Cowley Manor's offering is a rite of passage for spa-goers. Nestled in the Cotwolds, the country house is a home away from home. Wellies line the doorway – should you wish to take a walk in the 55-acre land that surrounds the hotel, while the Sitting Room has a supply of board games and daily papers if relaxation is high on your agenda.
The hotel blends the traditional with the contemporary in its design. And it doesn’t get much more modern than the spa where floor to ceiling windows set the two swimming pools, one inside and one outside, apart. Heated all year, you can take a dip outside on a sunny day and feel as if you’re abroad.
Green & Spring are the beauty brand used in the treatments and one that was born out of the C.Side spa here. The Green & Spring Deep Tissue Massage, £75 for 60 min, was incredibly relaxing and eased away the stress I’d bought with me from London so I could truly unwind. What’s unique is that the soundtrack to your treatment is chosen by you, from a menu of albums on offer; I chose Emile Sande (not a whale or pan pipe in ear shot). Should you wish to book in for a mani/pedi Essie is the brand on offer.
The only downside is that post treatment there is no relaxation room besides seating in the spa reception and the indoor pool area, which if there are children or it’s at a peak time isn’t all that relaxing. But if you’re staying at the hotel the rooms more than make up for it with all the home comforts you would expect.
The Restaurant at Cowley Manor is a real treat and the menu is traditional British with a contemporary twist. Think grilled mackerel with polenta, courgette flowers with ratatouille and blueberry and almond tart.
Before you leave take a look in The Hambledon, the onsite shop, stocking designers like Markus Lupfer, J Brand; Green & Spring’s range and a selection of eclectic homeware and gifts.
Best for: a romantic getaway
Prices: start at £195 p/night and C.Side spa treatments start at £30 for a mini mani.