Orton Hall appears out of nowhere, and when you drive through the entrance you are surrounded by trees that lead up to this historic, 17th century manor house that was once the home of the Marquis of Huntly. Between the architecture and the location, there is a real sense of magic and mystery, you almost feel as though you are approaching the world of Harry Potter.
The hotel itself combines the original building with contemporary extensions from recent years. Many original features have been retained, giving a Gothic vibe that’s almost ecclesiastical in parts. There are lots of alcoves and corridors leading to the different parts of the hotel adding to that sense of cosiness and escapism, particularly in the winter.
The Imagine spa by contrast, is very modern. It’s light and airy, and interiors are fresh. It is divided into two parts, with the leisure facilities (pool, sauna, steam room) on one side, and the spa area on the other, where there is a small spa café, which is a lovely place to sit in your robe and have lunch, a relaxation area overlooking the pool, and a large, white, open space for manicures and pedicures, which is a sociable area to have your nails done and have a girly chat at the same time. There are treatment rooms as well, and this is the part of the hotel that shines the brightest because the therapists really tailor the experience to you with an in-depth consultation, and Babor products derived from plant extracts – the facials in particular were a favourite on our visit.
As you enter the grounds there is a traditional pub, The Ramblewood Inn, which is the place to go if you are looking for a hearty meal after a walk around the grounds. Breakfast and evening meals are served in the hotel’s AA Rosette awarded main restaurant, named after the original owners – Huntly Restaurant. For anyone visiting on a spa break however, light lunches are available in the spa café in the form of salads, sandwiches, and lots of herbal tea!
Just outside Peterborough, in the village of Orton, you reach Orton Hall via lots of narrow country roads. It’s out of the way and feels quite secluded, not least of all because it is in 20 acres of conservation parkland, which adds to its character and the sense of escapism. Of course, as a result of that, you definitely need a car to get there.
It’s a great destination for small groups of girls, or mother and daughter breaks, particularly given the manicure and pedicure area, which as we have said, is very sociable. The key thing here is the service, which is impeccable in all areas of the hotel.
– You need to book in advance with this venue; it’s seriously popular, so plan ahead!
– They offer little pots of Moroccan oil to buy, and they recommend you put it in your hair before a stint in the sauna or steam room to boost its condition – it’s definitely an experience worth trying.
– If you are looking to have your nails done, opt for GELeration – it lasts a really long time, and you can take the nail colour home with you at no extra cost.
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