The Spa at Rudding Park near Harrogate has raised the bar for the spa industry in the UK by creating an innovative spa with some real ‘wow’ moments (yes its totally instagrammable). It complements the smart, modern hotel and with the addition of the modern bistro Horto featuring seasonally inspired dishes by Chef Murray Wilson it makes Rudding Park the place to stay and spa in Yorkshire.
The hotel at Rudding Park
A privately-owned luxury hotel, Rudding Park has 90 bedrooms, the spa, two restaurants and a kitchen garden, private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space. Set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, it makes Rudding Park one of the most beautiful places to stay in Harrogate. I loved the use of colour throughout the hotel with perfectly placed pieces of art that attract the eye and give it a modern luxury feel. Rooms are spacious, contemporary and the Follifoot wing opposite the spa is where you want to be.
Rudding Park Spa
The spa is huge. It’s impressive Rooftop Spa Garden is a fully landscaped garden, designed by Matthew Wilson Gardens, and features a panoramic sauna and outdoor hot tub. Fabulous come rain or shine it is hugely popular with guests. It really allows people to spa outside – even when it’s cool. But come summer you could easily relax for the day basking in the sun.
The spa inside is sparsely designed allowing the outdoor views to dominate and that works a treat. Floor to ceiling windows give panoramic views throughout the spa which turns your attention to the nature outside. It gives a great sense of space. The mostly white walls are punctuated with the odd, perfectly placed piece of art.
It’s artful, modern and absolutely perfect.
Indoors on the top floor, you will find seating to take tea or champagne, there’s three experience showers, and an aroma sauna scented with rosemary. There’s a large steam room that’s like being in a space ship, sauna with a view to the tree tops and the infinity pool at the end of the building is a winner with hydro massage jets.
The middle floor (which is the ground floor) has the changing rooms and large indoor lap pool and loungers to relax. There’s a juniper sauna looking out to the terrace and a rasul experience steam room for couples or friend to book and smoother themselves in clay and various scrubs to renew and refresh leaving the skin soft and smooth.
The lower level is home to the treatment suite with a large reception, seating space for consultations and plenty of options to purchase the great products. Treatment rooms are simple and functional. The couple’s treatment room was luxe and features a beautiful copper bathtub and double treatment beds. Book a romantic couples package and you can’t go wrong.
Post treatment you can relax in the sleep room for total seclusion, the music room offers personal iPods for your own music chill out and the mind room is where you can do mindful colouring-in or simply read. My choice was the visual relax room showing video footage of nature and city scapes set to a background track of gentle soothing music. It’s all supremely relaxing for the mind and body.
There is a cost attached to this joyful experience and even as a hotel guest you will be required to pay for entry. And whilst I initially recoiled at the idea of charging – it does offer great value and is well worth the price for the range of experiences on offer. It really is one of the best spas in the UK and I expect it to be showered with many awards in the years to come.
The Art of Aufguss at Rudding Park Spa
Aufguss is a hot trend in spa and Rudding Park has embraced it with open arms offering the ritual for free to guests in the spa. The Art of Aufguss is a ritual originally derived from the Red Indians of North America but it was the Germans who introduced the concept into spas.
The Sauna-Meister uses essential oils (orange and eucalyptus) to create a stimulating environment within the sauna, circulating the aromatic air using a towel-waving technique. The ritual lasts from 10 to 15 minutes and is said to improve cardiovascular strength, boosting the immune system, as well as alleviating stress and pain.
It is performed in the Panoramic Sauna at Rudding Park Spa overlooking the gardens and be prepared you are going to get hot, hot, hot.
ila Blissful Inner Peace Treatment
This renewing treatment focuses on exfoliation from head to toe. The sequence starts with traditional kesar mits and black soap which evokes memories of the hammam scrub. Following this, Himalayan salt is scrubbed over the body, further exfoliating the skin.
The treatment spends quite a bit of time on the back where the salt is used to massage the muscles. It can be vigorous at times and relaxing at others. Then a soothing cocooning masque is applied across the body. It has a balm-like feel on the skin and is thoroughly relaxing. The music sound track is Hindi in style and soothes the senses. To conclude you shower off the salt and mask and your skin is left smooth and hydrated.
Natural Spa Factory
Jennifer Young Treatments (for people with cancer)
THE BEST BITS:
Swimming in the outdoor infinity pool
The Mud Rasul experience
Relaxing on the loungers in the outdoor spa terrace
Dinner at Horto with matching wines
ROOM TO IMPROVE:
The upper floor of the spa was very busy at times – managing the guest flow in the spa would help alleviate this.
Staff need to ensure they have the correct guest for treatments. There were two guys with the same first name having treatments. I almost ended up having the wrong treatment and the other guy was already on the treatment bed – that really shouldn’t happen.
Read more about the UK’s best spa openings in 2017 here
Rooms in the Ribston Wing from £189 and include: Access to Indoor Swimming Pool, Juniper Log Sauna and Bucket Shower.
Rooms in the Follifoot Wing from £235.
Roof Top Spa and Garden (2 hours) for £35pp Residents / £50pp Non Residents
ila Blissful Inner Peace Treatment – 50 minutes – £80
I would recommend a spa day which offer excellent value for money.
Full Day from 10AM – 4.30PM from £135 and includes:
Arrival drink and snack
50 minute bespoke treatment (of your choice)
Mind and Sense Relaxation Zones
Two course lunch
Indoor Swimming Pool
Juniper Log Sauna
Roof Top Spa and Garden
Afternoon drink and snack