Five star spa
If ever there’s a time for a spa day I think we are now officially approaching it. Tans have faded, the weather has turned, it still feels like ages until the long Christmas break comes (and is it even a break?!), and before then there’s a whole load of partying, ferrying kids, working and general life survival to deal with.
I’ve been digging around for good spa deals because it’s always fun to try somewhere new, but the luxury likes of Dormy House and Calcot Manor can’t come close to Stoke Park spa in Stoke Poges at the moment on the facilities and value for money. To give you an idea, a Dormy House spa day is currently £250, and one at Calcot Manor is £150 for use of the facilities, 2 treatments and a 2 course lunch.
Now check this baby out. Stoke Park’s Autumn Glow Spa Retreat is £145 with a 9am arrival if you’re that organised, and you can use the swimming pool, outdoor hottub, sauna, gym (and I’m telling you, it’s a whopper), go to any classes you like (for free!), play tennis subject to availalbilty of the 11 courts (for free!), have a 2 course lunch AND get two 55 minute treatments. Yes, seriously!
And by the way, if you’ve never been to Stoke Park, it ‘s fancy pantsy – a 5 star hotel and country club, and voted one of the four best spas in the world by Vanity Fair. It also happens to be 40 minutes from where I live in a stroke of supergood luck, but actually I’d travel a good while longer to come here – so even if you’re reading this in Banbury or Buckingham, don’t discount it. I think most of us are happy to drive a good hour or more to reach spa heaven, aren’t we?
Anyway, having discovered that Stoke Park was still my best option, I booked in a few weeks back with my friend Katie on a weekday, checking in my brain cells on arrival and concentrating instead on lolling about in cosy white robes; sighing deeply (a lot) ; peering at the fish in the 5 metre aquarium linking the pool to relaxation room; swimming a bit (if lying on your back in the pool doing the starfish counts) and planting myself in the jacussi mindlessly watching the bubbles. Pretty much spa heaven.
As far as treatments go, you’ll be pleased and probably not surprised to know that therapy rooms are stylishly appointed – kind of womb-like really, all dimmed lights, cosy and emitting those odd whale-like sounds peculiar to relaxation CDs. My aromatherapy massage was a real de-stresser, the undoubted benefits of which lasted until I received a text from Mr Muddy who had double booked himself and was no longer able to pick the midgets up from school for me. GRRRRR.
Had I stayed on for another few hours, I would have definitely used the gym and booked in for a class.If you’re a gym bunny this is really worth knowing about, because the Stokey gym is really very impressive – a 4,000 sq ft whopper with state-of-the-art Star Trac equipment, Boditrax and a Running Unlimited immersive pod. There are 40 studio classes every week including yoga, Hitt and studio cycling so maybe check out the studio schedule and book your spa day accordingly.
This offer is available all through Autumn and Winter, so treat yourself. Just play it smarter than me and double check your childcare arrangements before you go!
Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Bucks SL2 4PG. Tel: 01753 717171. stokepark.com