To completely get away from it all, and enjoy an indulgent escape, the best option is to book a relaxing spa break. Treat yourself to a short break at a luxurious country house hotel, where the focus is on massages, facials, grooming and having a thoroughly relaxing break.
Golf may be on hand for your restless partner should you decide to take him, you could get away for a few days with the girls, or even treat your mum to a well-earned break. Spend long lazy afternoons in the sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi or plunge pool, and forget about the outside world. Emerge from your stay feeling brand new and ready for anything!
Here in the North East we are lucky to be blessed with a fine array of first class Spa destinations. Here we pick 5 of our favourites:
SEAHAM HALL, DURHAM
Half an hour from Durham city centre, Seaham Hall is an iconic building in the style of a Georgian country house, dating back to 1791. Today it is a five star hotel, with 22 suites that treasures its rich history and retains its eccentric character alongside contemporary interiors, all the while set against a backdrop of 37 acres of grounds perched on a cliff top.
There are two restaurants at the hotel that highlight the local and seasonal produce from the surrounding area. Byron’s Restaurant delivers a classical menu in a contemporary environment, while Ozone at Seaham Hall is a spherical outdoor terrace with views of the gardens offering an informal, brasserie-style space, combining Eastern ingredients with European cuisine
Offset by the scenic location, the award winning Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall is true to its name, providing a relaxed environment for wellbeing and some well-earned pampering as well. Facilities include a fitness suite, 20-metre pool with massage stations, sanarium with crystal light therapy, sauna, snail showers, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, plunge pools, hammam, steam room, outdoor hot tubs and a roof garden.
Seaham Hall Hotel, County Durham , SR7 7AG www.seaham-hall.co.uk
RAMSIDE HALL, DURHAM
A country house hotel in Durham, set in 350 acres of private grounds including 2 18-hole golf courses, Ramside Hall Hotel has 127 rooms and suites, ranging from twin rooms to a luxurious Celebration Suite. Featuring contemporary design, the hotel retains a sense of grandeur in its style, and the rooms in the newly build extended wing are modern, bright and very spacious, all looking out onto the beautiful gardens beyond.
Meanwhile, food is an important experience at the hotel, and comes in a variety of choices. The main restaurant is the award-winning Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill, which more than matches any stand-alone restaurant in the area. There’s also Fusion, the hotel’s Asian restaurant set within the spa, Pemberton’s Carvery, The Clubhouse, and of course, Norman’s Cornish Lounge for coffees and afternoon tea.
Leisure at Ramside Hall Hotel is all about feeling revitalised. So, surrounded by the beauty of the grounds and golf course, the spa is extensively equipped and perfectly located for relaxation and rejuvenation. Facilities include a 25-metre pool, a gym, a thermal experience with a herbal sauna, Himalayan salt steam, aroma steam, tepidarium, sunken amphitheatre, sauna and drench showers. There is also a hydrotherapy pool, a bubble pool, a spa garden, and an outdoor vitality pool. There is even an outstanding balcony infinity pool on the first floor treatment suite with massage jets for private use, all complete with robes and slippers provided so you can really settle into your day.
Using ESPA, Salt of The Earth, Morgan Taylor, Artistic Colour Gloss, and Mii Cosmetics, the spa offers a complete collection of face and body treatments, make-up, pampering and finishing touches. Their menu is full of bespoke offerings for men and women, so it’s a good opportunity to try something a little different.
Prices start from £55 per person for the Twighlight Spa.
Ramside, Durham, DH1 1TD; ramsidehallhotel.co.uk
SLALEY HALL, HEXHAM
The hotel is set within 1000 acres of Northumberland moorland and forest lays, and the Edwardian mansion and new contemporary extensions complement each other perfectly. All but seven bedrooms are within the aptly named New Room, and range from Classic to Family rooms as well as suites. The estate also has a choice of luxury lodges available to guests, which are ideal for families or groups and can sleep between four and eight people. .
There are three restaurants at the hotel, the main one is inspired by the surrounding area in name and culinary fare, Hadrian’s Brasserie. Duke’s Grill resides in the main building’s former drawing room while The Claret Jug serves light meals and teas during the day and in the evening it transforms into a deluxe bistro, specialising in classic dishes. The Whiskey Snug, which is true to its name in all respects, is the perfect place to finish your glass of wine or sample a fine malt.
The surrounding landscape at Slaley Hall lends itself to incorporating leisure into your stay whether it be on the golf course, going for a walk around the grounds, or using the facilities which include a gym, exercise classes, a 20-metre pool, sauna and steam room, Jacuzzi and a relaxation room.
There are four treatment rooms including one double, where therapists use the combined forces of ESPA and Jessica, the spa area also allows guests the added luxury of a collection of treatments and therapies, which extend to the venue’s own signature rituals and finishing touches as well.
Slaley Hall, Hexham Northumberland, NE47 0BX; www.qhotels.co.uk/luxury-lodges/slaley-hall
MACDONALD LINDEN HALL, MORPETH
Built in 1812, Linden Hall is an eye catching country house hotel nestled into 450 acres of Northumberland countryside and includes its own 18-hole golf course, which can be viewed from many of the 50 contemporarily furnished rooms and suites.
Boasting two AA Rosettes meanwhile, is the Dobson Restaurant and the hotels fine dining offering, with views across the lawns. For lighter options there is also the Linden Tree Pub; and teas, coffees and aperitifs are served in the Monck cocktail bar.
A contemporary addition to the 19th Century manor house hotel, the spa and leisure facilities at Macdonald Linden Hall bear the trademark features of the Macdonald brand – that is to say modern, and covering all pampering and fitness bases with facilities that include a gym, 12-metre pool, sauna and steam room.
Also available are a host of treatments, ranging from the holistic end of the spectrum with reflexology and hopi ear candling, to the more decadent options that include Elemis facials, massages, wraps and scrubs. Manicures and pedicures using Jessica products complete the repertoire alongside tanning and finishing touches.
Macdonald Linden Hall Golf & Country Club, Longhorsley, Morpeth, NE65 8XF
Matfen Hall is a converted stately home, surrounded by over 300 acres of land, boasting 53 rooms and suites which combine traditional design with contemporary facilities; and the odd four-poster bed!
Dining is in The Library and Print Room, which unsurprisingly denotes the artistic traditions of the aristocracy and has two AA Rosettes for its seasonal cuisine. For lighter meals and snacks, there is also the Conservatory Bistro with views of the golf course.
The spa and leisure club at Matfen Hall is an award winning, contemporary addition, that the original proprietors would no doubt approve of thanks to a gym, aerobics studio, a 16-metre UV filtered pool, a hot tub, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, ice fountain, tropical feature shower and salt grotto.
Dedicating itself to the pampering element of a country escape, the spa has five treatment suites including a dual room, where therapists use Elemis to deliver therapies including facials, wraps, massages, reflexology and thermo auricular therapy as well as head-to-toe rituals. They also use Orly nail treatments for manicures and pedicures and MAC cosmetics for make-up consultations.
Matfen Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE20 0RH; www.matfenhall.com