A spa can be a sacred place. Done well, a spa should make you feel beautiful, empowered, relaxed and whole all at the same time. It should quieten your busy mind and set your skin a-tingling. So many are tinged with disappointment, brought on by high standards set by movies and the Italians.
Walking into the new Rudding Park Spa, an 2017 extension to the Grade 1 listed hotel there is no doubt of disappointment. The entire 3-floor wing is given over to enlightening the body and mind and every inch of it invites you to stretch out and dip your tired toes in.
The top floor is 60% rooftop. A bold move for a spa located in Northern England but with a large heated infinity pool, a sauna and spacious hot tub, there’s plenty to keep you toasty if the weather isn’t good. We were lucky with 30-degree sunshine and we could lounge on the sunbeds, pausing to refresh ourselves with mint water and fruit.
Inside the quest for ultimate relaxation continues with rows of foot spa’s, various steam rooms, a shower that pretends is a Thai thunderstorm and high-ceilinged sauna that offers floor to roof views over the luscious green of the hotel grounds.
The middle floor is given over almost entirely to a large swimming pool where you can feasibly do lengths if you’re feeling energetic (I managed 15) and yet another beautifully moulded sauna, outside you can sip champagne on the loungers, snuggled in you bathrobe.
The pamper suites are found on the lower floor, away from any chance of hustle and bustle. The treatments start with a consultation on what you want from the experience and end by being guided out to relax in one of their many post-treatment rooms (my favourite being the nap-room).
An absolute must if you are in the vicinity and looking for a day or two of complete luxury.