Looking for a romantic getaway but not wanting to stray too far my partner and I were keen to escape London for some quality time together over the bank holiday and as he’s a jacuzzi virgin (I know… I know) I thought a spa break would be the perfect answer. Being a bit of a Wahanda whore I did a quick search for ‘one night spa breaks’ and was promptly presented with a plethora of gorgeous hotels in the UK. After a delightful afternoon of scrolling through them all we finally settled on Ardencote Manor, a country club, hotel and spa just outside of Warwick and their fabulous Champagne and Sun Spa Break (no longer available, sorry!) for £99 each which included, dinner, breakfast the next morning, full use of all the spa facilities, a room for the night AND a champagne wrap treatment.
‘The Ardencote Spa has 40 beautifully apportioned bedrooms, based on a Courtyard design surrounding the opulent Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool. The extensive Spa and Leisure facilities are central to the Ardencote’s philosophy of Exercise and Relaxation, combining to produce a feeling of Health and Vitality. The landscaped grounds have been specifically designed to enhance this ambience, with manicured beds of Lavender at the heart of the design. The Restaurant offers a fine dining experience with menus complementing your Spa experience’.
The spa – The spa is clean, welcoming and unpretentious with more than enough beds for guests to relax around the pool between treatments or for a little snooze. Comprising of the following we were spoilt for choice of what to try next –
- Relaxation lounge inclusive of free-flow refreshments
- Indoor heated swimming pool and loungers
- Steam room
- Outdoor heated swimming pool
- Outdoor hot tub
- 2 Gymnasiums – cardiovascular and weights/exercise
- 3 All-weather tennis courts
- 3 Glass-backed squash courts
- 9 Hole golf course
The food – The food! OMG the food! I cannot rate the quality of the food highly enough, everything on the menu sounded absolutely delicious and we were truly spoilt for choice. We had all of our meals in the lavish Brasserie restaurant which overlooks the immaculate manicured grounds and lawns, providing the perfect setting for a romantic meal. The staff are warm and welcoming without being overbearing and we felt truly spoilt being able to swan in for lunch in our robes fresh from the spa. With our deal lunch wasn’t included but there is a selection of light bites and sandwiches for under £10 will will set you up for an afternoon of hardcore jacuzzi action! I had a chicken tikka sandwich and my partner had the steak sandwich, both were well presentable and tasted great with outstanding service. Alcohol is a little expensive, the cheapest bottle of sparkling wine at £22.50 (I’m used to Wetherspoon prices LOL) but not that bad considering the standard of the place.
Dinner was where we were truly spoilt, even though I read in a few reviews the food is 5 star fancy I wasn’t expecting such an elaborate fare but being a ‘voucher customer’ I was slightly worried we would have a set menu that would be pretty basic forcing us to spend more on sides etc. but we were presented with a mouthwatering 3 course menu that has been carefully selected by 2 Rosette award winning Chef, Ian Buckle. Everything on the menu sounded amazing, after spending a good while deciding what to have to start I finally settled on the smoked salmon and my partner went for the asparagus. Beautiful presentation and an ever better taste, my smoked salmon was fresh and mouthwatering, set against a backdrop of crisp salad that burst with flavour in every bite. The asparagus was well seasoned, crunchy and again very fresh.
Everything Ian uses is sourced wherever possible from local farms and traders which is really apparent in the quality of ingredients and it feels good to know Ardencote are supporting local British farmers. We had a really hard time deciding on what to have for our mains as again everything sounded so good but I eventually settled on the lamb and my partner had the chicken. My lamb was incredible and fell apart as you lightly pressed your fork into it, finished with the greens and spring onion I also ordered a side of chips as our waiter informed us there are no carbs with this dish and they completed it perfectly. My partner went for the chicken and was equally impressed with the freshness, presentation and myriad of flavours that pretty much sealed the deal for a return visit. Dessert came in the form of a rhubarb and clotted cream crème brûlée for me and chocolate pannacotta and cake for the mister… Oh em gee. Perfection on a plate. I’m just going to let the picture do the talking for our desserts but let’s just say everything was superb and the £99 we paid is worth it for the food alone and next time I’m taking Ian home with me in my holdall.
The treatment – Included in our package was a ‘champagne wrap’ which is not something I would have chosen and there wasn’t any details on the site but it sounded pleasant enough and I assumed as we booked in as a couple we would be in the same room which would have been quite nice. Seated in the upstairs lounge where all the treatments were carried out we were unfortunately led to different rooms but alas as it was a bonus I didn’t mind too much. My therapist was lovely and made me feel at total ease, the room was clean, at a perfect temperate and smelt gorgeous which are small touches that can really make a treatment luxurious. She gave me a basic rundown of what to expect and I was told to strip off to my pants, let my hair loose and lay on the bed whilst she left the room for me to undress and get comfortable. Soft, tinkering music played in the background as the treatment started with a dry body brushing to my whole back and then a scrub was applied which she massaged all over in long, sweeping strokes. The scrub was removed with a warm damp cloth and then something with a creamy texture was applied (bare in mind I had my head through a hole in the massage table so couldn’t really see what was going on) and massaged lightly over my back to which what felt like light towels were applied on top and pressed gently in place. As the wrap was left to work its magic I was treated to a soothing head massage which was most welcome after having my hair up in a tight bun all day. Just as I was starting to drift off the wrap was taken off my back and my therapist gave me a short back massage with the remaining solution and before I knew it the treatment was done. I felt it was a bit short but this could have been because I was enjoying it so much! My partner didn’t enjoy his as much as his therapist spoke to him the whole time (not very relaxing…) his head massage was fairly weak and he didn’t get a back massage at the end. Hmmm.
The hotel – Set in 83 acres of of landscaped grounds the four star hotel is set close to the historic town of Warwick and overlooks the the stunning Warwickshire countryside. Either double or twin, the standard rooms are far from ordinary. All rooms have magnificent views of either rolling countryside, the golf course or the lake, depending on their location. All bedrooms have crisp cotton sheets, en-suite bathrooms, large televisions, free internet connection and are decorated and furnished to the highest standards in-keeping with the hotel’s 4 star rating.
We had a standard room in the Courtyard complex (just off the spa) which included the following –
- 28″ LCD Television
- Tea and coffee making facilities
- Iron and ironing board
- Air conditioning
- Free WI-FI internet access
- En-suite bathroom
- Twin or double bed
- Catering for one or two adults
Our room was a 2 minute stroll from the spa, clean, comfortable and complete with spa goodies in the bathroom. As you can imagine we didn’t spend much time in the room other than to sleep but it was perfect for what we needed it for and had a ready supply of towels, bedding and a hot shower. Even though we were situated across from the lift down a somewhat busy corridor we didn’t find it to be that noisy and the bed was lovely to sleep on after a lazy day of being pampered.
We enjoyed our stay so much we’ve already looked into going back again, unfortunately the deal we had is no longer available any more BUT you can book the ‘S Factor Spa Break’ which includes a bottle of bubbly on arrival (woo!) lunch with a glass of wine, dinner, breakfast the next day, full use of the spa, a room for the night AND a back massage all for just £135 which I think is fantastic value for money. Just to give you an idea of travel time, it took us around 1.5 hours from SW London by car, there is a train station near but it’s quite a walk and the grounds leading up to the hotel are quite vast.
Other one night spa break deals at Ardencote can be found at Wahanda.