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Monday, 14 January 2013

Spa Hotel Review: Luton Hoo

The magnificent splendour of Luton Hoo, nestled between the leafy borders of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, truly is a place of serene escapism and grandeur.

This decadent mansion house was redesigned by the architects of the Ritz Hotel and dates from the late 18th century when it was home to an earl, a diamond dealer and a countess with a penchant for hosting high society parties.

I booked myself in for a much needed spa break and some bonding with my very good friend Roshana who left me many years ago for smug married life in Saudi Arabia and now graces me with her delightful company only once a year.

As we were driven down the sweeping pathway, through vast grounds, we marvelled at the grand building before us, complete with its own black London taxis with Luton Hoo number plates.

I say!

We were given a tour of the hotel, which was absolutely huge, and were in awe of its opulent antique furnishings and features. We were told that the spa was in a separate building, five minutes walk through the ground, (or a two minute drive in one of the taxis!).

I knew what option I would be choosing (Ugg Boots or no Ugg Boots!) I was there to relax after all.....

Our suite was massive and splendidly named 'De Hoo', consisting of a large living room with two sofas and a flat screen TV, a spacious twin bedroom and a lavish double bedroom with a gloriously regal bed.

Come to meh...

After lounging around and catching up we (very lazily) got ready for dinner in the hotel's coveted Wernher Restaurant, which has been awarded two AA rosettes and is known for its sumptuous culinary offerings.

As we scanned the menu, my fellow meat-loving buddy nodded with me in agreement as we decided on the roast beef - quite a naughty choice, considering that before departing on the (30 minute!) journey to the hotel we had already feasted on the exact same meal at a St Johns Wood pub.

 Oh the heartiness of it all.

Feeding time is now yarr?

The meat was served beautifully rare and was so tender it made me want to weep. (rare, succulent meats usually have this effect on me). The roast potatoes were better than home made and their glistening crispy skins and fluffy centres made me suspect the use of some fine goose fat.

Dessert was a debauched affair. A debauched affair indeed....

Yeah baby!

The photograph here exhibits the first course of our dessert feast. Per person. (We asked for a second portion to be brought up to our room).

There was the rich chocolate mouse which came accompanied with 'all you can eat' strawberries and (optional) clotted cream (which we opted for) and creamy New York cheese cakes which were simply epic and brought us much joy.

Hmmm. Maybe I should be a food critic. Forget spas and frivolous pampering! Its all about the hearty noms!

After rolling back to our suite to watch films, chinwag, continue feasting on merry puddings (with the random addition of monster munch), we passed out on the deliriously comfortable bed.

Finally, here comes the spa bit.

The next morning a car was sent to take us to the famous Luton Hoo Spa for a few laps in the pool and my holistic treatment - the Aromatic Full Body Massage.

The spa itself had a very calming ambience with a large swimming pool and spacious jacuzzi  where we spent most of our time after we hastily abandoned the unrealistic lap swimming idea.

One would imagine this pool would be good for lap swimming.

As I waited for my treatment in the relaxation room, comfortably swathed in my billowing dressing gown, I lost myself in mindful meditation as I stared at the tropical fish swimming seamlessly in the oversized tank in front of me.

My blissful treatment began with a relaxing foot bath before I lay down on a heated bed and was asked to choose which essential oils I felt most drawn to after being presented with a selection to smell.

I chose the combination of warming bay and revitalising rosemary which was combined with a nourishing base oil of grapeseed.

Lois, my friendly therapist with expert hands, used long, smooth strokes and medium pressure to not only relax and calm my active mind and knotted muscles but to detoxify my body by encouraging lymphatic drainage.

After the gluttonous feasting of the previous day, I believe this was exactly what the (holistic) doctor ordered....

The Holistic Body Massage at Luton Hoo costs £80 for 60 minutes. 
Rooms from £170 including breakfast.


  1. I like the way you were honest with yourselves. You were never going to swim laps.

    Considering the amount of food that was consumed vs exercise, you do thing you came away from this health spa more or less healthy?

  2. Yes, the lap swimming was a bit far fetched I must admit. In my mind it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

    If there was yoga I would have been sure to participate!

  3. Wow! This place looks heavenly and the food looks great. I checked online and the prices seem reasonable for a beautiful spa/hotel and 2 for 1 nights offers available too. Thank you for the great hook-up.