You only need to look at a photo of Rudding Park to realise that it’s an incredibly special place to go, but to visit is to experience excellence in every way shape and form.
A luxury spa hotel in North Yorkshire, Rudding Park is a magnificent estate just outside Harrogate and honouring all the beautiful traditions of the area’s genteel past as well as the promises of contemporary hospitality excellence. Set in 300 acres of parkland, the Grade one listed property has been enhanced to include a contemporary hotel wing and, most recently, a spa that raises the bar for luxury wellbeing experiences in the region.
There are a million reasons to love Rudding Park but to whet your appetite, here are 10…
Yorkshire is a spectacularly beautiful county in general, but Rudding Park really takes the biscuit. In a 300 acre estate it includes two of its own golf courses where, if you’re lucky, you might see roaming deer in the early morning light. I took myself off for a jog along one of (several) routes around the grounds on a brisk and sunny morning and it was the most beautiful experience.
While the hotel is constructed around a historic property, the majority of the hotel itself, including the accommodation is in a purpose built, contemporary wing. Designed in keeping with the main Regency building, it has the benefit of historic style with the comfort of a contemporary hotel. Rooms are beautifully designed from the underfloor heating in the bathrooms to the capacious beds, the stylish writing desk to the private outdoor terrace area complete with table and chairs, and the well stocked tea, coffee and biscuit situation. They also make sure all amenities are in the room from an iron and ironing board to hairdryers and of course, Molton Brown toiletries.
The spa is set over three floors with treatments on one level, the leisure facilities including a beautiful pool on another, and the rooftop spa on, well, the rooftop. In its own purpose-built building, it is a space dedicated to natural light with enormous windows and contemporary design. Horto, one of the restaurants, is located there so you can eat and drink in your robe and slippers, and it’s all conveniently located across a small patio area from the rooms, so you can stroll over in your robe without a care in the world. The journey and the experience are all exemplary and well thought out.
This really is is the piece de resistance in terms of the spa. A space that combines indoor and outdoor experiences. It’s got a vast array of facilities including multiple saunas and steam rooms. Several of them have exceptional views and let the sunlight in, which is an experience in itself.
Steam rooms use herbs from the gardens to provide an aromatherapy experience. You’re welcome to quaff Champagne (delivered to you) in the infinity pool. And time will absolutely melt away while you’re here without you realising it. It’s adult only, it’s romantic, it’s luxurious and it’s wellbeing all in one place. It’s also like nowhere you’ve ever been before.
Deserving a mention in their own right are some of the choice facilities in the spa. Rudding Park have been careful to add experiences that really add to the wellbeing journey. In particular, the oxygen pod and sunlight therapy room, which both need to be experienced to really be understood.
The staff at Rudding Park could not be nicer and absolutely pay attention to the details. Roughly 15 minutes after getting to your room a friendly voice will phone through from reception to check that you are OK and have everything you need. A concierge will come and take your bags from you before you even reach the door of the hotel. There’s a real ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude whilst also being delightfully warm and welcoming.
There are two restaurants to choose from. Horto in the spa is a glass-surrounded cafe area where breakfast is a la carte and completely superb. It is the more contemporary option and is just a delight at any time of the day.
Horto the restaurant is their fine dining option, a 3 AA Rosette winner that uses seasonal ingredients from kitchen garden.
The Clocktower restaurant and bar is a glamorous affair in the evening in particular. Dinner is a dressy occasion (although it’s not compulsory), and if you sit in the conservatory you have the unique privilege of sitting next to a 400 year old Catalonian olive tree, which takes centre stage.
Eating here is out of this world and highly recommended, especially for romantic escapes (everything here is romantic though). At breakfast this is where you will find the buffet option. It’s still lovely, but my personal preference was to have breakfast at Horto and evening meals at The Clocktower.
The hotel revolves around this beautiful Grade one listed Regency property. Although the majority of the hotel facilities have been added in new buildings, they have been sympathetically designed to let the original house shine. Showcasing its country estate past, the hotel has its own chapel on site.
There aren’t that many places you can visit where there’s a private cinema for you to enjoy, but this is one of them. Much like the addition of unique facilities and design in the spa, it’s the details at Rudding Park that really set it apart.
You can’t talk about this spa hotel without mentioning the water. Harrogate is known as a historic spa town and as Rudding Park has its own springs delivering abundant water, it makes full and joyful use of it. Not only are the natural springs used in some of the spa facilities, but it’s also bottled and used in the restaurants, delivering a literal taste of Yorkshire in both still and sparkling varieties!
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