Slick interiors, heated sand beds, and saunas with panoramic country views are just a few reasons to check in for the day
Just 45 minutes from central London Sopwell House is a fabulously easy escape if you’re longing for a rejuvenating day break or overnight stay. The real draw here is the newly refurbished Cottonmill Spa which has just undergone a whopping £14 million facelift. Set in 12 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, with state of the art facilities, slick modernist design and two award-winning restaurants a short walk away, its the spa break you’ve been waiting for.
Either a romantic retreat with your other half or girls weekend away. The overall vibe at the hotel is informal, relaxed and cosy. But the excellent service is everything you’d expect from a five star luxury resort. The historic Georgian 128-room hotel features a cosy brasserie restaurant, chic cocktail lounge and spacious rooms featuring flat screen TV, four poster beds and Nespresso coffees machine. We recommend the Mews cottages set back from the main hotel through a separate set of gates, in a Chelsea Flower Show award-winning communal garden complete with outdoor hydro pool /jacuzzi – the perfect place to enjoy some sunset champagne.
The main draw
The Spa. As the country’s first private members’ spa, Cottonmill is breaking exciting new ground. Guests can choose from two membership options – Cottonmill and The Club at Cottonmill.
With the first, you can enjoy the main spa facilities including an indoor and outdoor pool, steam and relaxation rooms, sauna and high-tech gym, which features a range of classes from HIT to pilates. But upgrade to The Club, and you get to take advantage of a truly next level experience in a sleek new private section of the spa, which when we visited mid-week we had almost to ourselves. The new refurb at The Club features its own private members section and changing area plus three stories of pampering heaven. Stand out features include the only panoramic organic scented sauna we’ve ever seen – a huge glass structure overlooking the lush grounds and walled spa garden below.
Go for the upgrade, its worth every penny. Recline in the Deep Relaxation room on one of the space-age vibrating heated loungers before taking in all four rooms in the Thermal Suite. These include a salt room and fragrant botanical steam room plus a serene ‘Whisper Room’ with gently soothing voices that send you into a slightly meditative state. Then relax with a swim in the outdoor/in hydro-pool.
When it comes to the treatments, expect great Elemis, Espa and Aromatherapy Associates products and an innovate menu founded on the properties of sand and water. We loved the Amber and Quartz Crystal Bed, used during our treatments where warm crystals mould to your body melting away your muscle pains as you experience a deep tissue massage. The Cottonmill is the first UK spa where you can enjoy this and the sensation is reminiscent of lying on a sandy beach warmed by the sun. Bliss.
The Hydrotherapy treatments here are to die for too. The Vichy shower massage includes an invigorating body scrub and hot stone massage as you are sprayed with water from the six shower jets. Its enough to melt away even the most stubborn of aches and leave you refreshed for another week.
Spa day breaks are available at Sopwell House from £150. Book now