After weeks of long work days and too-short weekends, I was ready to get away for a couple of days for a luxury spa break. My husband and I drove from London to Rudding Park in Harrogate. I received a generous offer from the hotel to stay one complimentary night in a spa room, with access to a full day’s spa facilities and couldn’t wait to indulge.
Rudding Park, located just outside the spa town of Harrogate is a luxurious hotel boasting 90 bedrooms, 18-hole golf course, two restaurants and a state of the art rooftop spa with garden. Harrogate known as the English spa town has been the preferred destination for tourists to enjoy the Sulphur waters from wells which have healing properties. Staying true to its origins the hotel’s spa water comes from the natural spring.
We arrived around mid-day and was greeted by their friendly staff who offered to take our bags and check us in. After the check-in formalities, we were escorted to our spa room. Our ground floor room opened to the gardens outside, giving the impression that you are truly in a garden. The modern furnishings, monogrammed pillows and an unbelievably comfortable super king bed was tempting enough to make us stay in the room the whole day. The private steam room/shower room, flat screen tv, Molton Brown products accentuate the brass-tiled bathroom.
Once I got my bearings, I headed straight to the spa to meet the spa manager for our welcome tour. Rudding Park’s rooftop spa and the garden has several unique features, hydrotherapy infinity pool, such as luxury steam rooms, an ice fountain, a mud rasul, a juniper log sauna and heated relaxation beds called Evo Loungers. There is also a bucket shower and indoor swimming pool.
An innovative concept that the hotel has employed are Mind and Sense Zones located on the lower floor next to the treatment rooms. These rooms focus on different senses, such as visual, audio and mind to enhance overall wellness. The Visual room was my favourite, where I sat comfortably in front of a screen and the scenes of wildflower meadows, divine mountainscapes and lapping waves lulled me into complete peacefulness. The Relax room was a dark room with comfortable beds where you can completely switch off and take a nap. The Audio area has little booths where you can borrow iPods from the spa reception and listen to calming music. The Mind area has puzzles, books and games to help you unwind from the daily grind.
After spending most of my time in the visual room, we headed to the hotel’s Horto café which came with glowing recommendations. We had a two-course lunch at the chef-run Horto café. I skipped the starter, but my husband ordered the soup of the day, sweet potato soup, served with focaccia bread. We both ordered the cod, roasted to perfection with onion crumb. The patatas bravas was superb as was the chorizo. The red pepper fondue melted in our mouths. A lot of the herbs and vegetables used in the dishes come from the kitchen’s award-winning garden. It all tasted fresh, delicious and left us full and satisfied. For dessert, we just ordered one and shared. A cornflake pannacotta with cornflake clusters, and raspberry sorbet.
It was time to head back to the spa after the delicious lunch, so I quickly changed into my bathing suit in the changing rooms. I must mention the changing rooms were immaculate with full-size beauty products, Dyson hair dryers, lockers with key cards, bathrobes, slippers and towels- everything you would expect from a luxury spa.
I spent most of the afternoon alternating between the luxury steam rooms and the outdoor infinity pool. The pool was very warm, around 40- degree Celsius and very uncommon for pools to be that warm in the UK. My husband enjoyed the steam rooms, sauna, foot spa and the pool. He even fell asleep in the Relax room in the Mind and Sense Zone!
In the evening, I went into the treatment area for my spa treatment. The treatment rooms have a moody ambience with the air filled with relaxing scents. The 50- minute Thermal Detox Wrap began with a quick foot-bathing ritual and consultation. After the consultation, I laid down on to the most relaxing heated bed ever, and the therapist started brushed my body with a body brush to boost the blood circulation and shed dead skin cells. After the body brushing procedure I was massaged gently with aromatic oil and then wrapped in thermal clay. While I was cocooned in thermal clay, the therapist moved on to massage my foot and scalp. The treatment left my skin fresh and renewed. Post-treatment I was offered a drink and encouraged to relax in the Mind and Sense zone.
Feeling refreshed again, I headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. Having spent the whole day at the spa, I had worked up an appetite and was looking forward to dinner at The Horto Restaurant. Horto Cafe becomes a contemporary fine dining restaurant at night. The restaurant had an 8-course tasting menu based on locally sourced ingredients. However, we opted for the Ala Carte menu; I had the Whitby crab pea and wasabi. My husband had the Yorkshire Wagyu pickled girolle and truffle. To finish off, we shared a Rhubarb coconut, Woodruff. The relaxed setting and modern presentation of food rounded out our day perfectly.
The next morning before checking out we had breakfast at the Clocktower restaurant. It was a buffet and a la carte with traditional English specialities. I had smashed avocado with eggs, while my husband went for the full English breakfast. Here it was also a relaxed atmosphere with fresh food and many modern options.
Afterwards, we walked around the estate which exudes glamour and heritage, and explored the kitchen garden, before checking out of our delightful spa stay.