North Yorkshire, England
- Day Spa
- Family Friendly
- Fine Dining
- Going Solo
- Thermal Facilities
- Pool – Indoor
- Pool – Outdoor
A privately owned luxury estate, Rudding Park has 90 bedrooms, a spa, two restaurants and a kitchen garden, private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space.
Set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens, rolling countryside and woodland, it’s one of the most beautiful retreats in North Yorkshire.
The spa recaptures Harrogate’s spa heritage using natural waters from the grounds at Rudding Park.
Wellness of mind, body and soul are at the heart of the spa – a peaceful, serene space – highlights include a roof top pool, a spa garden and a wonderful hydrotherapy circuit.
- Swimming pool
- Roof-top pool
- Hydrotherapy circuit
- Thermal facilities
- Treatment rooms
- Relaxation areas
- Spa garden
Comfortable, stylish and sophisticated, Rudding Park offers contemporary design with a traditional foundation. Luxury accommodation provides the perfect experience for couples, individuals or families.
For a spa experience in your own room opt for one of the Spa Rooms – complete with a private steam, sauna or spa bath.
In-room highlights include Molton Brown products, underfloor heating and free wi-fi.
Considered as one of the best places to dine in Harrogate, Rudding Park offers a range of options for drinks, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Head to Horto for fine dining with tasting and a la carte menus inspired by the kitchen garden.
The Clocktower boasts 2 AA Rosettes and serves up laid back lunches.
Alongside the road that leads to Rudding Park, there’s a long, low, beautifully maintained brick wall. We turned in at the first entrance, but that turned out to be one of the Rudding Park Golf Clubs. We carried on along the wall to the next turn. But no, that was the Rudding Park holiday park. By the time we took the third, correct turn in to the drive that sweeps up to the side of the big house (so as not to spoil the view from the front) the penny had dropped.
With 300 acres of glorious parkland around it, this place is seriously huge. Rudding Park is situated near Harrogate in Yorkshire in the area known to estate agents as the ‘golden triangle’. In its pictures, the beautiful, early nineteenth-century main house looks imposing. Possibly a bit formal and fusty, I thought, but thanks largely to the charming, cheerful staff it’s not remotely intimidating. Somehow the place pulls off the trick of being immensely smart while also feeling extremely welcoming.
The old house is now used for conferences and the new hotel buildings, opened 20 years ago, stretch away seamlessly behind it, the design smoothly transitioning from Yorkshire Grand to modern contemporary. In the library, the bookshelves are painted a sober dark green though in front of them, there is a pair of sofas covered in chartreuse velvet and brace of curvy Seventies ‘Egg’ chairs in bright orange – it shouldn’t work, but it does, and manages to look fun rather than self-consciously wacky.
The long, low, brand-new spa looks so at home in the garden behind the hotel that it’s easy to overlook what a feat of design it is to drop a rectangular block of a building into said garden and make it look as if it’s meant to be there. It’s helped by the lightness of the design – the ground floor, which takes in the indoor swimming pool and a restaurant called Horto, (of which more in a minute) is comprised mostly of huge windows – but of course what really matters is what’s inside, underneath, and on top.
The seven treatment rooms are tucked away underground in the basement area, and the main spa is up on the roof. There’s a lot to do here, which may sound like an odd sort of praise for a spa, but if you’re not good at sitting about being mindful or if you have an antsy partner with you, you’ll appreciate the way that you can move from the foot-spa baths to the steam room(s), to the indoor-outdoor plunge pool, to the sauna-with-a-garden view… or you can venture onto the gorgeous roof garden and explore the Jacuzzi pool and the cabin sauna. Or, like my husband, you could just happily subside onto a lounger and enjoy the sunshine.
Down the light-filled stairway in the spa, I was captivated by the four separate relaxation areas. Someone has noticed, hallelujah, that we all like to relax in different ways, depending on who we are and how we’re feeling. I love flaking out in a dimly-lit relaxation room under a canopy of twinkly star lights but if that’s not your bag, there is an audio relaxation area where you sit and listen to music, a visual relaxation area where you feast your eyes on relaxing images unfurling on a huge screen as you recline on a couch, and the ‘Mind’ area where you can get busy with colouring pencils or puzzles – brilliant for unwinding the mind without having to lie down and do nothing.
There’s a slew of lovely-sounding treatments from facials (with products by Carita, Ila and Elemental Herbology) through to the muddy glories of the Rasul.
I opted for the Vitality Body Ritual which comprised a rub down with an Elemental Herbology Macadamia and Papaya scrub followed by a shower and then a hot stone massage. I haven’t had a hot stone massage for years and was taken aback by how good and relaxing it was – though that may have been down to Zoe, who was doing my treatment, and her slow, flowing movements with the stones that gradually drained all the tension out of my back. Blissful.
The new spa bedrooms, a short dressing-gowned scuttle across the garden from the spa, offer the same thoughtful, understated luxury that underpins Rudding Park’s style, with stylish leather armchairs and unshowy but very comfortable beds.
Our bedroom was all clean lines and restrained good taste with a relaxing absence of flounces. The huge bathroom offered a roll-top bath and private sauna along with comforting underfloor heating and a good large shower. There are also French doors onto a private terrace, which is the quickest way over to the spa.
Walking past it on the way into the spa, I thought that Horto was the pool terrace café. Which it is – you can get a cup of tea and a delicious fruit crumble slice here – but in the evening, it’s all about contemporary fine dining.
There’s even a seven-course tasting menu showcasing local produce including vegetables and herbs from the kitchen garden and young grouse (this was late August) off the local moors. We had to try it and can report that it was all astonishingly good, involving cep dumplings with horseradish, crab on spicy squid crackers with pea and wasabi ice-cream, onion tart, ganaches, amuse-bouches, palate-cleansing ‘waters’ (a kind of broth) of tomato, and pea…
I know this sounds like the kind of stuff that can become up-itself fancy but here, backed up with impeccable service from the young, enthusiastic kitchen team it was a delight from start to finish. They all knew exactly what was in each dish, where it came from and why it was put together in the way it was, which added greatly to the experience.
I’d bet the food in the main restaurant, the Clocktower, is pretty fab too. I kicked myself that we hadn’t opted for breakfast among the olive trees in pots in the sunny conservatory that forms part of the restaurant, but I’d been unable to resist the joy of ordering breakfast to the room. I know the answer: stay longer, then you get to do both.
The kitchen garden. I missed it and have been kicking myself because friends have told me how lovely it is and how the gardeners will give you a quick tour of the 100+ varieties of herbs, vegetables and fruit which find their way into the dishes on offer in Horto.