I’ve just returned from a weekend away to Rudding Park in Harrogate. Every New Year I try to book a spa break to beat away the January blues… Rudding Park did just the trick.
It’s a beautiful hotel set in 300 acres of parkland with 88 bedrooms and lodges for families. It also has a luxury spa and golf course as well as it’s own Victorian Gothic chapel which hosts weddings.
The interior is beautifully designed. One of the most striking rooms is the Library, a quiet but colourful room with a hanging egg chair as the centrepiece. The bar area and Clocktower restaurant, set partly in a conservatory with a large olive tree taking centre stage, are both bright and contemporary. The food is on the pricey side, as are the drinks, but it’s all locally sourced, quality ingredients which are absolutely delicious.
Source: Rudding Park Hotel
For accommodation, there are two choices of rooms mixing the old with the new. The Ribston wing has the more traditional rooms which are slightly smaller and therefore a cheaper alternative to the newer Follifoot wing, which has large stylish rooms. Both are luxurious, comfortable and spotlessly clean.
Having previously stayed at the hotel, I prefer the Follifoot rooms due to the larger bathrooms as well as the heating system (as I find the rooms in the Ribston Wing to be a touch too warm at night). When I mentioned this to the hotel I was told that the Ribston rooms are currently undergoing a staged renovation program to bring them in line with the rest of the hotel rooms.
The service at the hotel is fantastic. The staff consistently go that extra mile, including running outside with an umbrella as we arrived in the pouring Yorkshire rain and the nightly turndown service, to replenish drinks and snacks in the room and a small gift being left on the bed for guests (in our case a wooden ladybird massager).
Wifi is free of charge as well as daily newspapers delivered to the room. Guests also have the facility to record their favourite TV programmes if they fancy a quiet night in with room service. We didn’t use this feature as we were offered the use of the hotel’s private cinema to watch a film of our choice. It’s a 14 seat luxury cinema which is offered to guests on a first come, first serve basis. Luckily for us it was available the evening we stayed and within a few minutes of us booking it we were sat in the cinema watching The Holiday with some complementary popcorn while our waiter fetched us a bottle of wine to hunker down for the night. We were in absolute heaven.
The following morning after a hearty full English breakfast, we popped along to the spa for some pampering. The spa consists of four treatment rooms including a hammam and a steam room, although a little birdie told me that the hotel is currently building a larger spa in the grounds along with a swimming pool. This is expected to open sometime in 2017.
At the spa, I opted for a Foot Reflex Heaven which was £48.00*; a 40 minute treatment which began with a spicy foot scrub followed by a sandalwood and vetiver oil foot massage “to leave you centred and serene”.
My friend had the Nourish and Relax Massage which is a 90 minute treatment costing £115.00* which includes a salt and coffee bean body exfoliation and a coconut and vanilla oil massage.
After our amazing treatments we were served tea in the relaxation room feeling totally pampered and utterly spoilt. Unlike some luxury spas, we both agreed that Rudding Park’s spa is probably the most relaxing and unpretentious. Neither of us wanted to leave and seriously considered hiding away in the spa so that we could stay another night undetected.
It’s not difficult to see why the hotel is frequently voted as one of the best in the UK and why it has played host to Bill Clinton, George Bush, Desmond Tutu and Prince Albert of Monaco to name but a few. It’s a firm favourite of mine and I’ll be sure to return again soon.
*Prices are slightly higher than those stated if visiting Friday to Sunday.
Cocktail Saturdays was a B&B guest of Rudding Park but all Spa treatments were paid for by us as well as evening food and drinks.