The Club at Cottonmill is the brand-new offering at Sopwell House and is a triumph of design. The beautifully constructed spa effortlessly combines contemporary design with a natural colour palette and rich textures to make this one of the UK’s most beautiful spa locations. The synergy between indoor and outdoor has been captured perfectly and is a testament to the vision of the Bejerano Family and the skill of spa designers Sparcstudio. Large panoramic windows offer guests great views of the estate. At almost every turn you can see the trees, look up to the wide open sky, and look down over the excellent spa garden created by award winning Anne Marie Powell.
Set over three floors, The Club at Cottonmill is huge. What I loved is that there is space, plenty of space to simply be, to relax and chill and there are enough loungers, day beds and sun loungers to accommodate all guests with some to spare. On the top floor, the Whisper Room has large loungers in neutral tones, a fireplace and panoramic sauna and Botanical Steam room. The panoramic sauna is a must visit and I loved the heater loungers on this level too. Perfectly shaped for the body, I spent almost an hour here. I also highly recommend the deep relax room with high-tech loungers that gently vibrate in time with soothing music and change colour too. Ideal post treatment relaxation. Having said that the Rose Relax Room (next door) is the main post treatment relaxation room and is perfect to chill and enjoy the beneficial effects of your spa therapy.
Lower down you will find the Garden Spa, indoor/outdoor pool (with hydrotherapy jets) the Salt Steam Room, Organic Sauna (again with windows looking to the garden) and lots of places to rest and relax.
The Garden Spa at The Club at Cottonmill is an absolute delight. Its multi-level terraced gardens are beautifully landscaped with a mix of evergreen shrubs and established trees. I loved how the planting cleverly segments the space adding privacy, so you rarely feel overlooked. There are also additional stand-alone hot tubs to soothe the soul.
Back inside the lower level features changing rooms, a large well-appointed gym, plus a studio for classes including yoga and pilates. It’s exceptional and I absolutely loved it. Not to mention the large reception and Pantry for drinks and lite bites. Beyond this you will find the original spa which has steam, sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool.
If you are planning a spa day or break at Sopwell House it’s worth noting that the existing facilities also come under the Cottonmill name, so when booking, check if you are accessing Cottonmill or (and I highly recommend) The Club at Cottonmill. Explained below:
The Cottonmill facilities includes use of the indoor pool, two vitality pools, a state of the art gym, featuring the latest Technogym ‘Artis’ line equipment, classes taken in the new energising studio, sauna, steam room, poolside terrace and Sitting Room. After a treatment, guests are invited to rest in the Rose Relaxation Room. Residents of the hotel only have access to Cottonmill, unless they pay to upgrade to The Club.
The Club at Cottonmill is access to all of the above, as well as all the new areas and features including new spa gardens, Garden Room, Whisper Room, Deep Relaxation Room, new saunas & steam rooms (organic sauna, panoramic sauna, salt steam room, botanical steam room) and new dressing rooms. The Club area is accessible only to a select group of members and a limited number of guests or residents on Club packages.
THE HOTEL at SOPWELL HOUSE
Set in 12 acres of glorious Hertfordshire countryside in St Albans; Sopwell House is a 4-star Georgian country house hotel that is just over an hour from London. The easiest routes are via St Pancras and Luton Airport. It’s not far from the M25 either.
The family run hotel boasts 128 rooms and suites including 16 individually designed stylish Mews Suites (these are great and highly recommended). There is also a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant (do book a table), Brasserie, Conservatory Bar, Cocktail Lounge and 15 event spaces perfect for meetings, conferences and spectacular weddings. I particularly liked that most of the hotel were great champions of the spa (they all had the chance to experience it pre-opening).
Rooms in the main house are great (and available in many categories), but my top tip is to upgrade your stay to the Mews Houses. These individual suites are like little cottages and set around a landscaped garden (and hot tub). Cosy, comfortable and contemporary, they feature four poster beds, some have a private hot tub too. They make for a fabulous stay and well worth the little bit extra.
The Cottonmill Signature Vichy treatment
This is a totally unique therapy that incorporates warm flowing water, exfoliation and back massage. It’s quite dreamy and you will feel like you are bathed in tropical rain throughout.
Set in a special treatment room, your therapist has a quick chat about your needs and goals from the treatment. As I had been stressed, she gave me two choices and settled on the Relaxing Salt Body Scrub for my treatment. You are also given a choice of music. I opted for nature with gentle music and sounds of birds. Perfect to create my tropical scene.
Laying on a firm treatment bed you are scrubbed with a body brush from head to toe, front and back, then bathed in raindrops for about ten minutes. Alternating warm, hot and cool, it goes through a balancing sequence to settle you into the therapy. A thorough body scrub continues using ESPA’s Relaxing Salt Scrub. Then more drenching with water (a few minutes this time and a touch cooler).
Finally, you are treated to a back massage whilst the warm water from the Vichy shower flows over your legs. It was heavenly and thoroughly relaxing.
ROOM TO IMPROVE
I loved that there is a choice of music in the treatment room – but the ‘nature’ was more music than natural sounds. More birdsong, jungle soundscape or waterfalls maybe?
The men’s changing room could have had a little more space. When there were three men in the space at one time it felt crowded.
Green juice – I would have loved to see more green juice options – especially at breakfast.
Cottonmill Signture Vichy – 60 minutes £99
A variety of day spa packages are available – I highly recommend upgrading to The Club at Cottonmill. you won’t regret it.
half day access to The Club at Cottonmill
1 x 60 minute premium treatment
3 course lunch at The Pantry