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Spa Hotels|Spa Resorts|Wellness Retreats

Review – Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

Lynne HylandBy Lynne Hyland

If you can measure a country hotel’s grandeur by the length of its driveway, you’ll get a strong hint of what to expect at Coworth Park long before you glimpse the graceful Georgian manor house itself. ‘Nice place, this,’ remarked our driver, a master of understatement, as he cruised through the gate posts and then on… and on… and on…. through 240 acres of Berkshire countryside, past lakes, polo fields, spa complex and tennis courts.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

Coworth Park is the Dorchester Collection’s rural retreat, and it’s a place where the social elite come to escape London and play. On the day we arrive, we notice a team of men in black discreetly sweeping the estate and later discover the royal princes are attending a polo event here, along with various Hollywood A-listers. So do prepare and preen your shoulders carefully here. You never quite know who they’ll be rubbing up against.Inside, Coworth Park is a dazzle of contemporary silver, with lines of handsome modern chandeliers stretching as far as the eye can see down the mirrored hallways. Light bounces everywhere, flattering the skin tone like a kind of walk-through Instagram filter. This must be what Kim Kardashian experiences when she’s on walkabout and surrounded by flunkies wielding photographic reflectors.

And, oh, the sheer space of the place. Posh it may be, but buttoned up and stuffy it certainly is not. Coworth Park has an effortlessly airy feel, as if silently encouraging any stressed-out guests to stretch out, exhale deeply and let go. And you really should. You’re not in London any more, Toto.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

Coworth Park’s spa is housed in a striking semi-circle that’s partially sunk into the parkland itself, rather like some kind of minimalist Bond villain lair. (Ah, Luxury Spa Edit, we’ve been expecting you…) There’s so much daylight flooding in through its curved floor to ceiling windows and glass skylights, you could get probably a year’s worth of vitamin D within moments.

After I’d changed into the regulation fluffy gown and slippers I was taken through to the relaxation room, a modern day take on an elegant drawing room. It was hard to concentrate on filling out the consultation form with such pretty scenery to gaze at through the window.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

There are equally gorgeous views from The Spatisserie, where you can sit dreamily post treatment with a smoothie, light lunch, afternoon tea or even champagne (well why not?) Make sure you bring your swimsuit too so you can enjoy a few leisurely lengths while listening to underwater music in the 18-metre indoor swimming pool before stretching out on the sun terrace with its loungers, aromatic steam room and experience shower.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

The spa menu at Coworth Park features treatments from Aromatherapy Associates, Kerstin Florian, Valmont and Carol Joy London. Pampering here is carried out in one of the spa’s eight gorgeous, bright treatment rooms with sunshine streaming in through the roof light. (If it’s dim, candlelit and womb-like you’re after, look elsewhere).

The daylight-flooded environment certainly didn’t stop me drifting into that glorious trance-like state that’s the hallmark of a great treatment. I was getting the full top to toe works with the Coworth Park Signature Treatment which combines a moor mud back exfoliation, scalp massage, a hot stone foot rub and a bespoke Kerstin Florian Prescription Facial. The treatment is a full body experience; the actual effect is ‘out of body experience’.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

Be warned. The rooms here are the sort of aspirational space that will make you look at your own house and find it seriously lacking. My husband took one look at my face when I saw the super-sized contemporary four poster bed and immediately shook his head. Spoilsport.

Besides that stunning centrepiece, our room had a sitting area with plush sofas and views over the rose garden and polo fields. The bathroom was ridiculously huge and featured a rolltop bath (complete with rack plus reading material to encourage a good up-to-the-neck wallow) and a separate walk-in shower. If you were here on a romantic getaway, it’s exactly the sort of room that would tempt you to put on the Do Not Disturb sign and only open the door again for room service.

Review - Lynn Hyland Checks in to Coworth Park

Lovely as breakfast in bed here would be, it would also be a shame to miss out on tea, toast and a delicious Full English in the dining room at Coworth Park. A 10-foot chandelier of sculpted leaves dominates the ceiling, like some kind of huge copper halo hovering high above a table of breakfast juices.

For our evening meal, my husband and I took the short and pleasant stroll past swans gliding on Coworth Park’s lake to The Barn. This is a laid-back sort of place, where you can flop down at a table with your boots still muddy from a walk round the grounds, and deliberate the brasserie-style menu over a pint. In summer, you can enjoy your meal on the sun-trap terrace, and in winter there’s a cosy stone fireplace to keep you snug.

We had wonderful rib-eye steaks and shared a shamelessly indulgent ice-cream sundae, a tall glass piled high with honeycomb, meringue, chocolate, nuts and berries. I can’t think of a better place to blow the diet. Besides, there are those 240 acres of parkland to work it off in, and at Coworth Park you never know who you might encounter on your post-dinner st