Offering a cosy romantic retreat for Valentine’s Day and beyond, the award-winning spa at Lucknam Park is the perfect place to unwind with someone you love – be they a partner, friend or family member.
This countryside escape in Wiltshire, our February Spa of the Month, provides intimacy of space but a vast treatment menu, including a partnership with results-driven skincare brand 111Skin. So even if your couple-style is more ‘opposites attract’ than ‘birds of a feather’, you’ll both emerge from Lucknam Park’s leading country estate spa feeling refreshed and recharged.
THE PACKING EDIT
Perhaps its the footage of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy emerging from Pemberley’s lake, or the classic depictions of Cathy and Heathcliff on the wild North Yorkshire Moors, but there’s something so romantic about the traditional English countryside. Lucknam Park, located in that very landscape and just 10 miles by road to Bath – a place so closely associated with Jane Austen herself – has bottled every ounce of Britain’s romantic charm.
The restored Palladian mansion is a sight to behold as you approach via the mile-long driveway, surrounded by 500 acres of green parkland, paddocks and classical gardens. If you squint, you can almost believe you’ve seen a glimpse of the Spitfires that were once hidden among the trees as World War II loomed. Outside and in, Lucknam Park has all the joy-inspiring features of a classic English country house – classical architecture, 17th century paintings adorning the walls and a grand yet cosy feel to help you quickly settle into your “home away from home”.
That cossetting atmosphere never leaves – whether you’re sampling afternoon tea in the drawing room together, relaxing in your welcoming suite or strolling through the grounds on your way to the spa. The reason: Lucknam Park skillfully combines the nostalgic luxury of the past with the innovation of the future, the latter including a Michelin-star chef serving up delights in the chandelier-decked dining room and 111Skin’s latest beauty tech being powered up in treatment rooms, mere meters away from the rolling estate gardens.
The spa at Lucknam Park, to be discovered within a peaceful walled garden, through an archway across from the main house, offers the cosiest of country wellness retreats. Pad across from your room to the spa, in your towelling robes and slippers, and you’ll immediately slip into a state of relaxation.
The space is relatively compact but filled with all the features you need to while the hours away side-by-side. Split into two main locations, the lounger-surrounded pool tends to be bustling with couples either reclining with a good book or swimming some calming lengths in the refreshingly tepid waters. The pool is 20-metre long, large for a spa of Lucknam Park’s size.
The separate indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool allows you to make the most of the views over the tree-lined gardens; with your body submerged in warm jacuzzi-jet bubbles, the cool country air (and hopefully some English sunshine) is just the tonic for stressed-out faces.
There’s a fairly expansive sauna to enjoy as well, plus a Japanese Salt experience where you can recline on heated stone beds, and an amethyst crystal-lined relaxation room. The fully stocked changing rooms – complete with freely available replacement towels and robes, plus Dyson hairdryers – also have separate male and female sauna and steam rooms if that’s your preference.
Next door is the spa treatment centre; home to eight treatment rooms including one specially designed for couples, and a dedicated mani-pedi space. Even when your treatment ends, you aren’t rushed back to reality. The post-treatment relaxation room, complete with warming herbal tea to drink and floor-to-ceiling views across the estate grounds, will keep you feeling zen a little while longer.
All that calming energy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a clinic-worthy, results-driven approach to face and body treatments, though. The spa’s partnership with 111Skin, a brand developed by leading cosmetic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, means you have access to the latest high-tech treatments that can transform how you look and feel.
Highlights include the 10-step Celestial Black Diamond Non-Surgical Face Lift Facial, which uses the brand’s award-winning masks and exfoliating acids to lift and sculpt your skin – a simple face clean this is not. Or, for your body, upgrade your traditional deep-tissue massage by choosing the Cryo Cellulite Treatment. It utilises cold therapy via a cryotherapy machine, to ice away key areas of deep tension, while improving the appearance of stubborn cellulite. This is relaxation with real benefits built in.
Those seeking a more traditional approach are well cared-for, too. For a truly restorative knot-relieving treatment, book in for the Lucknam Park Signature Massage. It combines botanically-derived products from local sustainable brand Natural Spa Factory with firm pressure, muscle trigger point therapy and therapists who are limited to performing just four massages a day for the best results.
Each of the hotel’s 42 rooms and suites are individually designed, but with uniting flourishes that are quintessential of traditional country house decor. The touches of charming antique wooden furnishings, floral wallpaper and velvet or gold trims make for a truly cosy stay, alongside all the luxury features you’d expect from a modern five-star hotel. That includes Egyptian cotton bed linen to ease your slumber, marble bathrooms with both walk-in showers and classic baths, easy access to WIFI that spans the estate (4G can be hard to come by) and 24 hour room service.
At one end of the scale are the homely Classic rooms that offer a cheerful escape from the outside world, while at the other, the six cottages dotted around the estate provide private kitchens and gardens for larger groups seeking a romantic trip away. But, to benefit most from the estate’s breathtaking views – both the rolling hills and the sweeping driveway – book into a Grand Suite within the main house, complete with a traditional four-posted bed. If romance really loves to get the best of you, the aptly name Juliet Suite even has a flagstone balcony overlooking the lavender maze, where its almost irresistible to take in the view together as the sun goes down.
Lucknam Park offers a five-star spa experience with Michelin-star food to match. In the dining room, where the family used to race to during air raids to take cover under the Billiard table, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones offers an unforgettable dining experience. Best enjoyed via the seven course tasting menu and accompanying wine flight, each course features fresh seasonal ingredients from mainly British sources, transformed into truly unforgettable mouthfuls.
An example menu is likely to include morsels of Cornish turbot, Scottish scallops, Hampshire venison and an array of locally-sourced flavoursome vegetables, although full dietary requirements and options for children are also available. Plus, you’ll need to save room for the fully stocked cheese trolley – our advice, be brave and try something new – and a delightful array of mini desserts. It’s in this space you can also enjoy a full breakfast (English or otherwise) and a traditional afternoon tea, with dishes made all-the-sweeter by tables arranged to make the most of large windows out to the beautiful country views.
For more informal eating, there’s the Brasserie – a charming but understated eatery attached to the spa. Here, you’re welcome to recharge in your spa robes for a light midday graze, or dress-up a little for an à la carte dinner and traditional Sunday lunch. The open-plan kitchen – complete with wood-fired oven – means you can peak in at the chefs at work; a relaxing way to observe them whipping up healthy (but generous portions) of salad, alongside steak, fresh fish and homemade pizzas. Across the board, service is swift and delightfully traditional but always friendly, with recommendations freely on-hand for pre-dinner aperitifs or a staff member’s favourite seasonal dessert.
Quite uniquely for a spa hotel, but fittingly for the English countryside, there’s a full equestrian centre on site. Home to 35 horses, guests can enrich their stay on escorted rides around the grounds or further afield, with options in place for all riding levels. There’s also the Equine Connect programme, where couples or small groups can learn to communicate with the horses through body language. The equine therapy works to expand upon the relaxation you experience in the spa, by helping you destress and become more in touch with your emotions.
The outdoorsy pastimes don’t stop there. Traditional countryside activities including archery, clay pigeon shooting and falconry can all be organised via reception depending on the weather and time of year. There’s also a five-a-side football pitch, two floodlit tennis courts and a studio for yoga and pilates; all activities that give you even more excuse to treat yourself to a little while longer in the hydrotherapy pool or sauna.
CF tip: Canine lovers don’t have to leave their four-legged friends at home; the hotel has rooms that are dog-friendly if notified in advance. The vast expanses of land on the estate make for unforgettable (on-leash) adventures.
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