For the Sybaritic Spa Goer
Late on a cold but clear winter’s afternoon there is nowhere I would rather be than steaming myself in Limewood’s deliciously hot outdoor pool. Raw green juice in one hand, a good book in the other and three of my best girlfriends surrounding me. This is what it feels like to be utterly relaxed. And yet just less than two hours ago I was immersed in the hectic hustle and bustle of London complete with traffic jam, work worries and a never-ending stream of emails on my mobile. But the moment I step over the threshold of Limewood’s impressive front door (it’s Regent exterior is both beautiful and imposing) I seem to be able to check in all the city stress with my baggage. Not my first visit to Limewood (I discovered this gem of a hotel back in spring) I head straight for the spa where every minute detail has been thought of. Fresh robe and flip flops waiting in each and every locker, bottles of water dotted around so that you never go thirsty, which is important when you while away the time yo-yoing between the sauna and steam room, and enough water jets, rain showers and hot stone beds to keep you amused for hours. If it is a treatment you’re after then you can take your pick from some of the best organic brands around. Then, once all that spa-ing has worked up quite an appetite (and we assure you it will) head over to the hotel’s famous Raw & Cured restaurant where the food is not just delicious but incredibly healthy too. We opt for, and consequently devour, a sharing board, which has three nutritious homemade dips; beetroot; sweet potato and sweet corn (my fave) and hummus. Washed down with a few more fresh juices and then followed by a dairy-free, wheat-free melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownie… I still have dreams about that brownie.
If you can tear yourself away from the hotel’s sumptuous spa you’ll also discover its beautiful surroundings. Set amidst the New Forrest National Park, Limewood Hotel is a destination in itself. Wild ponies on the hotel’s doorstep, undulating hills unfolding at every turn and next door to a beautiful forest crisscrossed by cycle paths and meandering streams. A word on the rooms too – designed with comfort and style in mind, they are the archetypal home-away-from-home. We have a new saying amongst my group of girls ‘LBL’ which stands for Life Before Limewood, because after you stay here, your standards somewhat shift to a new level of luxury perhaps not experienced before.
Hip & Healthy Loves – The Pai Facial. You can’t get one anywhere else.
Coworth Park Hotel
Best For the Elegant Luxe Lover
Set in 240 acres of stunning parkland in Ascot, this magnificent country house is every bit luxurious. It mixes traditional country house style with modern textures and a palate or gorgeous neutral colours. The Mansion House rooms offer views over the woodlands with a Georgian charm while the Stable rooms (where I was lucky enough to stay) provide the perfect cosy, country feel with views over the courtyards manicured gardens. First on my to-do list was to head to the spa. I spent the most relaxing hour of my life in a spacious, airy top floor treatment room with a view to die for! Indulging yourself with a massage at Coworth Park is a must! I particularly loved my view from the cross trainer too. Floor to ceiling glass windows over looking beautiful green pastures? Yes please! I could have worked out all day! Staying on the ground floor is the indoor swimming pool with under water music…how cool is that? If you’re feeling peckish, grab a bite to eat in the Spatisserie where you’ll find breath-taking views over the hotel’s very own polo fields. Or if you fancy something lighter, sip away at one of their homemade smoothies in the relaxation room before grabbing a chauffeured golf buggy back to your room! It’s a tough life! As night falls, I would highly recommend spending your evening in The Barn where you can observe the chefs at work. Tuck in to some unbelievably delicious home grown country food while you keep warm by the open log fire. No ask is too big for Coworth Park and every person working there gives 100% effort to make your stay as pleasurable as possible. I challenge you not to fall head over heals in love with this charming hotel.
H&H Loves – The copper roll top baths! Request a room with one of these divine tubs and soak the night away covered in bubbles!
For the Sumptuous Eco Couple
Cornwall – England’s coastal heaven, is a destination not to be missed. A weekend in this utterly exquisite part of the country would not be complete without The Scarlet Hotel. A romantic weekend away in this gorgeous eco-hotel also wouldn’t be complete without my other half tagging along too – it didn’t take him a second to agree to accompany me! After a lovely scenic train journey we arrived at the Scarlet late afternoon. We were shown to our “Just Right” room, which was more than just right! Our bed faced the most stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean I think I’ve ever seen. We immediately stepped out on to our balcony to take it all in…inhaling the fresh, sea air and exhaling any reminders of the chaotic London life we left behind. After an impromptu evening swim in the indoor pool we made our way to their restaurant, where the menus are created on the day using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Back to the room, we decided to rent Eat, Pray, Love from the Hotel’s own DVD library (how very H&H!) but someone next to me fell asleep 15 minutes in so that didn’t quite happen! Men!
The next day we experienced The Scarlet’s most famous treatment, the cliff top hot tub. A 30-minute session in an outdoor hot tub over looking distant crashing waves and beautiful, green cliff tops, should definitely be top of your list. It’s a pinch-yourself kind of moment where you are reminded of just how beautiful the world is. It was by far the most breath-taking treatment I have ever had. This place oozes magnificence and beauty but without costing the planet. Let me tell you now, there is simply not enough space to explain every eco-friendly feature because I would be here forever! But boy have they thought of everything!! One of my favourites is their natural outdoor pool. It uses a living reed bed as a filtration system. Microorganisms and plants balance the chemistry of the water ensuring clean, clear and hygienic conditions for a close-to-nature swimming experience. They also collect rainwater to wash cars and to provide rinsing and washing facilities for wetsuits if you’ve gone surfing, or dirty wellington boots for those who love muddy winter hikes. This hotel’s challenge was to be luxurious without costing the planet. It certainly does that. Sustainable never felt so sumptuous.
H&H loves – Jasper, the hotel’s dog. Going for a walk? Take Jasper along too.