Really attentive staff, an incredibly comfy bed and definitely up there as one of, if not the best spa I’ve visited. Yes that’s a bold statement, let me explain why Rudding Park needs to be on your spa list!
Rudding Park is just a few miles outside of Harrogate. It’s easy to get to and ideally located if you want to spend some time exploring the Victorian Spa town of Harrogate or get outdoors and get walking. We spent our early afternoon in Harrogate before checking in, getting some lunch and having a little walk around the town centre. Though I’ll be honest, I was very eager to get to Rudding Park and see what it was all about.
You know there are places which are hyped up and you feel a bit disappointed? Well this isn’t one of them. From the moment we checked in, I could really see the staff were top notch, showing us straight through to our room, keen to ensure we had everything we needed and pointing us in the right direction of the spa too.
We stayed in one of the Follifoot Wing rooms. At 36m², with a super king size bed and lovely view out to the gardens, I almost wish we had stayed for two nights! It was really modern and bright and the bathroom was luxurious too – a walk in rainfall shower, huge roll top bath and Molton Brown toiletries which were topped up during our stay. Sometimes I’m let down by hotel bathrooms, but this was really lovely; I just wish I had remembered to bring a Lush bath bomb. Next time though…
Rudding Park Spa is spread across three floors. The main floor is where the 17m indoor swimming pool is, alongside the Juniper log sauna (and bucket shower outdoors to cool down after) plus the Mud Rasul which can accommodate 2-4 guests. If you’re looking for a manicure or a blow dry, you’ll find the salon and beauty studio here too. It’s a really nice bright, airy space to walk into and the staff are warm and friendly.
The Escape Zone is on the lower floor and aside from walking down and spotting the giraffe artwork, we didn’t go in. There’s a range of different zones for guests having a treatment, the idea being that you pick the one best suited for how you would relax. It sounds like a really nice touch, so you find watching waves soothes you, you might go for visual, or if you want complete peace to switch off, go for relax.
Horto Cafe is also located on this ground floor and it’s a really relaxed vibe, if you want to pop in for your spa brunch or lunch in your robe, feel free. I like when spas make you feel comfortable dining in your cosy robe, because that’s the whole point of a spa day; it’s time to relax. We shared the charcuterie board for lunch and 10/10 would order that again, really generous portion with a mix of cheese, olives, cured meats and the parmesan rocket salad was a great side.
The roof top spa
The indoor facilities were all top notch but it’s the roof top that really set Rudding Park leagues ahead of other spas I’ve visited.
The 11m indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy infinity pool offers views of the garden and it’s a real key facility of the spa. I liked the way you actually get in the pool by walking through to outside. It’s not too deep either, but you could have a bit of a swim if you fancy. There’s different hydrotherapy massage points to target different areas – legs, feet, neck, back and submerged air loungers for you to relax on.
There’s another two saunas up on the roof top too. The panoramic sauna which offers a similar view across the garden that you get from the infinity pool and the cabin sauna that’s over in the garden part of the roof top.
In fact, there’s so many hydrotherapy and thermal experiences, it would be easy to spend a day here and we did! Working our way around the different areas from the Herbal bath steam room which smelled really lovely, to the luxury steam room which was huge – the mosaic dome was really pretty to look at with the colour changing lights. Experience showers – I only dared to the try mist function and even then I shrieked! Oops!
One I’d never tried before but was really intrigued by, was the Oxygen Pod. This room offers concentrated levels of oxygen up to 27% which helps prevent signs of ageing, strengthen your immune system and promote better sleep. I sat in here for about 10-15 minutes and it was really soothing to relax.
Sunlight Therapy was another interesting one, but we had actual sunlight and warm temperatures outside so I popped on some SPF and enjoyed actual vitamin D. I could see this therapy being really useful though in the winter, if you’re visiting for a spa day. Spending 20 minutes in the room is recommended and helps to reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The opposite side to the hydrotherapy pool is where you’ll find the spa garden. There’s an expansive sun deck (though there’s also plenty areas to sit around the facilities and outdoors in front of the pool and sauna. A spa bath (basically a hot tub/jacuzzi which was really popular when we visited, so we didn’t actually go in. Then there’s Cabana which has a fire bowl, heat lamps and cosy seating. You can hire it out too, which would be nice if you’re having a celebration.
We had dinner included in our stay and dined in Clocktower. Before heading to dinner we stopped off in the Library, a really vibrant room with colour coordinated books stacked neatly on the shelves and plenty of space to sit and socialise.
Service was good, the food was really well presented and flavours were great. I had the sea bass served with coconut curried tiger prawns and veg and it was a really generous portion. The steak didn’t look bad either, and of course I ate some chips. For dessert we had the lemon cake, served with gin jelly and lemon curd – this looked really special, and the cheese board (of course!) The cheese board came with a very generous serving of biscuits, chutney, celery and what also looked, and tasted, like fruit cake. Different – yes. Delicious – yes.
After a lovely meal we retired to the room for a cuppa – Yorkshire Tea, naturally, and a great night’s sleep. Honestly, that bed is something else! Does anyone else have a mental list of the best pillows they’ve slept on? Because I certainly do and that Rudding Park bed/pillow/duvet situation is up there with William de Percy for comfort.
Is it worth the money?
Rudding Park isn’t the cheapest spa break, but it’s well worth it. I booked a summer offer which was really great value, offering the room upgrade to Follifoot and access to the roof top spa at a discounted rate plus £42pp allowance for dinner. I would without hesitation, book it again. So I would absolutely say it’s worth it.
It may be a good idea to look at the stay and spa deals, sometimes they work out cheaper than a spa day (although you’d have to pay to add on treatments and potentially roof top access – check when you book) or if you’re looking for a relaxing spa day, try to book in advance and you can save some money. It also means you’ll not be disappointed if you try to book in last minute. It was busy when we were there, but not to make you uncomfortable. We easy found space on the sun loungers and often had facilities to ourselves. If you’re looking for luxury on a budget, look at the brunch spa/morning spa or just roof top access.
Have you been to Rudding Spa Hotel and Spa?