On Sunday, James and I took a little drive into the North Yorkshire countryside to visit the brand new spa at Rudding Park country house hotel. Situated in the rolling hills and lush greenery of the Yorkshire countryside near Harrogate, Rudding Park is a Grade 1 listed regency house set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and surrounding woodland. It has two golf courses, a private cinema and is such a beautiful hotel that it’s a favourite choice for many, many weddings! It’s easy to see why when you turn up the tree-lined entrance toward the hotel and the magnificent building of the new spa.
The moment you walk into the spa, you’re greeted with modern, minimalist luxury. We were whisked through the gleaming reception towards the exclusive spa restaurant Horto for a welcome drink and snack. I opted for overnight oats with fresh berries, whilst James chose a chocolate brownie that was absolutely sumptuous. We nibbled on our appetisers and sipped our deliciously refreshing iced earl grey tea before being whisked off for a tour of the spa and its facilities.
We were absolutely in awe of the sheer scale of the building. Set across three floors with a large swimming pool, steam rooms, panoramic saunas and a rooftop relaxation garden, it’s hard to not be completely blown away by how impressive the facilities are. Everything, from the Villeroy and Boch sinks in the bathrooms to the rose gold shimmer tiles at the ice fountains are of exquisite quality.
The spa is elegant, peaceful and ultra-luxurious with many of the state-of-the-art facilities being the first of their kind in the north of England. There are two saunas, one in the main spa building and the other, a little log cabin nestled in the rooftop gardens. The floor to ceiling windows make the saunas feel light and spacious and offer panoramic views of the outside world for you to lazily watch from your heated vantage point.
Space and light are definitely a major feature of the spa here, whereas the spa which preceded it was very much dark and contained. For me the rooftop garden was an absolute delight, especially as we were lucky enough to experience it on a beautiful British summer day. I genuinely felt like I’d been transported to a luxury Californian retreat as we lay out in the warmth, the sun dappling our cheeks.
Soon enough it was time for lunch, so we headed down to the Horto spa restaurant. ‘Horto’ is the latin for ‘garden’, if I remember rightly from my Year 8 latin class (If you get that Caecilius reference, please, please comment below!) and the fresh ingredients and simple, yet artistic presentation of the cuisine is certainly reminiscent of an English country garden.
As part of the spa experience, you can choose two courses from the lunch menu, which offers a healthy and indulgent choice of interesting sandwiches and salads. James opted for a small starter of poached egg, bacon and crisped polenta – an absolutely incredible starter that we both highly recommend you try on your visit.
For our mains, I chose a halloumi and lentil salad whilst James opted for a smoked salmon salad with peas and creme fraiche. Both are light, nourishing and incredibly moreish, yet don’t leave you feeling stuffed or unhealthy afterwards. It always baffles me how some spa menus offer burgers and carb-heavy meals that often make you feel more sluggish than when you arrived! Luckily, Horto understands the concept that healthy doesn’t mean boring and bland, which made the lunch there an absolute delight.
After lunch, we had some time to digest our meals and went for a little nap on the reclining massage chairs overlooking the grounds of Rudding. There are lots of little nooks and hideaways to escape to for some peace and tranquility. Even though the spa never felt busy or too crowded, it’s lovely to find privacy in so many relaxation areas of the spa.
One of my favourite facilities here at the spa is the outdoor infinity pool. You enter this by descending the pool steps inside and swim out through retracting glass doors into the warm turquoise waters with blue skies and majestic trees overhead. The pool has many hydrotherapy features, with jets to massage your back, feet and neck as well as under water lounge seats to relax in.
I then went to experience a Vitality treatment; a 50 minute treatment that combines a sensual oil body scrub and hot stone massage. The oil is chosen for you based on your current mood and what your hoping to achieve at the spa. For me, I was looking to unwind and was treated with the most beautiful lavender smelling oil scrub. The attentive therapists also make sure to understand what type of pressure you like best for your massage and whether you want to make conversation during your treatment. I opted for a medium-deep pressure and no conversation, as by my track-record of spa days, I’m usually asleep halfway through the relaxing treatment anyway!
The hot stone massage was definitely a highlight for me, and my therapist, Alice was excellent at coaxing all the little knots out of my neck and shoulders. After my treatment, I made my way to the relaxation areas which consist of four mind and senses rooms including a sleep zone, audio relaxation zone and visual relaxation room complete with a giant basket swing for you to cocoon in.
After another sleep in the relaxation rooms (We literally had three naps throughout the day, but honestly, it could not be helped, we were just so relaxed!), we went back to the rooftop for some time in the cabin sauna and outdoor hot tub where you can order drinks to, whether that’s a healthy smoothie or celebratory bottle of champagne.
After seeing the fantastic press that Rudding Park’s new spa was getting, I had high hopes for my experience here. Everything about my day here not only lived up to expectations, it exceeded them. From the friendly welcome, to the incredible food and blissful treatments, the spa is without a doubt the best I have visited in the UK. The spa is clean, modern and luxurious and every guest is made to feel special and looked after. The roof top garden really is extra special and helps you to come away from your experience at Rudding Park feeling invigorated, relaxed and blissfully content.
To watch my video from Rudding Park, head to my Youtube or take a peek here!
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For more information on Rudding Park, visit their website here.