Due to circumstances beyond our control, it’s still January, but if there’s one failsafe way to make the hardest month of the year a little easier, it’s a soul-soothing spa break. And just like that, you were swaddled in a fluffy robe and wearing complimentary slippers made exclusively for size 10 feet. Flip floppin’ around in ridiculous footwear is all part of le experience.
After the last two years, the thought of escaping to a rooftop jacuzzi sounds even more appealing than usual. From the rolling hills of the beautiful British countryside to hidden hideaways in the city and Georgian manor houses, here’s Zoella’s pick of the most relaxing and reasonably priced spa spots up and down the country.
Plinky plonky playlists and cucumber-infused water at the ready, it’s time to hit the off button and familiarise yourself with a little concept the Italians like to call dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing.
1. Ragdale Hall Spa, Leicester
*Martin Lewis voice* there are huge savings to be had when you book a midweek stay and when your annual leave looks this good, who cares if you’re dipping into your allowance in Jan? Take full advantage of the off-peak booking and hog the steam room for all its worth.
Set within 13 acres of rural Victorian country house estate and boasting 6 pools (they had us at candle pool) 12 heat and water experiences, relaxation rooms and a state of the art fitness suite with daily classes from Pilates H20 to Candlelight Stretch Yoga, a spa-cation at Ragdale Hall is guaranteed to get you feeling ‘22.
Check out their midweek 2-night taster break for the best value for money, or book in for a spa day/evening to enjoy all the pampering for a fraction of the price.
2. Calcot Spa, Cotswolds
You know you’re onto a winner when you see Elemis on the menu. Set in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside amongst 220 acres of sprawling green meadowland, this is what every weekend should look like. Packed with character and traditional country house hotel charm, it’s the perfect spot to switch off and de-stress. ‘Me time’ never looked so good.
Enjoy a full spa experience day including use of the facilities, tea or coffee on arrival, a two-course lunch in the spa and 85-minutes of the following treatments: Body polish and Elemis Tailored For You Massage With Facial (£215). Run, don’t walk!
3. The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath
Originally built in the 1800s, the honey-hued Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II listed buildings in the heart of the city, moments from the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent.
It’s the only hotel in Bath with direct access to the naturally heated thermal water from Bath’s underground springs. In-house guests can enjoy complimentary access to Bath House to enjoy the self-guided bathing circuit. It’s well worth booking a room for that perk alone! What better way to reconnect with the ancient practice of social bathing than by taking to the waters at the Spa Village Bath, set within a glass atrium within the hotel? Bring on the healing dips and lazy lie-ins complete with 5* room service.
(From £210 per night with book-direct benefits).
4. The Spa at Rowton Hall Hotel, Cheshire
Dubbed Cheshire’s best kept secret, Rowton Hall is a historic Georgian manor house set amidst 8 acres of tranquil gardens. Pull up a lounger and enjoy some wholesome R&R or enjoy doing your lengths with a 10/10 view from the indoor pool. However you choose to unwind, the secluded surroundings of Rowton Hall are guaranteed to provide an especially peaceful home from home.
The winter spa package includes an overnight stay, 3 hours spa entry, 1 x 25 minute Elemis treatment per person and a full Cheshire breakfast. The perfect getaway for those looking for some much-needed downtime.
(Mon-Thurs from £159 per night, Friday & Sunday £169 per night, Saturday from £179 per night).
5. South Lodge, West Sussex
A wild heated swimming pond complete with reeds, hydrotherapy pool and an indoor infinity pool? We make that a triple threat. Plonk yourself in the scented sauna, clear your mind in the jasmine herbal steam room, reap the benefits of an ice-cold bucket shower, or smash a workout in the state-of-the-art gym before putting your feet up for the rest of the day.
Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Sussex Downs, this blissful haven in the hills should provide just the tonic to quell those pesky January blues.
Book in for an overnight stay to enjoy breakfast or brunch and full use of the spa facilities (from £415). If it’s just a spa day you’re interested in, keep your eyes peeled for their next available packages landing in April 2022.
6. Agua Spa at Sea Containers, London
Escape the hustle and bustle of the capital in one of the city’s most luxurious spa destinations. Why stick to shopping when you can slide into a massage-induced nap on a water bed?
Located at the iconic Sea Containers building smack bang in the middle of London, this super chic sanctuary is as convenient as an urban spa break gets. Use of the spa lounge is available for 2 hours for all day-guests booked in for treatments, so if you’re looking for a place to ignore your emails for a while, you can indulge in a bit of R&R for the price of a treatment, which starts at £55 for a manicure/pedicure.
Centred around sustainability, the house made Hedgerow products used in the treatments have been blended on site using techniques drawn from herbalism and aromatherapy. Let Comfrey, St John’s Wort, Peppermint, Rosemary and Marigold-infused oils work their magic on your Zoom-hunched shoulders. You deserve it.
7. Alexander House Spa, East Grinstead
Boasting a bespoke outdoor barrel sauna and hot tub, the award-winning Utopia spa at Alexander House is the perfect spot to let the stresses of the day melt away. Spend the whole day horizontal soaking up the tranquility of the Grecian-inspired spa with the ‘Inner Peace’ package, which includes £200 spa credit, two course lunch or afternoon tea and full use of the spa facilities for 6 hours (from £260). Short on time? Go for the Morning/Afternoon Spa package which includes a 40 minute treatment, 2 course lunch or afternoon tea and full use of the spa for 4 hours (from £140).
8. Bailiffscourt Spa at Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, West Sussex
A day at one of the most beautiful spas in the south of England is surely 10/10 writing material for the gratitude journal. Whether you’re after a spa day with an indulgent afternoon tea or a morning retreat followed by a delicious lunch, there’s a spa package with your name on. Enjoy a treatment of either a neck, back and shoulder massage or a facial, a glass of Sussex sparkling wine and a delicious spread (available Mon – Thurs, from £115).
9. Coworth Park Spa, Ascot
Well, if it’s good enough for Prince Harry! Recharge your batteries at the stunning Coworth Park, amongst the sweeping ancient woodland of Berkshire. With 250 acres to explore, world class polo grounds, a heated indoor pool with underwater music, experience showers and aromatic steam room, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking, it’s the ultimate place to both re-energise and relax.
The ‘Afternoon Spa Retreat’ itinerary costs £195 (mon-thurs 2-7pm) and includes a 60 minute treatment, a seasonal afternoon tea served in The Spatisserie and use of the spa facilities.
10. The Pig, The New Forest
Ok so technically speaking, it’s not a spa day per se but for anyone seeking that country house calm in bucolic surroundings without the faff of that post-swim hair wash (gladly @me), take your pick of any one of The Pig hotels and rest assured, you’ll return home full, well-rested and relaxed. Make a day of it with their 25-mile menu and treatments in the Potting Shed, followed by a soothing cuppa in the Drawing Room before you hit the road. Should you fancy the full Pig experience for a special occasion, you can stay in one of their cosy, beautifully designed bedrooms but bear in mind this will drive the price up considerably.
11. Meadow Spa at Thyme, Cotswolds
Like balm for the soul, Thyme is an award-winning country house hotel nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds. Tucked away behind the main country house is The Meadow Spa, an oasis of calm and heavenly treatments, providing an antidote for our fast-paced hectic lives.
Bertioli Beauty bathing and breathing products are used to deliver treatments harnessing the healing power of breath and scent to nourish both mind and body, for a truly restorative experience. Meadow Spa has also partnered with cult skincare brand Aurelia London to curate a menu of bespoke treatments, designed to nurture and restore both the mind and body.
Weather-permitting, you can take a dip in their spring water (chlorine- free) swimming pool for a pre-massage ritual and soak up the tranquility of the pastoral surroundings. Stay tuned for the Botanical Bothy – a new spa space dedicated to healing, breathing and reconnecting to nature. Coming soon!
(Rooms available from £320 per night, use of spa facilities included + cost of treatments, from £85. Treatments in the spa are also available for non-staying guests).
12. Lush Spa, London
If your idea of a spa day is more about the treatment itself than the fluffy bathrobes and hot tubs, then consider a Lush Spa massage on Oxford Street the official headquarters for otherworldly relaxation. On Oxford Street? Yep, you read that right. Nestled underneath the Lush store is a sanctuary of calm, complete with a treatment menu that really will quite literally knock your socks off. Praise be for the faceless Lush angels kneading your shoulders with their butter soft hands.
Psss! If you’re a fan of the Calm Sleep Stories, we highly recommend The Bath Tales, which combines enchanting folklore with a side-lying massage. You’ll be asleep in 3 seconds flat.