In need of some rest and relaxation? Head to the Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa in Northamptonshire for an indulgent ESPA spa stay, complete with three course meals, a luxury spa treatment and a comfortable overnight stay, says Lily Smith…
As we drive up the winding path, surrounded by rolling fields and 1000-year-old sleeping oak trees, the spectacularly grand Whittlebury Hall creeps into view. The land, which was once used as a jousting ground for the Kings and Queens of England from 1152, is now home to a luxury golf resort, hotel and spa, hosting a wide range of events and offering plenty of restorative spa breaks.
A day at Whittlebury Hall Spa
Whittlebury Hall Spa recently teamed up with luxury skincare brand, ESPA, to offer a selection of ‘ESPA at the Park’ treatments and breaks. Upon arrival, our ESPA Blissful Break package started with a day at the spa, complete with full use of the facilities. After my partner and I changed into our robes and enjoyed a warming cup of complimentary herbal tea, we made our way into the main spa, where a soothing and rejuvenating selection of Heat and Ice Experiences awaited.
From saunas and steam rooms to ice caves and experience showers, we gradually made our way around the rooms, in the order advised by the spa to reap the full benefits. As someone who is not keen on the intense heat of traditional saunas, I particularly enjoyed the Sanarium, which is kept at a comfortable 60°C and a controlled humidity of no more than 55%. As we curled up on the cosy wooden benches and listened to the ambient nature sounds, I felt my mind and body begin to truly unwind.
After enjoying some heat experiences, it was time to embrace the cold in the Ice Cave, which is filled with a basin of fresh ice to rub all over your body. My partner decided to take this ‘cooling’ period one step further by standing beneath the bucket which drops freezing cold water on your head – I decided to sit this station out!
After making our way around the various heat and ice experience rooms, we spent some time relaxing in the Hydrotherapy Pool, cradled by massaging jets and soothing bubbles. Then, it was time for our spa treatment.
ESPA treatments at Whittlebury Hall Spa
We made our way to the beautifully serene waiting room until our separate spa therapists called us though for our indulgent 40-minute treatments. The spa at Whittlebury Hall offers a huge range of spa treatments, including several ESPA options. With our Blissful Break package, we were treated to the ESPA Peace and Glow Treatment.
To begin with, a delicately scented aromatherapy oil was drizzled onto my body and gently massaged into the skin. Then, it was time for an ESPA Express Facial, complete with cleansing, exfoliating and toning, before a cooling face mask was applied and left to work its magic.
With my skin glowing, next up was a heavenly scalp massage, which was definitely the highlight for me. (If you don’t want your hair to get oily, fear not – you can opt for an arm and hand massage instead). As my spa therapist worked her fingers into each section of my scalp, I felt my tension melt away. After a full-body pampering, it’s safe to say I floated out of that treatment room.
After our intensely relaxing treatments, we spent some time in the soothing silence of the Whisper Area. This area is easy to miss, as it’s where the treatment rooms are located, but it was one of my favourite parts of the whole spa. With gentle music and dim lighting, provided by a sprinkling of ambient salt lamps, along with snuggly egg chairs and plush day beds, the atmosphere was incredibly peaceful and cosy. Still floating from my luxurious treatment, I happily curled up in an egg chair and enjoyed one of the best naps of my life.
Dining at Whittlebury Hall Hotel
During our spa break, we enjoyed three delicious meals at the various on-site cafés and restaurants. First up was a two-course buffet lunch at the Terrace Café, situated next to the spa’s main pool. I enjoyed expertly-baked salmon with a range of steamed vegetables and spiced wedges, before tucking into an extremely creamy cheesecake for dessert. I was impressed by the wide range of options available, including plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, which were all clearly labelled.
We loved the fact that the Terrace Café overlooked the main pool, which is complete with grand pillars and murals – it added a real holiday vibe to the experience. Later that afternoon, we also enjoyed a coffee from the same café, and I was very pleased to see that they had oat milk available.
In the evening, we were treated to a slap-up three-course meal at the Astons Restaurant. The service, from the moment we arrived, was impeccable; the waiting staff truly went above and beyond to ensure we had a wonderful evening. The food was also to an incredibly high standard. I enjoyed a starter of whipped goat’s cheese and beetroot, while my partner opted for a bowl of carrot and coriander soup. Then, we both tucked into a comforting main meal of slow cooked beef, herb-infused mash, and roasted vegetables. For desserts, we both went for a warming apple crumble. As with the Terrace Café, the menu included plenty of options to suit all dietary requirements.
In the morning, before we departed, it was time for a breakfast buffet. The huge variety on offer was notably impressive: whether you prefer a fry-up, cereal, fruit, pastries, toast, or anything in between, you’re sure to be in for a treat. My partner enjoyed some of the hot food items on offer, which were cooked to perfection, while I opted for some overnight oats, soaked in almond milk, along with fruit and yoghurt. I also had to try one of the pastries on offer – the pain au raisin was to die for!
Overnight stays at Whittlebury Hall Hotel
A spa break at Whittlebury Park includes an overnight stay in a classic or twin room. After a long day of relaxing in the spa, we made our way to our room, where our bags, which we had left at reception earlier, were waiting for us, along with a complimentary bottle of prosecco and some sweet treats.
The room was complete with everything we needed for a comfortable stay, including a plush bed, a large bathroom filled with ESPA products and incredible views across the golf course and surrounding fields. With a day of being thoroughly pampered and treated behind us, it’s safe to say we slept very well that night.
Upon checking out, we decided to spent the day exploring the museum at Silverstone race circuit, which is located right next to Whittlebury Park – much to the delight of my partner, who is a big fan of Formula 1. Throughout Whittlebury Park, there are also plenty of nods to the famous nearby race track, including the Silverstone Bar, which is filled with racing memorabilia. But don’t worry: you can’t hear any roaring race cars from the spa!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa. I’d highly recommend the ESPA spa breaks for anyone who is in need of some rest and relaxation – and good food!
The ESPA Blissful Break spa stay at Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa starts from £179 per person (Monday – Thursday). Find out more at whittlebury.com