The Spa Traveller


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Best UK Hotel Spa (less than 50 bedrooms)

A sparkling spa – day or night

As featured on the Spa Traveller

CHLOE URQUART discovers the perfect rural retreat for a romantic getaway or mid-week escape with friends…Are you tempted by the sound of a diamond facial? This dazzling treatment is now available at Stanley House Hotel & Spa – the only retreat of its kind in the North West of England.

Although the signature Diamond Facial, from Natura Bisse, is one reason to visit this rural spa hotel set in 54 acres of the Ribble Valley in Mellor, Lancashire, we discovered so many more during a relaxing weekend stay en-famille.

Location, location, location is always a factor when you’re choosing your spa experience and it was a relief to discover Stanley House is only a very short drive from the M6 – the perfect place for a wedding if you have family congregating from England and Scotland a mini moon or are just meeting friends.

Although we had no wedding to attend our visit to Stanley House obviously revolved around sampling some treatments in their new spa – and we were not disappointed.

The hill-top hotel is situated in two buildings, with 12 rooms located in the original manor house, a stunning Grade II-listed building which dates back to the 1780s, and another 18 rooms in the new building that was only completed last year. Despite being relatively new the gardens were well tended with eye-catching displays of flowers.

We were shown to the newer part of the hotel which looked out over the countryside beyond. And, the beauty of this particular suite was it was next door to the spa so a quick change into bathrobes and slippers and I was checking in for my treatment.

When I entered the spa it was late afternoon and the sun was still high so I got the impression of a fresh spa full of space and light. But, unlike any other spa I have visited, the atmosphere changed as dusk descended. The mood lighting cleverly transformed the space into a twilight haven in which to escape.

The mood lighting was put to effective use in the bubbling hydro-pool thanks to the visionary designers Howard Spa Consulting, who count London’s Dorchester, L’Oreal Luxe, Paris and Armani spas among their top clients.

And so it was as the sun was setting that I was led to the spacious relaxation room with its eclectic mix of wicker chairs and sofas and very impressive array of refreshments, magazines and even a copy, or two, of Fifty Shades of Grey!

My therapist then took me along to the couple’s treatment room and even asked if I wanted the blind up so I could admire the view but I opted for the more traditional darkened room with soft music.

The treatment started with a very soothing Himalayan Salt Foot Ritual from ILA which immediately de-stresses you – especially for anyone who has had their foot to the pedal for a couple of hours as I had done.

We then moved to the warmed treatment bed where I indulged in a Natura Bisse facial to revitalise and refresh the skin. Ironically, I was due to attend a wedding the coming weekend so felt a little nervous any facial might trigger redness for a few days afterwards.

But I was assured by my therapist that the Natura Bisse products were very kind on sensitive skin especially their Tolerance range which she used on my face with amazing results. And the piece de resistance was the Sheer Touch (with SPF 20) which she added when I left giving me a golden glow.

I finished my ritual with a Deluxe Manicure, with products from The Organic Pharmacy, which included a warm hand mask followed by a soothing massage which left my hands feeling hydrated and an extra pop of colour was added with the pink varnish. I was good to go.

The Spa Traveller Tips
What is the Diamond Facial by Natura Bisse?