I believe I have found the most gorgeous time and place in the world for an open air hot tub dip. It’s at Armathwaite Hall, at twilight, looking across the leafy woodland grounds to the shores of beautiful lake. This really is heaven.
Armathwaite Hall always draws me back. On the northern shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, it’s a grand yet informal country hotel that I have been visiting now for some 20 years. In that time, the spa facilities have developed hugely, but the rest of the place remains wonderfully familiar.
My favourite room is the great hall, with various stuffed animal heads hanging high on the walls. My last visit was not long before Christmas, and a more festive atmosphere you could not find. Don’t you just love the red nose on the reindeer’s head – at least, I assume it’s a reindeer; I’m not hot on this sort of stuff.
I am, however, hot on my spas, and can report that The Spa at Armathwaite Hall is a divine delight. It’s at the back of the hotel, as if in the woods, and it’s purpose-built, over two floors, with a 16-metre pool; outdoor hot tub (as already mentioned – see picture of me enjoying); thermal suite; gym, a lovely reception hall with a glass heater I really need in my life (see picture); 10 treatment rooms including a double; manicure and make-up areas; and some amazing quiet and relaxation areas.
A signature treatment is the My Kinda Skin (£75), a bespoke 55-minute facial for your skin type, which sees the face deeply cleansed and exfoliated, followed by Temple Spa face & décolleté massage, a treatment mask and a prescribed moisture treat, and a choice of a hand and arm massage or scalp massage. I went for the scalp massage, as always do, and found it soon soothed away all the stresses of previous months.
The spa offers Day and Half Day Experiences, including the Escape Half Day, with full use of the facilities and a 25 minute face or body treatment. It lasts four hours and costs £80. A full day with a 55 minute face or body treatment and a two-course lunch costs £129 on weekdays.
As well as being crowned winner of The Good Spa Guide’s 2015 award for Best Real Results (an award I think is best of all, because that’s what we want), Armathwaite Hall was recently awarded the four star AA Inspectors Choice Award. So go for it with a one night spa break including: overnight accommodation and full English breakfast based on sharing double/twin bedded room; three course dinner in the Brasserie; 55 minute of treatment time per person; use of The Spa facilities throughout stay; daily exercise classes, all costing from £345 for a Club Room and £495 for a Deluxe Room with lake views, Sunday to Thursday, excluding Bank Holidays.
There’s lots to do in the area. Keswick is a lovely market town, just a few miles away. And there’s Skiddaw, if you fancy a mountain hike. The current owners of Armathwaite Hall, the Graves family, also own the adjoining Coalbeck Farm which now houses the Lake District Wildlife Park, great for families and hosting 50,000 visitors a year.
As for me, I prefer simply to hunker down at the hotel, walking the lovely grounds down to the lake, hanging out at The Spa, dining (the food is amazing, both in the Courtyard Bar & Brasserie and the main Lake View restaurant), playing pool in the amazing Billiards Room and relaxing in the lovely lounge and bar areas. No place I’d rather be.
Find out more at https://www.armathwaite-hall.com/