Aquarias Spa at Whatley Manor

The lowdown

A classy country house hotel with beautifully designed gardens, wow-factor food and a top-notch spa. The classic wisteria-clad Cotswold manor offers a stylish and exclusive bolthole with thoughtful touches, eco credentials and just-right service. Escapism is the name of the game, with the kind of space and luxury you simply don’t get at home. And it makes the perfect grown-up getaway too as the hotel is off-limits to young children.

Spavellous for

Foodies, luxury lovers, romantics, dog-friendly, peace-seekers (only over 12s allowed), facial fans

Spa info

Aquarias spa has an immediately calming vibe, featuring:

• Indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool with swan pipes, recliners, and several massage jets. Aquarias doesn’t have a swimming pool, but the bubbly hydro pool is lovely and spacious, so it doesn’t feel like anything’s lacking – unless you’re a devoted length swimmer • Roman-inspired thermal suite with Caldarium, Infa-red sauna and relaxing Tepidarium with heated mosaiced recliners • Sauna • Steam room • Salt scrub shower • Gym • Spa lounge serving fresh and healthy light bites • Poolside recliners – with relaxing garden and countryside views • Iso-pod solo floatation experience with Epsom salts – £56 for a sixty-minute session • Jacuzzi – which can now be booked for exclusive use • Natura Bissé Bubble Suite – exclusive to Aquarias Spa

Treatment highlights

Spa treatments are by Spa brand Natura Bissé and eco British brand, Gaia.

The jewel in Aquarias’ treatment crown is undoubtedly the 90-minute Diamond Life infusion – which can be delivered in the Pure Air Bubble – a personal oxygen-filled tent and promises to be the ultimate anti-aging facial, with air that is 99.99% pure.

The treatment starts with a 15-minute back massage to get you in the zone, then delivers one of the most luxurious, firming – and expensive – facials in the UK (£155 for 90 minutes)

Also, firmly up there on the facial front is the Gaiyoga lifting facial from eco-friendly Brit brand Gaia skincare. This stimulating treatment includes a facial workout so is a great one for anyone looking to avoid drifting off to sleep during their treatment.

Aquarias also offers some fabulous body and massage treatments and Spa Rituals – including Spavellous favourite, the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, for deep muscle relaxation. For anyone who likes the idea of a seated option, we recommend ‘Champi and Reflexology’ – a holistic treatment which incorporates Indian head massage, a neck and shoulder massage, and, you guessed it, reflexology on your feet.

Other treats include the Gaia Complete Wellness Ritual. We haven’t tried this one yet, but anything that involves 2.5 hours of pampering, including body brushing, mud mask and a good massage has to be a winner in our book. Next time…

rooms

There are 23 decent sized rooms with immaculate, classy furnishings including a room that’s adapted for guests with mobility issues. There are also dog-friendly rooms which include a doggy welcome pack and bed.

wining & dining

The formal dining option is a special and lively experience, offering a fun fusion of British/Asian tastes from the two-Michelin starred Dining Room’s gourmet 10 course tasting menu from Thursday and throughout the weekend. The journey is physical as well as gastronomical, with the courses taking you from drawing room to dining room via several playful plates in the kitchen.

For those after a more relaxed ‘comfort food’ option, Greys Brasserie offers an informal, but still creative – and affordable – dining option with small plates being served around a theatrical central table. Breakfasts, which are also pretty special, are served at Greys too.

why so spavellous?

Whatley Manor has a strong ethical approach, with a ‘zero to landfill’ policy and Green Michelin Star for gastronomic sustainability. It’s also a member of the Too Good to Go food waste programme, and Aquarias Spa has recently achieved Gold accreditation from the Sustainable Spa Association, which is an impressive UK first.

spavellous tips

If you’re celebrating or looking for a little spa romance, you can book the private hot tub with one lucky spa buddy and enjoy a chilled glass of fizz while you relax. There’s also an exclusive Iso-pod floatation experience which you can add on to any spa day to float in Epsom salt-rich warm water and immerse yourself in sound, colour and cosiness. (Not one for the claustrophobic though!)

spa-goers say

‘I particularly liked the salt scrub showers and pool with its different sensory areas’ ‘A quintessential English oasis – the house, the garden, the spa, the food – everything was perfect – apart from the fact that we had to leave’

WEBSITE

aDDRESS

Whatley Manor Malmesbury, Cotswolds SN16 0RB

sAT NAV

SN16 0RB
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