Relax and rejuvenate at a selection of grand stately houses, historic castles, contemporary beachside retreats, and open air lidos. Pamper yourself at a luxury spa and learn to cook a Michelin star at one of these South West England luxury experiences.
12 of South West England's pampering havens
1. Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
Once you’ve reached pure relaxation in the open-air rooftop pool, experience all four aromatherapy steam rooms, each filled with refreshing scents such as eucalyptus mint, lavender and lotus flower. Next, take a dip in the indoor Minerva Bath, where powerful massage jets melt tension away, or simply lie back and relax as a gentle current carries you around the pool. For something extra special, opt for the signature Watsu treatment: have a trained therapist stretch your muscles and induce a state of deep relaxation in an 18th century hot bath.
2. Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
The hotly anticipated Gainsborough Bath Spa opened in June 2015 and is the perfect place to stay for a city spa break. You can experience the unique Spa Village Bath; a contemporary take on Bath's thermal water heritage. Two natural thermal pools entice muscles to relax and minds to settle. You are free to relax in luxurious saunas and steam rooms, and refresh in the ice alcove. Expert therapists are on hand to provide you with a wide range of treatments, so you can enjoy a full body scrub, a warm wrap or healing hot stones.
If you’d prefer, bathe in the comfort of your own bedroom in a private bathtub that has a special spa water tap, allowing you to make the most of the famous healing waters of Bath. Round the evening off with a delicious meal in Johann Lafer’s restaurant. Johann's 'Dining without Borders' gourmet philosophy is based on using fresh and locally sourced produce to create truly innovative dishes.
3. Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Classic luxury meets modern relaxation at the Ellenborough Park Hotel. Grand four poster beds come as standard, but an extra level of comfort is afforded in the form of bespoke Hypnos beds; designed to deliver a deep, energising night's sleep. For complete relaxation, guests can also enjoy a hot stone massage, and delight their palate with petit fours. The warm atmosphere of the bar is perfect for trying a sample of the 550 different wines and numerous spirits available. And if, after all that, you're desiring some fresh air and invigorating activity, there's always a bracing walk along the Cotswolds Way. Ellenborough Park will even provide you with Hunter wellies for the trip.
4. Whatley Manor’s Aquarias Spa, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa nestles in beautiful North Wiltshire. Made of classic Cotswold stone, it has the charm of a timeless private residence. The architecture, gardens and elegant terrace, combined with the cuisine in the Michelin two-star restaurant ‘The Dining Room’ and the delicious food served in ‘Le Mazot' (a Swiss interior-style brasserie) all contribute to an exclusive atmosphere. Another must visit is its Aquarias Spa, which offers a range of spa facilities and treatments by dedicated professionals. Soothe the mind in the Wave Dream Sensory Room, or enter the Serial Mud Chamber -complete with its own steam room and shower- for a detoxifying spa treatment.
5. Clifton Lido, Bristol
Take time out and relax at The Lido: Bristol's cool, urban oasis tucked inside a courtyard of Georgian Terraces, nestled at the heart of historic Clifton. Comprising of a spa, restaurant, outdoor heated pool, sauna, hot tub and steam room you can also enjoy tastes from France, Spain and Morocco at its award-winning restaurant, with spectacular views over the pool. Alongside a range of spa treatments, the Lido also offers guests the use of an outdoor heated pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub, providing a grand selection of surroundings to relax in.
6. Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, Colerne, Wiltshire
Dating back to 1720, Lucknam Park is set in 500 acres of extensive parkland, just 6 miles from the World Heritage Site of Bath. Well-being House, the hotel’s Cotswold stone spa facility, is the perfect place to repair and recharge. The Cookery School even offers the opportunity to master new techniques through a variety of courses under the guidance of Michelin starred Executive Chef Hywel Jones.
As a riding hotel, Lucknam offers various equestrian activities which allow you to explore the estate at leisure. When it comes time to unwind, enter the spa and choose a treatment from the body therapy collection, facial therapy collection, or manicure and pedicure room.
8. Moonfleet Manor, Weymouth, Dorset
Moonfleet Manor is a splendid Georgian manor house overlooking Chesil Beach. Set in unspoilt Dorset countryside, the tranquillity of the surroundings contrasts with the quirky colonial décor of the homely interior. Moonfleet is a true bolthole away from real life, with a real sense of "Otherworld” and excellent facilities. Designed specifically with families in mind, it is the perfect luxury retreat for adults and children to relax and spend quality time together.
Chesil Beach with its glittering sea awaits exploration, and there are trees for climbing, and even an indoor play area for those rainy days. A crèche, morning nanny, and baby listening service afford couples some private time together as well.
9. The Elan Spa at Bovey Castle, Dartmoor, Devon
Bovey Castle is a luxury country hotel set in the surroundings of Dartmoor National Park. Relax. Revive and restore your body at Bovey's Elan Spa, a sanctuary tucked away and separate from the chaos of modern living. Treatments range from a single experience to full days of luxury and leisure. There's even a special package for little princesses and teens, including manicures and facials to share with friends or family. Indulge in afternoon tea on the South Terrace, a game of golf the championship course or a private dining experience in the Summerhouse. An adventure in luxury awaits you at Bovey Castle.
10. Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, South Gloucestershire
Thornbury Castle is a stunning 16th-century building on the edge of the Cotswolds. Once owned by Henry VIII, and the romantic location where he and Anne Boleyn spent ten days of their honeymoon, it is renowned for being one of the finest, luxury country house hotels in England. With 26 restored bedchambers, many with sumptuous four-poster beds and splendid stone-carved fireplaces, you’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time.
On offer is the Therapy Centre at the Thornbury Castle Spa, where you can get a Swedish massage to resolve bodily tension, or a warm bamboo massage to relax tight muscles painlessly. Unwind in luxury, surrounded by Elizabethan splendour.
11. Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Calne, Wiltshire
This beautiful hotel and spa is hidden in 2000 acres of rolling 'Capability' Brown parkland. Set back from the 18-hole Championship golf course, and offering six luxury suites including two four posters, Bowood is the height of luxurious escapes. Relax with a cocktail before dinner in The Shelburne Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy afternoon tea in front of the Library's wood burning fire or rejuvenate in its spa.
Available to you is an infinity swimming pool, or a relaxing steam experience in the rock sauna, crystal steam room or aromatherapy showers. The treatments blend European and Asian spa philosophies, based on Ayurveda, India’s traditional, natural healing system of medicine. Developed through individual Doshas, treatments designed to give you a personal experience and create harmony between mind, body and soul.
12. Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher, Isles of Scilly
Partnered with Tresco Island Spa, Hell Bay is an award-winning, luxury hotel offering ilã treatments in a newly converted treatment room. The hotel itself has stunning views from Bryher Island out over the unspoiled Atlantic. Clean air and a relaxed atmosphere aren't all that's on offer, however; treatments are open to everyone – the friendly reception team can outline all the treatments available, and help you to make a booking. Relax in the expert hands of therapists who will tailor the perfect spa experience to ensure you unwind.