Armathwaite Hall Spa review – A relaxing haven in the Lake District
A visit to Armathwaite Hall Spa is the perfect way to relax during a holiday in the Lake District. Described as a “sprawling affair” by The Telegraph, the spa is situated close to Bassenthwaite Lake. It is a great option if you’re looking for things to do near Cockermouth. We visited the spa for a half-day experience and had a lovely chilled morning, which left us feeling pampered and refreshed.
A brief history of Armathwaite Hall
The history of Armathwaite Hall dates back to 1500 and it has been owned by a number of families over the years. However, it was only in 1926 that it was turned into a hotel. This was after it was fortunately saved from demolition by the Wivell family. It is now owned by the Graves family.
Armathwaite Hall is surrounded by 400 acres of deer park and woodland, so is very peaceful. The hotel itself is really ornate, with traditional country house features, including high ceilings, wooden panelling and grand fireplaces.
However, while guests at the hotel have access to the spa (with a day charge applicable), if you’re just visiting as a day guest you won’t actually step foot inside the old hall. In fact, you’ll only see it on the drive out!
Armathwaite Hall Spa itself is in a self contained building. The relaxation and treatment rooms are upstairs and the pools, sauna and steam room are downstairs.
One of the things that I must highlight is the spa’s friendly staff. From the moment I made my booking over the phone to the time we left the building, everyone we came into contact with was so kind and helpful. This really helped to make our visit feel special.
Armathwaite Hall Spa review
My Armathwaite Hall Spa review is very positive overall. We felt that the spa offered a really good range of facilities. These included those you’d expect, such as an indoor swimming pool, steam room and sauna, as well as some nice extras like an outdoor hot tub, an aroma room and plenty of comfortable places to relax.
The spa has two pools. The main one is a 16m pool, which is great for a swim, plus there’s a wallow pool if you just fancy a dip. (Just to note that children staying at the hotel are allowed to use the pools from 8.30am to 10.30am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm.)
There is also an outdoor hot-tub overlooking the gardens, where we enjoyed a drink. The only thing I found a little strange about this was that there was a chain-link fence covered in camouflage leaves in front of the hot tub, which blocked the view. Looking online, it seems that this is not usually the case, so I don’t know if there was some maintenance work going on. But it did detract a little from the experience of being sat outside in nature.
However I did really appreciate the number of nice places there are to relax at Armathwaite Hall Spa. As well as beds around the pool, there’s a Tranquility Terrace, which is an indoor terrace with beds overlooking the gardens. In addition there’s an outdoor terrace, which unfortunately it wasn’t warm enough to use when we visited. But I imagine it would be lovely in the summer.
The spa also has a decent sized hydrotherapy pool with a neck shower, as well as a steam room. My favourite place was the sauna, which has views of the surrounding peaks and provides the connection to nature the spa promotes.
Additional facilities include an aroma room, which is a nice soothing place to sit, with dimmed lights and an aromatic smell. There is also a tropical shower and rain dance shower if you like to cool off after a sauna.
We visited Armathwaite Hall Spa mid-week and it was quite quiet. There were a few other people there on spa packages, plus a couple of friendly locals who have gym passes. But it didn’t feel overcrowded at any point.
Armathwaite Hall Spa treatments
The Armathwaite Hall Spa treatments list is quite long. Guests can choose from a selection of massages and facials, as well as manicures and pedicures. So if you’re hoping to be pampered you’re sure to find something to suit you. We booked a half-day package, which included either a facial or massage. I opted for a full-body massage, which I would highly recommend. All of the therapists we came into contact with were so friendly and professional and really put us at ease.
Before you begin your spa experience you’ll be asked to complete a health questionnaire in the comfortable lounge. If you’re staying for lunch you can also choose your options and book that here too.
The spa has 10 treatment rooms, including one couples room with a whirlpool bath. I’d booked the Drift Away Massage and after a brief chat about the massage pressure with my therapist, I did just that. It was a dreamy massage, with a blend of essential oils including frankincense, lavendar and patchouli.
Afterwards we were taken to the Hush Relaxation Room, where there was a small smoothie and flapjack waiting for us. The room has beds arranged to look out over a veranda, with the fells in the background. Each bed also has a cosy blanket on it, so I had to try very hard not to fall asleep there!
Lunch at Armathwaite Hall Spa
Lunch at Armathwaite Hall Spa is served in The Courtyard Bar and Brasserie. There is an a la carte menu, with a good selection of options ranging from salads to toasted sandwiches. The spa package we booked included a two-course lunch.
I opted for the feta, beetroot and pomegranate salad, followed by a coconut pannacotta with a pineapple compote.
The food itself was really tasty and was served quickly by a friendly member of staff.
However I felt that the bistro itself, which is described as the “informal” dining area of the hotel, lacked a bit of personality. Maybe when it’s busier, it feels more buzzy, but on a quiet day it just felt a bit flat.
We had been told we were welcome to stay in our spa robes to eat there. But I was glad we’d got changed into our clothes, as I found it to be on the chilly side and had to order a cup of tea to warm up at the end of the meal!
A relaxing Lake District option
While you may be visiting the Lake District in order to check out the best Beatrix Potter attractions or hike some of the fells, chances are you’re also planning to relax a little during your stay. So I’d definitely recommend Armathwaite Hall Spa as a great option if you’re looking to be pampered.
I hope you found this Armathwaite Hall Spa review helpful. If you do decide to visit, have a lovely relaxing day!
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