Sunday, 1 March 2015

A night away at Aldwark Manor, North Yorkshire

Jason likes to golf, I like to relax and be pampered so it makes perfect sense for us to make use of somewhere with spa and golf facilities so Jason can toddle off onto the green to whack a ball around a field (where the joy comes from in that I do not know but each to their own!). On Wednesday we went over to Aldwark Manor which is just near York just for a one night get away; we booked two rounds of golf for Jason and I had a choice of treatments included with a full days use of the on-site spa facilities as well as breakfast, lunch, evening meal and what I believe was a 'Q Star Room' all for £124 per person which I thought was absolutely brilliant value.


With 120 acres of parklands, the grounds themselves are absolutely beautiful; the perfect tranquil setting for a getaway from busy normal life. While Jason went off golfing on the 18 hole course I spent the day in the spa facilities where I had a chosen two treatments which were booked for 4pm so I had pretty much the full day to enjoy what the spa had to offer. The spa staff were really friendly and welcoming and I was given a mini tour of the facilities when I got there; there's a large area where you can sit and enjoy a coffee as well as a warm relaxation room and 7 treatment rooms where the ladies work their magic. I was given a consultation form to fill in where I chose my treatments and explained any of my specific needs etc. and then given my robe, slippers and towel to go get changed and enjoy the pool area.


The pool took up most of the space in the room where you could enjoy a slow relaxing swim or a faster paced workout depending on what you fancied. I didn't actually swim but I did use the jacuzzi which was really lovely; it was gorgeously warm and you could control the jets to have it as bubbly as you wanted. I stayed in the jacuzzi until my fingers started to resemble prunes and moved onto the steam room where I sat for a good 10 minutes just breathing in the steam which really cleared my stuffy nose and chest. There is also a sauna which I didn't use as I don't get on so well with dry heat. I was a little disappointed with the lounging facilities in the pool area; in other spas I've visited there have been ample loungers and chairs to sit on and relax but at Aldwark there were only 6 loungers in the pool area which did make it a little difficult as while I was there, there were at least 15-20 people using the facilities. There was of course the spa lounge but this was not accessible from the pool area unless you went through the changing rooms so you had to be completely dry before you could use it which wasn't ideal as I just wanted to lounge around the pool when I'd finished in the steam room/jacuzzi.

The buffet style lunch for spa customers was between 12.30pm and 2pm so you could drop in whenever you wanted to grab something to eat and I have to say it was totally faultless. There was a choice of soup, jacket potatoes with several toppings, salad, fruit, bread, meats and a gorgeous selection of cakes. I had a jacket potato with tuna mayo with salad and it was absolutely beautiful. I finished off with the most amazing chocolate brownie I think i've ever eaten and I've been thinking about how I can recreate it ever since I got back!

After lunch I went back to the pool area where I grabbed one of the free loungers and lazed around (ie. fell asleep) until 3.30pm when I went to get changed ready for my treatments which were booked in at 4pm; I could have gone for one 60 minute treatment or two 30 minute treatments but I chose a file and polish for toes and a shoulder, neck and scalp massage. I was met by my assigned therapist and taken to one of the 7 perfectly decorated treatment rooms. I was really impressed with the whole set up of the treatment room, it was so warm and cosy which is obviously the perfect environment for any spa treatment. I didn't catch the name of my therapist but she was brilliant; the massage was amazing and I left feeling totally and utterly relaxed. It was my first experience of ESPA products and I was really impressed; the oils that were used smelt divine and left my skin and scalp feeling great (I won't lie, it did take a couple of washes to get the oil out of my hair though). The toe polish was done with my choice of Jessica nail polish so I went for a nice girly pink and it was done with care and precision. Overall a massive thumbs up to the spa ladies as a whole and to my therapist in particular, the only thing I'd change about the spa is the lounger situation in the pool area; I would probably make the spa lounge more 'swimming costume' friendly to give more space for relaxation straight out of the pool.

After my treatments I went up to our room where I met Jason and got ready for our evening meal which was booked at 8pm. We booked a deluxe room to add that little bit more luxury to our stay although I daresay the regular rooms are also really nice. Our deluxe room was actually more like a suite, we were in room 213 which had a downstairs lounge area with desk and bathroom and then an upstairs bedroom with a double bed. The size of the bed was a little disappointing as the couple we went with had a huge bed (more like 2 singles pushed together so you can imagine how big it was!) but it was a novelty to have a totally separate bedroom to the rest of the room.



I was surprised to find that there was a selection of drinks in the mini fridge included in our room cost and also a nice little jar of gourmet nuts which was a lovely little touch! If you did want to upgrade to something really special for your stay you could go for one of their feature rooms which look absolutely stunning...


Also included in our room package was an evening meal in The Brasserie, we got a £26 allowance to spend on the menu however we wanted and we just had to pay for anything over that plus drinks which I thought was perfect for us. After looking at the menu I went for Crab and Crayfish Cocktail followed by Duo of Chicken for main and Jason and I shared a Chocolate Tasting Plate...




The food was absolutely gorgeous and beautifully cooked; I would totally recommend staying in the hotel to eat because you're sure to find something you like because the menu is brilliant. Here's a link to a sample menu where you can get a bit of a taste for what you're likely to find in The Brasserie. We also ate breakfast the next morning in the same restaurant, I love a good cooked breakfast as a treat and this one didn't disappoint. It was buffet style so you just got up as and when you wanted and put as much or as little on your plate as you liked; safe to say I left feeling really full and set up for the day.

We could have stayed and made use of the spa facilities again but unfortunately we had to get back for work. Overall I really enjoyed our stay at Aldwark Manor and I would definitely recommend the Q Hotels group if you're ever looking for somewhere to stay. They have locations dotted around the UK so they're well worth keeping in mind because I would imagine that their other hotels are just as nice as Aldwark Manor. I've got my eye on a stay at Forest Pines at some point in the very near future!

Have you ever stayed at Aldwark Manor or another Q Hotels location?

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