Stoke Park – the best spa in Buckinghamshire?
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While I was being Bridget Jones at Stoke Park hotel the other week (at least Bridget Jones before she went and changed her face forever – Renee, what have you done?!), I spent several deliriously happy hours in the Stoke Park spa.
There was just too much to write about Stoke Park generally to do the spa justice in my last post, so this missive is really to let spa-lovers have a sneaky peek into what’s on offer, because let me tell you, it’s gorrrrrrgeous. As one of life’s natural sifters, never more relaxed than when I’m doing naff all and someone else is massaging my feet or exfoliating me in places I can’t see, I find myself mindlessly floating my life away in many a spa, but this one is really luxurious.
For starters when you go into the reception area there are two Warhol prints on either side of the desk (which I’ve cleverly cut off in the photo *sorrrrrry*), which kind of creates the right frame of mind! And it’s all superspangly and chromy and shiny and professional.
The reception is full of slouchy sofas, a very impressive boutique, no doubt for women like me forget their entire gym kit, and there’s some funky light art, walls of colour that change shape all the time, like a grown up lava lamp.
The spa area itself is separate to the main House but next to the more modern rooms that I think would be brilliant for a girly break as you can just slob from room to treatment and back again! In the spare area there’s a really lovely large indoor heated swimming pool – very light, loads of recliners, and a coooooool 5 metre tropical aquarium built into the wall.
And on the other side of the aquarium is a large atrium where you can watch the fishies, wait for your treatments, relax and chat with a coffee. If you could see a sigh, the room would have been floating with them.
What else? There are Italian marble steam rooms (though these are in the individual changing rooms rather than communal, an element that I think is on the spa to-do list to fix), a nail bar and indoor tennis courts, plus a deep relaxation room which basically meant a dark room with beds where you could go for a snooze if you felt like it. (yup, I did).
And also there’s a whopping great big gym, with a new hot yoga room. You can use the gym and do all the classes for free if you’re having a spa day there, so it’s actually very good value. Also, if you have little kids, there’s a creche in operation from 9-12pm, after which you can take your kids for lunch at the onsite Marco Polo restaurant (you’ll have to pay or their meals but your own lunch will be credited £12.50 because you’re not eating your 2 course spa meal that is part of the £115 spa day fee.
So the treatments. Well look, you can only reinvent the loofah so far, but Stoke Park does offer a whole load of great Thalgo treatments, not least the excellent Thalgo Polynesia Spa Ritual (£160), an hour and 15 minutes of foot bath body scrubbing, massage and general oiling. I was rather attracted to the idea of having a body scrub with white sand from Bora Bora, because it sounds both utterly ridiculous and wonderfully indulgent (sand from Blackpool not having quite the same ring to it).
The treatment rooms are plush and sensitively lit, the therapist did a fantastic job and was a grown up rather than 18 and straight out of beauty college, so all good there, but I think what really set this spa apart was that I felt really cared for – the customer service is excellent, with the front desk friendly (and they could have been snooty coudn’t they), the therapists helpful. Nothing was too much to ask, everything was sorted quickly. I’m coming back with my mum in the New Year for the Winter Warmer retreat – £135 for two (yes two!!) 55 minute treatments, a 2 course healthy lunch and unlimited use of the gym and spa facilities which I think is amazing value.
See you in the slouchy sofas by the aquarium!
Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Bucks, SL2 4PG. stokepark.com