The closest thing you can get to staying in a castle for a spa weekender? Entering the dreamy, white turret walls of Danesfield House in Marlow-on-Thames. Think clock tower, pruned box hedging and manicured gardens with five types of lavender swoons.
Meet the more tranquil, riverside sister spa to Illuminata Mayfair in central London. Extra-curricular spa activities include scenic walks in the 65-acre estate, or soaking up spring sunshine in the Orangery Terrace.
Here’s our take on March’s Spa of the Month, Spa Illuminata Danesfield House.
SHOP THE ESSENTIALS
Don’t forget your swimming costume and cocktail look for Danesfield House. Check out these spa weekender suitcase options…
The 20m azure blue swimming pool is the place to hang out at Danesfield House to appreciate Marlow-on-Thames’s leafy vista from your spa lounger. Expect sweeping countryside views and decorative mural walls to keep your eyes occupied. You’ll also find a poolside jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Spa junkies will be impressed with the vastness of Illuminata’s treatment menu, featuring everything from Claudia Fallah cosmeceutical facials, to more traditional holistic therapies, like reiki and reflexology.
Next to the former stables, Illuminata is in a standalone building that links to Danesfield House via a glassy, elevated walkway. As spas go, Illuminata is on the more traditional, opulent side. Serving juices and lunches the spa bar is a popular hangout for girly afternoon/champagne teas if you fancy indulging in a pre-massage scone with strawberry jam.
To experience a bit of everything, try the Spa Illuminata Danesfield House Trilogy (£135 for 80 minutes). The signature treatment is a luxuriously long, 80-minute taster of Decléor treatments including back diagnostic massage, Ultimate Vitamin Glow facial, plus the option for hot stones (who wouldn’t?). We tried the high-tech Carita Glow Enhancing Facial (£79 for 50 minutes) – ideal for a spring refresh to blitz away dull skin. There’s a pro peel containing five acids (tingly), followed by a device delivering micro-currents and light therapy (strangely relaxing). Post-facial my cheekbones look elevated, my jawline more defined, and my skin so fresh I skip wearing make-up for dinner that night.
THE BEAUTY KIT
All face and body treatments at Illuminata are Decléor, Carita or Claudia Fallah. While you can only book in for Carita facials right now, the brand’s high-tech body treatments are imminent.
Don’t miss out on the pre-treatment chill vibes in the Sanctuary Lounge relaxation room. You’ll find loungers with downy duvets and fluffy blankets to cocoon yourself in as you listen to classical music. There’s even an unexpected second mini sauna tucked away in the room.
CF SPA TIP
Checking in? Stay in one of the super-chic Philippe Starck designed rooms. There are just two in the hotel: The Langley, in Instagrammable monochrome, or The Morton in black, white and green (with bonus river view).
NEED TO KNOW
Double rooms at Danesfield House start from £300 (including breakfast). Spa breaks start from £446 per room, including treatment per person and three course dinner.
Address: Henley Road, Marlow-on-Thames, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2EY
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 891010 (Spa: +44 (0) 1628 891881)
To visit Danesfield House Hotel & Spa visit www.danesfieldhouse.co.uk
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