listed building is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country. The luxury hotel offers accommodation with all the trimmings. As well as the thermal natural mineral water spa in the Natural Baths there’s the splendid 18th Century ballroom – known as the Assembly Room – which has also been fully refurbished, the spa café, restaurant, two bars and six prestigious retail premises along the front ground façade.
British Travel Journal Top Tip: Can’t stay, then why not visit for the day?: The Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa Heritage Trust runs Visitor Experiences in the Pump Room and why not book yourself a Buxton Spa Experience? Choose from a selection of all day spa packages and soak in the thermal pool, to include use of all facilities, robe and slippers, lunch, therapy treatments, Jet Bath, Salt Cave and much more. Have something to celebrate? You might prefer the Twilight spa evening with a glass of fizz on arrival, Ensana wellness treatment and evening meal.
Fairmont Windsor Park, Berkshire
Perfectly sited adjacent to Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden, this regal country retreat is destined to be the UK’s leading wellness retreat comprising a sprawling world-class spa spanning 2,500 square metres with indoor and outdoor pools, 18 treatments rooms, a salt room, Hamman and Japanese foot spa. Led by wellness experts, expect advanced consultations, transformative treatments and personalised pathways to guide recovery and rehabilitation of the mind, body and spirit. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, the new hotel resembles an English countryside sanctuary, carefully blending modern elegance with mindful design following a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the former Savill Court Hotel. A home away from home, with 200 spacious guestrooms and suites with modern interiors using natural stone and soft textures, and with many offering sweeping views of the surrounding gardens. There’s also a Library club and even a barbershop under license from the iconic St. James’s based Truefitt & Hill – the oldest Barbershop in the world.
British Travel Journal Top Tip: Dress to impress – visit the sumptuous Tea Lounge, sophisticated Champagne Bar, botanical Gin Bar and a fine dining Restaurant – quintessentially British and true to its regal setting, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable evening.
Harbour Beach Club Hotel & Spa, Devon
As if our first two choices weren’t exciting enough already – this stylish, waterfront hotel and resort complete with its own beach bar and beautiful estuary, not to mention glorious sea views, has set an almost impossibly high bar for hoteliers to beat! Could this be ‘the’ most exciting hotel launch in the British Isles this year? There are 50 spacious bedrooms and suites – the majority overlooking the stunning South Sands beach. Each has been individually styled featuring sustainable fabrics, woven headboards and natural hues to reflect the landscape, complete with all the Harbour Hotels’ ‘Little Luxuries’ we have come to expect, such as complimentary gin and sherry and locally-sourced organic toiletries. Bringing the outside in, there’s a beachfront restaurant offering all-day dining – expect relaxed banquette seating, earthy tones and natural textures throughout. Perfect for sandy toes piling in after a day on the beach, the restaurant includes a wrap-around terrace for alfresco bites, lunch or dinner. While the hotel’s relaxed beach bar almost touches the sand – think laid back vibes, hammocks between the trees, and beanbags to chill out on with a mojito in hand to watch the sunset. Or head to the luxury spa featuring an indoor pool, sauna and steam room, complete with five treatment rooms to truly relax and indulge. You might choose to take part in one of the many outdoor wellness classes, or why not hop on the resort’s complimentary shuttle for a meander through the boutique-filled streets of Salcombe town and its picturesque harbour, where you can join one of the local boat trips to explore the estuary?
British Travel Journal Top Tip: Be prepared to try something new – adventures come in abundance here. Guests have complimentary use of an extensive range of watersports kit and equipment – you can simply walk out of the hotel and jump straight into a kayak to explore idyllic nearby coves. For hikers, there’s a sublime stretch of coastline beginning at the front door, and South Sands Beach allows for year-round wild swimming.
Champneys spa at Mottram Hall, Cheshire
Get ready to be rubbed, scrubbed and soothed back to your best at the brand-new Champneys spa at Mottram Hall, Cheshire – the state-of-the-art £10million new spa includes a 20-metre swimming pool with private cabanas, a sophisticated thermal suite with steam room, saunas and monsoon and drench showers, treatments by Elemis and Clarins, a gym, activity studios, restaurant and café – not to mention the UK’s first Champneys barbershop. The new spa is part of a £15m revamp of the country-house hotel with championship golf course near Macclesfield – and is the first Champneys spa to open in the North of England.
From £79.00 per person (for a robed and relaxed spa day), £149.00 per person (special mid-week offer)
British Travel Journal Top Tip: Don’t forget your camera! Book a robed and relaxed spa day and you will be treated to a complimentary lunch in the stunning surrounds of their instagrammable new spa café. Your fluffy robe and flip flops await!
Jessica Way is an award-winning travel journalist, Editor of British Travel Journal and Dream Escape Magazine. She spends most of her time visiting extraordinary cityscapes, countryside and coastlines across the British Isles