Hartwell House is a gorgeous 17th-century country pile near Aylesbury. Director mounts a stress-busting mission to its beautifully appointed treatment hub
So tranquil and replenishing are the surrounds at Hartwell House, a gorgeously congenial country pile about a mile north-west of London, visitors are likely to feel their pulses slow within hours of arrival.
Which is all the more reason to cement the effect with a visit to the manor’s spa, which is found a short stroll from the main building in a orangery. Unusually for a hotel spa, there’s a café, which overlooks the pool area and offers salads and light lunches. Once down in the main area, shrouded in what may well feel like the fluffiest dressing gowns ever woven, it’s temping to lounge around the swimming pool, occasionally visiting the spa bath, steam room or sauna.
Instead though, I opted for an hour-long full body aroma therapy session. Thorough preparation and personalisation underlies the approach of Hartwell House Spa’s highly experienced therapists. They start by assess you with a questionnaire that addresses your current state of health, general stress levels and whether relaxation or invigoration is your ultimate goal with the forthcoming treatment.
Next they selected some oils for you based on that assessment – top-shelf brands Aromatherapy Associates and Jessica are favoured here at Hartwell House – of which you get to choose one. The session I opted for was one from a vast list that included scrub and wrap treatments, facial treatments, aroma radiance lift facials and a plethora of other soul-soothing experiences. Never let it be said they don’t take massage treatment in a place where Swedish neuromuscular techniques that relieve muscular tension and lymphatic drainage that encourage healthy circulation are de rigueur.
But, wandering in a blissful trance towards the hot tub located on the spa sun terrace – think 28 hydro jets massaging every muscle – I certainly had no regrets about the treatment I’d opted for. This truly is a spa for the spa connoisseur.