‘The three generations were happy with the day. We relaxed over croquet, some played tennis, and we had the library for ourselves.’ Praise this year for this Jacobean-cum-Georgian mansion in an Arcadian landscape, from readers who celebrated a significant anniversary there.
From £200 per night
In the grounds of an Arts and Crafts country house, the Elan Spa has a fitness room with static bikes, treadmills and exercise pool – or facials and massage for those who simply want to unwind. Perhaps a hot stone massage, or a chakra well-being ritual.
Part of Luxury Family Hotels (see also Fowey Hall, Fowey, and Moonfleet Manor, Fleet), a small collection of historic properties, this family-focussed hotel occupies a ‘pretty, rambling’ Jacobean manor house in ‘lovely grounds’ with ‘views across the Wiltshire countryside’.
‘Bravo, I spent three marvellous days ’
From the ozone-treated pool and outdoor hot tubs, to crystal steam rooms and aromatherapy saunas, this spa sets the standard. There are top-to-toe beauty treatments, yoga and Tai Chi, all in a lovely New Forest setting.
‘We rate this very highly in almost every respect.’ Praise from a reader for Keith Makepeace’s much-loved, family-run, family-friendly, dog-friendly hotel in a ‘gorgeous’ coastal setting.
Handy for the racecourse, this William and Mary mansion, built for Sheffield cutler Thomas Barlow ‘in the Italian mode’, operates as a hotel and spa, ‘ideal for those seeking individual attention and pampering’.
‘A highlight of our journey. It was everything one could expect, in a historic setting.’ A reader on a hotel tour this year was impressed by this Grade I listed Elizabethan mansion-turned-hotel-and-spa in parkland with views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle.
More a professional operation, less an intimate Irish country house experience, Mark and Mary Wheeler’s hotel on the shore of Lough Swilly, in ‘wild and wonderful’ Donegal, has something for everyone.
‘The views are glorious,’ writes a Guide regular, after a visit to Toby Ashworth’s hotel above Carne Beach. ‘Each night I fell asleep to the sound of waves.’
It is not that they’ve put away childish things at this contemporary hotel set into the hillside above Mawgan Porth beach. It remains very family-friendly, but there is plenty for adults.
‘Our sixth visit, and a wonderful end to our holiday,’ write readers who stopped over at this wisteria-smothered hotel in an unspoilt New Forest village.
Day guests, members and hotel residents pass through a marble shower before dipping in a mother-of-pearl indoor pool at this Edwardian country house’s spa. They can also bathe in the outdoor pool, use sauna or steam rooms.
‘It was fabulous to gaze across the dunes and golf course to the sea, with the sunset,’ writes a reader who ‘much enjoyed’ this year’s break at the Cave family’s hotel.
Children are welcome in the afternoons to enjoy the pool, spa bath, steam room and fitness suite at this hotel on the River Dart. The signature massage and facial treatments, body wraps and manicures, will appeal more to harassed parents.
A tunnel leads from the hotel to the Serenity Spa, creating a heightened sense of escape. Extensive facilities include a hammam, an Indian steam room, outdoor hot tubs, an ice fountain and a Zen garden with infinity hydrotherapy pool.
A contemplative, adults-only space, this Ayurvedic-inspired spa has an inside- outside feel, with cliff-top hot tubs, an indoor pool with sea views, a reed-filtered outdoor pool. Herbs and heat, salt and seaweed are all deployed for your well- being.
On a cliff-side above a secluded south Devon cove, this stylish hotel is just the place for seaside de-stressing. A sun terrace at the spa looks over Babbacombe Bay; inside, there’s an aromatherapy shower, a hydrotherapy pool, a sauna and steam rooms. Algae-based beauty and well-being treatments are available for face and body – and a duo massage room means double the repose.
In the city’s Georgian quarter, a grand terrace town house overlooking the People’s Park is owned and run by Patricia Roberts as a chic hotel with a spa ‘in the vaults’.
‘The warm welcome, beautiful setting and delicious food’ are ‘truly exceptional’ at Charles Lowther’s battlemented ancestral pile.
Fragrant herbs and flowers from the renowned herb garden infuse signature treatments in the Secret Garden Spa at this Georgian mansion. There’s a pool with floor-to-ceiling windows, a thermal suite, an outdoor hot tub.
The ‘lovely’ walled garden surrounding this small hotel gives it a country house vibe in the middle of this historic market town.
Girdled by walled gardens, with farmland sprawling beyond, the Robinson family’s stately 17th-century property has an intimate, ‘country house feel’ running through its smart, contemporary public spaces.
On the South West Coastal Path, this former Edwardian gentleman’s retreat has cliff-top views of the three-mile-long beach.
In mature woodland and gardens, Jan and Adam Moore’s relaxed and pet-friendly Scottish country house hotel is in an 18th-century former sporting lodge.
Last updated: July 08, 2020