Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds and with just as much chocolate-box charm, stands Ellenborough Park, once a school for girls and now boasting 62 lavishly-decorated bedrooms within its 15th Century walls.
I was invited along last week to discover the newly opened Spa, heavily influenced by the hotel’s historical connections with Lord Ellenborough, Governor General of India. The Spa is a haven of Eastern design with careful attention to detail and flourishes that bring the 19th Century colonial rule to a gentler age!
Spread over two levels, The Spa at Ellenborough Park boasts a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, sensation showers, seven individual treatment rooms and a couples treatment suite for the use of those who prefer to experience a bit of pampering a deux!
Hydrotherapy Pool – image courtesy of Ellenborough Park
Having spent the journey to Ellenborough Park bickering with Mr. L about the best way to get there, I arrived bad-tempered and weary before throwing myself into the arms of Tessa who’d been charged with the task of introducing me to my first Aromatherapy Massage.
For the first 5 minutes, I was tense and resistant to Tessa’s hands but a few reassuring strokes and a couple of deep breaths later, I’d turned to putty. She kneaded and unwound the knots across my shoulder blades without a pummel in sight! I’d chosen the Babor Energising blend of oils which scented my skin (and the room) with a tangy mix of grapefruit and petitgrain, leaving me feeling revitalised and clear-headed.
An exclusive range of Babor products available in the Spa
My massage struck the perfect balance with firm but gentle pressure and thankfully no blathering from my therapist or elevator music to interrupt my bliss. Whilst the pressure was consistent enough to stop me from nodding off, I may have very nearly dribbled on my towel. But I won’t confirm that.
If you go, I recommend spending the additional £25 to extend your experience to a full 55 minutes because it’ll take a pair of wild horses to drag you from that bed. If there are no wild stallions at hand, there’s always the temptation of The Juice Bar where you can sit and quench your thirst or the enticing hydrotherapy pool downstairs.
The Spa blends seamlessly into the tranquil surroundings of the hotel
If massages aren’t your cup of Darjeeling, the Ellenborough Spa also offers signature treatments that include the summery-sounding Maritime Salt Body Exfoliation (£45) and decadent Sea Creation Facial Ritual (£115) along with various manicure/pedicure treatments that make use of the Leighton Denny range.
Leighton Denny at Ellenborough Spa
I’ll leave you with some more images from my visit to Ellenborough Park. As you can see, I took advantage of the good weather to have a proper nosey around the Cheltenham hotel!
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy their hospitality so soon after the 18-month restoration which has revealed a luxury country retreat that achieves an admirable balance between the traditional and the modern, the formal and the informal… business, pleasure and everything inbetween.
For more information on Ellenborough Park and Spa visit www.ellenboroughpark.com or call 01242 807528
Disclosure: I was invited to experience Ellenborough Spa as a guest of the hotel and the treatment reviewed was complimentary.