This week Queen of Retreats founder Caroline Sylger-Jones heads to Warwickshire for a special spa stay
Where to get a spa-fix in Warwickshire? We found that Mallory Court does the job quite nicely, especially as we’re fans of organic skincare brand ila. Built in 1916, this country house Relais & Chateaux hotel with 10 acres of grounds and manicured gardens is part of the Eden Hotel Collection, and has oak-panelling, elegant furnishings and traditional styling throughout its 31 bedrooms and communal spaces. Many people come here for the fine dining, but the hotel’s new Elan Spa is also a pull.
The newly built Orchard House in the grounds is feels spanking new and much more modern, its 12 plush rooms a good choice if you just want to come here to use the new spa as they’re in the same building. There’s also an outdoor spa area here with sauna, hydro pool and terrace area, and we particularly loved being able to sit in the sunken pool and breathe in fresh countryside air at any time of day. The spa also includes a Rhassoul mud room, nail boutique, indoor pool with hydro options, a salt sauna and a fitness studio.
Staff here were wonderfully friendly, but the spa felt a teensy bit soulless on our visit, and we felt it needed to grow into itself a little bit. That said, we always enjoy an ila treatment wherever we are, and this was no exception. We had Beth as our capable therapist, and indulged in a bespoke massage with ila oils whilst the divine voice of Denise Leicester, Ila’s founder, soothed us on a CD playing in the background. ila use ethically-sourced, wild-harvested plant and mineral ingredients which feel gorgeous on your skin. You can come here for a day and try treatments such as their Chakra Wellbeing, Bio Rhythms Treatment or Rhassoul Treatment or come for a ila spa break and sample two from the menu with treats like afternoon tea in between. There are also reliably good ESPA facials, massages and wraps to be had, plus maternity and mens treatments.
After our treatment we sat in the comfortable reception area and sipped a Kusmi herbal tea whilst reading a little card of advice on how to help ourselves over the coming day – avoid heat, exercise, drink water, and so on – not groundbreaking, but a nurturing touch nonetheless. There is no deep relaxation room, but if you’re staying in Orchard House you can easily go between your room to treatments and the pool in your robe and save dressing up for tea or dinner for later.
We had a delicious, seasonal meal in the dining room, and particularly liked the head chef’s signature dish of cured mackerel with fennel chutney, black-garlic purée, basil oil and a heritage-tomato consommé. We went in the Summer, when strawberries from the garden with crème fraîche mousse, meadowsweet jelly and strawberry sorbet finished the meal beautifully. Veggie spa-goers take note – you will need to ask for the separate vegetarian menu as they don’t readily offer this.
A Standard Room such as the Knights Suite costs from £119 per room, per night, and a Superior Deluxe Room in the Orchard House costs from £229 per room, per night, both on a B&B basis. The Rose Garden Experience lasts 90 minutes and costs £140. Find out more on the website here.
Caroline Sylger Jones is an author and freelance journalist who travels the world checking out spas, retreats and healthy holidays for international newspapers, glossy magazines and websites. She is the founder and director of wellness travel site Queen of Retreats.
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For more wellness travel ideas check out Caroline’s brilliant site Queen of Retreats at .queenofretreats.com.
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