Come in, the water’s fine

Holly Heywood lies back and thinks of nothing in particular at Ardencote Spa.

There is no doubt that we are living in challenging times. As a result, treats such as a book or a hot chocolate become even more appreciated. And it is with this sense of appreciation that we were delighted to receive an invitation to try the Spa at Ardencote.

Ardencote itself is a hotel, golf course, spa and wedding venue in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside. Close to the beautiful Claverdon Common, the hotel enjoys a serene and quiet location, ideal to experience the relaxation of the Spa.

Rated as a commendable 5 Bubble Spa, the treatment rooms and the various other components of the Spa show the priority given to investment in these facilities during their £1.5 million redevelopment. Our welcome included a tour of the various rooms, containing all the choices you would expect to find in a destination spa. In addition to indoor and outdoor pools (the latter having been in use on the rainy day before our November visit, according to the guide for the spa tour), there are plenty of other spots to discover within the Spa. In fact, there is so much to do that it is not difficult to fill the full day of your experience.

The Aromatherapy Steam Room breathed clouds of beautifully fragrant air from the moment the door was opened, and the Himalayan Salt Sauna also felt to be cleansing both inside and outside, encouraging deep breathing and relaxation. The outdoor hot tub and the foot spa appeared particularly popular with guests, as did the tepidarium, a way to restore your body temperature after other thermal spa experiences. I was not quite brave enough to try the ice fountain, although there were many days this summer when I imagine it to have been a blissful experience.

I also had the pleasure of experiencing the Tribe 517 Peaceful Purity Spa Facial during the day. I was not familiar with this particular product range, but loved the effect on my skin. Treatment rooms are upstairs, creating a peaceful sanctuary in which to enjoy your time to the full. Many hours later, my skin is still appreciating the essential oils and cocoa butter used during the treatment; in fact, I don’t think my skin has been this smooth for several decades, despite spa treatments elsewhere. I can’t recommend this highly enough. The treatment card promised this would help me “melt into a stupor” and I can’t fault the accuracy of this statement.

Lunch is served in the Brasserie, where the light menu covers a condensed and well-chosen selection. My Cajun vegetable burger came with a salad and root vegetable fries, plus a fine spicy relish. It was the perfect balance of being suitably substantial if working out in the gym or pool, but light enough not to feel bloated during treatments. Lamb kofta was also a well balanced dish nicely balancing texture and spice. The coffee was wonderfully high octane, ensuring that I did not fall asleep during my treatment. Another spa guest was certainly struggling to stay awake after her visit to the treatment rooms, perfectly illustrating the relaxation on offer there.

There are some nice touches at the Spa. In addition to the obligatory fluffy robes and towels, plus water stations, the products throughout are Elemis, making for beautifully relaxing showering and handwashing. There were also plenty of spots to linger, from the relaxation lounges to the Brasserie’s bar and further hotel lounges. At the start of the day, I wondered how I might slow down enough to fill my time, but in truth I had to be peeled gently from my final Spa activities. When asked about my experience of the day, I could only explain it in these terms: “I look vertical, but I’m horizontal”. And sometimes that’s exactly what we all need.

Our Spa Day and treatment was gifted by Ardencote. Opinions are, as always, our own.