Great value breaks
Garage Spa at the Morritt, County Durham
Twice-winner of the Good Spa Guide’s best boutique spa, the Garage Spa has been cleverly converted from its original use as a stopping station en route from London and Carlisle. Against a backdrop of exposed timber and weathered stone, the spa boasts a trio of indoor hot tubs, a steam room and a secret garden with alfresco hot tub. Dip into the Car Wash – outdoor showers of different temperatures – before settling into the Paint Shop for a manicure, or the Tune Up Rooms for a hammam or rasul mud treatment. The hotel has 26 cosy rooms and two restaurants.
Doubles from £75.60 B&B; spa treatments from £25; spa and stay experiences from £145pp; themorritt.co.uk
St Mellion Estate, Cornwall
Set across 450 acres of tranquil Cornish countryside, the St Mellion Estate is ideal for spa lovers and non-spa-loving partners, with two golf courses, tennis courts and three swimming pools, alongside the Elemis spa. Deep-tissue massages and collagen facials can be combined with cycle rides or hikes around the estate, personal training sessions and studio or spin classes in the fitness studios. The No 18 Brasserie serves up locally sourced meat and fish, with hearty roasts on Sundays.
One-night spa breaks from £198 B&B, including one 60-minute spa treatment each and use of the spa; st-mellion.co.uk
The Cliff Hotel, Cardigan Bay
Family owned, and set in a wonderful position above Cardigan Bay, the Cliff combines spectacular sea views with a sleek, subterranean spa. In keeping with the seaside location, the spa offers Thalgo Marine treatments, from algae wraps which activate circulation and increase metabolism, to hot stone massages, alongside reflexology and Indian head massages. There’s a nine-hole golf course for non-spa partners (with Cardigan’s 18-hole course next door), and excellent sea and river fishing, plus clifftop walks from the door.
A two-night spa break from £240pp half-board, including 80 minutes of spa treatments each; cliffhotel.com
Shrigley Hall Hotel & Spa, Macclesfield
On the edge of the Peak District National Park, Shrigley’s 260 acres are crisscrossed with walking and jogging trails (alongside an 18-hole golf course), making it easy to combine gentle exercise with indulgent spa treatments. The Bazaar Spa boasts an alfresco infinity pool, heated to 38C, and a steam, sauna and whirlpool bath in the former chapel, with treatments ranging from Ayurvedic rituals to Décleor facials and personally tailored massages. Dine in style at the Oakridge restaurant, or keep things more relaxed with pizza and a glass in the Courtyard Bar.
One night spa break from £289 B&B, including dinner and one 50-minute treatment each; shrigleyhallhotelandspa.co.uk
Rowton Hall Hotel & Spa, Chester
Spend a lazy afternoon in Rowton’s elegant spa, which offers Elemis facials and body treatments, along with a choice of treatments for men and mums-to-be. The Lounge & Terrace offers delicious light meals, many using fruit and vegetables grown in the hotel’s picturesque gardens, which also promises guests a tranquil space to stroll, practise yoga or simply curl up on a lounger with a good book. The hotel itself is a classic Georgian manor house with 39 individually styled rooms. The bright lights of Chester are just 10 minutes’ drive away.
One-night Winter Getaway break from £145 B&B, including £25pp dinner allowance and spa access; rowtonhall.co.uk
Auchrannie Resort, Arran
Spending time at the soothing ASPA spa is just part of the restorative experience at Auchrannie, which offers wood-panelled “retreat” cabins, buried deep in the glen, alongside luxury lodges and spa bedrooms. Exploring Arran’s silent, unspoilt landscapes – whether on foot, bike or Segways (both available to hire) – is a tonic in itself, and makes an ideal combination with the therapeutic massages and treatments on offer in the spa. There are three restaurants to choose from when it comes to dining and excellent facilities for kids, making this a great family choice.
Doubles from £119 B&B; treatments from £50; auchrannie.co.uk
Mallory Court, Warwickshire
Here’s the best of both worlds: a contemporary spa experience with the traditional comforts of a country hotel. Along with the oak panelling, manicured gardens and pretty gabled rooms, there is the impressive Elan Spa with a sauna, hydro pool, gym and nail salon, as well as seven treatment rooms. Expect fine dining with seasonal menus and ingredients sourced from their own kitchen gardens. Stratford is less than half an hour away, as is Warwick and Leamington Spa but you may want to stay closer to home: sipping mocktails in the heated outdoor vitality pool with views across a pretty courtyard garden is definitely a highlight.
A one-night package includes a treatment, Tastes Of The Season dinner in the Manor House Dining Room, full English breakfast and two hours in the spa, £249pp; mallory.co.uk
The best holistic retreats
Monkey Island, Berkshire
Steeped in history, Monkey Island began life as a fishing getaway in the 18th century, and went on to become a riverside inn, famous as a destination for writers, musicians and artists. It reopened in 2019, with a floating spa housed on a traditional barge on the river, offering unique treatments including a “floating” massage on an aqua-cushioned bed, and a Malay massage, which uses long, kneading strokes. Guests can also enjoy riverside walks or boat trips on the Thames. End the day in the cosy Whisky Snug, accessible by a secret staircase.
From £213 room only; floating spa package from £425; monkeyislandestate.co.uk
The Scarlet, Cornwall
An adults-only sanctuary set on the clifftop above Mawgan Porth beach, where the sea is a big part of the treatment package, with every room facing the shimmering Atlantic – including the glass-walled, bromine-filtered indoor pool. The spa focuses on Ayurvedic principles, with tailor-made therapies, all taken along to the natural soundtrack of the waves crashing on the shore below. There are alfresco hot tubs for post-massage soaks and dinners offer locally sourced fish and seafood, along with slow-aged wines. There are also excellent vegan options.
Doubles from £290 B&B; scarlethotel.co.uk
Stoke by Nayland Resort, Suffolk
The Peake Spa is just part of the draw at this sprawling resort, which also boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, 40 exercise classes a week and a running club. The spa offers a wide range of treatments, including Neum Wellbeing therapies, that combine shiatsu and Thai massage to lower stress and improve sleep; physiotherapy sessions; and non-surgical treatments aimed at relieving pain and preventing further problems. Accommodation ranges from standard rooms in the hotel to eco-friendly lodges that are ideal for families or small groups.
One-night spa break from £229 B&B, including one 25-minute treatment each and a bottle of prosecco; stokebynayland.com
Glass House Retreat, Essex
A purpose-built detox retreat in the heart of the Essex countryside, the Glass House offers a broad range of treatments, from a cryotherapy chamber to hydrating body wraps and facials. Days tend to be structured (although guests are welcome to opt in and out of activities), with an early morning walk, time for spa treatments of your choice in the morning and afternoon, and wellness talks or vegan food demonstrations. Rooms come with soothing countryside views, vegan spa products and the fluffiest of robes.
Two-night spa packages from £238pp full-board, including £60 spa vouchers, classes, talks and spa use; glasshouseretreat.co.uk
The Spa at Galgorm, Ballymena
Set in the 163-acre Galgorm Estate, this Spa & Thermal Village is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, offering an array of indoor and outdoor pools, alfresco hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms, and even a snow cabin. There are plenty of spa treatments, but the real therapy here is lazing in warm waters surrounded by open countryside, or under starlit skies (the pools are open into the evening). Rooms come with King Koil mattresses and lovely garden or river views, and there are three superb restaurants to choose from.
Doubles from £205 B&B; treatments from £95; galgorm.com
Seaham Hall, County Durham
One of the leading spas in the north of England, the combination of Seaham’s striking clifftop location, crisp sea breezes and its Asian-styled spa makes for an eclectic, memorable stay. The hotel – a Georgian country house once home to the poet Lord Byron – is linked to the Serenity Spa by a subterranean walkway that delivers guests into a dimly lit warren of treatment rooms, thermal showers and a Zen garden. The spa offers Temple Spa and Ishga treatments – using Scottish seaweed and spring water – and all the healthiness can be counterbalanced with a glass of bubbles at the Taittinger Nail Bar.
Doubles from £295 B&B; treatments from £45; seaham-hall.co.uk
Medical and wellness escapes
Rudding Park, Harrogate
This rooftop spa and garden at Rudding Park makes full use of Harrogate’s world-famous waters, offering a wide range of hydrotherapy and thermal experiences. Beyond the usual massage and facials, the spa also offers specific treatments for mums-to-be, those with dermatological conditions and who are living with or recovering from cancer. There are treatments for the mind, too, with “Energy Healing” sessions that promise increased focus and energy, and less stress and anxiety. The hotel also has its own golf course – ideal for keeping non spa-loving partners happy.
A one-night break, including dinner allowance and spa treatment, from £224pp; ruddingpark.co.uk
Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire
One of the UK’s leading spa retreats for the past 40 years, Ragdale is a classic health spa (rather than a luxury hotel with spa attached). With six pools to choose from, a choice of 18 classes a day and 11 different heat and water experiences, the day can fill up before you’ve even booked a treatment. Rooms are comfortable, if a little bland, and there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge at the end of the day in the chic cocktail bar or the upmarket restaurant.
Two night breaks from £394pp full-board, including one treatment and use of all facilities; ragdalehall.co.uk
Culloden Estate & Spa, Holywood
Northern Ireland’s premier health spa, Culloden offers a wide range of Espa treatments alongside private GP appointments, minor surgery and healthcare services in its MediSpa. Treatments range from cosmetic to physiotherapy, wellness checks and laser surgery, with an indoor vitality pool to relax by and a choice of thermal treatments. The hotel – originally built as a bishop’s palace – feels wonderfully grand, with stained-glass windows and sweeping staircases, while the Vespers restaurant and Cultra Inn offer a choice of formal or more relaxed dining.
Doubles from £225 B&B; treatments from £45; cullodenestateandspa.com
Porta Vadie, Loch Fyne
The big draw at this modern marina resort is the stunning infinity pool, set on the shores of Loch Fyne and heated to 33C – making it a lovely place to soak up the views, whatever time of the year. Inside, the spa has a 16m pool, sauna and hot tub, with a good range of treatments, including Décleor and Ishga products, and a programme of yoga and fitness classes. Combine spa treatments with time out on the water – the hotel offers private boat charters, day trips to private beaches, as well as kayaking and fishing.
Doubles from £164 B&B; treatments from £40; portavadie.com
Moddershall Oaks, Staffordshire
Surrounded by 72 acres of lush, unspoilt countryside, Moddershall boasts both a state-of-the-art spa and a Wellness Centre, offering a wide range of classes. Spa treatments are taken in a cosy, converted farmhouse, with two indoor pools (one hydrotherapy), a rasul treatment room and a sleep lounge, for post-therapy snoozing. But it’s outside where Moddershall scores big, with a thermal pool, spa deli and alfresco lounge with a bio ethanol fireplace. Suites are slick and comfortable, with outdoor hot tubs, and dinners at the Oak House restaurant are reassuringly indulgent.
A one-night spa break for two, including breakfast and dinner costs from £175pp; moddershalloaks.com
The Spa at Carden, near Chester
There is a beach-club vibe whatever the weather at the jaw-dropping Spa at Carden, one of the biggest spa gardens in the UK. The “multisensory wellbeing garden” is an adult playground with a hydrotherapy pool, hot tubs, heated pods, a glass-sided sauna, fire pits and a champagne bar; there are further thermal facilities and treatment rooms indoors. Guests can come for the day (half-days from £55) or stay at the adjacent Carden Park hotel (spa stays from £180). The latest package is the Gourmet Spa Stay: a half-day in the spa, a 50-minute treatment, B&B and dinner in the Vines, a new fine-dining restaurant serving wine from the hotel’s own vineyard.
Half-day spa from £55; spa day breaks from £180; cardenpark.co.uk
Whatley Manor Spa, Cotswolds
This is a country house hotel out of central casting, all honey-coloured stone, wood-panelling and grand fireplaces. There are formal gardens and the wonderful Wiltshire countryside to explore. The hotel’s chic yet cutting-edge Aquarius spa includes a huge indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, aromatic thermal suites, heated stone recliners and a sauna. The facials and massages with Gaia Skincare are gorgeous, the products handmade in Britain using traditional methods. For total relaxation, book a flotation pod filled with warm water and 500kg of Epsom salts. The lights go down and there’s nothing to do but drift off. In the evening, after all that chilling, the Michelin-starred restaurant is a treat.
Rooms from £279, spa access included; treatments from £56; Essential Escape half-day spa for non-residents with a treatment and spa use, £140; whatleymanor.com
Urban spa retreats
Buxton Crescent, Derbyshire
When Buxton Crescent re-opened its doors in 2021, it marked a new beginning for one of the country’s most historic spa hotels – renowned in Georgian times as the premier spa in the country. Its 21st-century incarnation combines period touches – fluted columns, glittering chandeliers and stained glass – with a state of the art spa, designed around the town’s thermal waters. Laze in the indoor/outdoor rooftop pool, take a dip in the refurbished Victorian baths and detox in the salt cave and aromatherapy steam rooms.
Two-night spa break from £310pp, full-board, including a facial and Hydro Bath; ensanahotels.com
Maya Blue Wellness Spa, Titanic Liverpool
Housed in vaulted stone cellars beneath Liverpool’s historic Stanley Dock, the Maya Blue Wellness Spa has a cocoon-like feeling, with thermal pools shimmering against the exposed brick. Espa treatments are on offer alongside the thermal suite, but the real joy here is the sense of having escaped the bustle of the city – the candlelit spaces are wonderfully relaxing. Above the spa, industrial-chic bedrooms have internal plans of the Titanic on the walls, while Stanley’s Bar and Grill is a buzzing brasserie with an open kitchen and waterfront views.
Doubles from £113 B&B; treatments from £79, express treatments from £40; titanichotelliverpool.com
Marin Spa Cardiff, Voco St Davids
Set above Cardiff Bay, the Marin is one of Wales’s leading spas, with a focus on organic, raw ingredients; product ranges include La Rue Verte, which utilises CBD, and Ishga treatments, created from Scottish seaweed and spring water. The indoor hydrotherapy pools are filled with water that has been treated to replicate mineral and salt-rich seawater, and the dry-heat sauna is designed to help rejuvenate skin and muscles, and detoxify the body. Rooms are a touch corporate, but come with impressive, panoramic views over the city and sea beyond.
Doubles from £112 room-only; treatments from £80; stdavids.vocohotels.com
Kimpton Blythswood Square, Glasgow
A terrace of classic Georgian townhouses surrounded by pristine private gardens, the Kimpton is one of the city’s most upmarket addresses, with a moodily lit, cocooning spa. Alongside the hydrotherapy and vitality pools, there is an impressive thermal suite, with a glass of bubbles or coffee at the Spa Café to complement the steam, sauna and ice rooms. CBD treatments by La Rue Verte are on offer alongside Ishga therapies. Once you’re feeling fully pampered, indulge in a platter of some of Scotland’s freshest seafood at the glamorous Iasg restaurant.
Doubles from £160 room-only; treatments from £89; kimptonblythswoodsquare.com
Sheraton Grand Spa Hotel, Edinburgh
Gaze out over Edinburgh’s historic skyline from the Sheraton’s rooftop indoor-outdoor hydropool, where underwater jets and swan-neck showers ease stress and tension in the body while you take in the views. Afterwards, spend time in the extensive thermal suite, incorporating everything from a Himalayan Salt Room to a super-relaxing Tepidarium. When you’ve exhausted the spa, try the Ginnasium – the hotel’s gin-tasting experience.
Doubles from £157 room-only; access to the pool and gym is included in the room rate; a 90-minute session in the thermal spa is £25pp; marriott.co.uk
The Edwardian, Manchester
Housed in the city’s imposing, Grade II listed Free Trade Hall, the Edwardian has a pleasingly grand feel with a surprisingly reasonable price tag. The spa channels the building’s industrial heritage with a pared-down, urban feel boasting oak walls, glass dividing screens and exposed ceilings – all of which makes the 12m pool look even more inviting. Espa treatments range from Swedish massages to body wraps and mum-to-be therapies, along with a full programme of grooming treatments. At night, the Peter Street Kitchen is one of the city’s hippest, serving Japanese and Mexican small plates.
Doubles from £117 room-only; treatments from £65; edwardian.com
Boringdon Hall, Dartmoor
Designed to make the glorious Devon landscapes part of your spa experience, the glass-walled Gaia Spa offers alfresco hot tubs, a private relaxation room with flower meadow views and a hydrotherapy indoor/outdoor pool, alongside a thermal suite, indoor pool and Spatisserie restaurant. It makes a striking counterpart to the hotel itself, which dates back to the Domesday Book and has a spectacular hall – the ideal spot for afternoon tea. Dogs are welcomed, with blankets, beds and treats (check room availability when booking).
Two-night spa break from £230.50pp B&B (£20 per dog per night), including one 45-minute spa treatment; boringdonhall.co.uk
The Coniston Hotel, Skipton
Surrounded by 1,400 acres of rolling Yorkshire Dales, the Coniston is as welcoming to four-legged guests as two (do be sure to notify the hotel in advance to ensure that a dog-friendly room is available). The Nadarra Spa makes the most of the rural location, with outdoor infinity pools and private garden baths that come with gorgeous countryside views. Inside, start with the thermal suite or a dip in the pool, before a rasul mud treatment or an Aromatherapy Associates facial. Dinners can be Asian flavours at the Blossom Kitchen, or traditional Yorkshire dishes in The View.
Doubles from £169 B&B (£20 per dog); spa stays from £229; theconistonhotel.com
Burley Manor, New Forest
It may feel like a classic English manor house, but the spa channels more of a Mediterranean vibe, with treatments based around Temple Spa products that use extracts of herbs, flowers, fruits and olives. Treatments are all about pampering, with a champagne and truffle facial and a hands-free “brush massage” offered alongside more traditional options. There are lovely walks from the hotel door into the New Forest, with the picturesque village of Burley just a few minutes’ stroll away. Dogs are welcomed as part of the family and are provided with their own mats, bowls and treats.
Doubles from £130.50 room-only (£30 for first dog, £15 for the second); treatments from £55; burleymanor.newforesthotels.co.uk
Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey –
One of the most expansive spas in the UK (and training home of the England rugby team) Pennyhill covers 45,000sqft, with several indoor and outdoor pools, a thermal sequencing suite and 23 treatment rooms. Whether you are after a pampering weekend, a fitness retreat (there are more than 50 classes to choose from) or a total reset, experienced therapists will put together a treatment package to suit your needs. Alongside the spa, the hotel is pleasingly luxurious, from the Michelin-starred Latymer restaurant to sumptuous suites. It also happens to one of the most pet-friendly, with 12 rooms reserved for visitors who have dogs, with beds, bowls and treats, and all with direct access to the 123 acres of glorious parkland. Windsor Great Park is also just a short drive away.
Spa treatments from £80; exclusive.co.uk. Book a pet-friendly stays from £455, dogs staying free plus canine perks; petspyjamas.com
Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa, Derwentwater
This classic Lakeland hotel got a new lease of life when it opened the Falls Spa, which has 18 bedrooms set above and around the 16m outdoor hydro pool, four-person rasul mud chamber, thermal suite and treatment rooms. Treatments offered include Elemis facials and La Sultane de Saba massages, using shea butter and clay from the Atlas mountains. Dog-friendly rooms are in the main hotel building, which also houses Mizu – a pan Asian restaurant – and the more traditional Lake View restaurant (with dog-friendly tables).
Doubles from £207 B&B; £15 per dog; spa access £25pp; lakedistricthotels.net
Ockenden Manor, West Sussex
Contemporary and historic mix beautifully at Ockenden; a charming Elizabethan manor house with a cutting-edge spa housed in the 19th-century walled garden. There are just 28 rooms, giving the hotel a cosy, personal feel, with firelit lounges and a dining room with sweeping views across the gardens. The spa boasts an indoor/outdoor pool, rainforest shower and a saltwater flotation tank, with Pilates and yoga classes on offer alongside an outdoor hot tub and relaxation area – perfect for warmer days. Dogs are welcome, but are not allowed in the spa or spa suites.
One-night spa break from £162pp, including dinner and £50pp spa voucher; £25 per dog; hshotels.com
Bodysgallen Hall, Llandudno
This fine 17th-century country pile, owned by the National Trust, welcomes dogs in selected cottages in the hotel’s magnificent 220 acres of parkland, where you can roam with your pooch (except in the formal gardens). After an invigorating yomp, Fido can wolf down snacks and flake out in the basket (all provided, along with a water bowl and poop-scoop bags) while you head to the hotel’s spacious spa, which has an impressive 16m swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, treatment rooms and relaxation room.
Cottages from £290 per night (dogs stay free), based on two guests, including breakfast in the main hotel and use of the spa; bodysgallen.com
The best day spas
Some of the UK’s top spa hotels can be prohibitively expensive; book an afternoon or day package for a luxurious few hours without a room rate on top.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
A spectacular reincarnation of the city’s historic Roman baths, the Thermae Bath Spa is most famous for its rooftop pool, but it also offers Roman and Georgian steam rooms and a thermal suite. A Thermae Treat package includes a two-hour spa session (including use of the rooftop pool and indoor Minerva bath), a Reviver Back Massage and a facial or head and foot massage (50 minutes in total).
From £85pp; thermaebathspa.com
Limewood, New Forest
The Herb House Spa at Limewood stretches over three levels, with a rooftop gym, 16m indoor lap pool and a steaming, alfresco hot pool that’s at its most atmospheric as the sun sets over the New Forest. The Herb House Sundown package includes 60 minutes of treatment, full use of the spa facilities and a welcome smoothie on arrival.
From £120pp; limewoodhotel.com
The Coach House, Beaverbrook, Leatherhead
Walking into the Coach House (designed by contemporary artist Brian Clarke) is like entering a stained-glass window: saturated colour, Josef Frank-esque fabrics and excellent food ensure this isn’t your average spa day. While facials and pedicures are available, beauty offerings are secondary to wellness, with a focus on naturopathy and serious biodynamic massage. Locals visit early to bathe in the heated outdoor pool.
From £175pp; beaverbrook.co.uk
Lucknam Park, Colerne
Soak up serious country house glamour at this glorious country estate, with a world-class Espa spa tucked away behind the walled gardens. Dip into the outdoor saltwater plunge pool or soak in the hydrotherapy waters before a treatment of your choice, with private gardens to explore afterwards. A half-day Inner Calm Experience includes one 60-minute Espa treatment and use of the spa facilities.
From £155pp; lucknampark.co.uk
The Spa at Coworth Park, Ascot
Eco-spa luxury at its finest, Coworth’s state-of-the-art spa boasts a sculpture-lined pool, a “living roof” herb garden and a menu of pleasingly treatments including Valmont anti-ageing therapies and Ishga massages. The five-hour afternoon spa package includes a 60-minute treatment, afternoon tea in the Spatisserie and use of the spa facilities.
From £195pp; dorchestercollection.com
The Grove, Watford
Set in 300 acres of gardens and woodlands, the Grove is perfect for a quick getaway – you could be forgiven for thinking you are deep in a rural fantasy rather than just outside Watford. In May their award-winning Sequoia Spa (featuring a showstopping 22m black mosaic-tiled pool) reopens after a major refurbishment, bringing new dining areas, relaxation spaces, men’s heat experiences and a focus on using homegrown plants and herbs in treatments to bring the gorgeousness of their gardens to spa guests. The main building dates back to the 1700s and overlooks a championship golf course (Obama was spotted there once), and there are numerous bike or walking trails through the woods, with pet sitters available post-walk. And when the slog of achieving wellness is done, guests can reward themselves with dessert at one of the four restaurants.
From £160pp; thegrove.co.uk
Aire Ancient Baths, London
This is a slice of ancient Rome buried deep in a subterranean corner of Covent Garden, set in a neo-classical townhouse, once the home of JM Barrie. Inside, you’ll find a luxurious cavern of candlelit pools, replete with arches and columns. Aire first opened in Seville 20 years ago and now has outposts in New York, Chicago and Copenhagen among others. There are pools to suit all tastes: a salt bath you can float in, one that’s piping hot, and the aptly named Frigidarium, at 14C. There’s a steam room and sauna, and in true Roman style, a red wine bath treatment, too.
From £90pp; beaire.com
Additional reviews by Emma Cook, Rachel Dixon, Kate Edgley, Harriet Green and Eva Wiseman