Self-care junkies, do not despair: while the bliss of sinking into a bubbling hot tub with a glass of fizz in hand may feel further away than ever, Belle Bridal is here to tell you that you will get that glow-up getaway… just not right now.
In fact, if anything, the second lockdown gives you the perfect amount of time to research the dreamiest pamper destinations so that you can find the one to suit your indulgence needs.
Whether it’s an engagement staycation, hen weekender or even a minimoon (no airbridges required), there are countless spoiling spas ready to give you the royal treatment when it’s safe again.
And as it’s National Spa Week, there’s no better time to pre-plan that much-needed escape. To help you on your way, here’s Belle Bridal’s pick of the best spas across the country. What are you waiting for? Getting booking babes!
The Garage Spa at The Morritt Hotel
Set against the spectacular landscape of the Durham Dales, this 17th century former coach house hotel and wedding venue on our #guestlist offers breath-taking scenery, a delicious mix of hearty and healthy seasonal dining choices and an array of rustic-luxe accommodation options.
More crucially for your wellness-seeking wedding party though, it’s also home to the award-winning Garage Spa.
In a nod to its name, this boutique bliss-out boasts some auto-themed facilities for a full service, from Tune-Up Rooms (read: specialist hammam, rasul mud and dry flotation suites) and the Car Wash (a four-shower sensory experience) to the Roof Top Cabriolet (a secluded terrace with hot tub) and Paint Shop, where manis and pedis add a final polish.
Add in the shepherd hut saunas, ambient salt relaxation rooms and exhaustive treatment menu (we recommend the Mediterranean Candle massage for brides-to-be seeking a full-body MOT), and it makes for perhaps the most indulgent weekend itinerary.
Our tip? Round up your squad and book The Morritt Hotel’s self-catering Burns Cottage for a couple of days. Sleeping up to 20 guests, it’s the perfect pad for robing up and kicking back with your hens in between spa takeovers.
Star of the spa: Serenity will truly be yours in the Secret Garden, where you can breathe in the fresh countryside air while unwinding in the warm waters of the open-air hot tub, before cosying up on the hammock in front of the crackling fire with a cup of cocoa. It’s the fantasy that’s going to get us through Lockdown 2.0…
The Morritt Hotel & Garage Spa
Greta Bridge, Barnard Castle DL12 9SE
If getting back to nature is on your wellbeing wishlist, North Yorkshire’s Whinstone View is the lovers pamper pitstop for you and your beloved.
Here, another of our #guestlist venues, you can relax Scandi style by checking into a cosy log cabin – think wooden panelling and heaps of hygge – around a series of treat-yourself visits to the on-site spa and Insta-scenic rambles. Why not give your fitbits a workout by taking the Great Ayton Circuit?
While its calm bucolic setting and oasis-like garden hideaway offers peaceful romance, it’s the spa’s jam-packed treatment list is the stuff of a high-maintenance bride-to-be’s dreams – not to mention plenty of facials and massages for him, too.
Hot stone massage, skin peels, waxing, spray tanning and lash extensions are all on the menu, ready to take you from slightly worn-out to absolute worldie in a matter of mere hours.
All that’s left is to toast your mutual glow-ups with some champers in the alfresco hot tub, before glamming up for a candlelit date at the bistro, which offers a refined yet comforting menu of local, seasonal fare alongside a cracking cocktail menu.
Pamper Perks: What really takes this wellness retreat to the next level is the world-class brands used in these sublime treatments: Decleor, Dermaquest, Jessica, Lycon, St Tropez and LVL by Nouveau Lashes. For skincare and beauty addicts, there can be no greater seal of approval.
Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, TS9 6QG
The Health Barn at Askham Hall
An awe-inspiring UNESCO-approved location? A beautiful barn wedding venue? Check. Michelin- starred restaurant? Check. Luxury, period-inspired rooms and suites? Check?
There are so many things to recommend a laidback pre-wedding staycation or post-nuptial minimoon at our Cumbrian #guestlist manor Askham Hall, and that’s before we even get to the wellness temple that is its Health Barn.
If you’re both seeking a health overhaul before your trip down the aisle, this is the one, guys. With expert-led chiropractic care, reflexology treatments, physiotherapy, yin yoga and pilates classes running alongside the classic facial and massage menu, you’re in for a serious makeover, inside and out.
Providing professional perspectives and thoughtful consultation, the two of you will get bespoke treatments tailored to your specific needs.
Set in a thoughtfully updated 18th century barn on the edge of the National Park. Askham Hall’s summer guests are also welcome to enjoy the main house’s Swedish sauna and outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi. Something to look forward to in 2021, right?
Continue the holistic feel by soaking up your surroundings – don your walking boots, scale the fells and take in the sensational natural panoramas together.
But don’t forget that these things are all about balance – book a table for two at Allium, the aforementioned award-winning restaurant, and indulge in a bottle of specially-sourced wine at the estate’s newest addition, The Queen’s Head pub.
Treatment Tip: Want to feel all of that wedmin stress melt away? Kick off your weekend with Chinese fire cupping (trust us, way more relaxing than it sounds) and facial reflexology, which will stimulate your lymphatic system to depuff, detox and destress. You’ll leave totally refreshed and full of big-day energy.
The Health Barn at Askham Hall
Askham, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2PG
Disclaimer: Ellingham Hall doesn’t have a spa. But (and this is a big but), it does have a spa-worthy experience in store for couples canny enough to book the Superior Suite for their big day.
This Northumberland exclusive-use venue is ideal for couples who want to give their guests the weekender wedding experience of their lives, with two nights of celebrations, 17 plush bedrooms spread across a mix of cute cottages and generous feasting opportunities.
So, with all of that spoiling, it’s only right that the hosts with the mostest treat themselves with overnight accommodation fit for royalty. The west-facing suite – situated on the second floor of the winsome country house – boasts a lavish super-king-sized bed, a double-drench walk-in shower and a sumptuous lounging space.
But the star of the Superior Suite is its intimate rooftop deck, complete with dreamy views of the verdant grounds and a hot tub for two.
Just the Two of You: It’s the privacy for us, readers. While there are no massage therapists to knead the knots out of your shoulders or slather your face with premium skincare, there is plenty of peace to unwind as a newlywed couple in your terrace tub – either under the stars once the party’s over, or watching the sunrise before greeting your guests for breakfast. Pop a bottle of bubbly and sink in!
Want a sneak peek? Watch our exclusive #BrideBoxTV tour around Ellingham Hall’s Superior Suite!
Ellingham, Chathill NE67 5EY
01665 568 118
This four-star County Durham retreat has it all: exceptional service, traditional stately features, luxury accommodation for parties of all sizes, exquisite dining and state-of-the-art spa-ing, all nestled within 350 acres of dramatic rural splendour.
There’s a golf course too, if you’re so inclined, but back to the pampering bit: with one of the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pools, a sophisticated thermal suite, outdoor infinity pool, sumptuous treatment suites and a fully tricked-out gym, Ramside Hall is a chill-out proposition unlike any other.
With a treatment list taking in pioneering BIOTEC Elemis facials, transformative Natura Bisse massages, indulgent body wraps, men’s grooming, scrubs, manicures and waxing, there’s something for every guest – and indeed every hen. Our suggestion? Book one of the luxury woodland treehouses for you and your favourite girls.
With three bedrooms, an ultra-modern bathroom, floor-to-ceiling windows and a wrapround balcony complete with sunken hot tub, you’ll have the perfect hub for a weekend of complete bliss.
After a day spent poolside, on a treatment table and taking in the fairway views from your bubbling tub, head back to the main hotel for dinner The Rib Room and drinks at the bar or Clubhouse. Forget the round of golf, this is #winning!
Perfect Package: Fancy a low-key spa day with your mum in the build up to the wedding? Treat yourselves to the Natura Bisse Spa Day with C+C Facial – alongside the luminosity-boosting experience, you’ll enjoy full spa access and brunch or lunch at the Asian cuisine hotspot, Fusion. What better excuse is there for a bit of mother-daughter bonding?
Carrville, Durham, DH1 1TD
0191 386 5282
The Grand, York
Set in the heart of York city centre (mere metres from the train station) this majestic red-brick hotel has been thoughtfully updated to maintain its turn-of-the-century glamour while offering visitors premium modern conveniences.
This is further reflected in The Grand’s heritage suites, which blend old-world elegance and contemporary comforts seamlessly. With its sophisticated restaurant The Rise offering high-end dining with a real flourish and a host of beautiful event spaces, it would make for a super-chic urban wedding reception, as well as couple’s staycation.
The epitome of discreet grandeur, the hotel has many hidden treasures. And none are more perfectly designed than the tranquil spa, tucked away from the hustle and bustle on the basement level.
The dreamily-lit escape comprises a 14-metre swimming pool, a whirlpool, an aromatic steam room, a Nordic dry sauna and of course, a relaxation lounge for propping up with your lover in your fluffy robes and slippers to sip herbal tea. After a day of pounding the historic city’s cobbled streets to take in the sites together, a visit here is the perfect tonic.
Ultimate Upgrade: With that overseas honeymoon on the backburner, why not opt for the VIP treatment closer to home? The Grand’s Grandeur Package (from £1995) includes two nights in a Penthouse Suite, with full breakfast in your room, three-course dinner in The Rise, Champagne afternoon tea, complimentary access to three of York’s top attractions, packing and chauffeur services and of course, a one-hour spoiling treatment and access to all of the spa facilities and gym. Trust us, you’ll want to set aside some time to take in the skyline views from the rolltop bath tub.
The Grand, York
Station Rise, North Yorkshire, YO1 6GD
This rural castle on the outskirts of Peebles in the Scottish Borders is renowned for its warm welcome, magnificent surrounds (a loch and Japanese Water Gardens) and destination spa.
With accommodation choices spread across Stobo Castle and adjacent lodges, mini-breaking couples and girl gangs are spoilt for choice, from the high-octane romance of the ultra-luxe Cashmere Suite with its Italian-made beds, limestone bath and complimentary Bolly and chocolates, to the Standard twin rooms, kitted out with all the essentials needed for a period of ultimate unwinding.
But the spa is what you come for. Steam rooms, Swedish saunas, hot tubs, hydrospa airpads and a swimming pool set against a floor-to-ceiling window offering dramatic Peeblesshire countryside vistas are just the start: there’s also a fully-equipped fitness suite and a Hair Studio for all of your squad’s blow-out needs.
While you might want to spend morning exploring the Borders’ bucolic wonder on the hotel’s provided Kona mountain bikes, or serving in a few sets of tennis sets on the scenic tennis court, the afternoon is for R and R. Boasting Caudalie, Neom and Phytomer treatments, as well as specialist facials, holistic therapies and beautifying manis, pedis and waxing appointments, you can be sure your glow and zen will be restored by the time you check out.
Treatment Tip: Stobo has a whole host of signature pamperings, but we recommend you add a Relaxing Water Massage to the roster that you have booked. With water jets mimicking therapist hand pressure, you’ll have your aches, pains and any pre-wedding tensions soothed by 2,000 litres of warm water in 15 minutes, all without even getting wet. Intrigued? So are we…
Stobo Castle Health Spa
Stobo, Peeblesshire, Scotland EH45 8NY
01721 725 300
A five-star bolthole surrounded by 123 acres of leafy Surrey countryside, Pennyhill Park is a tranquil getaway with all of the little luxuries you could wish for.
Whether you’re checking in to scope out its wedding-venue credentials (the events spaces and catering are to die for), need some couple’s one-on- one time (book a romantic dinner at the Michelin-starred Latymer) or a couple of days of unbridled hun fun (book the Twickenham Suite and make use of the eight-seater Jacuzzi), you’ll leave refreshed and rejuvenated.
And when it comes to the award-winning inside-outside spa, it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit – in the summer months, it has a Mediterranean feel with Jacuzzis and a poolside bar and seating, while there’s a cosy indulgence about winter, with thermal cabins, saunas, experience showers and indoor hot tubs.
Spread across a dizzying 45,000sq ft, you’ll be sure to find your bliss on this winding ritual journey. Just slip on the complimentary flip flops and explore.
But what about the treatment list, I hear you ask? Well, it should come as no surprise that this is full of crowd-pleasing therapies, from radiance restoring Natura Bisse facials and aromatherapy massage to mud experiences for two (one to rope your other half in for) and even lash tinting.
If you’re looking to experiment, add the Oxygen Bubble to your treatment for an extra £10 – you’ll spend the duration of your facial breathing in 99.995% pure oxygen. It brings a whole new meaning to the expression ‘getting some fresh air’.
Health Highlight: A meeting of mind, body and soul, Pennyhill Park has a wraparound vision for wellness, comprising healthy eating, exercise and holistic therapies. If you’re feeling a bit worn out (aren’t we all) by the all the planning and re-planning you’ve had to do lately, a weekend of 360-wellbeing prioritising will bring you back to life.
The Spa at Pennyhill Park
Bagshot, GU19 5EU
King Street Townhouse
An iconic hotel in the heart of Manchester, King Street Townhouse is the ultimate urban wedding venue choice for contemporary-cool couples.
Offering heritage romance with a hipster edge, it’s renowned for its skyline roof terrace photo opportunities and elegant reception spaces. However, it’s also the perfect base from which to enjoy a city break or thrills and spills-packed hen getaway (cocktail nightcaps at the Tavern are an absolute must).
The beautifully decorated rooms range in size from Snug to Suite, with many luxe tech and toiletry details included, but for the Town Hall views alone, we’d book one of the two Suites, which come stocked with ESPA products, walk-in rain shower and a freestanding tub for serene soaking after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.
Beauty comes courtesy of the Saving Grace team, with classic massages (think deep tissue and hot stone therapies) and specialised facial, scalp and feet treatments are also available.
If we were to pick just one though, the Indian head massage would be our bliss-out of choice. And with even more heart- stopping vistas of the city, it’s worth extending your post-pamper chillax in the relaxation room.
Grid Gamechanger: Sure, you’re probably meant to ditch the phone when it comes to the relaxation area, but how can you not upload a shot of your tribe floating in the hotel’s legendary infinity pool with Manchester’s rooftops as a backdrop? Instagram needs this content. #sorrynotsorry