It has been a long and particularly wet winter. Now, then, it is time for a reward – and yes, we do believe that simply sticking it out calls for some sort of prize which, all things considered, really ought to come in the form of a spa getaway. There are many boutique spa hotels ready and willing to oblige our full immersion into restorative water – and total rest. These are the ones to have on your radar.

Dormy House

The Cotswolds

Just ten minutes beyond Broadway in the north-west of the Cotswolds sits the exquisite Dormy House, a sprawling hotel whose Scandi-chic rooms are dotted about the grounds in low rise cabins. The restaurant – also a thing of loveliness – is served by a glorious kitchen garden. But it is the spa – whose entrance is visible from the reception, thus beckoning guests straight in – that is the real piece de resistance here. Aside from a spectacular pool, there is an outdoor hot tub, a salt-infusion steam room and a lavender steam room, as well as a gym and classes for those more inclined to be active. Treatments are by Tata Harper, Beata and Temple Spa. A rustic luxe slice of heaven. Book it.

Lime Wood

The New Forest
Limewood Hotel Copy

Rolling up to Lime Wood is a purely joyful experience. The drive itself takes you through the New Forest – complete with wild ponies roaming – and once you arrive, you are met with a gleaming neo-Georgian façade and a glorious garden to roam. Food, meanwhile, comes courtesy of the formidably talented Angela Hartnett, while the interiors are both luxuriant and informal; this is supposed to feel like a home from home (do note the boot room from which guests can help themselves to the lined-up wellies in a selection of sizes). For many, though, the star of the already pretty glittering show is the spa. There is an indoor pool, an outdoor hot pool and a hydrotherapy suite. There are Bamford massages and Sarah Chapman skin treatments. There are classes held on the roof terrace. In short, if you are looking for a re-boot, this is one of the very finest places to achieve it. Book it.

Cliveden House


If you like your spa experiences with a side order of scandal, Cliveden is just the place for you. Its outdoor pool, which is set amid a beautiful walled garden, is famously where John Profumo began his affair with Christine Keeler in 1961 – a tryst that would ultimately force his resignation and almost bring down the government. But illicit affairs aside, Cliveden cannot be rivalled for grandeur – so much so that it falls under the auspices of The National Trust – and its parterre garden viewed from the dining room is surely one of the most spectacular sights in the country. Over at the spa, try the sustainably produced and absolutely beautiful Proverb products, or why not book in for an Oskia skincare treatment? Quite unlike anywhere else in existence. Book it.

Chewton Glen


Boasting one of the most impressive and largest hydrotherapy pools in the country, Chewton Glen’s spa is a thing of rare beauty. First descend the stairs in your fluffy white gown to the indoor pool, resplendent with Grecian columns. Then, once you have swum, why not try the crystal steam room or aromatherapy sauna? The treatments, meanwhile, are extensive and always excellent – and once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab a pew at the healthy buffet. If you’re staying, the main house is all traditional elegance and beautifully timeless and hard to resist. Nevertheless, we would recommend Chewton Glen’s treehouse suites, which come complete with undulating balconies, hot tubs and views over the tree tops. Book it.

The Scarlet

Scarlet Hotel Copy

If you want a view of a perfect rugged coastline as you feel yourself unfurl, then The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth is the place to be. Not only is it absolutely spectacular on every level, from the design to the beachside location, but it’s environmentally friendly too. Try an Ayurvedic treatment in one of its pods, or simply float your days away in the indoor pool (cleaned with low dose bromine), or the natural outdoor pool (kept pristine thanks to a living reed bed). There is clifftop barrel cedar wood sauna, a meditation space and a glass-walled light relax spa lounge. Sheer salty heaven. Book it.

Ockenden Manor

West Sussex

Rocking up at Ockenden Manor, you could be forgiven for wondering whether you’d imagined the state-of-the-art spa reputedly on the premises. The original house, a glorious relic of the Elizabethan era complete with mullioned windows and beams everywhere you look, doesn’t scream slick wellness centre. However, just a two-minute meander behind the main house and guests can discover a new wing that stands in complete contrast to the original building. In addition to a slew of contemporary rooms, there is an exceptional spa, which contains one of our very favourite indoor-outdoor pools in existence. Built inside a 19th-century walled garden, which in turn stands within nine acres of parkland, inside guests will also find an isopod, a walk-through rainforest shower and treatments courtesy of Elemental Herbology. Book it.

Rudding Park Hotel & Spa


Harrogate is known for its natural springs and, duly, the beautiful Rudding Park Hotel & Spa harnesses the health-giving properties of the water in its rooftop spa and garden – one of the hotel’s many draws (others include its two golf courses). There are herb-infused saunas, a 17-metre pool, experience showers and a hydrotherapy pool. And for those who wish to relax their minds as well as their bodies, there is even a mindfulness room which offers colouring books for stressed-out minds. The absolute last word in state-of-the-art spa facilities. Book it.

Updated April 2024