Britain's TOP 10 family friendly spas for 2011

If you’re looking for some respite after the Christmas holidays why not book a spa break? We have tracked down 10 of the UK’s best spas where the whole family are welcome. These spas offer activities for the kids and peace and quiet for mum and dad - the perfect start to the New Year.

Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Chewton Glen is a Luxury Country House Hotel and spa set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of New Forest National Park and just a few minutes walk from the sea.

This family-friendly hotel is a proud member of Relais & Chateaux and one of the finest Luxury Hotels in the UK has been the recipient of numerous annual spa awards. Chewton Glen is also a nominee for The SPA Traveller's Spa of the Year in the 2011 Awards.

Each of the 58 bedrooms and suites have been decorated to provide the ultimate in luxury and comfort - and within the 130 acres of stunning grounds, there is a 9-hole par 3 golf course, a practice range, two indoor and two outdoor tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, a croquet lawn and a putting green.

The hotel is set in 130 acres of grounds and parkland is a great place to explore and enjoy activities with the family. Among the activities on offer are: mountain biking, kite flying, children’s croquet set, tennis coaching, a new Chewton Glen tree house, pony treks, sailing and adventure kayaking down Beaulieu River. And while the kids (both big and small) and entertained you can check out the spa which offers the widest range of treatments in Hampshire.

Spa treatments are priced from approximately £25 to £170 and should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. The spa grooming lounge also offers a full range of manicures and pedicures.

Spa pamper days are also very popular and range from the Classic Chewton Glen Spa priced at £220 to the Beauty Bliss Spa Day which is £150.

The spa day includes:

• Breakfast Box with Tea, Coffee and refreshments

• Full use of the award-winning spa and leisure facilities

• Buffet Lunch

• Refreshments throughout the day (excludes fruit smoothies and alcoholic beverages)

• Daily attendance at fitness, dance and aerobic classes (note class timetable changes daily)

• Service and VAT

A spa that gives you time to breathe


Calcot Manor, near Tetbury in the Cotswolds


If you’re searching for style and substance from the ultimate English spa look no further than Calcot Manor. This idyllic Gloucestershire spa was named by Tatler as one of the best 100 in the world and better was also recognised as being the Most Family Friendly Hotel of the Year by Conde Nast. Calcot Manor is also a nominee for The SPA Traveller's Spa of the Year in the 2011 Awards.

Housed in a Cotswold stone building near Tetbury (just opposite the hotel’s pub) is Calcot Spa. It’s big and airy, comforting and cosy which is why you must book in advance as it’s very popular with the locals. And the reason it is so popular with mums, both local and visiting, is not only because of the excellent facilities but an Ofsted-registered crèche which takes babies and toddlers.

Older children can take advantage of a cinema, Play-Stations, X-boxes and computers while you take advantage of the spa. Calcot Manor aims to achieve that fine balance of keeping children and adults happy, and creating a real home-from-home.

A 14th-century English farmhouse, set around a pretty courtyard of outhouses and surrounded by 220 acres of countryside, the atmosphere is happy and relaxed. The spa is a magnificent private leisure complex, with outstanding facilities for health, beauty, fitness and relaxation. Imaginatively designed around a central courtyard, Calcot Spa blends sympathetically with its Cotswold surroundings and features a 16-metre pool, sauna, steam room, outdoor spa pool, exercise studio, tennis and no fewer than seven treatment rooms.

One of the highlights is a sexy outdoor hot tub (the size of a small swimming pool) that steams away like a geyser at 40 degrees and where you can indulge in the ultimate luxury of ordering champagne. There is also the indoor pool for those leisurely laps before rejoining the kids (although children are allowed to use the pool during set hours).

The actual spa menu is long and comprehensive with everything from hot-stone massages to Reiki. The ambience and treatments hit all the right buttons and this spa is well worth the wait if you have to book ahead.

PS – Dogs are also welcome if you book ahead!

A rose among thorns


Bedruthan Steps Hotel, near Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

This is a traditional family hotel with three major plus points – the stunning views, wonderful children’s facilities and their spa.

Don’t be deceived by the rather austre frontage when you arrive, as all is forgotten when you enter and look out across Mawgan Porth beach and step into The Ocean spa which boasts a couple of treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, whirlpool and cool-off pool and indoor pool.

Children's supervised morning activity clubs cost from £20 a session for three to 12 year-olds and £25 for under three’s. An evening session from 7.15-10.15pm also operates during school holidays.

A new programme of activities for adults, teenagers and younger children will be introduced at the hotel this year; it includes kayaking, survival skills, mountain biking and craft-making. Split into different age groups, the Penguins, Dolphins and Sharks start play at 9.30am, giving you three hours' grace to treat yourself in the spa.

The Ocean Spa includes the only Hammam of its kind in Cornwall. This offers a special place to receive body conditioning treatments whilst the hot stone bed warms your muscles and relaxes the mind.

The collection of spa treatment therapies have been inspired by nature and includes 100 per cent organic seaweed treatments from VOYA, facial skincare from REN and maternity treatments from Mama Mio.

One of the spas signature treatment is the VOYA Mermaids Purse Hammam Ritual (£64 for 55 minutes). Combining the benefits of Fucus Serratus seaweed into a body scrub and massage this treatment detoxifies and rehydrates the skin, improving both blood and lymphatic circulation, resulting in increased energy levels and enhanced skin tone and elasticity.

Summer offers running until September 30, 2010 includes:

* All day guests will receive complimentary use of the Hydro Spa with a Hammam Treatment

* Book a REN Taster Facial with a Relaxing Back Neck and Shoulder Massage for the special price of £35 (50 minutes - usually £48)

* A total of 20 per cent off treatments for Cornish residents (proof of address required) will commence from November 1, 2010 to March 2011

On golden sands


The Ickworth Hotel near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

The Ickworth Hotel near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk The East Wing at Ickworth was home to the Hervey family for almost 200 years before it passed to the National Trust in lieu of death duties. It has now been turned into one of Britain’s best family-friendly hotels and spas. The surroundings are as grand as ever but the idea that “children should be seen but not heard” has gone right out of the hundred or more windows – the house has been turned into the perfect retreat for families.

Set in 1,800 acres of glorious English parkland this is one of von Essen’s Luxury Family Hotels, The Ickworth offers great children's activities like the supervised (Ofsted registered) Four Bear's Den, table football, computer games, bikes and a huge adventure playground. And while they're busy, you can enjoy the spa's huge range of Aquae Sulis Retreat treatments.

You can now indulge in their new product range of Yon-Ka. Join devotees such as Madonna and Kate Moss and experience the unique benefits of Yon-Ka. As a specialist and pioneer of Phytotherapy skincare, the range draws on essential oils, fruit and plant extracts to offer products and treatment rituals with spectacular results. Spa day packages are available which includes: a welcome drink, a light two-course lunch in the Grand Conservatory, Ofsted-registered crèche facilities and full use of the hotel’s facilities including the indoor swimming pool, cycling or walking through the 1,800 acre National Trust Estate.

Mums-to-be who find themselves struggling during the hotter months could find comfort in the Mama Mio - Mama’s Touch Maternity Spa Treatments. Mama Mio Mama’ Touch is a special programme of skin-salvation, indulgent maternity and post-pregnancy treatments designed to relax, comfort and nourish. Mama Mio Mama’ Touch treatments help alleviate the main issues of discomfort in pregnancy - increasing skin elasticity, nourishing parched skin, relieving itchy belies, rejuvenating heavy legs, easing tired muscles and tension, assisting circulation and reducing water retention.


Fowey Hall, Cornwall

Fowey Hall was the inspiration behind Toad Hall in Wind in the Willows and sits in a spectacular location overlooking the fishing port of Fowey on the South Cornish coast, within its original walled gardens and with commanding views of the river estuary and far out to sea.

The new Aquae Sulis Retreat is now open, making Fowey Hall one of the most idyllic of hotels with spas in Cornwall. The facilities include four spectacular treatments rooms with an impressive spa reception area, refurbished swimming pool and changing area and a fabulous hot tub with sea views on the new decking area.

The Aquae Sulis Retreat treatments have been created taking inspiration from the Roman spa rituals. Treatments include aromatherapy and Swedish massage, hot stones and reflexology plus facials, manicures and pedicures.

Fowey Hall offers a selection of day spa packages starting from £80 for the spa taster day which includes a two-course lunch, prescription facial and back massage plus use of the facilities. The property, which is part of von Essen’s Luxury Family Hotels, has a team of four qualified nannies who will take the strain while you chill out at the spa.

The Den is situated in the court area and caters mainly for the under eights. For the older children, there is The Beach Hut, this play room is generally supervised in the early evening during busier times, located by the Den, it is equipped with a pool table, table tennis table, table football and TV and DVD and a stereo.

The Gun Room in the main house also has two Xboxes and a Gamecube (games and films available at reception). There is also an outdoor play area and trampoline and indoor swimming pool.


Four Seasons, Hampshire

Enjoy Georgian manor house elegance and ultra-modern comforts within acres of rolling countryside, a top spa and heritage-listed gardens. Just an hour from central London, this intimate, historic retreat promises the Four Seasons touch with storybook charm and gracious, intuitive service.

Whether yours is just beginning, all grown up or at any stage in between, the hotel is a wonderful base for your family. Children are very well catered for allowing for some grown-up time to enjoy the spa or restaurants.

Before your stay simply provide the hotel with the names and ages of the children in your party and they will prepare the following: child-size bathrobes, complimentary children's toiletries, children's menus in the restaurants and through In-Room Dining, items to childproof guest rooms, cribs and/or rollaway beds and a babysitting service.

The Spa is located in the picturesque 18th-century stable block, which captures the essence of the estate’s historical past. The Grade II–listed stables still feature the original arched gateway, gabled roof and bell turret, and offer magnificent views over the hotel's 500 acres of rolling hills and parkland.

Accessible via a glass walkway connected to the east wing of the hotel, the Spa is an oasis of relaxation, offering an unparalleled selection of bespoke treatments and heat experiences. The swimming pool also has designated family times. Guided by a philosophy of holistic well-being, the Spa uses ESPA aromatherapy products made from the highest quality plant extracts and marine actives.

Therapies are carried out in one of 15 treatment rooms, and signature treatments take influence from the Hampshire countryside, where lavender, rosemary, mint and sage grow in abundance.

Relax before or after your treatment in Santé, the Spa's café. It serves fresh, healthy options all day, complemented by a wide selection of herbal teas, coffee, power drinks and juices.

These four treatments have been selected to bring the luxury of ESPA together with ingredients hand picked from the herb garden adjacent to the Spa.

Top treatments include the lavender, rosemary and mint back treatment in which your back is treated to a skin brushing, salt and oil exfoliation and an envelopment of warm marine mud. While the marine mud is hydrating your back, the soles of your feet are stimulated with hot stones. The 45-minute treatment costs £65.

The Four Seasons Escape incorporates skin brushing and body exfoliation; specific full-body massage, with corresponding absolute body envelopment; full Asian head massage; cleansing and refreshing shower; and a body smoother to finish. You will be left refreshed, relaxed and invigorated. The 120-minute treatment costs £175.


Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

Center Parcs at Sherwood Forest is the perfect place to take your family if you want to relax. Set in beautiful natural woodland, Sherwood Forest offers first class leisure facilities for all the family. While the kids enjoy activities from archery to zip wire, you can take the opportunity to relax in the spa.

The Aqua Sana Spa is a circular building constructed around an open-air pool nestling in the middle of the forest; it is spacious and calm, with plenty of room in the treatment rooms. The minimum age in the spa is 16.

The World of Spa deal offers about 15 different spa experiences in the hydrotherapy-based rooms arranged around the pool. You can mix and match from the Indian Blossom Steam Room and Laconium to the Greek Herbal Bath or Japanese Salt Steam Bath where the misty air is infused with mineral salts, jasmine and mint for a head-clearing treat.

As well as the World of Spa there is also a full range of treatments using Elemis, Decleor and Carita products and it is worth noting the changing rooms are communal. Aqua Sana Spas are found at each one of the Center Parcs Villages: Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire and Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, all of which are located in 400 acres of beautiful UK woodland surroundings.

As we all know the summer holidays can get quite busy, so Centre Parcs has just launched a new online treatment booking system for day spa visitors. The real-time systems allows external spa guests to view availability and book instantly online.

A spa day costs £69 (weekdays) and £79 (Saturdays and Sundays).

This includes:

• Entry to the ‘World of Spa' between 9am-6pm

• Refreshments on arrival

• Complimentary hire of robes and towels

• Spa lunch in the Zilli Café or The Conservatory at Whinfell Forest

For spa bookings:


Babington House near Frome, Somerset

Surprisingly, one of the UK’s trendiest hotels Babington House in Somerset is also impressively baby-friendly and its spa, the Cowshed, has indulgent treatments provided and glorious lakeside cabins.

The hotel has 32 bedrooms, 23 in the Main House and Coach House and five family holiday rooms in the Stable Block. The Lodge is located at the top of the driveway and has three bedrooms.

There are also three bedrooms adjacent to Cowshed Relax spa with views over the Walled Garden. The Little House is open daily offering creche facilities for members and guests allowing you the chance to explore the spa menu in the nearby cowshed…

The apty-named Cowshed Spa is separated into two areas - Cowshed Active and Cowshed Relax. Cowshed Active is located behind the Main House and is a place to exercise and regenerate. It is home to swimming pools, steam, sauna and aroma rooms, as well as a fitness studio and gym with the latest Technogym kit. Whereas the Cowshed Relax, which opened two years ago, has sweeping views of the House’s Victorian Walled Garden and is a place to indulge, relax and pamper yourself.

There is a shop, three bedrooms with private treatment facilities, mezzanine level beds and outdoor space with soaking tubs made for two. The treatment areas are separated into Dry and Wet and include spaces to scrub, soak, mud and unwind, as well as rooms for massages, facials and treatments.


The Spa at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland

The Gleneagles Hotel is a place where great things happen – the G8 Summit of world leaders in July 2005, and it will be the venue for the 40th Ryder Cup golf tournament in 2014.

But for you in the summer of 2010 it could be the place where you finally find a bit of peace and tranquility and where your kids can also enjoy a taste of luxury.

In the salon your little ones can enjoy a ‘Little Miss’ treatment - manicure, make-up and hair styling - so they feel just as important as you. If you've got teenagers in need of some pampering, you can treat them to one of the Teen Treatments (12-16 years), where they can pick from a manicure or make-up application. The spa is only open to those aged 16 and over.

Children can also be entertained in The Playroom and older children have their own space, The Zone. And with the children taken care of you can indulge in the The Gleneagles Spa Retreat which costs £135 per person.

The perfect start to your treatment journey is the Welcome Foot Ritual which is followed by an ESPA Back Face and Scalp Massage – an all embracing treatment incorporating back cleanse, massage and a full ESPA Intensive Facial with facial acupressure and Oriental Head Massage.

The initial, deep cleansing back exfoliation is followed by a back massage with aromatic oils bringing powerful de-stressing benefits to mind and body. The facial includes massage with deeply nourishing facial oil and the application of an intensive face treatment mask, tailored to your individual needs. Whilst the mask is taking effect, the oriental head massage takes place to help clear the mind, calm the spirit and ease tension. The result is rehydrated, nourished and soothed skin combined with a sense of deep relaxation The treatment lasts 1 hour 35 minutes.

To finish off, there's a delicious two course lunch at Deseo at the Spa. The offer is valid Monday to Thursday, subject to availability.

The hotel has 232 spacious guest bedrooms and there is plenty to do with a selection of shops to browse and free access to the leisure club, swimming pools and tennis courts.


The Forum Spa, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales

The Celtic Manor - Resort Hotel is set in 1400 acres of parkland in the beautiful Usk Valley - this world-class destination, the host venue of The 2010 Ryder Cup, boasts a 330 room five star Resort Hotel, serving as the luxurious starting point for the most complete resort experience. There are a host of facilities to help you relax and unwind including two health clubs and two luxurious spas: The Forum Spa and the Ocius Treatment rooms, three championship golf courses including The Twenty Ten, two superb clubhouses, a golf academy, five restaurants, children’s crèche which runs all day, tennis, shooting, mountain biking and walking trails.

This is a very popular resort with some of the best rates and value for moeny packagaes available. To ensure availability of golf, spa treatments and dining reservations during your stay, we recommend you contact the resort directly to book well in advance of your arrival.

Welsh regional information:

Golf and Spa WAG's Guide


Contact us