The Club at Cottonmill, Sopwell House Hotel

The lowdown

The Club at Cottonmill is the shiny new £14 million spa development and spa ‘members club’ concept at Sopwell House. Highlights include an inviting in-out hydrotherapy pool and beautiful and architecturally designed spa garden with mosaiced hot tubs surrounded by architectural plants.

Cottonmill Club spa is the perfect sanctuary to spend the day flitting from pool to lounger, pretending you’re somewhere altogether more exotic than just off junction 21a of the M25.

Spavellous for

luxury lovers, spa with a friend, solo spa-goers, romantics, tranquillity seekers

Spa info

Initially we were slightly confused by the two-tier spa access approach at Sopwell House, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. ‘Cottonmill Club’ offers an extra, exclusive add-on to the basic hotel spa, giving guests access to a suite of luxury spa facilities, above and beyond. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the Club only.

To access the Club at Cottonmill, you’ll need to be a Club member, staying in Sopwell House’s Mews accommodation, or have purchased, or upgraded to, a ‘Club’ Spa day.

The new facilities are very impressive and superbly designed and the Spa Garden has a particularly luxurious, natural feel – more reminiscent of Bali than just down the road from Bernard’s Heath. Cabanas and a huge outdoor rain-shower add to this happy illusion.


• Large indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool with bubble loungers and hydrotherapy stations • Spa garden – with soothing water features, 3 large mosaiced hot tubs, a fire pit and plenty of comfy loungers and cabanas • Garden Room – glass-fronted relaxation area with loungers and swing chairs • Whisper Room – a serene space on the first floor with a central fireplace feature and panoramic views over the hotel’s manicured grounds • Panoramic sauna • Deep Relaxation Room – with space-age vibrating multi-sensory loungers that make up for in novelty what they lack in comfort – and a screen just outside the room shows how many beds are available

• 2 steam rooms – salt and botanical • Tepidarium with 4 stone loungers • 2 large saunas – one glass-fronted • Private dressing rooms • Experience showers • Outdoor rain shower

The Spa Garden has a very zen feel about it and has been expertly designed to subtly maximise privacy, with the modern architectural water features creating soothing sights and sounds. Inside, floor-to-ceiling glass windows bring the outside in, and the pleasantly toasty in-out pool creates a seamless passage from one to the other.

Treatment highlights

Cottonmill Club spa has partnered with ELEMIS and Aromatherapy Associates for treatments, and created its own signature treatments based around the ‘soothing and healing powers of sand and water’.

The jewel in Cottonmill Club’s treatment crown is the Amber and Quartz Crystal Bed – the first outside of London. This decadent bed adds another layer of luxury to selected treatments, with warm sand moulded to your body as you’re massaged and, in the case of the Sound and Sand treatment, intermittently treated to the sound and vibration of singing bowls.

If ‘Water’ treatments float your spa boat, you can opt for the Cottonmill Signature Vichy treatment, or the Elemis Exotic Frangipani Body Scrub with wrap & Vichy shower – both delivering relaxation and an invigorating circulation boost.

Cottonmill also offers a bespoke massage tailored to fit your current mood and wellbeing needs on the day, and has curated a list of male treatments, though most treatments are unisex.


There are 128 rooms in the main hotel which are comfy, cosy and clean. But, if you can afford to, book in to one of the 16 new and luxurious mews suites, which are separate from the main hotel building. These are all individually designed, with access to a central garden with large hot tub accessible only to mews occupants and take the whole experience to the next level.

wining & dining

There are 3 dining options at Sopwell House to cater for all:

• The Pantry – perfect for a healthy spa lunch in your robe with salads and soups, fresh pasta and spa afternoon tea. • The Brasserie – a lively eatery serving salads, burgers and other classic bistro dishes • The Restaurant – with 2 AA Rosettes, for more formal British dining

why so spavellous?

The Cottonmill Club spa oozes immaculate luxury. It has been skilfully designed to feel open, light and airy and brings the outside in. It has state-of-the-art spa, fitness and wellness facilities. The exclusive access, pricing and clever design means that it never feels crowded, and the garden is a real oasis of calm. The fact that the Club at Cottonmill spa is adults only also adds to the sense of tranquillity.

spavellous tips

Put your Out of Office on – you’re encouraged to put your phone into a ‘sleeping bag’ to help you to switch off and get the most from your spa experience (though this is not enforced, in case you’re worried about missing out on photos for the Gram).

Splash out to stay in one of the 16 Mews Suites if you can – with their own gated entrance and individual design features like in-room baths, spa baths and four posters. We recommend the Mews Hot Tub Studio.

spa-goers say

If you’re staying at the hotel, paying extra to upgrade to the Club is an absolute MUST And, if you’ve visited Sopwell House in the past, before the new spa build, you’ll be blown away by the new Cottonmill Club addition.



Sopwell House Hotel, Cottonmill Lane, St. Albans.


Photo credit: Spavellous
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