Offering a luxurious retreat close to the centre of Gloucester, The Spa at Hatherley Manor is a destination in its own right; comparable in quality and facilities to the spas housed within boutique Cotswold hotels.
Pulling into the driveway at Hatherley Manor Hotel and Spa, we were poised for an incredible weekend of luxury. Perusing the itinerary of our ‘Date Night’ package we became giddy at the prospect of an extravagant weekend of bubbles – both the alcoholic and jacuzzi kind!
The package, worth between £360 and £486 depending on the time of booking, includes early check in from 1pm; a one-night stay in a superior feature bedroom; a glass of prosecco or bottled beer per person on arrival; a box of luxurious chocolates in the room; entry to the spa; a 55-minute treatment for two people in the dual treatment room; a £26 per person allowance towards dinner in the on-site Dewinton restaurant; a bottle of house wine; a full English breakfast the next day; and late check out. The whole thing sounded divine.
While the hotel’s superior feature bedrooms had already been booked, we were quickly checked in to a classic double room instead. Although bijou with slightly dated decor, the room was perfectly functional and spotlessly clean. We unpacked, donned our fluffy robes and spa slippers, and made our way to the hotel’s brand-new spa.
Walking in to the smell of essential oils, freshly oiled wooden beams and sparkling décor, The Spa at Hatherley Manor was an absolute haven from the moment we stepped through the doors. Featuring lots of natural materials in its design; exposed brick and wooden cabinets were combined with industrial beams, glass and tactile fabrics. Creating a contemporary theme which blended throughout the spa, its design was modern, luxurious and timeless.
Welcomed through the light and airy entrance into the reception-cum-café, a friendly team of spa staff directed us to our seats while we waited for our treatments – a Made for Life Mindful Moments Massage and a Hatherley Manor Full Body Massage, both 55 minutes long.
After filling in a short health questionnaire, we were led into a dark corridor lit only by Moroccan-style lanterns, setting the mood for the relaxing treatments to come.
The Made for Life massage – named after the range of organic products stocked and used within the spa – began with a foot ritual and gentle meditation, before moving on to a perfectly pressured massage. Focussing on the back, neck, shoulders and head, this massage really honed in on problem points in my shoulders. While firm enough to feel that knots were really being removed, the focus on the head and neck was a relaxing end to an interesting and unusual treatment, which I’d definitely invest in again. My husband’s full body massage was also incredibly relaxing.
We were able to enjoy the treatments together in the spa’s dual treatment room (pictured above). The dual treatment space was achieved thanks to a clever adjoining door which can be open and closed to create separate treatment rooms when needed; although with a £10 supplement for use, I’m unsure if the opening of a temporary door is worth the additional cost.
We were invited to take a seat in the relaxation room, where cosy lounge-style beds and warm fluffy blankets emblazoned with the spa’s logo cocooned us in comfort.
Following our treatments, we made our way towards the café where we ordered a glass of Prosecco to enjoy in the Spa’s private garden (pictured above). Feeling thoroughly tranquil, we eventually left the cool breeze of the walled-garden for a trip inside the spa to explore the remainder of its facilities.
Offering spa facilities far superior to those you’d expect from a mid-range hotel spa, Hatherley Manor’s spa included a steam room, tepidarium, sauna, heated loungers, ice machine, experience showers, a swimming pool, poolside loungers and perhaps its centrepiece; the vitality pool – a jacuzzi featuring water cannons, volcano pads, and traditional air jets.
The tepidarium (pictured above) offered warm humid air at around 37 degrees. This was a comfortable place to spend time, with lovingly tiled curved benches; an ideal location for those who want the benefits of a warm spa experience, but struggle in the heat of the sauna.
Opposite the tepidarium was the sauna (pictured below). Offering two levels and twinkling lights in the roof. The space was a good size and wasn’t overpowering in its level of heat, allowing us to spend a decent amount of time enjoying its benefits.
Unfortunately, the steam room wasn’t producing any steam during our visit. So, while the room itself was a great size with excellent tiling which oozed quality, we weren’t able to enjoy this facility in full.
In addition, the spa has three heated tiled loungers in the centre of its thermal suite which were in high demand throughout our trip – and it’s clear to see why! Perfectly contoured for a comfortable position, it would have been very easy to fall asleep as the warmth from the tiles penetrated open pores.
We also enjoyed the experience showers in this area. The two showers boast three water and light programmes with names like Polar fog and Tropical Storm. These were great fun and added a fantastic offering not commonly seen in hotel spas in the area.
The pool had a constant depth of 1.2m, perfect for floating around or enjoying a gentle swim. Surrounded by loungers and the infamous vitality pool, the area is a calm space with views overlooking the beautiful spa garden. Utterly tranquil and quiet, it’s no wonder this space was the busiest within the whole spa.
A deep and relaxing jacuzzi, the Vitality Pool at Hatherley Manor hosts a maximum of eight people. Offering volcano jets which bubble up from the floor within the deep standing area; water cannons which drench you from above and a seating area adorned with bubble jets – it’s as striking as it is practical.
The whole Vitality Pool can be controlled by the user, with clearly marked buttons around the edge, allowing you to create the perfect jacuzzi experience.
The spa benefits from five brand-new spa bedrooms, built above the spa. If you’re able to, ensure you request to stay in one of these fabulous rooms to really make the most of your stay.
While these were not available for us to experience on this occasion, we did manage to sneak a peek inside, to see what guests can expect.
Each has a small balcony area with views overlooking the spa (pictured above). The décor is modern and contemporary with wet-room style showers, large beds and premium lighting features.
This high-end finish is certainly what we’d expect to see from a spa break with such a hefty price tag. It’s certainly worth asking to be booked into one of these rooms if you want your hotel stay to reflect the luxury of the spa.
Tuesday 31 July 2018
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