Chewton Glen Spa
Yes, another hard day's graft at Muddy Hants towers; I know — feel our pain.
The New Forest on one side, the sea on the other, set in 130 acres of woodland and twinkling streams, Chewton Glen is deep countryside yet only a couple of hours from London and easily-accessible for Hampshire residents: I’m a snail’s breadth from the Berks border but still, it was front door to hot-tub in just over an hour. Recently voted one of the world’s top 5 hotels, Chewton Glen is a proper country-house hotel — all drawing rooms, red carpets and huge vases of fresh flowers. Think Downton with an Instagram account, 21k to be precise.
Grecian all the way. As you’d expect, though, everything was spotless and the large space meant that, despite it being peak weekend hours, all was relaxed and calm.
The main pool is in a soaring, natural-light filled room, all frescos and floor to ceiling windows. The 17m swimming pool was a little on the chilly side, possibly just a minor hiccup on the day we visited. Next door is the hydrotherapy pool which is divided up into different pods offering various types of bubbling *shoulders drop by three inches* massage. Outside there is a small, sheltered hot tub.
The sauna and steam rooms (one of each) are in the male and female changing rooms — great if you’re on a girls’ weekend, not so good if you’re having a romantic night away with your other half. That said, avoiding those beer bellies and sweaty sauna trunks has got to be a good thing.
Elsewhere there’s a dance studio, tennis courts, 9-hole golf course, gym, an outdoor pool and a sundeck.
There are twelve individual treatment rooms offering 50 different treatments and holistic therapies using Oskia and Natura Bissé products. Expect all the usual suspects including hot stone and pregnancy massage plus some you might not have heard of — the Oxygen Detox facial, for example, or for the brave, a Quiro Golf session using golf balls to massage the face.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Those after some proper down-time, I can’t think of a more perfect place to spend an afternoon lazing with the papers and wallowing in hot water. Also those who prefer their saunas ladies-only.
Not for: If you are a serious sauna devotee, then don’t expect a gamut of steam rooms and saunas and if you don’t want your hubby/boyf/male friend to leave your side all weekend then again, not for you.
£££: Pricey, of course it is, although spa facilities are part of the package if you’re staying. And you really should stay.
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Forest, Hants, BH25 6QS. Tel: 01425 275341. chewtonglen.com
Words: Mary Malyon, Editor: Muddy Hants