From Cheshire to Cornwall
As well as moses baskets and car seats, there’s a new ‘must buy’ for parents-to-be: a babymoon. For some ‘me time’ – or ‘us time’ – before a new arrival, you can’t beat a luxury spa hotel. Here are some of England's finest.
BEST FOR: FILM-STAR GOOD LOOKS
As soon as you roll into Stoke Park (horse-drawn carriage optional), prepare to swoon. Here, in 300 acres of English parkland, you’ll find everything you need for pre-parenthood pampering: a palatial manor house, Championship golf course and a top-notch spa. For soon-to-be Mums there’s a selection of treatments. And the grounds are spot on for a gentle stroll. In fact, you’ll walk in the footsteps of James Bond and Bridget Jones – admittedly not the best parenting role models – as Stoke Park is both historical estate and modern-day film set.
Top Treatment: if you can’t choose between the Skin Solution Facial or Nurturing Mother-to-be Massage, opt for the ultimate THALGO Pregnancy Ritual.
BEST FOR: INDOOR-OUTDOOR RELAXATION
With dedicated spa suites, Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa takes relaxation seriously. The hotel’s Grecian Spa is award winning and it’s easy to see why. As well as a feature pool it offers Zen gardens, bespoke spa days and 25 treatment rooms, including doubles. Pack a book of classic poetry – Alexander House was once the home of old Romantic Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Top Treatment: ease achy feet with the Fire and Ice Pedicure – complete with mocktail to sip on.
BEST FOR: BABY SHOWERS
Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club in Sussex offers the best of all worlds. There are special pre-natal treatments and plenty of VitaMan therapies if you’re visiting as a couple. You can even choose to have your treatment in your room. Or, if you’re planning a getaway with girlfriends, book the baby shower afternoon tea (with blue or pink cupcakes) – Ashdown has a reputation for exquisite high teas. Did we mention that this hotel is family-friendly too? That means you can always come back after the little one arrives.
Top Treatment: try the Alpine Foot treatment if leg cramps are starting to set in.
BEST FOR: BEING BESIDE THE SEA
If you’re looking for spa hotels in Cornwall, it’s hard to match the style and setting of The Nare Hotel. Its Carne Bay Spa overlooks the heart-stealing Roseland Peninsula, with the sound of the surf a calming accompaniment to treatments. Inside, therapists set the mood with cosy, candlelit rooms. If you plan to get out and about while here, there are plenty of easy walks and gardens just on the doorstep.
Top Treatment: get that pregnancy glow with Dermalogica facials or a tailored massage that gently targets pregnancy aches.
BEST FOR: A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Where better for a pre-baby getaway than the wellington boot-friendly landscapes that inspired Beatrix Potter. At Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel, suites overlook the lake and the Zen Spa is an idyllic spot for a bit of R&R. After spa time, make a beeline for Windermere where you can pick up The Tales of Peter Rabbit (and friends) to take home for the nursery bookshelf.
Top Treatment: go the whole hog with the Yummy Mummy package that includes a mum-to-be massage, ESPA express facial and signature Zen Spa pedicure.
BEST FOR: TAILOR-MADE EXPERIENCES
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to spa time at Rockliffe Hall in County Durham. Treatments can be customised and spa days are made-to-measure – with plenty of treatment choice for expectant mums. The Spa Garden is a particular draw, with fires and water features alongside warming relaxation loungers for a baby-friendly alternative to saunas and hot tubs. If you’re visiting with a group of friends, make it an extra special day with exclusive use of the garden.
Top Treatment: the New Life Massage and New Life Top to Toe Ritual are heavenly pre-natal therapies.