The Gold Standard Of Spas In The South East
It was after a raging fire which blazed through the grounds destroying two houses 29 years apart that the present day Cliveden House was built. Architect Charles Barry set about designing the house in 1851 for the first of many dukes who would call the estate home.
Over the 168 years since its establishment, the ‘gold standard’ of English country estates has been home to an earl, three countesses, two dukes, a Prince of Wales and, most notably, the Viscounts Astor. The graceful Georgian manor house sits at the end of an avenue of sky-high trees surrounded by exquisite gardens straight out of a Jane Austen film set, proof that there is still an appetite for unapologetic old-school glam. At the top of the driveway sits Cliveden House, The Spa at Cliveden and the National Trust’s Orangery Café.
Société spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon at The Spa at Cliveden, courtesy of the House, so should you be contemplating a spa day package for Mother’s Day or just to treat yourself to some down time, read on and discover the magic which lies behind the glorious oak spa doors.
An apt portrayal of what to expect from a visit to Cliveden was penned in the summer of 1863 by Lady Frederick Cavendish:
“When one lives in Paradise, how hard it must be to ascend in heart and mind to Heaven.”
Italianate-style Cliveden House is ensconced in the Chiltern Hills in the village of Taplow, Buckinghamshire, and is just 30 miles northwest of London.
Owned by the National Trust, the grand property overlooks sweeping gardens and slopes down onto the River Thames. The Spa at Cliveden is a renowned location for rest and relaxation, and is hidden behind the brick walls of the gardens to the right of the House.
Perched above the famed ‘Profumo’ pool (it’s most notable former occupants being a political figure and hopeful model who were involved in a scandalous liaison in the 1960s) is a 100-foot gilded clock tower which adds to the opulence of The Spa.
The exquisite grounds are best enjoyed in the summertime where guests can unwind in the outdoor hot tubs, cool off in the pool or sit back on one of the many sun loungers after a spa treatment.
Decor & Dining
Upon entering the Spa, first-time guests are given a brief tour of the facilities. It’s easy to build rapport with the team at The Spa as they’re helpful, chatty, full of energy and enthusiastic about both the Spa and Cliveden House. The interiors are meticulously planned out and inspire a sense of well-being via the intimate yet tranquil setting.
Christened by Cliveden as ‘The Studio’, the quiet, bright and airy atrium acts as a transient stop-off for guests wanting to relax, have a treatment or just convene with friends or family. Guests starting their day at The Spa are advised to arrive early to avoid any light weekend hustle and bustle in the small changing rooms.
The vanity room is dressed in moody hues, mirrors adorn the walls, and it’s equipped with top of the range GHD and Dyson hair stylers. At The Spa Kitchen, cuisine is nutritious, with avocado and kale, and peanut butter and banana smoothie bowls, ‘Skin Boosting’ and ‘Brain Strengthening’ jacket potatoes, fresh juices, and, of course, champagne by the glass or, better yet, the bottle.
Commemorate the occasion in style on the 31st of March and spoil that special lady, be it with Dior at The Berkeley in London or the Lake Suite at Chewton Glen in the New Forest.
The Cliveden Spa offers myriad facilities where you can relax and unwind. An indoor pool and an outdoor pool (the last remaining listed outdoor pool in England) afford guests the luxury of swimming regardless of the season.
Easily accessible from the changing rooms, the Roman-inspired indoor pool area is lined on one side with large mirrors and on the other by sun loungers with pillows and luxury glossy magazines.
The Spa is fully equipped with an infrared sauna and infused steam room, two outdoor hot tubs and an indoor jacuzzi. For the fitness enthusiasts among us, Cliveden Spa features a state-of-the-art Technogym, a fitness studio and tennis centre which includes indoor and outdoor courts.
The highlight of any spa day must surely be the treatment. The Cliveden Spa has a variety of spa packages offering Afternoon Tea, treatments and full use of The Spa on the selected date.
Among the treatments available at The Spa is the highly-recommended ‘OSKIA Glow On The Go’ facial performed by a highly-trained spa therapist. Within the space of 45 minutes, guests receive a quick consultation and are asked a series of questions surrounding their skincare routine, after which a foot-bathing ritual is enjoyed in scented warm water.
After a discerning quest to select the finest products for guests of The Spa, OSKIA London’s formulations, designed using clinical bio-actives, were found to restore the skin and draw out a healthy and glowing complexion.
A silk-like application, the ‘OSKIA Glow On The Go’ facial is a highly sensorial experience. Luxuriously creamy face masks are smoothed onto prepped skin and is followed by the application of a micro-derma exfoliant and a concentrated anti-oxidant booster, clinically-proven to protect skin against indoor and outdoor pollution.
OSKIA’s signature brightening eye massage brings a rejuvenating end to the facial, the effects of which last well into the week ahead.
OSKIA Glow on the go facial, 45 minutes, £75.