It takes a good five minutes to navigate the driveway that leads from a picture-perfect village to Whittlebury Hall which is entirely down to the surrounding acres of golf course and verdant countryside – not necessarily the first place we would expect to find a Take That tribute band, but that is exactly what the evening had in order for our small group of girly Spabreakers on one of the venue’s regular tribute night spa packages.
A four star venue with 212 rooms, one of the things that is most striking about the hotel is the scale of it – ceilings are high, rooms are big and it has the appearance of a modern building in the style of a rather grand manor house.
The spa at Whittlebury Hall is huge. There is an all-encompassing heat and ice experience complete with aromatherapy crystal steam, caldarium, experience showers, foot spas, hydrotherapy pool, ice cave, roman salt steam, sanarium and tepidarium. Then there is a separate area for the gym and swimming pool which has its own sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi; and to top it all off 23 treatment rooms including a hammam chamber and rasul room, using Elemis products in a wide reaching range of treatments. An entire morning spent steaming, soaking, scrubbing and steaming again in a variety of different temperatures, after our previous night of (ahem) melodic – not to mention, nostalgic -reverie, topped off by a
massage ensured that we were glowing by the time we left.
Ordinarily at Whittlebury Hall, one would head to the Silverstone Bar or Bentley’s for a drink, and AA Rosette restaurant Murray’s for fine dining. On this occasion however, this being a tribute night, the function room was filled with set tables – many of which had been bedecked with Hen Party paraphernalia – the details of which I will let you imagine. The meal was a set three course menu – salmon to start, followed by a chicken dish and finishing with lemon tart and ice cream as well as ample wine, teas and coffees. There was also a vegetarian option for those uninspired by the existing menu, a bar open throughout the evening, and commendably good service given the number of people in attendance.
Well, needless to say, this was the ultimate in nostaligic girly extravaganzas (peppered with the odd husband or boyfriend who seemed to have been brought along predominantly to act as a personal barman). As already mentioned, Whittlebury Hall regularly hosts tribute nights and in perfect honesty we were not entirely sure how that would sit with the otherwise refined environment. Our act of choice was Take That 2, and after a relaxed three course meal including wine, and having our commemorative photograph taken, the group assembled on stage to much applause and an energetic atmosphere pervaded until just short of midnight.
The immediate view and surroundings encompass an abundance of golf course and green fields, but as you emerge from the hotel gates, on one side you go through a sandstone coloured village overflowing with flowers, and around the other side you will find Silverstone racetrack – as we discovered on a 7am jog around the estate – yes, we were surprised that we were up and about at that time on a Saturday as well, but you know – bodies and temples and all that jazz …
Whittlebury Hall as a hotel and as a spa are accessible and welcoming but what they are particularly good at is providing a range of facilities without any pomp and circumstance. It is a fun place to be, an element epitomized in the introduction of their tribute nights – which in our experience was a little tongue-in-cheek and infused with dancing, laughter and amusing photographic souvenirs to take home.
– The spa is popular and does get quite busy, so try to arrive early to use the heat and ice experience and book treatments for the afternoon.
– If friends or family are celebrating a birthday or hen party and are looking for something a little kitsch and a lot of fun – book yourself in for one of the tribute nights.
– Ask for a map at the front desk and go for a stroll (or a jog) to explore the grounds, particularly if the weather is nice!
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