The Cotswolds are known for being amongst the most beautiful parts of the UK, and are also home to the good and the great from Prince Charles to Liz Hurley … but the luxury postcode doesn’t always mean breaking the bank for a little pampering … as Vicky Benning found out at The Cheltenham Chase Hotel!
Despite the name, The Cheltenham Chase Hotel is actually six miles from Cheltenham itself, surrounded by the verdant Cotswold countryside … the perfect backdrop for a little time out!
Part of the Q Hotels group, this is a contemporary building with modern interiors, characterised inside by open plan spaces. There are 122 rooms – standard, twin rooms, suites and Q Star rooms which have a separate lounge area and are particularly good for families and groups. There is a separate entrance to the spa so if you are a day guest you don’t have to do through the hotel, however it is connected so if you are staying overnight you still don’t have to go outside to get to the leisure facilities.
There is a range of leisure facilities in the spa including a pool, sauna, steam room, experience shower, and hot tub, but where it really comes into its own is in the relaxation area – which is incredibly peaceful, and in the treatment rooms. The spa area has a boutique vibe – in terms of its size, but more importantly when it comes to the treatments themselves which have been really carefully considered. Unique to Q Hotels are the Q Rituals which allow you to split 50 minutes of allocated time across two treatments if you wish – which is great if you are a first-time spa goer, or if you are a little indecisive as to what you want – I opted for a foot ritual and a facial, and the combination of the two meant I was incredibly relaxed by the end!
Where the rest of the hotel is very cosy (note the log fire in the bar area), Hardy’s Restaurant – with its glass front looking out onto the gardens, a children’s play area, the terrace (perfect for alfresco lunches and drinks in the summer) and green fields beyond is a light, uplifting environment. I could wax lyrical about the food – particularly the spa lunches in which two courses are served on a platter inspired by the land, sea and earth – but I will leave it at that and let you discover the rest for yourself.
The overriding impression of the surrounding area is that it’s very green … providing the dominant vista from the hotel and spa. Of course nearby Cheltenham is known for its regency fronted streets and proliferation of boutique shops, and within driving distance is a plenitude of other attractions including Berkeley Castle.
The hotel’s crowning glory is the spa area, which is small but personal – the treatments are wonderful and time has really been taken to make sure they cater to the individual, and the staff, who are extremely friendly and helpful, are a credit to the venue.
– Opt for a foot ritual as one of your treatments – one of the girls I went with was so chilled out she fell asleep and woke herself up with her own snoring!
– Make sure you have a spa lunch as part of your day – we were almost as excited about the food as we were about the treatments!
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