With busy lives and busy work schedules, for many of us time with friends is a precious commodity, so it’s important to make the most of it when it happens. On a trip to the luxurious Hoar Cross Hall in Staffordshire, Spa Consultant Bridie explains why it’s the ultimate spa break for friends…
A group of us arrived at Hoar Cross Hall for a one night stay, and even though we arrived quite late in the day, from the first moment we saw it, we knew it was going to be incredible. Even as we came up the drive, the impression was five star all the way with incredible views and an actual red carpet rolled out to take you to reception on arrival.
We stayed in a standard double, which I thought might not be the most impressive, but it was huge and beautiful. It had everything you could possibly need, from a desk to a dressing table, a separate table with goodies on it to greet us, a king sized bed and everything finished in beautiful contemporary style. The bathroom had massive mirrors along the whole wall giving it the impression of being even bigger than it was, and to top it all off there were Dyson hair dryers in every room, which was a beautiful touch.
The size of the spa really helps to make Hoar Cross Hall the ultimate spa break for friends. It was so big we actually got lost in it. There are two separate pool areas; the salt pool room is a big open space with stairs up to a mezzanine lounge area with sofas. There’s a cave under the mezzanine as well, so there are all these lovely little areas to gather and talk and spend time together. The other pool area is a bit warmer and the lighting is blue, so it’s immediately calm. There’s a hydropool in there, a hot tub, and other facilities to experience as well. There are also several areas to lounge in. There’s a relaxation room, and a snooze room – which was my favourite – with heated water beds and dim little lights in the ceiling which has the compounding effect of making you feel like you’re floating. Apparently it’s meant to give you the equivalent benefit of five hours sleep if you lay there for half an hour.
The spa treatments are really beautiful and carefully designed. I had a Couture Touch treatment with hot stones, which is essentially a face and body treatment combined. It was an hour long and the therapist was lovely. The treatment rooms are quite dark, with candles along the corridor to set the scene. It was the first spa treatment I have had, and I explained that to my therapist, and she really made me feel at ease – explaining what I needed to do, including what to wear, and talking me through the process. The result was an incredibly relaxing experience with afterwards to come round before heading to the relaxation room.
The food, both dinner and breakfast, was incredible and it’s all served in the splendour of this magnificent property with its William Morris wallpaper and Sienna marble mantelpieces. We had dinner in the Library, which is a special request for groups, and made for a nice environment to enjoy time together. The food was wonderful, five star all the way. I had a fish soup with garlic ciabatta, then steak that was so perfect I didn’t even realise I was using a butter knife until the waiter brought a steak knife, and for dessert I had a cheeseboard.
The location of Hoar Cross Hall is all part of its charm, but it is remote so it’s best to travel under your own steam with a car if possible. We went by train and got a taxi which we asked the hotel to arrange as there isn’t a taxi rank at the station, which takes 25 minutes to get to the hotel. If you do travel by train, definitely pre-book a taxi. Once you’re there however, it’s totally worth it as it feels in the middle of nowhere and the grounds are incredibly well kept making for amazing views to wake up to.
I think Hoar Cross Hall really has something for everyone except a rowdy group. It’s definitely romantic and it’s definitely large enough for groups of friends, with all the luxury for quality time. However, it’s definitely a classy destination. It’s perfect for time with the girls (there are triple rooms available so you can stay together if you want), but also great for mixed group of men and women because there lots of activities from tennis and archery to the spa itself.
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